Pregnancy: My expectations v. my reality

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Today is a very big day, indeed!  Today marks 37 weeks of pregnancy. That means that I’m officially ‘term’ (although I’m not due until 40 weeks), and if BabyHTP was born today, he or she would not be considered premature.  What a relief!  There are, of course, many health advantages for BabyHTP if he or she decides to bake another 3 weeks, so I hope he stays put.


All things considering, I’m feeling pretty good.  Trying to keep up with exercise (lots of swimming this week!) and walking, although I fare better when swimming.


And, with the exception of some mural painting, the nursery is totally finished.  I organized the closet by adding more shelving and sorted out the changing area.  I think this is what people talk about when they talk about nesting.  Smile


You can see the complete nursery tour here.

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(My mom thinks I’m having a girl – hence, the dress.)


In other news… I know I scared a few people by not posting at all on Saturday – I got many emails and comments asking if I was in labor. I promise that, when I do go into labor, I will put up a post indicating that the baby is coming (assuming it’s not an emergency situation).  I not only write a blog, but I am a voracious blog reader, and it kills me to wonder what’s happening to a blogger if they go MIA – I hit refresh a million times, I complain to my Husband, I check Twitter… I want to know what is happening!  So – I promise.  I won’t leave you hanging if I can help it.  I also plan to put up another post when the baby arrives to let everyone know we’re okay, but I won’t be revealing the sex/name until the end of the birth story because that’s how we’ll find out.


So – today’s post is on my pregnancy expectations v. my reality.  When we found out that we were pregnant, I was scared and nervous, but I also felt like I knew a lot about pregnancy from my friends and reading.  I felt pretty prepared for what was next.  Or so I thought.


Expectation:  I will love every single minute of pregnancy.


Reality: I think women feel pressured to say that they LOVE being pregnant.  It’s almost as if you aren’t a constant glowing, smiling pregnant lady, people think there is something wrong with you, you’re ungrateful, or you don’t love your baby. Look, pregnancy is hard (and I had an easy pregnancy). And just like parenting, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.  But it’s not all roses and sunshine – another person has literally hijacked your body. I’m looking forward to the baby being on the outside so I can take care of them in a different way… and I can go back to rolling over in bed without groaning, getting out of a chair normally, drinking big glasses of wine, etc.  I like 90% of the pregnancy experience.   I refuse to feel bad about the other 10%.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love my baby.


Expectation: I will be a pregnant runner.


(Source – My buddy Jen!)

Reality: I wrote about this pregnancy expectation on my Week 29 update.  As much as I wanted to be a pregnant runner, it just did not happen.  Running while pregnant did not agree with my body.  After my 5K at Week 16, I was reduced to walk/running, and shortly after, I quit all attempts at running altogether.  You know what? I’m okay with it. I really do miss running and can’t wait to get back at it, but taking a 21 week break (so far) has been kind of nice.  The key has been to find OTHER exercises that I can do and enjoy – namely, swimming.  Swimming has been my lifesaver throughout pregnancy!


Expectation: My body is going to change a lot and, beyond the cute baby bump, I am probably going to hate it.


Reality:  I have gained about 32 pounds thus far.  32 pounds on my 5-foot, 3.5-inch frame.  Even though a lot of it is pure baby and baby accessories, that’s additional weight no matter how you slice it.  My thighs do this awesome rubbing-together thing – that induces bleeding! – when I wear dresses.  I’ve got more cellulite.  I have to wear the Husband’s pajamas bottoms… and not because of the bump (because of my widening rear).  I know that my breasts will never, ever look the same when this is all over.  I look back at pre-pregnancy photos of myself and cannot believe I looked so fit.  Damn!  Hindsight is 20/20 – I thought I was a little out of shape when I got pregnant.  But you know what?  I don’t hate my 9 month pregnant body at all.  In fact, I usually actively love it.  And I don’t just like it because it’s the cost of baby – I like it because it’s my body.  A few years ago, when writing the first Operation Beautiful book and editing a story about a woman struggling to come to terms with her post-baby body, I decided that no matter what journey my body went through – whether I gained weight, lost muscle, my boobs got big and saggy, I got stretch marks and cellulite – I would never hate my body again.  And I’ve made good on that promise.  It’s not always easy to keep the promise, but when I start to feel negative, I make myself take off all my clothes, stand nekkid in front of the mirror, and think as many positive thoughts about myself and my body as I can.  It’s totally corny, but it truly works for me.  (I also love The Shape of a Mother site – it’s the ultimate mood lifter.)


Expectation:  I’m going to be sick as a dog.


Reality:  I never threw up.  Not once.  I didn’t really have terrible food aversions either.  I never knew this before my own pregnancy, but not everyone gets morning sickness.  I’m thankful!  However, I did not anticipate how exhausting being pregnant would be – I get tired so easily.  I wear out fast.  Especially at this point, my body aches all the time.  It is a grueling experience physically, even if you’re having an ‘easy’ time.


Expectation:  I will worry a lot.

