it has been almost 6 months since we ended our 40-week marathon. it was this month last year we revealed our pregnancy to the world. how quickly the months went. until the last month where each day dragged as we impatiently waited for eliott's arrival. we experienced a lot of symptoms, both the wonderful -- oh those sweet baby kicks! -- & the not so wonderful -- swollen feet & sciatic pain. but there were moments we had fears & questions. there are a few things i would like to address to you in retrospect:
fear of miscarrying again. it is hard & i don't blame you. but once you hear that heartbeat at 8 weeks, remember the odds are in your favor. better yet, do not forget the promise God made for your family. He is a God of restoration. cast your fears on Him.
anxiety around baby development. there will be a handful of tests. everything is optional. regardless of results, your child is yours. you will love him no matter what the situation. just wait until you see him for the first time. you will have never felt a love like that before.
exercising while pregnant. you're doing great. don't be discouraged on not keeping up with your old routine. you will get back into it, i promise. the days you don't want to walk, you don't want to go to the gym but you do anyway, your future self thanks you. every step, every lap, every mile. 100% worth it. keep moving.
dressing the bump appropriately. dress however you want. be proud of your bump. wear the tight dresses. embrace your bump.
giving into cravings. this is a hard one for us. the first trimester was filled with nausea & the salty chinese food cravings. go for it. it's ok! you're well equipped in knowing how to nourish yourself & your baby. don't set strict limitations. always be flexible & learn to enjoy. weight gain is a natural part of a healthy pregnancy.
fear of labor & delivery. contractions hurt. but you'll get through it. be brave but ask for help when you need it. remember, nothing goes as planned. the more you try to plan things, the more disappointed you'll be. be open-minded to the delivery process. do what you need to do in the best interest of your baby.
the unknowns of postpartum. this will be the hardest part for you. everything will be a blur the first two weeks. it will be physically uncomfortable. identifying yourself will seem impossible. you will feel like you're in a stranger's body. give yourself time to heal. do not rush into shedding the weight. you will know when the right time is. accept the idea that your body will not be the same as it was at it's prime. however, a woman's body is a gift. continue to treat it with self-care -- eat healthy, never restrict yourself. take it slow while exercising, you'll bounce back both physically & mentally.
becoming the best mother for your child. i have no answer here as i'm still figuring this out. there is no perfect example in this world. but there is the example God is for us & His unconditional & selfless love. strive for that & everything will fall into place.