Some women hate being pregnant or at least feel uncomfortable during their pregnancy like they are in a foreign body. I am always sympathetic when I hear stories like that but fortunately, I didn’t dislike being pregnant. I actually loved it! Mainly because I had such an easy pregnancy… no morning sickness or back pain or weird food cravings. But just because my pregnancy was easy doesn’t mean that there aren’t things I don’t regret or wish I hadn’t done. In fact, there are things I absolutely, positively wish I had done differently, and I have worked hard to let them go and moved past them.
Like my dad used to always say, “A smart person learns from their mistakes, but a wise person learns from other people’s mistakes.” I hope that you are able to learn from mine! So here are three things I wish I had done differently while pregnant:
I wish I had not told people my due date.
When I took the Mama Natural Birth Course, one of the things that they suggested was that instead of giving people my due date, I should tell them my due month. The reason is that only about 5 percent of babies are born on their due date. Baby J was not part of the five percent! Instead, she came exactly one week late, but you would have thought, with the way people acted, that she was a month late or the first baby in the history of the universe to go past due. As a first time mom, I allowed myself to feel like something was wrong with me or wrong with the pregnancy, even though statistically everything was normal.
Also, because I knew I wasn’t going to have an extended maternity leave, I didn’t want to waste any of it by taking time off before she came. I worked right up until the last minute. “What are you doing here?!” people would ask me. A lot. Again, this made me feel like something was wrong. Looking back on it, I really wish I would have heard this advice about a due month sooner and then maybe I would have had less anxiety towards the end of my pregnancy.
I wish that I had not shared with people my birth plan.
What’s the adage? “Never talk about politics or religion.” Well, it should be three things: politics, religion, or your birth plan. Erik and I both wanted a natural childbirth, and we openly shared this fact with everyone. We were surprised then when people not only disagreed with us but by how passionate they would sometimes become. In response, they would often tell me what their birth plan had been, some natural birth horror story, or give medical advice from the 1970’s that was outdated. In summary, people sometimes forget that your birth plan is your birth plan, so unless you are sharing it with a truly supportive or open-minded person, you might want to think twice.
I wish that I had eaten better.
Two words sum up my eating while pregnant: cheese fries. I didn’t crave them to the extent that I dreamt about them or felt desperate, but I definitely wanted them, and I let myself eat them when I felt like it.
Imagine how upset I was then, when my husband, who is working on his dissertation about fitness, food, and sport, pointed out to me that the number of fat cells we have is determined in three stages: in utero, in the first year of life, and in pre-pubescence. Did you know that we do not burn fat cells when we lose weight? Rather, when we lose weight, we are merely losing the volume within the number of cells. So a mother who makes poor food choices while pregnant is determining the number of fat cells her child will have, compounded by the fact that her food preferences will also dictate her child’s preferences.
Now that my family has gone through the Whole 30 program, I am trying to influence Baby J’s fat cells during this first year of her life. But if someone had told me the effect that my consumption of cheese fries would have on her, well, you better believe I would have dropped them and walked away.
How exactly are we influencing her fat cells? By eating as much real, unprocessed food as possible! To make things easier, we have become avid users of Real Plans, an online meal planning service and app, that makes grocery shopping a breeze while also saving you time in the kitchen and money. Real Plans features thousands and thousands of recipes from top bloggers and fits a variety of different diets. You can read all about Real Plans here!
So there you have it! The three things I wish I had differently. Now I want to hear from you. What do you wish you had done differently? What would you do the same way again?
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