Reality: I have tried really, really hard to have a panic-free pregnancy.  For the most part, I have been successful.  However, the worrying comes in waves.  I am currently feeling very worried all the time. I worry a lot about BabyHTP’s health.  I have a hard time visualizing the baby because we don’t know the sex, and I think that exacerbates the worrying about health issues (it’s a weird correlation, I know, but because I can’t see the baby in my mind, I worry about what could go wrong).  I’m trying to let go of these negative thoughts and energy, but it is very challenging.


Expectation:  We will enjoy not knowing the sex of the baby.


Reality:  WE LOVE NOT KNOWING THE SEX!  I know I just said it drives me a bit crazy, and it does, but overall, I love not knowing if BabyHTP is a girl or boy.  It is so much fun, and I would highly recommend anyone who is considering not finding out to DO IT.  I cannot wait to find out at birth.  It’s going to be awesome!


Expectation:  My ‘love life’ is going down the drain.

Reality:  Without going into details, pregnancy does not have to mean the end of your horizontal polka activities.  Sorry if this is too much information, but I felt the need to add this ‘reality’ because I can’t tell you how many people teased me that the romance – and all that it entails – was over.  I was terrified – others made it sound like pregnancy was the worst thing that could happen to a marriage.  Sure – it’s all different.  But your marriage as you know it doesn’t have to completely die for 9 months.


Expectation:  Laboring is terrifying.  Parenting is even more terrifying.


Reality:  I am not scared of labor anymore, thanks mainly to my Bradley classes.  Even if labor doesn’t go according to my birth plan, I feel so much more prepared for ANY circumstance and know that I can emotionally and physically deal with it.  Now – parenting is actually truly terrifying.  I think I can handle the newborn stage, but I’m so scared to be the baby of a bigger baby… a toddler… a kid!  I’m confident we’ll figure it out as we go – and figure that if I wasn’t a little scared, I would be pretty stupid – but still.  I’m nervous to be someone’s momma.  I just want to do the best job that I can.


All in all – has pregnancy been everything I thought it would be?  Nope.  In some ways, it was harder.  In some ways, it was a lot easier.  In every way, it was more amazing and beautiful than I imagined.  I have a feeling that’s what labor and parenting will be like, too.  You never really know what it’s going to be like until you’re living it.  Hold on.  It’s gonna be a crazy ride.


Of course – this is just MY version of pregnancy.  What were your pregnancy expectations and realities?



  • Bernadette May 23, 2012, 1:54 pm

    That picture of you at your shower is STILL MY FAVORITE of all times!!

    I’m absolutely in the ‘wait and see what it is’ camp!! I didn’t find out with any of my 3 kiddos and LOVED it!!


  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 23, 2012, 1:57 pm

    OMG the fact that you never threw up is enormously great news!! I’m the biggest puke-o-phobe and morning sickness is one of the biggest things that scares me about pregnancies. Whenever I decide to have a baby, I hope I’m as lucky as you on that front!

  • Amanda May 23, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I’m just over 23 weeks and can relate to the majority of these thoughts! I expected pregnancy to be tough but didn’t really expect it to be like this. I thought morning sickness was going to be a bunch of throwing up but didn’t expect to feel nonstop sick for months and well past the end of the first tri! I also didn’t expect to lose so much weight with pregnancy. Talk about nerve-wracking, pregnancy is about growing and instead I’ve lost and then feel like I’m “failing” in some way. I also worry about my baby’s heath. We decided to skip all genetic testing because the results would not make a difference in our decision, but boy is it scary to just hope everything is ok. To top it off I didn’t expect that I’d have to slow down my lifestyle already because I can’t breathe. Physically I feel pretty good in the “honeymoon stage” of the second trimester but, if I push too hard I’m quickly out of breath and gasping for air. I didn’t expect that until the very end! Expectations… I wish I didn’t have any going in to this journey! 😉

  • Laine May 23, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Neither of my sisters found out with each their 2 kids (they were all home births) and it is fun to have that be a surprise!

    Your updates make me wish one of them would have another baby!

  • Alison (Fueling for Fitness) May 23, 2012, 2:02 pm

    What a great post. It’s bloggers like you who take the time to stay authentic and share your thoughts on this whole journey that make the idea of having babies some day a little less scary. 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 23, 2012, 2:04 pm

    I wasn’t even nauseous with my first pregnancy…my second let me sick to my stomach the whole time, but I never threw up. I think I would have preferred actually vomiting at some point though. That part was awful. I have really enjoyed following this journey with you. Today marks the day I officially have a 6th grader and a 9th grader, so it’s fun to watch you go through this and remember my experiences! You look beautiful!

  • Kathleen Ojo @ Onward; Inward May 23, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I shared many of your expectations going into pregnancy. I thought I would love the whole thing, but I haven’t; I thought I would be able to keep running for quite a while, but I stopped around 16 weeks (still Body Pump and yoga like a champ though!); I actually expected to love my growing body and, except for a rough patch at the end of of the second tri, I really do; I NEVER expected baby movements would feel so weird yet amazing! I expected to be healthy enough to try for an unmedicated delivery at a birth center, and so far that’s on track…

    Based on my family history I’m also expecting to have a ridiculously large baby – kiiiinda hoping that one does not come to pass.

