Whilst falling pregnant can be an exciting and beautiful things, there are some rather harsh realities that come with it. Things that are almost always out of your control as a pregnant person. And also things that can determine whether you have a smooth/easy pregnancy or a difficult/hard pregnancy.
As someone who had read almost every blog and article on pregnancy, now that I am pregnant, there are some things I realize that are not openly spoken about. Things that in all honestly I wish I knew about before falling pregnant just so I could better prepare myself and my partner. Below I share 10 things I wish I knew BEFORE falling pregnant and hope they will better prepare you for whats to come when you do decide to start a family or even have another child.
1) Having a good support system is vital: Whether or not you are married or with your baby daddy. Having some sort of support is necessary and non negotiable. Not just to hold your hand when you are going through the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy. But also to help if you experience any complications.
2) Good medical care is important: Having fallen pregnant just after moving countries. One of the first things we realized was how expensive medical care was. And we ended up having to pay for everything cash. And whilst my husband and I were lucky enough to have some savings. The whole process would have been made easier if we had proper medical aid. Or if we had known about the laws and regulations would around support for people with no medical aid. Even if you are not on private medical aid, make sure you know where to go for all your tests and check ups.
3) Your body will change and so will you: One of the first things to go when you are pregnant is your body. As someone who went to gym a lot before falling pregnant this was one one of the things I found hardest to accept. Mainly because of how quickly I ran out of energy very early on. From extreme fatigue and nausea in the first trimester. To being told by DRs to cut back on my usual workouts. I felt stuck and had to quickly learn to listen to and respect my body.
4) Pregnancy can be different from person to person: After I fell pregnant I made the common mistake of comparing my journey to other pregnant moms. Especially friends of friends who were having an easier time than me. This was made even worse when people close to me who had never had children would be surprised at how hard I was finding it. In all fairness, I know they didn’t mean to judge. But what they also didn’t know was pregnancy is different from person to person. And all anyone needs during this time is support. Not comparison.
5) Work might have to take a back seat: As someone who prides themselves on doing good work. I found it hard to accept that my work would have to take a back seat during my pregnancy. Especially during the first and second trimester where I really struggled. But luckily for me I work with an amazing team and an understanding boss. So when I did drop the ball, I was supported. This however is not always the case, which is why making sure you have leave saved up is vital. So that if need be, you can take some time off on the days that you need.
6) Your baby will be the main focus: One of the most surprising things for me was how much attention is but on the growing human inside you when pregnant. For most DRs most of what you are and are not allowed to do is for the babies health. Which makes sense but also be frustrating, when you are going through so much. Which is why finding other pregnant women or just ways to feel supported as the baby carrier is important. For me this was done through finding a mommy chat group and making sure to take days for me. Days where I would just sleep or do things that I loved.
What are some things you wish you knew before falling pregnant?