I was the first of all my friends to get pregnant, and although my friends and family were so kind and excited for my husband and me, it did mean that the only advice I got came from the generation that was pregnant 25+ years ago (my mom) and Google. While those two sources can be full of wise gems, I would have loved to hear from someone I knew and who very recently remembered what it was like to have 2 little lines show up on a pee-soaked stick.
So, from one girlfriend to another, here's what I needed to hear:
1. It's ok when you go from "YIKES MY LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME" to "YAY A BABY!". When I found out I was pregnant, I was in a dazed state of "is this REAL???" for a while.
2. Strangers will talk to you in the grocery store. Be ready. Old ladies are the chattiest, but really it's everyone. "When are you due? Boy or girl? Guess what, my grandson is 5 months old! He loves Cheerios." OH REALLY, A BABY LOVES CHEERIOS?
3. Keep snacks by your bedside for when you wake up at 2am STARVING. Whether a quick snack like granola bars or a full on peanut butter & jelly sandwich--have it ready. Don't make your pregnant self walk all the way to the kitchen for sustenance. (This is also true if you nurse! I woke up famished all the time when nursing a new baby.) These were my favorite healthy snacks during pregnancy.
4. Plan the fastest route to.............Dunkin Donuts. Not the hospital, Dunks. The one near us is open from 4am to midnight, which means WHEN YOU WANT THE DONUTS YOU CAN GET THE DONUTS.
5. Life will change, but change isn't always bad. My belly got so big that it felt like my stomach-skin was going to actually pop. That kind of change isn't super fun. But embrace this new season because you get 9 months to emotionally prepare yourself to grow in such a rich, deep way. Having a baby made me more compassionate, it made me think things through (since my decisions don't just affect me! I've got a little person to think about now!), and it gave me more perspective (since life isn't all about ME ME ME).
6. Pregnancy yoga is super difficult. It looks easy when that fit lady with a perfect bump bends and stretches and balances in that youtube video. BUT IT IS NOT THAT EASY. I did it twice. And then I consoled my not-flexible self with snacks.
7. Rely on people around you. This takes some vulnerability. When I was teaching while pregnant, it meant that I let people help me carry textbooks or my teacher bag. I hate looking weak, so accepting help really took effort. This also applies to the emotional stuff. When you feel overwhelmed, have a friend or family member to reach out to. Or, head to the grocery store and talk things over with that super-chatty old lady.
8. Ultimately, turn to Jesus during this exciting-nerve-wracking-transition time. Spend time with him, because whether you're elated or terrified, he is the only one who will bring you peace.