    You look fantastic!

  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life May 23, 2012, 2:08 pm

    Caitlin, you are awesome! You describe everything so well and I can completely relate to everything you were talking about. My first pregnancy was far better than anything I had expected. I pictured myself being miserable the entire 9 months and in fact it was quite the opposite. I loved every minute of it and I was actually more comfortable in my own skin while I was pregnant. I was in awe of my body! I also took Bradley classes so I went into labor very confident. Of course there was some anxiousness and even during the labor I would get scared but I knew to stay calm and let nature take its course.

    I’m currently 6 weeks pregnant and this time aroung the little peanut is kicking my butt!!! Yesterday was my birthday and I couldn’t even enjoy it too much because I was feeling so sick and so tired it hurt! Today I’m feeling better and I really hope this isn’t the trend for what’s to come!

    I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to hear your birth story for so many reasons… 1) you are a great writer and your honesty and openness is refreshing 2) you are about to receive the greatest gift of your life and I love hearing other people’s experiences 3) I’m interested to know if you were able to stick with your birth plan. I think your approach is right on in that anything can happen but there is no harm in attempting to stick with your “plan” in a spontaneous type of situation. Conversely there is no harm if you need to stray from your plan because your journey takes a turn.

    You will do great! At the labor thing, and at the mom thing! 🙂

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Congrats on being six weeks pregnant!!!!

  • Angie All The Way May 23, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Pregnancy was not something I enjoyed (physically) overall either. I enjoyed the experience and journey of it taking me to becoming a Mommy and in retrospect, that’s the part I can say was the best part. But I did not “love” being pregnant as some women do. I wasn’t shy about admitting it either and there were times (in older generational women) that I saw the surprised look on their faces when I’d say it out loud.

    On the parenting side, once you get over the “new mom” feeling (took about a yearish for me), even though you are learning as you go, there is so much confidence that comes out of the experience thus far and your bond is so strong by the time they are toddlers and beyond that there is no need to be nervous. It becomes natural because of that bond. Will you always do/say the right thing? Maybe? But it doesn’t matter – what matters is your bond and relationship with your baby and if that is solid, you’re doing your job and you learn as you go together 🙂

  • Rachel May 23, 2012, 2:11 pm

    gah! i’m so excited for you! you’re in the home stretch 🙂 my daughter was born at 37 weeks exactly,& she was/is perfect. parenting is indeed a scary journey, but honestly, once the little man or little lady arrives, you’ll be far to busy to even think about it. it’s amazing how your instincts just kick it. you kinda just go on autopilot & you figure it out.

    you’ve been really into taking classes pre-baby, but have you thought about doing anything post-baby? i attended a “parent-baby” class at a local hospital for the first year of my daughters life. it was a great way to meet other new moms & an amazing resource of information. i’d be freaking out over something, go to class & find out there were a half dozen babies experiencing the same thing. seriously a great experience 🙂

  • Stacie May 23, 2012, 2:12 pm

    Like you, I did not get sick with either of my kids so that was a nice surprise.

    But, I gained WAY more weight than I wanted. 50lbs each kid. I was not eating badly or anything–I am fairly slender so I think it was just what my body needed to do both times (and both times I lost it all easily and quite quickly, although the last 10lbs never came off until after I stopped nursing).

  • Robyn May 23, 2012, 2:22 pm

    I love these thoughts!
    I’m 34 weeks and can’t begin to describe how much I’m loving being pregnant, which I always imagined. But I always worried that I was going to be just a massive pregnant lady but in reality I have never been so in love with my body before in my whole life. Even the tiger stripes from the stretch marks on my belly are beautiful!!!
    I am, however, terrified of all that pregnancy brings with it, i.e. a baby that we have to bring home and care for.
    I’ve also loved not knowing what the baby’s gender is and I’m going to agree with your mom – I think you’re having a girl too! I can’t wait to hear how it all happens!!!

  • Sara May 23, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Love these posts (and those of other pregnant bloggers.) I enjoy reading about pregnancy until I am finally pregnant. You’re awesome, Caitlin! You’ll be a great mom.

  • Morgan May 23, 2012, 2:23 pm

    I love this post, just like all of your pregnancy posts. It is fascinating to me how different every woman’s experience is. I too expected to be sick and never threw up once, I was terrified of gaining weight but actually had to fight to put on 14 lbs, and I expected to end up with a c-section because of my frame and very narrow hips, and instead ended up with a natural, drug free birth. My biggest disappointing expectation was that I really wanted to let the sex of the baby be a surprise, and we ended up finding out because I was having such a hard time attaching to the pregnancy and baby. It was the right decision, and made the second half of my pregnancy much easier emotionally, but I did sort of miss the big surprise at the end:)

    I cannot wait to hear your birth story! I am a big dork about them now, and I LOVE reading them!

