40 Weeks: A Reflection on Pregnancy

40 Weeks: A Reflection on Pregnancy | Baby Chick

40 Weeks: A Reflection on Pregnancy

Today is my estimated due date (EDD). I am officially 40 weeks pregnant. Where has the time gone? And why do I still not have a baby in my arms?! Sometimes it feels like it’s taken forever to get to this point (especially this final month of pregnancy), but other times it feels like it wasn’t that long ago when I first found out we were pregnant. And now that I have reached full term, I am looking back and reflecting on these 40 weeks of pregnancy. These nine months have taught me several key lessons about myself and about motherhood. Here’s my reflection on pregnancy.

Lesson 1: A mother’s body is incredible. We should appreciate them more.

Society is so hard on us when it comes to our bodies because of all the altered images that we’ve seen through the media. These ridiculous and oftentimes unrealistic opinions cause us to be extremely hard on ourselves when it comes to our physical appearance. “We need to be a certain size, look a certain way, never get stretch marks or have loose skin, immediately be in your pre-pregnancy clothes after birth, etc.” These thoughts are unrealistic, but why do we secretly put that pressure on ourselves? Why do we allow ourselves to fall into this trap?

We all have been self-critical about our appearance at some point in our lives, but I have to say that I have never felt more beautiful or confident in my body than during my pregnancy. This is the time when my hips are supposed to open and get wider. It means that I’m comfortably carrying my baby and making a good pathway for his birth. It’s when my belly is supposed to be round. I don’t need to suck in. It means I’m creating a safe “home” for our baby to grow. My breasts are supposed to get big. They are preparing the perfect food to nourish our baby and help him thrive.

Women’s bodies are truly incredible.

Of course there are moments–especially now at 40 weeks pregnant–when I can’t wait to “have my body back.” The swollen feet and legs, carpal tunnel, stretch marks, weight gain, etc. can be a lot to handle. But then I remember the miracle that I am a part of and that not every woman is blessed to have this experience. And I remember that it’s all totally worth it.

Lesson 2: Learn and practice self love.

Something that I’ve had to work on as I’ve approached the end of my pregnancy is self love. Yes, I’ve never felt more confident in body, but I haven’t loved every moment as I’ve watched it grow. (Especially when people stop to ask me if I’m sure I’m not carrying twins . . .) Like the day when I realized that I was getting stretch marks on my stomach. When I noticed them forming, I silently screamed in my head and began to freak out. The funny thing is I’ve always told my clients and other mothers, “Those aren’t stretch marks. They are your tiger stripes. Beauty marks. They represent the woman and the mother that you have grown into today and the little miracle that you brought into this world.”

I truly believe this when I say this to my clients and friends, but why am I so supportive of them and their amazing bodies but not of myself? Why do I let mainstream media and vanity poison my own personal thoughts, but will completely defend the beauty marks of other mothers?

Truthfully, I think that it’s normal. I think we are all hardest on ourselves. It’s natural. But it’s something that we need to work on and change. We need to practice more self love.

As I reflect on my pregnancy, I now try to remind myself every day that this is a beautiful stage of life. It’s a stage that will only last for a little while with this baby. I remind myself that God and this baby chose me to be his mother and what a blessing that is. I remind myself that I should be so thankful that my body is able to grow and nourish a healthy baby and mommy. And I remind myself that I am not only growing a baby, I am growing into the new me. A better me. A mother to this baby. And that is pretty awesome.

Lesson 3: The demands will only get more demanding.

I don’t know about you, but during my pregnancy I feel like I have sooo much to do to get everything right. In your third trimester you are supposed to:

It may not sound like a lot to some of you, but it actually takes out a huge chunk of the day. By the time I get all of these things done, half of the day is over and I still have work to do. Because I work full-time I feel like I’m failing at completing all of these pregnancy to-do items. This is when the guilt sets in. Now I’m afraid that if I don’t have the birth I want it’ll be due to the fact that I didn’t make the time to do all of these things every day. I might think to myself, “Maybe you didn’t try hard enough. Do enough. You don’t love your baby enough because you didn’t make the time.”

Of course none of that is true.

It couldn’t be farther from the truth because at the end of the day we are all doing our best. And when I look at the whole picture and reflect on pregnancy, I realize that this is just the beginning of my new life. My new job. Being a mom. 🙂 These are the demands that baby is making now during my pregnancy, but there will be new demands that I will need to adjust to and do once baby is here. And it will be even more demanding. So this is just a warm up! These things are preparing me now for what is to come and showing me that life is no longer just about me, work or what I want. Because very soon it’s about to change to:

And all of this will be done on very little sleep. I’m going to have to do this while continuing to work full-time, keeping my dogs alive, keeping my marriage strong, etc. But the good thing is I know that I am not alone. I know I am not the only mother who has all of this on her plate. And I know that I can always ask for help.

