Are you ready for this? This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. Because I’m currently days to weeks away from giving birth. And I have no idea where the last 9 months have gone!
It’s crazy to me how quickly this pregnancy has flown by. Especially because, in so many ways, life has seemed to slow down this year. But so much has changed also. Honestly, this has been a pretty weird time to be pregnant. There’s so much turmoil across the world. Yet here I am, navigating through a journey that’s often associated with so much joy. And the contrast has been hard to process and contend with at times.
These past 9 months have been full of ups and downs – all the typical ones associated with growing a new life as well as some that I wasn’t anticipating. It’s included: adjusting to and being awed by the constant changes in my body, figuring how to baby prep for the first time, and accepting the fact that current circumstances require the type of healthcare I’m receiving to be different than what I had hoped for and expected in pregnancy. While it hasn’t been ideal and I’ve definitely had my hard days along the way, this experience has also been full of goodness and lessons. And for today’s post, I want to share some of those with you.
So here are 9 lessons that I’ve learned (or relearned!) throughout these past 9 months of pregnancy:
1. Life doesn’t often fulfill our expectations… at least not how we originally envisioned.
This is one of those reminders that I constantly need. And this year has been no exception. All that’s been going on in the world has led to a quite different pregnancy experience than what I imagined for myself. I’ve had to adapt to so many of the ever-changing circumstances over these past several months. And it hasn’t been easy.
One thing I’ve been realizing is that it’s ok to acknowledge how sad this makes me and grieve my unmet expectations. In fact, I’m better off doing so. Because otherwise all the feelings of upsetness just build up. And they’ll find a way to come out sooner or later.
So as I’ve been adjusting to each new situation, I’ve also tried to be gentle with myself and focus on taking things one day at a time whenever possible.
2. I can do hard things.
This is a lesson I re-learned pretty early on in pregnancy. The first trimester was one of the most physically and mentally challenging periods of my life. Feeling sick to my stomach almost all day every day for 3 full months was miserable. And even the excitement of being pregnant couldn’t lift my spirits most of the time.
Simple things like waking up in the morning, eating, and getting dressed suddenly required every ounce of effort I could muster. And soon I started to feel very lonely in this struggle. Even though I had plenty of support, the actual job of being pregnant was mine alone. And it was already kicking my butt.
But thankfully, the weeks wore on and things did eventually get much easier. Looking back at those first few months, it’s amazing to me how I got through it. As difficult as it was, I survived. And I could do it again if I have to. Not that I’d want to if things could be different. But knowing and trusting that I can get through tough times definitely makes it a little easier to weather the storms of life.
3. My body is a miracle.
I already knew this on some level. But experiencing the growth of a whole other human inside of me has been such a special privilege. Even though it’s involved some discomforts along the way, getting to see my body reach its full potential in this capacity has been incredible. And even the fact that it can withstand the challenges that arise along the way is a testament to how amazing this body of mine truly is.
4. My body needs plenty of love, affection, and nourishing to continue functioning miraculously.
If there’s one thing that this third trimester has been reminding me lately, it’s that as much as my body is capable of – it does indeed have its limits. And respecting those limits is one of the best things I can do for myself right now. It’s only when I listen to my body and focus on meeting its needs that it can continue functioning optimally. Pushing it beyond these limits over and over again never ends well.
5. Help doesn’t usually come unless I ask for it.
I have a hard time with this one. There’s a part of me that wishes people intuitively knew how to support me. Because asking for help, or worse asking for it repeatedly, feels pretty uncomfortable. And honestly, it gives me yet another thing to do in those moments when all I want is less on my plate.
But when I do work up the courage and wherewithal to ask for what I need, it’s usually worth it. Because the people that care about me want to help me. Just because they don’t know how to yet, doesn’t mean they’re incapable. It means they need clear instructions or more information.
Of course, this is more difficult to do when I’m not sure exactly what I need yet. And this particular predicament has come up a lot during this pregnancy because each experience has been so new. But even in those moments when I’m unsure, just asking for someone to listen as I sort through my thoughts has been really helpful.
6. Not being in control is an opportunity to build and practice trust.
This is one of those lessons that’s echoed in many of the others that I’ve already shared. But I think it deserves its own explanation.