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See May 23, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Gorgeous post! I love your thoughts on body image with respect to being pregnant and commentary on the “expectations” of being a preganant women. 🙂

  • Brittany May 23, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Thanks for this, Caitlin. This was one of my favorite posts yet.

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles May 23, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Such a great post, Caitlin!

  • Mrs. Span May 23, 2012, 2:46 pm

    Your legs rubbed together only after being pregnant? Well welcome to my world (and a lot of other women’s out there), and I’m not even pregnant!

    • Caitlin May 23, 2012, 2:53 pm

      I should clarify… now they rub together and bleed!!!! they always rubbed together.

      • Kelsey May 24, 2012, 2:14 pm

        spanx work great for this!

  • Tara May 23, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Great post!

    I loved being pregnant too, even through moments of morning (or all day) sickness, food aversions, and other symptoms that were not a hundred percent pleasant. Overall I still felt like I had an easy pregnancy and enjoyed it all as part of the experience. The last month was physically uncomfortable, but then I knew what was coming so it made it easier. I gained more weight then I would have liked and it didn’t come off as easy as I hoped/expected, but that made me think about what I was eating and how I was exercising after baby arrived which was a good thing! Now I weigh less then when I became pregnant and am living a much healthier lifestyle. I was a total worrier though during pregnancy and I didn’t expect to be. I think I’ll worry less and more relaxed next time…plus having a toddler to run after definitely leaves less time to fret! 😉

  • Nicole May 23, 2012, 3:08 pm

    The newborn stage is the part I worry about- I wish my baby would come out as a toddler! I mean, except for how huge it would be, lol.

    I wish I was eating better and moving more- something I need to get on RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, things have been stress free so far. 24 weeks today!

  • Lisa May 23, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Thank you for being so honest in expectations vs. reality! It’s an interesting look into the whole thing.

    I’m not pregnant and of course I have a lot of the same expectations you had for when I am–I’ll continue my current level of fitness, running, etc. etc. May not be the reality but it’s my hope. 🙂

  • Sana May 23, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I am sooooo excited for you 🙂

  • Annette@FitnessPerks May 23, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I love hearing your realities and expectations! I’ve never been a mom, but it’s nice to know everyone is SO different! Kudos to you for being REAL 🙂

  • Lauren May 23, 2012, 3:20 pm

    I adored being pregnant. I had no symptoms but I wish I had known about the panic free pregnancy 2 years ago because I worried terribly. It did teach me to be more relaxed as a parent though.
    I am so sorry about your thighs chafing, have you tried gold bond? It was great for me, still is 😉

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 12:12 pm

      YES! And Body Glide.

  • Ashley May 23, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I wanted so badly to be pregnant, that I just knew I’d love it 100%. And you know what? I totally sucked as a pregnant chick. Everything hurt. I had back spasms like crazy. I was sick for 8 weeks straight. I got carpal tunnel. I had to wear men’s shirts at work because that was all they had that would fit me.

    The only thing I liked was feeling the baby move. And then even that started to get painful…

    But I still am antsy to do it all over again :).

  • Beth May 23, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I’m only 6 weeks pregnant, so I can’t really relate to some of these thoughts. I thought morning sickness would only occur in the morning, of course. I usually throw up in the morning and during the evening hours.

  • M May 23, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I really, really liked this post. Thank you for your honesty and realness- very refreshing :).

  • Lauren T May 23, 2012, 3:44 pm

    That was very interesting and insightful information. Also, I love the cute chinese lantern light fixture in the baby’s nursery! Did you make that or buy it somewhere?

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 12:11 pm

      From Etsy designer Janie Girl Crafts.

  • jael May 23, 2012, 3:49 pm

    i loooooved my pregnant body, not so much the pre and post one though.

    i gained 30 pounds and pretty much lost it all just a few months later, but the body is just not the same…boobs hang differently, have a weird consistency…and goodbye to the waist..i had a small waist, now not so much.

    looking forward to getting pregnant again

  • Presley @ Run Pretty May 23, 2012, 3:55 pm

    I love what you said about feeling pressured to love pregnancy. I mentioned it in an earlier post of mine. Being pregnant is not my cup of tea, and that doesn’t mean I’m a sucky (soon-to-be) mom. I don’t think you have to love being pregnant to love your child. If anything, I think it will make me appreciate him more once he’s here! 🙂

  • Nicole May 23, 2012, 4:12 pm

    You are a beautiful writer!

  • Andrea of Care to Breed May 23, 2012, 4:14 pm

    The day I found out I was pregnant, I started mourning my pre-preggo body. So, I was very surprised (and pleased) that my body actually looks BETTER post-pregnancy, even a year after giving birth. I feel silly for wasting all that energy honestly believing there was no way I’d look as good again. Maybe that sounds superficial, but come on – everybody wants to look their best!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 12:11 pm

      Yay! Gives me hope.

  • Kate @ life's precious moments May 23, 2012, 4:19 pm

    Such a beautiful and heartfelt post Caitlin. I have absolutely loved following your pregnancy throughout your journey. You are going to make such a great Mom!

