As I face the final homestretch of my first pregnancy, I’m finding myself more and more reflective. My brain can’t quite seem to be quiet these days as my mind and body prepare for this little life to enter the world. And as I’ve been reflecting, I’ve found that there are 5 things I’ve learned during my first pregnancy that have stuck out in particular.
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Having a good support system
A good support system has made pregnancy a much more enjoyable experience for me. My family has been there for me every step of the way, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. Pregnancy is a great time to lean into relationship and learn to receive love and care from others. People really do want to be involved in the momentous season of life. And, not only that, pregnancy is a time when that support truly is needed. Whether it’s having someone to talk to, walk with, ask questions of, or simply be with, a support system makes the entire experience of pregnancy less daunting and much more enjoyable.
Taking care of myself
If there ever was a time in life to prioritize taking care of yourself, pregnancy is it. I’ve never quite been one to put taking care of myself first, but over the last nine months, I have learned (and am still learning) to settle into it more. Taking care of ourselves is productive. It’s a good use of our time and energy to value ourselves enough to make our health and wellbeing matter. For me, taking care of myself has included walking and stretching more regularly, enjoying extended quiet time, taking bubble baths, eating well, and resting or napping when I need to.
Setting my priorities
There’s nothing like bringing a new life into the world to put everything else into perspective. Pregnancy has inspired me to assess my priorities like never before, and it has taught me to be intentional in setting my priorities. If we don’t set priorities, our lives will begin to run us and tell us where to put our time and energy. But when we set priorities, we are able to manage our lives in such a way that what we value most becomes most important. Each day, I set my priorities and make sure they line up with what’s most important to me – my faith, my family, my home, my work, and my passions. In doing so, I have found increasing peace.
Listening to myself
Over the last 9 months, I’ve found that listening to myself is two-fold. It includes listening to my internal self as well as to my body. When I neglect to listen to myself internally, I become easily frustrated, angry, and burnt out. But, when I choose to listen to myself, I find greater levels of healing and freedom inside. I’ve been able to grow in unexpected ways during this season simply because I’m listening more to myself. I’m also learning to make intentional choices rather than just going through the motions. It’s empowering and has improved my relationship with myself and with those around me.
I’ve also seen the importance of listening to my body and my instincts over these last nine months. There are certain days I need more rest and other days I need more exercise. There are times I need to eat more fruit
s and other times I need more protein. Additionally, my body has alerted me of changes going on throughout the pregnancy, prompting me to make little adjustments along the way. Instinctively, my body knows what it needs and sends me the signals to tell me what those needs are. I just need the discipline to listen and follow what it’s telling me.
Staying humble and continuing to grow
If there ever was a time in my life where I felt certain of how I little I know, it’s now. All along the way, I have had far more questions than answers, and it has taken humility to ask for advice and to say, “I don’t know.” At the same time, this humble place has been a very peaceful place to live from. I am comforted knowing that many women have gone before me and that I will continue to learn as I go. Staying humble and teachable has been key to getting me through pregnancy and I’m certain it will be as I enter into motherhood, as well.
The Importance of These Lessons
As I approach the close of this season of pregnancy and embark into motherhood, I look forward to continuing to grow in all these areas and beyond. I am grateful that pregnancy has brought the importance of these five things to the forefront of my life because, the truth is, these lessons apply far beyond pregnancy. In fact, all these things are key to a full and healthy life!