Guest Post #4: What Sara Didn’t Expect While She’s Expecting

Today’s post is from the always glowing Sara of Sara’s Nautical Baby Shower fame. I’ve known this girl since the first day of my first job out of college, and I’m always happy to be graced by her sunny presence, and fun loving personality. Sara’s expecting her first baby next month, and so, like Kacie, is trying to find the balance between work, life and pending-mommyhood. I was excited she wanted to write about the things she didn’t expect when she got pregnant, because I think it’s a reminder to just live in the moment and stop trying to anticipate the unknown, whether it’s pregnancy or something else. 

I was a huge cliché last Friday night: 32 weeks pregnant, dragging my husband to see ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ with a Haagen Dazs ice cream bar in hand. I was sort of hoping the theatre would be all pregnant ladies so I wouldn’t feel like a prop the movie planted, but alas that was not the case. So there I sat, needing to go the bathroom for the 4th time that night, extremely uncomfortable in the velvet seat, feeling like the whole theatre was looking at me — but still completely excited to watch my people preach!

The movie, based off a non-fiction pregnancy book, followed the lives of five women who were going to have a baby (four pregnant, one adopting). Each of them was in a different state of mind — an effort to show not every pregnancy experience is the same. I laughed, I sympathized and I cried – twice (one sad cry, one happy cry).

But it leads me to the point of my post, everyone will tell you what you should expect when you’re expecting, but that’s really, really confusing – because everyone is different. Just like getting married, as Diana so beautifully demonstrated, everyone wants and experiences things differently. So I’m not going to tell you what to expect, but I will tell you 5 things I did NOT expect about pregnancy:

  1. Where are my tears?! I think last night was only the second time I’ve cried since I got pregnant (first time watching Big Fish on TV- haha). For those of you who know me – that’s crazy! I’m very emotional – so I assumed pregnancy would make me nuts – apparently not.
  2. The joy of kicks! I had convinced myself that when she got to the kicking stage, I would be totally weirded out – the thought of having something inside of you move – ick! But, on Super Tuesday (March 6) – my little lady kicked me for the first time and I have never been so excited… and so relieved! I didn’t realize that it was going to be REALLY hard for me to be pregnant until I started showing and until she started kicking. Before then I was never convinced I was pregnant. I had been to the doctor, I had small bouts of morning sickness, but I still doubted it every day. I counted down the seconds until my next doctor’s appointment so I could hear her little heart beat. That all changed when she started kicking – proof she was in there! Now at 32 weeks, it’s less like kicking and more like rolling around and dancing, but it still feels like our own secret language – between mommy and she. 🙂
  3. What do you mean you’re ‘pretty sure’ she’s a girl!?! Everyone’s heard of the grand revealing, when the doctor says ‘It’s a Girl’ or ‘It’s a Boy’… my experience was not like that. I had an awkward ultrasound technician who during her whole 30 minute examination barely uttered a word. She said our baby’s legs were closed so it was going to be hard to tell the gender but she would try. She would randomly type things on the screen like ‘leg,’ ‘foot,’ and ‘cord’. She eventually typed ‘girl’ on the screen, but didn’t say a thing. Then she was done. I said ‘well…. it’s a girl?’ and she said ‘I’m pretty sure, but the doctor should be able to confirm it.’ Five minutes later the doctor came in and looked at things for about two seconds and said ‘nope, legs are closed, I can’t see anything – but Janet (or something like that) is good at finding those things.’  Then he told me that you can only be 100% sure if it’s a boy, not a girl, so I should save the receipts because I wouldn’t know for sure until she was born. I ran and found Janet: Me: ‘Janet, how sure are you that she’s a girl? ‘Janet: ‘Um, I’d say high 90s; let me know if I end up being wrong.’ SERIOUSLY!? Needless to say – that was not what I was expecting. Despite my uncertainty, I did proceed to buy and receive LOTS of girly things! And got a second (surprise) ultrasound 10 weeks later – where they once again said girl. Phew. Not going to lie though, still a little nervous ;).
  4. Cravings, Schmavings! I had expected to be hungry all the time and craving weird foods. That has not been the case. I have wanted random things – frozen yogurt, chopped salads, lots of carbs at the beginning – but nothing consistent. In fact, 80% of the time nothing sounds good. It’s not that I’m nauseous; it’s just that eating kind of feels like a chore (that is SO unlike me!). I am hungry in the morning, could totally skip lunch (but usually my stomach starts growling and I figure she’s telling me something)… and then dinner, oh dinner, I must be SO annoying to Eric (my husband)… I cannot figure out what to eat, so we usually eat random things at like 9:30p at night. Hello cereal and perogies. Ha.
  5. I am SO blessed! What has blown me away the most about being pregnant is the incredible amount of support and excitement from my family and friends! You know those moments in your life that you know are SUPER rare and so awesome that you’re bursting with happiness? I’ve had SIX of them just since November. 1.) Finding out and telling Eric, duh. 2.) Telling my best friends from high school I was pregnant – I was shaking with excitement and caught them so off guard that it resulted in lots of tears and jumping! 3.) Seeing her (as more than a bean) for the first time at the doctor – best 15 minutes of my life watching her move around on the screen. 4.) Telling people it was a girl (despite my uncertainly)… such an amazing reception at work (lots of screaming, hugs, flowers), followed by LOTS of texts and phone calls from my besties dying to know. 5.) My D.C. shower – as I said at the shower – ‘I thought my wedding was awesome!.’ My hostesses were amazing– and I was so grateful to have such an amazing turnout of friends and family (from in and out of town). 6.) My Denver shower – it was great to be with all my Colorado ladies and I was blown away by the personal touches meant for me and Lady O! 🙂 She and I are SO lucky… so blessed… and we won’t ever forget it :).