  • Kath May 23, 2012, 4:26 pm

    Great post!! I share some of the same sentiments 🙂

    Although, I never thought I would get bad morning sickness. Mostly because my mom never had anything beyond a little nausea. That was a shocker for me, and I’m glad that part is over!

    Can’t wait to meet your babe!

  • Ashley May 23, 2012, 4:29 pm

    As always, I love your honesty!

    I’m only halfway, but some of my expectations were the same as yours. I expected to be sicker than a dog (my mom was), to love every second of it, be able to do everything for myself and have no awkwardness(until the last month), and for my boobs to get big…quick. Haha!
    I’ve always had itty bitties, and was quite looking forward to see what it was like with bigger ‘ladies’. They haven’t grown a bit.
    As for being able to do everything myself and with ease, not so much. Even though I hardly have a belly, the pressure and awkwardness of bending down and tying shoes is surprising.

    I love the fact you guys have stuck with finding out the gender when BabyHTP arrives! We will be finding out, but I love hearing about others who aren’t.
    Has your prediction changed throughout the weeks/months?

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 12:10 pm

      Yes – it changes on a daily basis! Boy, girl, boy, girl.

  • Cori May 23, 2012, 4:46 pm

    My pregnancy was one big uncertainty. We always knew we would find out what we were having (the technology is there – might as well use it and be prepared) but suddenly finding out it was twins halfway through the pregnancy made for enough of a surprise – waiting really wasn’t an option. Of course – having had a friend miscarry just before we got preggo made me worry the whole first trimester. and twins made me worry the rest of the pregnancy. I am really short waisted and the growth rate of my belly was too much for my supporting muscles to handle so I spent a great deal of the last 2 trimesters in massive amounts of pain.

    Because of the increased risks with twin pregnancies – I knew my delivery was going to be much more “managed” I knew I would have an epidural because if the babies went into distress during natural childbirth (which they did) I needed to be able to be operated on immediately (which I was).

    In the end, though, I wouldn’t trade my gorgeous little almost 3 year olds for the world. Luckily – I had only planned on one pregnancy ever because, honey, you couldn’t pay me enough to go through it again!

  • Mo May 23, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I’m 33 1/2 weeks along and can honestly say I don’t love being pregnant. I haven’t had it that bad, but I don’t enjoy the discomforts, trouble sleeping, constant congestion and food and alcohol restrictions. That said, I know (since I already have a daughter that we adopted at birth,) that it will all be worth it when you hold that sweet baby in your arms and love he or she more than you thought possible. I just wish 9 months didn’t!!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 12:09 pm

      Haha yes. I wish I could accelerate time.

  • Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 23, 2012, 4:54 pm

    It’s so good to hear someone saying they love their body, despite all the changes that happen with pregnancy, the good and the bad! I’m proud of my stretch marks from my first pregnancy, they’re a reminder of what an amazing thing my body has done in carrying another human life for 9 months 🙂

  • Andrea May 23, 2012, 5:00 pm

    Thank you for your honesty Caitlin! You’re awesome!

  • Samantha May 23, 2012, 5:00 pm

    I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for these posts. While a baby is still quite a ways down the road for me (I think!), I feel like I’m educating myself so much from reading your posts and other bloggers’ while they go through pregnancy. It’s a bit of a reality check, and it makes things seem more realistic rather than completely overwhelming!

  • j3nn May 23, 2012, 5:01 pm

    You look so gorgeous!

    And your nursery is absolutely stunning!! I’m so excited for you. 😀

  • Christa May 23, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Caitlin, you are awesome. Thank you for keeping things real and being honest throughout this process. I am a few years away from getting pregnant, but I have enjoyed reading your posts about it (and everything else you post!) so much. I hope I am as sane as you have been when the time comes for us 😉 No doubt in my mind you will be great parents!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:59 am

      Thanks Christa 🙂 I appreciate it a lot.

  • Ali May 23, 2012, 6:07 pm

    You are SO cute! Can’t wait to find out what you’re having! It’s the year of boys 😉

  • Shari May 23, 2012, 6:11 pm

    I absolutely love this post — there’s such a beauty to your words and emotions. Wishing you the very best as you get ready to welcome your little dear heart into the world!

  • Jennyh May 23, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Love following your pregnancy journey. I have 17 mo boy girl twins and Must say I wanted to love being pregnant by disliked the majority of it. No complications at all, gained 50 pounds in the first 25 weeks and nothing for the last 12. Went from a voracious out of control appetite to not having room for food and no hungry, just thirst. Was great to be pregnant early on and was happy and excited through out the journey. But the size and pain associated with the second half
    Of pregnancy was very hard. So happy with my 2 perfect babie and wouldn’t trade the hard work for anything but man not an easy thing to do!

  • Jennyh May 23, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Sorry for the type-o’s damn iPhone 🙂

  • Jan May 23, 2012, 7:19 pm

    Love this! I dont want kids but i always feel like you rarely hear about the realties of pregnancy either its terrible or the greatest thing ever. You are the one (soon to be) mommy blogger bc you seem so down to earth and realistic. Thanks for your honesty! Look forward to hearing your take on life after baby!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:58 am

      Thank you Jan 🙂

  • Earthy Nicole May 23, 2012, 7:22 pm

    I’m so excited that you’re full term! I admit, I was wondering about Saturday myself! You probably had tons of page views from people checking in on you!

