Posted by: Ingrid | July 5, 2010

Pregnancy: The little things I wish someone had told me

These days I have pregnancy on my brain.  I feel like everywhere, unexpected or not, people are ending up pregnant and I am having to squelch the desire to join them.  Even Paula Radcliffe has joined the club a second time and, at seven months, just ran a 10K for charity fully 15 minutes faster than her best time (30:21).

I can’t help it when I hear yet another person is pregnant – I end up thinking it would be fun to be pregnant with them, even though that’s not in our plans.  I have the sneaking suspicion, however, that what I mean by that is that I want to join them for part of the time and then bow out early.  Isaac is handful enough right now and I’m fine with that, but all of this pregnancy business got me thinking about what I wish I’d known way back when.  So off of my mind onto my blog and then maybe I will stop entertaining rose tinted thoughts of how fun it would be to feel nauseous and never able to find clothes that fit all parts of me at once.

1. Yes, you really can have too many newborn outfits.  Stock up on 6 to 12 months clothes because your baby is going to grow faster than you think.

2. SLEEP!!!  Sleep while you can.  Sleep when you only have to worry about your schedule.  Sleep because after the baby shows up you will be deciding whether to nap or do the other hundred things on your list and sleep will lose.  Sleep often.  Sleep well (as well as possible).

3. Take belly photos, write, document the pregnancy.  Even when I’m not pregnant I’m fascinated by other pregnancy experiences; how other women feel and look.  I know friends who have mentioned in passing that they find it disgusting when women post belly pictures (Here’s hoping they never find my blog!).  You can always delete pictures later and most of my regrets involve not taking pictures I could have taken.

4. Know that you have a say in your maternity health care.  You can ask questions, refuse certain things, and (most of the time) choose a different doctor or midwife if you don’t get along.  You are, after all, going to be seeing this person a lot and it will help tremendously if you share similar views on the pregnancy and birth process.

5. Embrace maternity clothes.  I remember my sister almost flaunting the fact that she purchased very few maternity clothes (she just bought bigger normal clothing).  You don’t get a special badge if you never put on a maternity outfit, people!  Plus those stretchy waistbands are awfully comfortable and there are lots of cute clothes out there.

6. Stay active according to your activity level.  You will feel better across the board even if exercise isn’t the same (or as easy) as it once was.

7. You don’t have to have everything ready!  As long as you have some diapers, clothes, blankets, and a place for your baby to sleep (and a feeding plan), you’re fine.  If the nursery isn’t set up, or the trim painted, or you haven’t gotten everything in place IT’S OKAY.  Your special pregnancy nesting hormones will tell you that the world is going to end, but really, it’s okay.  Same goes for having all of your parenting decisions nailed down while your child is in utero.  You don’t necessarily have to figure out how to discipline your five-year-old before she’s born.

8. You may feel ambivalent or scared or all sorts of other things and that’s normal and okay.  But most people won’t want to hear that (or will want to give copious ammounts of advice) so be sure you have a core group of friends who you can say anything to.

9. Everyone and their mother and all billion pregnancy books will have advice and opinions (often contradictory) and you can ignore some of them.  You will go crazy if you try to make everyone happy so do your research and go with what is safe and comfortable for you.

10. Go somewhere.  I know you’re tired.  I know you’re cranky.  I know you have to go to the bathroom every five minutes on a car ride.  Even so, make the time to get away with your husband while you don’t have to pack for a third person who requires an entire luggage set plus a pack n’ play and stroller.



  1. I saw that article about Paula Radcliffe. She looks great and (sadly) came in for some harsh words from readers for doing that 10K. She didn’t try to PR it and just had fun – what’s wrong with that? Isn’t her daughter cute? Great words of wisdom!

    • I did think that some of the criticism was sad. She looks great and like she is having a good time running with her daughter, Isla. I think that running a 10K 15 minutes slower than your best time is certainly not pushing it!

      • And doesn’t her daughter look like a future runner? Cute! People always have their opinions (as you blogged about), but if they’re men, I say, pffffttt! It’s your body and since you’ve been in for over 30 years, I’m pretty sure that she knows what’s good and what isn’t.

  2. Thanks for a great post – I only JUST (finally) found out I am expecting. I need all the advice I can get!

    • Congratulations, Michelle! I hope that you have a very enjoyable pregnancy. 🙂

  3. I LOVE #8–so very true. On the other hand, #1 isn’t true if you have a small baby–Mirren wore newborn clothes for almost 3 months!!

    • That’s good to know, Sarah. I was starting to think that the newborn outfit bit was a scam. 🙂

  4. Thanks Ingrid for this one–I feel the need to be a little more excited about my condition 🙂 And don’t you think for a second I haven’t secretly wished you would join the club again soon. I do then remind myself that Isaac isn’t even one yet, so I won’t rush you!

    • The nice thing (?) about pregnancy lasting so long is that you’re bound to get excited at some point along the way. Plus so many other people will be excited for you in the meantime!

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