All of these demands are our new normal. Motherhood is more than a full-time job, but we also need to give ourselves a little grace throughout the process.

Lesson 4: Get used to the unsolicited advice and comments.

During your pregnancy you will hear everyone’s opinions about everything. I know I have. Even when I didn’t ask for it. You will hear about their pregnancies, their birth experiences (mainly bad ones), their thoughts on your pregnancy, what you should do, what you shouldn’t do and more. Some of it is helpful, but most of it isn’t. And what I have learned is that these unsolicited “words of wisdom” will actually never stop now that I am becoming a parent. Now I will hear all about how I should parent my child, comments about breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, sleep training, the “right way” of discipling kids, what to do and what not to do to have a happy and successful kid, and so much more.

Depending on what that person is saying, you can either take it in and apply it or completely dismiss it all together. It’s up to you. Just smile and nod and say, “Thank you for sharing.” I’ve been doing the same thing throughout my pregnancy. Ultimately you know what is best for your body, your birth, your baby, and your family. Listen to your gut and blow off the rest.

Lesson 5: The worrying has only begun.

Right now I’m stressing and worrying about whether I’ve done enough to grow a healthy and happy baby. “Am I eating good enough? Should I feel bad for not working out more? Should I do more squats? Eat more dates? Practice more relaxation techniques?” Every expecting mom wants to know that she has done a good job growing a healthy baby.

Then you start to worry about whether you will be a good enough mother when he/she gets here? Will you be patient? Have you done enough research? Have you prepared yourself enough? All of this worrying can be exhausting. But here’s a little secret . . . once you’re a mother–from the moment you become pregnant–the worrying never stops. Soon I’ll be worrying about whether or not my son is hitting his milestones, if he’s happy, if he’s healthy, safe, making friends, making the right choices, etc.

In the future I’m sure I’ll be up at night worrying about if he is safe at a party, if he is liking college, and if he is getting his heart broken. Worrying is part of the job. And if you’re worrying it means that you’re a loving and concerned parent. And if you weren’t worrying about your child and their well-being, I’d be worried about you.

Lesson 6: Try to be patient and appreciate every moment.

Throughout my pregnancy there was always something that I was excited about and couldn’t wait for. For example, reaching the second trimester so we could tell family and friends, finding out the gender of our baby, and now it’s waiting to meet our baby. Each milestone gets more and more exciting and each one becomes more and more difficult for me to be patient. Especially when you feel like you’ve been pregnant forever and want to meet your baby sooo badly. But patience is key. Soon enough the baby will be teaching you plenty of patience so it’s good to practice your patience now.

I know that in the future there will be other things that I can’t wait for. Like when my son first smiles, his first laugh, when he can sleep through the night, when he can sit up, then talk and walk. But we have to stop and remember to enjoy the journey. We need to learn how to be patient and not rush through life waiting for the next milestone to happen. Not every day is going to be perfect–that’s for sure–but these are the moments (pregnancy and motherhood) that we will look back on fondly and at times miss. So enjoy every step of the way and soak it all in. Because before we know it, it will be gone in a flash.

I’m reminding myself of this now as I am 40 weeks and reflecting on pregnancy. This is the last time it will just be me and my husband–the two of us. I need to stop rushing through this stage of life and be patient and appreciate it for what it is. 🙂

