dear pregnant women everywhere.

ASHLEE GADD MATERNITY-131Dear pregnant (and future pregnant) women everywhere,

You’re beautiful. Stunning, actually. Isn’t it amazing what our bodies are capable of? God really knew what He was doing when He made us in charge of carrying babies. I’m almost positive men could never handle it.

After receiving both solicited and unsolicited advice over the past ten months, I would like to share my two cents with you. Take it or leave it—I’m no expert by any means, and most of these lessons were learned the hard way.

First of all, please embrace your body. Wear clothes that make you feel pretty and have your husband take pictures of your growing belly. He will be just as amazed that your skin can stretch that far. Don’t wait until your third trimester to buy maternity clothes, specifically pants and shorts. Get a belly band. Actually, get two. Maxi skirts, skinny belts, and wedges are your friends. Use them wisely.

Treat yourself. To an extra cookie, a deluxe pedicure, a nice pair of maternity jeans, and some new makeup. You deserve it. Keep change in your car at all times and do not hesitate to visit the McDonalds drive-through for a vanilla ice cream cone. It costs $1.08 and they will take that in a combination of nickels and pennies. I speak from experience.

Don’t listen to strangers. They will try to give you advice in the middle of Lowes about stretch marks and 99% of the time it is completely unhelpful. On a related note, you do not have to let anyone touch your stomach if you don’t want to. Seriously.

Yes, it’s normal. Whatever you’re wondering about, I promise you another pregnant women has dealt with the same issue, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have a right to feel a certain way. Whatever you’re feeling—fear, guilt, disappointment, resentment—it’s normal, and it’s okay. How you process and deal with those feelings is up to you, but know that you have every right to feel them in the first place.

Listen to your body. If it asks for an orange, don’t give it pizza instead. Taking care of a baby inside the womb is much easier than caring for a baby outside the womb. All we need to do is take care of ourselves and we’re automatically taking care of our babies. So, be good to yourself. Sleep when you need to sleep and walk when you need to walk. Speaking of which, put the scale away. Your doctor will tell you if you’re getting out of control. Agonizing over your weight is not doing your body or your baby any favors.

Let your husband help. Let him make dinner and do the dishes and fold the towels. He might not do any of those things the “right” way (see: our way), but it doesn’t matter. We need to let go of the control and they need to feel confident in their abilities to help us do so.

It’s totally acceptable to occasionally spend five straight hours on the couch watching television. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Nap. As often as you’d like. Pregnant sleep is not good sleep so anytime you can sleep, do it.

Take time to enjoy the baby kicks. Sometimes that means stopping what you’re doing to be completely still and place your hands on your tummy. You and your baby are the only ones who know what that feels like, and that’s pretty damn special.

Skip the pregnancy books. Ask your doctor and your girlfriends instead. The books will make you paranoid. And speaking of paranoid, avoid paranoid mothers, even if they’re your friends. You know the type—they’re the ones who read ALL the pregnancy books.

Cry. Hard. Every day if you want to. Let it all out, happy and sad tears alike.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your labor and delivery classes. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to buy your crib. And speaking of buying, don’t buy a used glider. Some things are better bought new.

Love yourself. Write letters to your baby. Go on dates with your husband. Thank God every day for the miracle He’s created inside of you.

We are blessed, so don’t complain too much.

Be grateful. Be joyous. Be the mother you were made to be.

From one pregnant woman to another, I have every ounce of faith that you will be.


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17 Responses to dear pregnant women everywhere.

  1. Mitzie says:

    Enjoy you last few days with your little guy nestled within. I love how you have handled this pregnancies with all the emotions that go with it. You and Brett enjoy every little second together this weekend. See you on Monday!!!!

  2. Kate says:

    This is precious. Mentally filing it away so that I can read again when I’m pregnant.
    Kate┬┤s last blog post ..How infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy…

  3. Becca says:

    Eek I may have gotten a little teary reading this. 4 months pregnant and I completely appreciate this post! Good luck!

  4. Jen says:

    Okay, your comment about towels got me thinking on another MUST for the hospital bag – your own towels from home. Let’s just say that most hospital towels are NOT soft, at all! And that first shower feels so good after, you will want your own towel!

  5. Jess says:

    Simply Beautiful, thank you for sharing such a lovely experience. ­čÖé

  6. I’m not a pregnant woman, but I’m crying at this post just the same. Maybe I’m a little pre-menstrual. LOL. Love your words and our advice. I’ll pass this along to my pregnant friends.
    shaina longstreet┬┤s last blog post ..A mix tape for the celebration.

  7. Paulette Hawes says:

    Dearest Ashlee –

    I love this post. Enjoy this weekend to its fullest – on Monday you will be a Mom!! And, yes, it is life changing but in the most wonderful way.

    Love you, Mom – I’m going to be a Grandma on Monday!!

  8. I have been pregnant many times and that’s such great advice . Congrats
    Julie@my5monkeys┬┤s last blog post ..Blue Asylum

  9. Tammy says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. Having 3 kids myself I can testify that all of this is very good advice!
    Tammy┬┤s last blog post ..The Best Babymoon Destinations in the United States

  10. Jen says:

    Couldn’t agree more!
    So excited for you to meet your little one! It’s the most incredible and awesome feeling to hold your baby for the first time! Good luck and god bless!
    Jen┬┤s last blog post ..It’s been a long time

  11. robyn says:

    I think alot of the things you wrote are spot on for a lot of women. I was going to send this to my pregnant friend and then realised you talk of the ‘husband’ a lot. Unfortunatly life is not that simple for many women.
    robyn┬┤s last blog post ..What I’ve been reading lately

  12. Christine says:

    Beautifully said, Ashlee. Can’t wait for the day when I can reread this and it will apply ­čÖé
    Christine┬┤s last blog post ..Playing the dating-while-traveling game

  13. Vicki says:

    I love this post. So, so true. Everyone’s experience is different and their own and it’s completely OK and wonderful. ­čÖé
    congrats on the new babe. can’t wait until september when i get to meet my little guy. xoxo
    Vicki┬┤s last blog post ..Bunny Name Reveal and a GIVEAWAY!

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  15. Monica says:

    This post made me teary. It gave me great advice especially since i am currently 34 weeks pregnant. i like the advise about the naps! i honestly thought taking cat naps throughout the day would be bad for some reason. and that i should go on more dates with my boyfriend…it is very hard to not get into fights lately. thank you for the advise—it meant a lot.
    Monica┬┤s last blog post ..summer activities

  16. Meghan B says:

    I’ve been struggling these last few days and coming along this blog post has made me feel a lot better. I haven’t really felt myself lately and I feel like it’s wrong to be sad about it. Thank you for making me feel like everything is going to be ok.

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