    Some of my expectations vs. reality:
    – I used to secretly think stretch marks were really awful but in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, my skin just tore apart. I mean, it wasn’t painful but my stretchmarks are literally deep gashes in my skin. It took a long time for me to get over them but in the big picture, I’m practically thankful for them. If that’s all I have to complain about from pregnancy, I’m a very lucky woman.

    – I thought I would be a really angry, bitter preggo based off my PMS pre-pregnancy. However, I’ve since learned that the artificial hormones in my BC had been causing those awful mood swings and pregnancy made me seem like a much happier, nicer person in general. I now use the FAM to avoid those side effects.

    – I knew I’d love being a mom, but I didn’t realize how deep in love with my daughter I could be. There’s just no way to know until you have a child what that feelings like and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, ever, in the world.

  • May 23, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Thanks you so much for the topic of this post! Though I am not pregnant, I look forward to being so, and I often think about how true the “myths” of pregnancy are. It’s nice to know not everyone gets sick and that it is normal and quite OK to not be always one hundred percent glowing and happy during the pregnancy period. I appreciate your honest outlook!

  • Angela May 23, 2012, 7:46 pm

    GREAT post Caitlin! I think this is one of my fav pregnancy-related posts you have written. You are going to be a great mom. PS- I can’t believe how quickly time has gone by!

  • rosie @ rosalicious May 23, 2012, 7:57 pm

    I’m 17 weeks — this is my first one — and I had no idea I’d be this uncomfortable this early! I expected morning sickness (which I had, in spades) but I didn’t think I’d feel so generally crappy (tired, achy, heartburn, etc etc) until much later.

    Like lots of other pregnant ladies here have admitted, I don’t love being pregnant. Just looking at it for physically what it is, it sort of sucks. Totally worth it, don’t get me wrong, I am just already ready for it to be over 🙂

    p.s. My guess for you is boy!

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras May 23, 2012, 8:37 pm

    This is my favorite baby post so far. It has been so fascinating hearing so many thoughts and details on pregnancy. I know I’m not the only non-mother (yet) out here who is curious! Thank you so much for being so honest and candid through this whole thing! I’m so pumped for BabyHTP to get here!!!

  • Pamela | Girl Gone West May 23, 2012, 8:39 pm

    Honestly, when you became pregnant, I was convinced I would have to stop reading you blog – which pained me, you’re my favorite BY FAR. Now, I can’t believe the baby is almost here, I’m still reading, and I’m even MORE impressed and captivated and inspired by your posts now than ever before.

    You make me feel brave enough to tackle MY next transition. Thank you.

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:56 am

      I take this as the highest compliment 🙂

  • Abby May 23, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Thanks for being real with us (as always). We don’t have any kids yet, but we’ll hopefully start “trying” in about a year. Getting some real life perspective makes me even more excited about what is yet to come for us 🙂

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction May 23, 2012, 9:06 pm

    I loved this post! Your writing is amazing, and I love the fact that you are so honest. I have not been pregnant yet, but hope to have children in the future. I know it’s going to be hard for me because I am going to HATE gaining weight and I worry about everything! Not a good combination! It’s nice to know that everyone fears something about pregnancy, and that everyone has different experiences. Also, thanks for keeping us in the know about when the litte girl or guy arrives! Can’t wait to find out! 🙂

  • JenRD May 23, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! You look great, by the way. Those professional shots came out amazing!
    I would say I expected things to be a lot worse– probably read too many “panic-inducing” books, and heard too many negative things from others, but I really loved being pregnant, and other than the tiredness, felt great overall. My experience also could have been skewed because I was just so damn happy to be pregnant in the first place (had to go through fertility treatment), but who knows.

    Also, I feel ya on the chafing between the legs! I discovered that Body Glide helped a lot!

    Oh and you are definitely having a boy! 🙂

  • Brenda May 23, 2012, 10:11 pm

    My pregnancy was the best 39 weeks and 4 days of my life. I loved it all. While pregnant, I had the attitude of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ so this is everyone’s baby. Weird, right? Once baby arrivred, I became a super possessive/protective mama. He’s MY baby. Funny how that attitude changed…

  • Tricia May 23, 2012, 10:20 pm

    I just had my baby girl on Sat and we did not know the sex. Best decision ever!!!

  • Rebekah May 23, 2012, 10:33 pm

    What a great post Caitlin! I love hearing your expectations versus reality.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 23, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Love this post!

    My expectations were not much. I expected to have a girl, had a boy, I didn’t expect to get sick, I was sick the entire time.

    I didn’t have much time to think about all that since we got pregnant so quick after I got off birth control!