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

By throwing everything in the closet or under the By throwing everything in the closet or under the bed does not mean "cleaned" your room. 🤦‍♀️⁠
📷: @playdatesoffridays
#stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtog #stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtogotothepotty #NO⁠
What are yours??
Remember what it was like when you were home with Remember what it was like when you were home with a newborn? Remember how you felt? Tired. Sore. Swollen. Engorged. So happy to finally meet your baby but also completely exhausted. You wished you had more help. You wished you could take a break. You wished you could only focus on staring at your baby and snuggling them and not have to worry about preparing food, chores, etc.⁠
Even though things may be more difficult now to offer help, still try to be the friend you wished you had when your babies were newborns to your friends and loved ones. ❤️ Things you can do:⁠
- Drop off a meal at their door⁠
- Drop off some of your favorite postpartum recovery items or breastfeeding products you loved⁠
- Go grocery shopping for them and leave it at the door⁠
- Send them a meal delivery service gift card⁠
- Bake her some lactation cookies (if she is breastfeeding)⁠
- Drop off any hand-me-downs from your kids⁠
- Pay a housekeeping service to come over and clean her house⁠
- Set up a meal train with her friends⁠
- Drop off diapers and wipes⁠
- Self-quarantine for 2 weeks and come over to help with the house and baby so she can take a nap or a shower⁠
- Pay for a few hours for a postpartum doula or a night nanny to help her out⁠
There is so much you can do! And every little bit helps. What else would you add to the list? 💕
Any mamas feel me? Pass the coffee. 😑☕☕☕⁠
📷: @momandburied
This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywh This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywhere we go if we leave the house. 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
📷: unknown
Keeping Track of Baby Milestones: 0-3 Months Old⁠ 👶⁠
Typically, the first three months of your child’s development will be marked by key developments including control and lifting of their head, a first smile and even a laugh, and making eye contact. 👀 It’s an exciting time when bonding is important and your baby is changing rapidly before your eyes. 😍 Pediatricians will go through developmental milestone checklists with patients, asking parents about their child’s sensory, communication, and movement changes, keeping an eye out for any red flags. 🚩 Generally, it’s not concerning if a baby isn’t hitting one or two milestones on time. Be sure to adjust for prematurity or stress factors. If your newborn is missing multiple abilities or you feel concerned, check in with your child’s pediatrician. 👩‍⚕️ Here are the different milestones to look out for each month from 0-3 months. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @ana_styles
😑😒⁠ 📷: @parentnormal 😑😒⁠
📷: @parentnormal
Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Ea Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Early bedtime tonight. Night night. 👋😘😂⁠
(quote via @mimosaswithmom)
Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠ .⁠ So you Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠
So you’re about to have a baby girl and you’re looking for a cool name for her, right? You want a name that captures the essence of who she is and the girl and woman that you envision her becoming. A name that sets her apart and celebrates her unique gifts. A name you can imagine being written on her cubby at preschool, her college entrance essay, her first novel.⁠
You want your precious daughter to have a name that will convey all the qualities and values that you hope she will embody: you need a name fit for a queen, an astronaut, a good friend, a doctor, a professional athlete, a spiritual leader, a wonderful mother, a nurse, an activist, a scholar, a student, a leader, a follower, a good person—any of the things you imagine she can and will become in her lifetime.⁠
Finding a cool baby girl name may seem like a daunting task. There are so many options! Research shows that names for baby girls are currently trending towards representations of nature, gemstones, and food. Also growing in popularity for girls’ names are names that are not common girls names at all—such as names that have been traditionally used for boys, or last names. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @mochi.sucre
Major reasons why you can never spoil a newborn. ❤️⁠
📷: @renee.barendregt & @gentleparenting_memes
When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy? 🤰⁠
Every woman is different when she begins showing in pregnancy. I remember clearly the day I finally saw my beloved baby bump. It was a Monday and I was at work. I saw myself in the bathroom mirror and smiled broadly at my suddenly noticeable bump. Glowing, I rubbed my little tummy as I checked out my new, different-looking profile in the mirror. My office friends had noticed that morning as well and had complimented me and my little bump. Naturally, I took a selfie. I was so excited to see that I was finally showing. I couldn’t stop smiling all day! 😊 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
⁠📷: @matfelipe
"It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddle "It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddler, or a teenager. These are the things our children need to feel from those around them. The same things that you and I even as adults want to feel from those around us. We want to feel seen. We want to be soothed when we are hurt. We want to feel safe when we are with people. We want to feel secure in our relationships with others. We don't outgrow the need to feel those things. In a crazy world, let your children feel those things. Let them know 'Hey, I see you. I see you're sad or mad. I am here with a hug when you're ready and if you need it. You are safe to feel how you feel and be who you are. You don't have to worry about my love for you. Be secure in that. Bad times or good times, I am here for you and I love you.' Because how good does it feel when we feel that way from those around us?"⁠
Words & 📷: @thebuonamama
We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Ack We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, and once you know better, do better. ❤️⁠
(quote via Karen Kleiman from "This Isn't What I Expected")
What Color Eyes Will Your Baby Have? 👁️⁠
Expecting parents often wonder what their baby will look like once he's born. 🤔 Will she have light or dark hair? Will she inherit your freckles? What color eyes will your baby have? When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I had fun wondering these same things. Would he have a round face? Would he have my nose? My husband’s cheeks? The only thing we knew for sure was that he would have deep brown eyes and dark brown hair, just like his mom and dad. Or so we thought.⁠ 😮 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Jennifer Hill Robenault⁠
⁠📷: @amymelissaphoto
My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠ .⁠ T My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠
