How I Had a Happy Pregnancy
After going through so much to get pregnant (read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here), I was grateful to have been given such a gift (to the tune of about $13,000 mind you!). We wanted this baby for so long and I had put my body through hell, so I was sick of how “clinical” conception and early pregnancy had been for us. I just wanted to be pregnant and enjoy it.
So that’s what I told myself – you are lucky, you are happy, and you are healthy. They say the mind-body connection is a strong one and I don’t know if it was my thoughts that helped, or if my body was as happy to be pregnant as I was, but it was a (relatively) easy time for me. Once I recovered from the symptoms of OHSS, my pregnancy was smooth sailing! Not once did I throw up (except in labour – but that’s another story), and I generally felt well throughout.
So, what exactly did I do to make my pregnancy joyful?
Think Happy Thoughts
I was so grateful to be pregnant after all we had been through, so this was easy. If I was feeling lousy, I would remind myself of all the times I had been willing to do anything just to be pregnant. I had enough experiences with friends hating their pregnancies, and I didn’t want to be that person who complained for 9 months. I was lucky, and since I didn’t know if I would ever be pregnant again, dammit I was going to enjoy it.
Treat Yo’ Self
This involved going shopping for maternity clothes earrrrrly (because I wanted to!), regular prenatal massages, extra treats, and time off work. Little things that made a big difference in my day-to-day life. We celebrated Mother’s Day while I was pregnant and my hubby made me feel special because even though our child wasn’t earthside yet, I was finally a mother. I used my remaining vacation days for the year by giving myself extra long weekends throughout the summer and early fall (I was due in October so the timing was perfect) so I rarely felt burnt out until the very end.
Have a Cheer Squad
The people around me were positive and took great care of me. Not only was I treated well by my husband (as always!), my parents took extra time to make us feel special and get set-up for our future arrival. I had incredible support from my sister (especially when she stayed in the hospital with me while I recovered from OHSS), and I had two close friends who were pregnant at the same time who I could compare symptoms and vent to.
Choose the Right Care
Midwives were completely the right choice for us. Before I was pregnant, I didn’t think there was another choice aside from having an OB, but there is and I am so glad I found midwifery care for my pregnancy. The style is very hands-on and personal (appointments last about 30-40 minutes) and takes a more holistic approach. Tests are only prescribed when necessary (or required by government regulations) which was important to me since I had been trying to avoid a medicalized pregnancy.
Read and Learn
Early on in my pregnancy I started to consider the idea of having a home birth. This stemmed from the experience of a close friend who encouraged me to do the same. It fit well with what I wanted in my pregnancy, and as I read more books like The Birth Partner (Penny Simkin), and watched documentaries like The Business of Being Born it made more sense. We enrolled in prenatal classes teaching Hypnobirthing and I listened to the tracks every night before bed. Every woman should research her options for pregnancy and birth and make sure she is educated enough to ask questions about her options for care. It’s important because birth matters.
I truly believe these things contributed to my happy, healthy pregnancy. How was your experience with pregnancy? Do you believe that the mind-body connection can have an impact? Tell me about it in the comments below!