Alright- so I’ve written the world’s longest blog post – time to wrap it up… Pregnancy is just one word to describe something that’s so different for each women who goes through it. For me, I’ve loved it so far. Yes, it was really stressful at the beginning and now I’m starting to get really uncomfortable, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to bring a little life into this world. For anyone thinking about or trying to get pregnant out there – here are my small, vague pieces of advice: don’t over think it, don’t do too much comparing and surround yourself with people who love you! And as my pre-natal yoga instructor would say: ‘Go Babies!’

Thanks for your post, Sara! And the last line about “don’t over think it, don’t do too much comparing” — holy cow, is that not something we should all remember every single day regardless of the situation. Such great advice!

Project 52: Mothers

This week’s theme is “Mothers” and I couldn’t help but use this photo I took of my own Mom last Sunday on Mother’s Day. She was acting goofy for this picture, but I just love how happy and vibrant she looks. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, then you know we celebrated my Mom’s 60th birthday a little while back, so can I just say that this lady gives true meaning to the phrase, “Age is just a number.” Or maybe it’s “You’re only as old as you act.”

I think both work ;).

If you’ve been following the news lately, then you’ve probably seen the controversy around Time Magazine’s Cover and “Are you Mom Enough?” headline. While I have 0% first hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a mom, I feel I’m more attuned with the demands of parenting now that I’m watching my friends journey into motherhood, and I have several colleagues who are hard working moms. What I find hard to understand is how “judgy” people tend to be about motherhood and parenting in general.

I have no idea what ‘method’ of parenting my mom used, but I’d put money on the fact it wasn’t anything with a fancy study behind it or some random researchers name attached to it. I have no idea how long I was breastfed. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if I was (but judging from my cheeks, the answer’s probably yes). And I’m sure 28 years ago there were far less fancy gadgets/items/videos/etc to sooth, swaddle, engage, and turn baby into Einstein.

What I do remember is that we were loved. Like, big time picnics-in-the-living-room, bedtime-stories, trips-to-the-zoo, constant-hugs-and-kisses kind of loved. And whether that love comes from a Mom, a Dad, a step-parent, a grandparent or WHOEVER, in my humble opinion I believe that’s the key to it all.

Less worry, less judging and more love.

I think we can all agree the world needs more of it.

P52 with Kent Weakley

Project 52: Be Still

project 52 p52 weekly photo challenge

Since this week’s blogging theme was more or less “Baby Connor,” I figured, why ruin a good thing? I love this picture of my beautiful friend peacefully rocking her sweet little boy. I think the lighting and the black & white photo add to the calmness of the image.

I’m still on a total friendship, life, love high after last weekend. And while I know that little man will exponentially change by the time I next see him, I’m grateful I was able to capture so many moments of this sweet baby stage.

See how others interpreted this weeks theme of “Be Still” here.

And if you’ve found me through P52, this week’s blog was chock-full-o-pictures, so check ’em out before you leave!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Little Big Moments Take 25

There’s something truly magical about watching a friend transition into Motherhood. About looking at her baby and thinking, “holy cow, you MADE that.” The girl I used to trampse around the city with and do crazy things at random college parties is now this full on Mommy to the happiest, sweetest little boy. A testament to how well she has embraced this new calling.

I’ve always known Christine was something awesome, but to see her parent with such ease and enthusiasm was really inspirational.

She plays the role of Superwoman very well, balancing a baby on her hip while she simultaneously unloads the dishwasher, heats up homemade soup in the crock pot and sings silly little songs that make the baby laugh. But she’s also honest enough to say, “It’s awesome, but I’m tired.” To talk about the real side of Mommyhood, the tough parts, but to know it’s all worth it when your motivation looks like this…

And there’s something so awesome about loving on your friend’s baby. Alex and I had the best time playing Aunties for the weekend, and my heart has just expanded to make room for this sweet little man.

The friendships, the laughter, the conversations, the love…it’s all still there. It just looks a little different now. And the ‘different’ is good. So, so good.

For example, this is us hitting up the newest “It” spot. No cover charge…

And we’re still into kissing boys…

Of course we make sure we hit the gym after a girls night out…

And coffee chats are still the best way to catch up on each other’s lives…

There is one thing that’s very different though…

Instead of calling “Shotgun”, now we call “Backseat!” And it’s easy to see why…