As we are getting closer and closer to our little guy being here, my mind starts to look full circle. I often find myself looking back at this journey and everything it’s been for me. It’s been a surprising 9 months for sure!
The start was quite a surprising turn of events. This photo was taken at the end of May. We had just moved, almost exactly a month previously, from Charlotte, NC back to my hometown in FL. Our Rental had fallen through and we made the decision to buy our first home. So, we were living with my parents in a small shed while we searched for the right one to come along! In light of everything going on, I’d put my dreams of having a baby on the back burner. But, God had different plans. A week after we moved our world changed with one word on a tiny screen that read “pregnant” . We were overjoyed, scared, and feeling literally every emotion on the planet.
Our first ultrasound was terrifying and literally one of the best days of my life. We “confirmed” the pregnancy and got our first visual of baby! There’s literally no feeling greater than SEEING this little nugget for the first time as a reality.
The next few months were rough emotionally. I felt overwhelmed at the whole moving process, especially when it just didn’t seem to be going our way. I was horrified with the thought of bringing a baby into the world without a home. In retrospect, things are never as urgent as they seem in the moment. We had plenty of time, but I’m sure glad the lord provided when he did! Physically, I was doing well! Morning sickness was off and on until about 13 weeks. (3 weeks before we moved) Even at its worst, I honestly can’t complain. I breezed through my first trimester with some exhaustion and mild nausea.
Hello Second Trimester!
When they tell you that entering your second trimester is something from the heavens, they aren’t lying! It’s a hard feeling to describe. You start to really feel like the mom of this tiny human growing inside of you. Now, not only on the inside but on the outside as your body starts to change and grow. It’s empowering and it’s beautiful! Physically and emotionally I was doing fantastic! My body hit that perfect point of bliss. I’d adjusted and honestly didn’t even “feel” pregnant! No nausea, aches, pains, over exhaustion, NOTHING!
Reaching this milestone was so refreshing. The fear of “anything can go wrong at any moment” never truly went away, but what a relief it was to make it to this place! This is also where my bumpies started to really slack off! I thought I’d be so disciplined, I was wrong! Ha.
Can you say shocked! I’d convinced myself (for multiple rational reasons) that this baby was surely a girl. I honestly only began to slightly doubt this conclusion about a week before the reveal when I realized I kept referring to baby as “he” or “him” without thinking about it. But I was still stubbornly adamant that we were having a girl. Surprise! So glad we got this on camera.
A couple weeks later I went back to work. This was probably the hardest thing I’d done, physically and emotionally, throughout my pregnancy. While I never really struggled with a negative body image during this pregnancy, I struggled to feel productive in a body that clearly needed to slow down. I couldn’t just chase every kid on the playground or bend down to pick up toys or hold an upset toddler when they needed comfort as easily as I could before. I needed to learn to slow down (something I’ve never been good at). Which I did eventually. I learned to listen to the limits my body was giving me and ask for help.
Hello Third Trimester!
Back for another bumpie in order to celebrate/document another milestone! Working was kicking my butt, so I left the sweatpants and tank top on and didn’t even bother with my hair. Even with the gaps between shots, it’s still so fun to watch the growth!
Another beautiful day, celebrating our little guy at our baby shower! It was so fun getting together with all of the people who love me and Trey and seeing how much they are already all so excited to meet and love on our sweet baby!
Can you say POP! I swear this belly came out of nowhere over night. Here I started to struggle with expressing how great I was feeling. The internet and every pregnant woman I had known previously had seemed to express that the “torture” of pregnancy, especially in your third trimester, was like some sort of passage way into motherhood. I couldn’t relate. I didn’t hate my body. I loved it. I had never felt more beautiful with each day that my body grew. I still to this day, LOVE looking at myself and this belly in the mirror. I’ve felt more comfortable in my own skin these last 9 months, than I ever have before. I couldn’t help but feel like I cheated the system. I haven’t gained much weight, I have very few stretch marks (as of now), and my skin has actually been better than before. I didn’t want to step on any toes or hear “just wait” anymore. I wanted to fully embrace how amazing I felt without the guilt. Even now as I write this I feel liking a bragging Betsy.
Un-edited raw image of a very sick, but very happy mama.
They usually tell you to have your “baby moon” during the second trimester because that’s when you’re most likely to feel like your best self. Which I 100% understand now! However, with saving money for baby to come I decided the baby moon wasn’t totally necessary. Then, My sweet husband decided to plan a beautiful anniversary getaway weekend/baby moon! Unfortunately I was a sick mess and also dealing with a new symptom. Hello acid reflux! So between not being able to breathe, sleep, or hold down any food… This is probably the most miserable and happy I’ve ever been! Thankfully my cold subsided a couple days after we got home and my acid reflux has come down to a much tolerable level.
After I quit my job I feel like my nesting instincts shifted into high gear! All of the things I didn’t have time to think about were now waiting for me. The urgency you feel to get everything done, is a little crazy. I had so much to do that I couldn’t even focus on 1 thing! The first week was a disaster, I scrambled around so much that I wore myself out and didn’t actually get anything done 😂. Phil -Cat “helped” out while I organized baby’s nursery. I know I shouldn’t let him get used to laying in the baby’s crib, but this image was just too sweet. I figured just once couldn’t hurt.
At my 34th week check up I was measuring kind of small, so we scheduled an ultrasound for my 36th appointment to check in on baby. The doctor wasn’t really concerned but wanted to be safe. Honestly, I was thrilled we would get to see baby one last time before we were seeing him in our arms. I had so much energy before my appointment, I was filled to the brim with joy and excitement. Then we saw him, and my heart exploded. We had our first 4D ultra sound. It. Was. Amazing. Like, praise Jesus for the technology that we have now. I kid you not, as I looked at this screen I could literally see my baby. Clear as day. His defined nose and eyes; The way he moved his lips and sucked on his hands when his daddy put his hand on my belly and talked to him. I was meeting a little more of my baby than I had before. It was such a beautiful moment. Physically- “cervix is still closed, which is what [the doctors] want”. Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed. I’m ready to hold my baby and bring him home! But I’m coming to terms with the fact that he’ll be here when he’s ready, mama just has to wait! It’s been an amazing journey and with just a few weeks left, I find myself ready to move to the next stage but already missing this time.
Mama, or to-be mama, pregnancy doesn’t have to be miserable. It can be a beautiful experience. There may be some rough patches here and there, but you don’t have to be the mama who hates the entire 9 months! You can rejoice and celebrate and even
enjoy being pregnant!
I’d like to end by saying that I’m not coming down on anyone who’s had a negative experience! Every pregnancy is different. We all have negative thoughts here and there. Some pregnancy’s come with complications that would make any woman miserable. Pregnancy is certainly NOT easy! If that ’s where you are I want to lift you up and tell you that you are strong! BUT,
I also want women out there to know that pregnancy doesn’t have to be miserable for it to be one of the biggest transitions of your life. Every body is different. Every pregnancy is different. I expected the worst from my pregnancy because that’s all I ever heard. I was pleasantly surprised 💙