    The second time around has certainly had some big differences (emotionally mostly) and so that’s a whole other can of worms. Don’t even get me started on how I feel right now, because yesterday was my due date and no sign of the little guy yet. hehe

  • Brittany May 23, 2012, 11:19 pm

    Love this post Caitlin and I think it’s so cool that you all are waiting to find out the sex of the baby. It will be amazing when you find out!

    My sister had the same due date as you but they moved her’s up a week. I’m super excited to have another baby around soon.

  • Katya May 23, 2012, 11:59 pm

    you are looking fantastic and what a great post! we have a very similar due date and I feel I can relate extremely well to all your thoughts! I have loved the majority of my pregnancy also and have had an ‘easy’ time, which I feel grateful for. I didn’t expect to put on 40lbs! and for a while, had a hard time with that. But accepted it, and am loving my rounded body! I also look back at photos pre-baby and marvel at how fit I looked! the things you don’t realise 🙂
    we are also not finding out the sex and also LOVE that! so excited and curious to find out…what a great surprise that’s going to be.
    I look forward to your birth story and I hope you have a great experience. All the best!

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:55 am

      Thank you Katya!

  • Jen May 24, 2012, 2:23 am

    Beautiful post and beautiful YOU!!! You are going to be one fantastic mama! I cannot wait to find out the sex & name and see PICTURES!!! Although, I suppose I can wait if that is what’s best for baby… 🙂

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 24, 2012, 8:53 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. I’d still like to wait a few more years before I have kids, but the thought of getting pregnant (and delivering a baby) is kind of scary. I guess that’s why I know I’m not ready yet :).

    • Caitlin May 24, 2012, 11:53 am

      If you aren’t scared, you’re stupid 🙂

  • Mary Carol Reddick May 24, 2012, 10:17 am

    I think you’re already a great mom! 🙂

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY May 24, 2012, 11:36 am

    I know this post was about the baby and all that jazz, but my take away from it is what you said about not hating your body at all. That is just so shocking to me that you would do that – that you could do that. I think it’s amazing but at this point, literally cannot fathom that, though its something I want to work towards. Anyway, this is a great goal for me to work towards.

  • Megan May 24, 2012, 11:42 am

    Amen! I love your outlook, thank you for sharing, honestly, but in an upbeat way. I need to remember that my body is beautiful the way it is. I’ve got to be a good role model to my baby daughter.

  • Katie May 24, 2012, 1:08 pm

    I recently discovered your blog through the Fitnessista and was SO excited once I started reading… Among other things, I am due the same time as you are. So I am 37 weeks too, and I laugh, because my expectations, like yours, did not all come to fruition!

    1) I will be that crazy fit pregnant woman.
    my body had other ideas. working out beyond walking or yoga destroyed me, so I had to couch it. Then I went into preterm labor at 33 weeks, 5 days and it’s been bedrest since then (until now, since I’m full term! went on 2 longish walks yesterday and it was GLORIOUS)

    2) I’m going to gain a ton of weight, get huge as a house, and enjoy every second of it! Eat my way through our house and home with NO sense of guilt!

    oh boy… this one… I have only gained 21 lbs. 21. 0_0 and it was a struggle to make it there sometimes. I’m 5’2″ and small framed, but I don’t know if that’s an excuse. My weight – all belly and boobs. and don’t get me wrong, I get a kick out of it, but I look like I stuck padding in my bra and a watermelon under my shirt and called it “pregnancy.” I was also surprised that I’m almost never hungry. I think the baby has flattened my stomach. I’m afraid I’ll weigh less after having him than I did when I got pregnant! (I also look at pictures of my body before I was pregnant and can’t believe I ever looked like that. I’m not unhappy with my watermelon belly at all – I love it – but I can’t believe I was so SLENDER before!)

    3) I’m going to hate knowing baby’s gender.
    not completely!
    my husband wanted to find out, and I didn’t really. But I decided it would be too much of a strain for him to keep it from me for 20 weeks. So, I caved. But, you know what? I actually LOVE knowing that I’m having a little boy. We have gotten to get used to the name we picked for him (we have a backup in case he’s a she when he comes out!), and its fun to just know sometimes… I still tried to keep our baby stuff as neutral as possible, but I can’t wait to meet him and kiss his baby face, so that’s enough excitement to keep me going!

    4) Labor and Childbirth – no worries! 😉
    funny thing here. I wasn’t scared, wasn’t worried, never freaked. My body is meant to do this, so it will happen. Then I went into preterm labor. and it never stopped, but baby hasn’t arrived yet. SO I’ve been in labor for 3 and a half weeks now. and it SUCKS. and I have moments when I’m curled up on the floor bawling because I’m in pain and i’m scared. Or a contraction wakes me up at 2 in the morning and I start crying because (and this is a quote) “I can’t do this. He’s not going to fit. Can we undo this pregnancy?” or “I can’t do this anymore. Get him out NOW!”

    SO, here’s hoping for healthy babies, happy labors, and easy childbirth for the both of us!


