pregnancy 101

i feel like during my pregnancy i wasn't very informed about what was about to go down with my body, emotions, etc. everyone talks about morning sickness and sore boobs, but that's about it. having just been pregnant, i decided i wanted to share my experience and hopefully help some mommas out. my pregnancy was fairly easy and enjoyable, but i'm not saying i didn't experience any bad either. this whole journey has been so wonderful but at the same time, very hard at times. 

first i want to warn the expecting momma of all the changes that will most likely occur:

>> all day sickness- it's called morning sickness, but it will indeed last all day. you will feel crummy for a couple months, not want to see or talk to anyone and feel like you are dead to the world somedays. it will pass and you will forget how bad it was (at least i did)
>> sore hips- i got this early on and learned quickly that pillows are the trick. one behind and one under the belly so you sleep in the shape of a "V". trust me... it took care of the problem!
>> bloating- i struggled with this a lot. i was always bloated or "full" feeling even when i hadn't eaten anything. eventually i had a nervous breakdown because i was hungry, but felt like i couldn't fit any food in there and that led to me thinking the baby wasn't getting what he needed. my dear friend told me about gas-x and it totally worked. it saved my life and sanity!
>> cravings- i didn't ever really have crazy cravings, but occasionally i would want a specific something. give in to them, but don't let it control every aspect of the way you eat. just because you are pregnant, doesn't mean you get to eat crap all day everyday! you won't die if you don't satisfy a craving.
>> numb hands and arms- this i experienced after 36 weeks and i totally wasn't expecting it. i still don't know the answer to getting rid of it, but going to the chiropractor and stretching helped reduce it a ton for me.
>> sore lower back- this also came toward the end for me. your posture gets bad trying to hold up your lowering belly. leaning forward with your elbows on the sofa, counter or on an exercise ball works wonders on relieving the pressure and weight of the baby.
>> tired- get used to it and nap when you can. it never goes away and is prepping you for baby to come!
>> stretching of the skin- this one was surprise. the skin stretches and becomes thin and tender to the touch. it will get better and your body gets used to it.
>> swollen feet- put your feet up as much as you can, stay hydrated and have your husband massage them ( i don't think that helped but it felt nice:))
>> sore pelvic region- another one at the end. all i can say is be happy the baby is getting ready to come into the world! that's why it's happening and nothing helped me reduce the pain.

now i want to talk about the happy stuff. being pregnant is not a joy ride all the way through, but you can make it enjoyable. you have to do it for nine months and i think complaining every second is just silly. these are some things that i did proactively to make it more meaningful and enjoyable:

>> consciously choose a child care provider and birth plan that is the best choice for you and your baby. women don't realize it is their choice and there are a ton of options for giving birth. i chose a natural birth because i was low risk and that's what i felt was best for us.
>> stay physically active- i worked all the way to the end so i cheated and counted that as my daily exercise. my next baby i want to exercise from the beginning doing yoga and swimming because it's great for the baby.
>> eat a healthy diet- get educated on what is good and bad for the baby nutritionally and remember there is a little human depending on you for the best nourishment to grow strong and healthy!
>> take probiotics- this helped me so much. i went the entire winter not getting the flu or a cold and i feel it was due to taking these and eating/ drinking a lot of vitamin c. (i did end up getting sick after our move in the spring, but i feel like that was due to exhaustion and over doing it in the move)
>> meditate or have quiet time with your babe- this helped me feel more connected to the babe inside of me. how great a blessing it is to grow a living human inside of you! nothing in the world will ever compare to it. sitting quietly each day or rubbing my belly helped me feel connected to him during those nine long months. i know he felt it and responded back with the same love i was giving him.
>> be confident in your decisions- i learned this early on. being a parent is a scary job and as a mother you constantly worry if you are making the right decisions. i didn't get a lot of support with the way i chose to birth and it was disappointing and hard to feel like i had something to prove. i finally realized that's how it will be from now on, though. people will criticize or judge me on my parenting i'm sure, but i can't let that change the way i raise my child. i will always do what i feel is best for us and nothing else matters.
>> involve your partner- dads can be just as involved as moms. they may not be carrying the child, but they helped make it! involve them with appointments, responsibilities, and excitement over little things like buying an outfit. it will help them feel like that are needed too. (because they are)
>> read- one of the best things i believe you can do for your baby is to be educated and learn what is best for them. it is so much better than not knowing for yourself and having someone just tell you. there are so many ways to do things and if you read a lot of different options and ask a lot of questions, you can make the best decisions from there.
>> clear out unresolved feelings- i have had to do a lot of healing work before wes came. i was still holding onto a lot of things in my life that made me angry or resentful. i realized the baby could feel all that and i didn't want him to. also, i don't want to be an angry mom. i want to be emotionally healthy so i can raise my son to be the same. happy mommas are the best mommas!
>> write in a journal- keeping a journal and taking photos of your progress helps you to see that you are  in fact moving along. and it's fun to have those things on record for later.
>> love your body- you will get bigger.. that's what happens when you are pregnant. recognize the beauty of what your body is doing and love yourself for doing it. growing a child inside of you is the most beautiful thing you could ever do.
>> spend time with your husband/ partner- i was so worried about how our relationship would change once the baby came. i didn't want us to forget each other, so we made sure to spend extra time together and work on our relationship. it helped us become so much closer and now that he's here we have a great foundation. 
>> nest- this has been the most fun for me! getting his room ready really helped me to envision him coming. it made me so excited and helped me to feel prepared.
>> use the basa coconut oil stick on your belly. i used this and other lotions/oils consistently and got zero stretch marks. i feel like this one worked the best and was easiest to apply (i did get two small marks around my belly button the day i went into labor, though.)

i hope you enjoyed my novel. it's a lot of info to pack into one post, but i hope it helps some if not one momma out there!

*i realize these are only a few things that many women struggle a lot worse than me. i feel blessed i was never bed ridden or anything like that.