What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Expect nothing but prepare and embrace for everything
Before I had even thought about babies, I always told myself, when I got pregnant I would just go with what I had seen on TV, movies, and heard from friends and family. Make an appointment with an obstetrician, plan for a hospital birth with the epidural as soon as I walked through the doors, so I don’t have to feel anything whatsoever, and in the end still get ultimate reward a beautiful baby.
Shortly before we got married we were relocated out of state for work and I met a fantastic group of women who helped me transition into life in the northwest without knowing anyone but my fiance. We met as a book club and had a private online message board where we vented about our partners, mother in laws, shared recipes and blogs we loved. Then there was a post that struck a chord in me. My friend recommended this book, Pushed, by Jennifer Block and I checked it out at the library. Wow immediately all my preconceived notions of what pregnancy and childbirth were burst into pieces and a flame was lit in my heart to dig for more information. I needed to hear it all and make my own educated decision before we got pregnant. I watched documentaries and read and read and read and read. And I was blown away at what I was discovering.
Then there it was staring at me. The pregnancy test and the reality that I really needed to put all of this new found research into a plan for myself and our baby.
This was me the day I found out that I was pregnant with our first son. Doesn’t my face say it all? Excitement, fear, pride, joy, overwhelming, and most importantly, LOVE. We were actively trying to get pregnant, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. Holy crap we’re going to be parents. We’d only been married for 3.5 months when we found out, and then the big question started whirling through my head, “Are we ready?”
And I said to myself, “Yes, yes you are.” I started prepping my support team. I switched to a midwife because I was a low risk pregnancy there was no reason I needed to see an OB. I began to take prenatal yoga classes weekly. There I learned more about my body how to prep for labor, ease my pregnancy woes, and gain camaraderie with other pregnant women. I also begin to interview doulas and sign up for hypnobirthing classes. At this point my husband said, “I’m on board for whatever, but what kind of granola hippie stuff are we signing up for here?” I laughed and knew he needed to be just as educated as I was becoming.
We took a summary childbirth class taught by our doula, and I gave him a few books to read. Soon enough my husband was becoming a bigger advocate than I was. And it made me beam with pride knowing he was going to be the perfect birth partner, and the best Dad for our little baby. We decided that our game plan was to expect nothing, because in labor there is no standard, there is no baseline, there’s just knowing that you’ve done everything you can up to this point and to let it just happen. But we were prepared for everything we could. We set up a birth preferences sheet, talk about what we would like to happen in case of a cesarean, and in case of complications with baby or myself. We talked it out so we could know to not be scared and to trust the process and our support team we had advocating for us.
I am of those women who loves being pregnant. (I’ll wait until you stop laughing.) Honestly I never had morning sickness, most of my appointments were uneventful, I just gained weight and grew a belly. Towards the end of my pregnancy I never became anxious or impatient. Sure I was excited to meet my baby, and see if we were having a boy or a girl. But I knew the second I went into labor my life would change forever. So would our cozy newlywed nest of bliss. I spent each night doing little things with my husband to enjoy our time as a couple before we became a family.
As each day clicked closer to my due date, I worked harder to let go of all the things I THOUGHT about how labor would start. Although I did find myself every day going, is this it? Wait was that a contraction? But I just kept nesting and prepping every little thing I could without actually having a baby around.
Then my water broke one night before bed. I laughed and yelled at my husband and just said, “Either I just peed after going pee, or my water broke. And if my water didn’t break I need to start wearing depends!” But there was no bucket of water being dumped out of me. Nor did labor immediately start and make me scream. Nothing. So I went to bed. A few hours later my contractions started and then really picked up another hour later. We called our doula and she came over and decided it was time to head to the hospital. The whole time my contractions are getting quicker and stronger, but nothing I couldn’t handle. And in between, I was being my usual bossy self or laughing and joking. “RYAN, turn off the coffee pot.” Contraction breathe breathe. “Make sure the dog has water.” Contraction, breathe, breathe. “Don’t call anyone, this could be false labor.” (Enter snickering from doula and husband.)
I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but if you want to read my whole story you can check it out here. But I never expected my labor to happen so quickly and be so peaceful. I never expected to be so humbled by my experience and my support team. I never expected to be able to catch my own baby and bring him to my chest. I never expected to laugh, cry and have my heart burst all in one moment. And more than anything I never expected my pregnancy and birth to empower me so much as a woman.
What to Expect When You are Expecting – The Movie
Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name and the ﬁrst book in a series that has sold over 32 million copies worldwide, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING is a hilarious and heartfelt big screen comedy about ﬁve couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood. The cast includes huge stars like Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, and more!
Baby-crazy author and advocate Wendy (Elizabeth Banks), gets a taste of her own militant advice when pregnancy hormones ravage her body. Just like me, Kelly, from Once A Month Mom, Wendy discovers that some pre-conceived notions about pregnancy don’t always turn out to be reality! Check out this kaleidoscopic comedy, coming to a theater near you May 18th.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Lionsgate via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Lionsgate.