  • Kate May 24, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Oh my goodness it is all so terrifying and fabulous at the same time. I loved and hated being pregnant my expectations were blown out of the water with my first child and with my second it was easier because I knew anything could happen. Best thing to go into it is all is that anything can happen, have a plan but be cool with it not happening how you want it to. Same goes with parenting. You figure it out as you go. scary and terrifying but wonderful and amazing at the same time. Life changes big time and you can never go back but it is wonderful and horrible but mostly amazing!

  • Jess May 24, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Great post! Thank you for being so open and sharing!

    I never realized I would worry (so very much) during pregnancy. We went through a lof of infertility treatment and while going through that process I spent so much time worrying IF we would ever get pregnant, I assumed that if we did the worry would be off my chest and I could just be excited to be pregnant. WRONG! Whole new set of worries came in once that happened, I can only assume the same thing will happen once our little girl is here and we become parents.

  • Kelli May 24, 2012, 2:03 pm

    My thighs always rub together…..but I find rubbing baby powder on them in the morning when I wear dresses keeps the friction down. When it is really warm out(& i get sweaty) I have to reapply about halfway through the day, but it works wonders! Bleeding sounds horrible.
    Thanks for keeping it real with this post! I’m 26 weeks along & have had an easy pregnancy all things considered, but it hasn’t always been easy & some things have definitely been different than I expected.

  • Amy May 24, 2012, 2:40 pm

    im 25 weeks pregnant right now and for sure the sickness thing…i really wasnt sick at all-which was great! i definitely think u hit the nail on the head with enjoying every minute of pregnancy…i love it, it’s great so far…but u do feel bad if even for a second, u dont love it which is totally unfair. great post!

  • Amber K May 24, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I still don’t think I could be patient enough to wait to find out the sex. But I think it’s really cool when other people have that kind of patience! Can’t wait to see if you have a little girl or boy!

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) May 24, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I’m dying to know boy or girl. I still have a gender neutral gift waiting for you, but if s/he comes before I see you, I might have to add in a little pink or blue (I know, I know… traditional colors, ick! But I’m a sucker :))

  • Laurie May 24, 2012, 3:08 pm

    We did not find out the sex of either of our pregnancies and I LOVED it. As far as being scared of being a mama, go with your gut instincts, ask for help if you need it, it is an “on-the-job-training” type of thing. Also, I swear to you, one day, soon, you will look back and it will be hard to remember what it was like to not be a mama!!!!!

  • Kate May 24, 2012, 7:49 pm

    I hated being pregnant. And I am ok with that. 🙂 I had horrible food aversions (I even puked in the grocery store just from looking at spinach), I had horrible back pain the whole time (which required physical therapy because it was so bad at one point that I couldn’t walk), and at 37 weeks I developed a rare disease called cholestasis of pregnancy (which was nothing short of insanity-inducing torture, and the medications offered only mild relief with pretty horrid side effects, but I had to take them for the safety of my baby). I refuse to feel bad about that–just because I hated being pregnant doesn’t mean I love my daughter any less. In fact, I appreciate her so much more for what we had to go through!

  • Amanda (tomboy that wears makeup) May 24, 2012, 11:36 pm

    What a great post! Thanks so much!! I’m 14 weeks along and reading this was very helpful! You rock!!

  • Jill May 25, 2012, 8:19 am

    What a great post! I’m currently 10 weeks and we’re not finding out the sex of our baby either (although my acupuncturist swears we’re having a girl, judging by a pink part of my ear…?). Thanks for keeping us posted – I check your site daily to see if you’ve gone into labour! (I mean that in the most non-creepy way possible, since we’re complete strangers).

  • Alison May 25, 2012, 11:38 am

    Great post! I agree with you on pretty much everything. My body has changed so much since having my daughter (and even more now that I’m 20 weeks with #2) but I don’t hate it – its just different but so is my life!

    Pregnancy is not the end of marital “relations” in fact its supposed to be a great labor inducer, of course when you are 40 weeks it is a lot harder to get into the mood.

    Finally on labor & parenting. I was somewhat of labor my first time and it went fine, though not according to my plans. This time I’m hoping to do it naturally and I think being prepared by studying different techniques is key. Right now I’m reading about Hypnobabies, though I’m pretty sure I will do my own synthesis of the various techniques.

    As for parenting – don’t be afraid. It is very difficult sometimes but it is so unbelievably rewarding! My daughter is almost 3 and she can be very frustrating but she can also be incredibly sweet and has completely changed the way I view the world. You will be great parents! It does come naturally once you get used to the life change.

  • Katie May 29, 2012, 10:15 am

    My water broke at 39 weeks so you are definitely in the home stretch! I second not finding out. It was the best surprise ever! I think we subconciously knew she was a she because my husband wrote in a thank you note to his mom and thanked her for the gifts for her granddaughter. I think everyone thought we knew and just didn’t tell everyone. Nonetheless, it was the best finding out post delivery!

  • Claire Zulkey May 29, 2012, 2:33 pm

    Hope you’re feeling good(ish) today! Just wanted to say that I got maternity spanx AND carry around a tiny thing of Vaseline expressly for the purposes of battling thigh chafe.

    And I agree, not-knowing is fun 🙂

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