There’s so much about pregnancy that feels completely out of my control. How I feel physically on any given day, the position of the baby, and the exact moment my labor will start are just a few examples of things I have almost no control over. Of course, I can take certain steps to help me have the best outcome in each of these situations. But at the end of the day, I can’t actually control every aspect of my circumstances. And this is not an easy pill to swallow for me.
So lately, I’ve been leaning into and focusing more on trusting that things will work out just fine. Because my other option was constantly worrying and stressing about it. Which I did and still do sometimes. But practicing trust feels better. Trusting God, trusting my body, and trusting my baby to do what each of us is meant to at every stage of this process.
7. Different can be a good thing sometimes.
As I talked a bit about in number 1 already – this pregnancy experience has been quite different than what I originally envisioned for myself. And most of the differences are due to situations that have nothing to do with my actual pregnancy. Current world affairs have certainly switched things up for so many of us. And as frustrating as it’s been – some things did still manage to work out pretty nicely.
When my sister brought up the idea of planning a virtual baby shower, I wasn’t so sure about it. I wondered if it would actually be any fun and worth the effort. But she convinced me to go for it and the planning began. And even though I was pretty skeptical at first, it ended up being really special. It wasn’t at all how I ever imagined my baby shower to be, but one of the best parts about it being virtual was that my family overseas got to join us in the celebration as well. And this never would’ve been possible otherwise.
Sometimes embracing the “different” that life throws our way can turn out even better than what we initially had in mind.
8. Every struggle also comes with blessings.
It’s definitely been frustrating to deal with some of the unexpected challenges that have come up over these last several months. But each one has also reminded me how blessed I am to have sources of support around me as well as access to solutions. As inconvenient as it may feel in the moment, giving a bit of my attention to the good details in a “bad” situation has really helped me to reframe my perspective.
If it weren’t for my baby being in a breech position for example, I probably never would have gone to a chiropractor for prenatal care. And while we’re still working on getting our little guy to flip, I’ve learned so much about what’s going on with my body over my last few appointments. And the chiropractor’s helped me to release an incredible amount of tension that’s been building up. So whether the baby flips or not, it’s been such a helpful experience.
9. Seasons of change can be some of the most creative and motivating times of our life.
These past 9 months have included more changes than I could keep track of… all in an effort to prepare us for the even bigger change coming at the end of this journey. And I’ve definitely felt overwhelmed by all the decisions and plans we’ve had to make along the way. But something else interesting also happened in this process.
At some point in my second trimester, I found myself feeling really motivated to make even more changes in my life. When I realized that these months being pregnant might be the last ones for a while that I could invest a good amount of time and energy into my own interests, something shifted internally.
And I finally did a few things that had been on my mind for a while. I started recording and sharing EFT/tapping videos and I lead my first ever coaching and support group for women that identify as highly sensitive. Even though these projects felt scary and overwhelming to take on, I’m so happy that I did. And if it weren’t for all the other changes pregnancy has brought on, I honestly don’t know if I would’ve taken these leaps.
The more I experience seasons of transition, the more I learn about myself. They can certainly feel paralyzing at times, but they also offer glimpses of clarity along the way. And those moments are worth seizing when they come along.
Wrapping It Up
Going through pregnancy has taught me so much about myself and life in general. And I’m sure this is only the beginning. Motherhood is going to be brand new territory and I can’t even imagine how many lessons I’ll learn along the way. I know the journey won’t be all sunshine and rainbows, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me during this next phase.
As I adjust and acclimate to the new normal though, I’ll be taking a break from blogging. So this will be my last post for a while. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be coming back yet or how exactly the blog will function when I do, but I hope to start writing again in a few months.
Until then, I’m wishing you the very best. And I’d love to hear some lessons and reflections that are on your mind these days.
What’s one thing you’ve learned (or relearned) recently that’s had a significant impact on your life? Let me know in a comment below this post or an email!
Peace and blessings,
P.S. – Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or uninspired by your life? Is there a challenge you’re facing or a goal you’d like to work towards? If you’re ready to take a bold, true leap in your life, I can help you. Click here to schedule a FREE discovery session with me.