Think diaper changing is straight forward and simple? Not so fast for the cloth diapering mamas. While cloth diapers generally save us quite a bit of cash after that initial investment 💰, it does require a bit of a process, and a good cloth diapering system, to make it less time-consuming. The good news? Once you have it down and have the right tools on hand, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult at all. 🙌 Here are some favorite cloth diapering systems (and tips) that make diaper changes (and cleaning) way more manageable.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @thetuckertribe5⁠
Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️ Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️
Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath sa Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath salts, a face scrub, and some cucumber slices can make your day. 😍⁠
📷: @jhonnycurran
First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
(quote via @beyonce)
You Can't Spoil a Baby, Here's Why 👶💕⁠
The battle of opinions regarding whether or not you can spoil a baby has been raging for decades, especially among grandparents and those born during the time of little affection. Our children's great-grandparents were most likely raised with the idea that love and affection and responding to a baby's cries will spoil them and make them even fussier. While that idea might seem ludicrous to us, there's a reason such an approach was widely believed. Here's what parenting has looked like over the decades and how present-day science says you cannot spoil a baby. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for o They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for others and for yourself. ❤️⁠
📷: @fleurdelisspeaks⁠
Her stuff is great. Check out her page!
What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother? 🧠❤️⁠
Most women who have had children are fully aware of the hormonal and emotional changes that they experience. However, science is only just starting to understand how these changes occur in human mothers’ brains. While mothers know what it feels like to experience these changes, most of us don't know exactly what happens to a woman's brain when she becomes a mother. Turns out, a lot is happening! 😲 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more about it!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @emfillerup
You may think that you are helping them by doing e You may think that you are helping them by doing everything for them. But there comes a time when they need to learn how to do things for themselves. ⁠
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
(Quote via @relaxingmommy)
However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
📷: @phoenixandtheocean
5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Potty Training⁠ 🚽⁠
Let’s talk about potty training! It’s one of those monumental milestones we mamas walk through with our toddlers that make them suddenly seem like they went from babies to tiny little humans overnight. And, while it can be an exciting time (and a time to save some serious cash by ditching diapers), it can also come with lots of stress. 🙃 From cleaning up potty accidents for what may seem like days (or even weeks) to wondering if you’ll ever be able to drive further than down the block without having to stop for a potty break 🤦‍♀️, potty training can be daunting.⁠
But, what many moms agree on is that once it’s done, you kinda forget about all the stress that came along with it. Kinda like pregnancy and giving birth —you just sort of forget about it all until you do it all over again.⁠ 🤪⁠
Here are five things I wish I had known about potty training before I jumped into it with my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Because, if I had known these things, I think I would have been a bit more laid back about the whole thing! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @reesetriplets
How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠ .⁠ In the Uni How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠
In the United States, 16.2% of married women aged 15-49 struggle with infertility. It is no surprise, then, that fertility treatments are becoming more of a necessity for couples who are faced with infertility and wish to have children. While there are many types of fertility treatments, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most commonly known options. However, the high cost of IVF is often cited as the primary obstacle to undergoing treatment. 💸 Let's take a look at what IVF entails, and how much IVF costs. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @lizbrownfitness
She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit short with her replies back? Don't be hard on her. It more than likely has nothing to do with you. You never how many times her kids got her up last night. 😴 #bekindalways
🖌: @growupbrite
You're the reason that I breathe but also the reas You're the reason that I breathe but also the reason that I am out of breath. 😉🤪😂 #momlife
You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ 💕⁠
When I had my first baby, everyone told me to enjoy the newborn stage because it goes fast, and I would miss it. But I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I didn’t believe them. 😴 While I was living through it, it felt like it took forever!⁠
If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
So, while you are struggling to keep your eyes open, and your mental state together, here are a few things to try to savor while your baby is still a newborn. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Guez⁠
📷: unknown
Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
The postpartum period, or period of recovery that takes place after a mother gives birth, is an important time for mothers to take care of themselves. 🥰 Typically, if you’re less than 6 weeks postpartum you don’t want to put any pressure on your core muscles. Also, your body’s levels of relaxin, the hormone that loosens joints to prepare for childbirth, is elevated for 3-6 months after childbirth, and longer if you are breastfeeding. All this means is: take these postpartum yoga poses slowly and stretch yourself gently. No gymnastics here or pushing beyond what is comfortable.⁠
Remember, every mama’s body is different, so listen to how you feel and seek advice from a medical professional if you have questions about how and when to begin your personal exercise plan. Note: Try to do the following yoga poses in the order they are listed. {Click 🔗 in bio to see the 7 yoga poses to strengthen your body after baby!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷 taken by: @allisonermon_photography
It's been one of those days. 😑⁠ 📷: @kristy It's been one of those days. 😑⁠
📷: @kristyndingman
🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜 What are some st 🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜
What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's mag It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's magic.⁠ ✨🤩
📷: @realtoughdad