• Pregnancy Lessons

    A mom-to-be shares five surprising takeaways from the past nine months.

    By Jess Michaels

    At full-term now, my baby can arrive any day. Lately, I’ve found myself reflecting back on my journey over the past nine months. There are a few things I’ve learned about being pregnant along the way. Here are five things that have taken me by surprise and that I’d like to share with other moms-to-be out there.

    You don’t need maternity clothes right away. I always assumed once I got pregnant, I’d start bulging out of my clothes within weeks.  In reality, I didn’t need maternity clothes until I was at the end of my fifth month.  I was pregnant over the summer and was able to wear loose sun dresses that I already owned.  Given the price of maternity clothing, I was happy to extend my already existent wardrobe as long as I could!

    I didn’t have to stop doing the things I loved. I thought at some point I’d have to stop working out, curb my travel plans and cut down on my dinners out with friends. But throughout my pregnancy, I’ve continued to do everything I love.  I had to modify certain activities and plans, but I was still able to continue to do the activities I enjoyed. I feel good that I didn’t limit myself, especially since I have a feeling my life is about to slow down soon enough.

    Unfortunately, I was rarely offered a seat on the subway. Over the course of my pregnancy, I conducted my own personal social experiment to see how long into my pregnancy I would go before someone offered me a seat on the subway.  The result:  seven whole months.  I do know, from doubts I’ve had myself, that some people are nervous about offering their seat to a woman who may just be overweight , so I will cut those people a break. But at nine months now, there is no mistaking my pregnancy and I’m still not being offered a seat every day.  Many rush hours, I will have people look up from their books, look at my stomach, and then just look back down.  I have been a bit disappointed in my fellow New Yorkers but I’m thankful to those people, usually women in their childbearing years, who have given up their seat for this pregnant commuter.

    I‘ll miss being pregnant. While I always knew I wanted to be a mom, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about being pregnant and sharing my body for nine-plus months.   I am a healthy eater and work out five times a week , so I was nervous about the toll pregnancy would take on my body.  But I have to say, I have loved being pregnant.  I’ve enjoyed watching my body change and feeling my daughter kick and squirm inside of me.  And, surprisingly, as excited as I am to hold my daughter, there is a part of me that will miss being pregnant.

    Everyone wants to share their opinion about the right way to raise kids. Breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, staying at home vs. working, daycare vs. nanny– everyone has an opinion about what is best for your baby.  But like so many things in life, there is no right or wrong answer.  The beauty of becoming a parent is you get to do things your way and do what you think is best for your child and your family’s lifestyle.  So, I’ve learned to listen to advice from friends and family but follow my own heart when it comes to raising my child.