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11 Things I Would Tell My Pregnant Self

Being pregnant for the first time is quite the experience. You finally feel like you’ve graduated to a whole new exclusive club, but you’re also completely clueless as to what you’re about to endure—both the good and the bad. Looking back at my wide-eyed and naïve newly pregnant self, I have a few things I’d like to tell her.

1. When you think you have bumped at 13 weeks, you have not actually bumped. It is bloat, it is a food baby, it is whatever you want to call it, but a baby bump it is not. Just you wait.

2. You will get your body back. It may not be as quickly as you’d like and it may not be exactly the same as it was before (hello, wider hips) but you’ll be amazed that with some hard work and determination, it is possible to get your abs back. I promise.

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3. Stretch marks fade. So don’t worry too much about them. Yes, moisturize every night, because it feels good on your skin and also relieves that pregnancy itch, but don’t buy all of the expensive stretch mark creams. They are a waste of money. And newsflash: There is no preventing stretch marks, no matter how many creams you buy. If you get stretch marks, you get them, and that’s that. But they really do fade to near nothingness! Trust me!

4. You think you’re hungry now? No. The hunger of a pregnant woman pales in comparison to the ravishing hunger that comes with breastfeeding. You will want to eat all of the things, all of the time, and you will never be satisfied. But you will also be amazed that you burn it all off! Just another perk of nursing!

Soon your baby will be in your arms and your whole world will be so much sweeter and wilder than you could ever imagine.

5. You literally have no control over your labor story. You can write out your birth plan, you can envision everything you want in your labor room, you can even schedule your birth in some cases, but when it comes down to it you have absolutely no control over what happens when D-Day arrives. Keep that in mind, and just let it go. Enjoy the experience, whatever it is. Because it is yours.

6. Exercise as much as you can, without overdoing it. Staying fit and strong throughout your pregnancy will help so much come delivery. Labor is hard, and being as strong as you can be and in as good of shape as possible will make a world of difference. It will also make your post-labor body easier to get back into shape.

7. Take advantage of being pregnant. You are, after all, growing a human inside of you. Use that to your advantage whenever possible. Buy that box of doughnuts. Ask your husband to go on an ice cream and pickle run. Accept the offers of extra foot rubs. Park in the Expected Mother Parking. You’re not going to be pregnant forever, and you deserve some splurges while you are.

8. Sleep whenever you can. I know it isn’t easy right now, with your tiny bladder and the millions of thoughts going through your mind, but try to sleep as much as possible. Take naps. Enjoy those lazy Sunday mornings lying in bed with nothing to do. Soon enough, you will never have nothing to do. Your lazy mornings (and afternoons and evenings and every moment in between) will be spent with your new baby and you will experience a type of sleep deprivation you never knew existed. So get those extra ZZZs in at every opportunity. Really though.

9. Spend time with your husband. Go on dates, sit next to each other talking for hours and really be with each other, because you both are about to go through the most life-changing and incredible journey of your lives, and you will need to be there for each other. You will resent him at times, but you will ultimately love him even stronger than before. Yes, it is possible.

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10. Be a little selfish. When you become a mom, your whole world shifts from yourself to this tiny being who is 100% reliant upon you for survival. And you will have no problem giving him everything you have. So be a little selfish right now, while you can. Take time for yourself. Take a long bubble bath, paint your nails, finish that book you’re reading and soak it all in.

11. Be easy on yourself. Sometimes you won't be able to make it to a party. Some days you’ll be so tired you won’t want to get out of bed at all. And that’s OK. Listen to your body and allow yourself to take rest days and just relax. Put your hand on your belly and lie there enjoying the kicks inside. Soon your baby will be in your arms and your whole world will be so much sweeter and wilder than you could ever imagine. For now, just be still. And enjoy the ride.

Image via Katie Michelle Reyes

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