Pregnancy. What a special time. A time to cherish, enjoy, remember… Yes, we’ve all heard it over-and-over again and although it’s true, this is not always easily done. Work, having other little ones, feeling less than “glowing”… all of these things can make it a little difficult to stop and enjoy these 9 months of growing another human. Now, post baby number 3, I’m looking back at all our pregnancies and I’ve come up with a little “pregnancy bucket list” of things I wish I had focused on doing.
10 Things I wish I did:
1. Kept an up to date pregnancy journal. I was so good with baby 1 and 2 but this 3rd time, I just threw everything into a box. I did start an Instagram account for baby, just to try keep track of all the important info but now that I’ve finally purchased a baby book, I have to try put everything together – all while in the midst of cluster-feeding and family-life. I wish I had set aside an hour every week with my pregnancy-journal. My favourite one being ” The Story of You” by Mayalief. Be clever and buy one right now, here.
2. Booked at least one of those fancy pregnancy massages or spa treatments. I know it’s not a necessity but WOW! what a lovely experience. You might as well experience all pregnancy has to offer. I remember going for one treatment per trimester during my 1st pregnancy. It made me feel so calm, relaxed and special. A nice stress-relieving spoil to indulge in. These days most spas have special “Mommy-to-Be” treatments, you just need to ask. If however you want to go 5 star, try Mommy Wellness Day Spa. They have branches in all the main cities across South Africa.
3. Prioritise “me-time”. Even though this sounds the same as point 2, it’s not. Maybe you’re not a spa-girl or can’t afford it. You still need “me-time”! Time to focus on YOU, not how you are becoming a mom, having a person inside you etc. etc. Time to remember who you are, do something you like and “fill up” for everything to come. You have to take time to take care of YOU!
4. Exercised! Once again something I’ve gotten worse at over time. This is however very important pre-, during and post pregnancy. You need to be healthy to enjoy being and becoming a mom, playing with your kids and just doing life. I don’t need to repeat the research already available – try your best to get into the habit of regular exercise because it’s good for you and you know it.
5. Prepared to express. I knew from day 1 I wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible. I could already see my milk stash. I thought figuring out which breast pump to buy and how and when and where I’d express would be a quick morning visit to Baby City or Dischem. This was not the case. Having a newborn takes up all your time, so do your research before baby arrives. Decide exactly which pump you can afford and when you plan to start pumping. Make sure you know how to sterilising all the bits and pieces (some brands can’t be sterilised in a microwave steriliser) and decide how you’ll be storing your liquid gold. You don’t have to buy anything yet but do the research now, while you have time.
6. Made more videos of baby’s movement and the girl’s interactions with my tummy. We made a few short clips with our phone camera but looking back, it wasn’t nearly enough. We all loved seeing Ava kick, turn, move and react to different noises, everyone’s touches and even a flash light and although it was amazing being in the moment while doing all of this I do wish we recorded one or two “tummy play sessions”.
7. Scheduled more date nights. One can never have enough but try to cram in as many as possible before baby comes. Ava is 4 months old and we still haven’t been able to go out, just the two of us.
8. Slept more. I didn’t say no enough and worked way too hard. Pregnancy isn’t a walk in the park and not prioritising sleep wasn’t a good idea. It made me more sensitive and irritated than I needed to be, no-one was a fan.
9. Have more sex! Yes ladies, make him the happiest man alive! Sex will be terrible for the 1st few weeks, even months after baby. It will be physically painful and finding time to be intimate, even thinking about it, is close to impossible. So, get creative coz even with a huge bump, pregnancy sex is much easier and fun than post delivery or c-section. Believe me!
10. Trusted in God. I was in my head so much. Doubting the date of our scheduled c-section, feeling guilty about it, replaying the events to come, worrying about how I’d cope, how the girls would handle it. I kept wishing I was a “1st timer” again with no idea. All this worrying did NOTHING except interfere with my already lack of sleep. My advice; live the cliché ladies, “Let go and let God!”
5 Things I’m happy I did:
1. Celebrate the bump. Having a blog meant loads of photoshoot but even if you aren’t a blogger or feel like you don’t want to… Do a maternity shoot. You’re going to want to remember this moment in time.
2. Savoured those little kicks. Every afternoon during the girl’s nap time I would spend some one-on-one alone time with our bump. Talking, tickling and enjoy the indescribable feeling of those baby kicks, tumbles and hiccups. Is there anything better during pregnancy?
3. Didn’t check the scale. Best thing ever! I gained 25kg, most during the 1st 20 weeks. Thank goodness I only needed to face this when visiting my doctor and she was always right there, reassuring me it all good.
4. Told the girls early on. We did a family photoshoot at 9weeks to announce our pregnancy to the world and our girls. Having them share in the entire experience and taking them along to our monthly check-ups made this pregnancy even more precious and unforgettable for all of us. It was so much fun seeing their reactions and experiencing everything all over again with a new, fresh perspective and child’s innocence.
5. Not finding out baby’s gender. If we could go back in time, we would do the same with all of our pregnancies. We LOVED not knowing and keeping things gender neutral. It helped us focus on the present instead of dreaming about the future, over-shopping and over-preparing.
That’s my pregnancy bucket list. Do you have anything to add?
Also, feel free to share this post and spread the word mamas, lets help our pregnant sisters out.
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison and West.