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From Here to Maternity: Reflections on 2013

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAs 2014 begins, I can’t help but reflect on all that has happened over the past year. What a whirlwind it’s been, and we’re ending the year in a much different place from where we began!

Of course, we began the year trying to conceive, but it was really a year of preparation. We purchased our home in the fall of 2012 and didn’t get an opportunity to customize much before the snow came. We spent a lot of the winter planning what we would do once everything thawed. Our biggest project was installing a 5½ foot fence around the back yard. We had a great deal of help from family and friends, but it was a huge undertaking! Now our dog and future son or daughter has a safe backyard in which to play. As soon as the fence was done, I planted a vegetable garden. First time ever for me! I learned a lot from that – like not to plant vining plants near, well, anything else! We did manage to grow some vegetables, and it will be even better next summer.

All this time we were also preparing for a little one. The inside of our home really didn’t need much changing. The previous owners had two children. One child was an infant so that bedroom was already very nursery-like. We just added the furniture! It didn’t even need a coat of paint.

I had been taking prenatal vitamins since we started trying, at the suggestion of my ob-gyn. My husband and I both are relatively healthy and fit, but we started jogging around our neighborhood together (those wonderful Pittsburgh hills!). Then we ran a 5k race in May. It was a first for both of us! Many people are surprised to know that being active is a challenge for me, but even health coaches have wellness challenges! I find that scheduling events like races is helpful to keep me on track.

But soon after conceiving, I found jogging was just too much. Jogging isn’t harmful for most pregnant women, but it was just too much of a struggle to keep working those hills with the increased load on my heart and lungs. I switched to brisk walking to stay active. I also tried prenatal Pilates. Being active is helpful in conceiving, carrying a healthy baby to term, and delivery. While there’s not always much emphasis on this, it’s also important for men trying to conceive to be healthy and fit.

As the year ends, it’s a time to look forward to 2014. It’s hard to believe we’ve been expecting for the last six months. We have prepared a lot, but still have so much left to do! Name selection, of course will be high on our list early in the year, as well as child birth classes. I will be undergoing a glucose tolerance test soon too, to test for gestational diabetes. My prenatal appointments are every two weeks now. Planning for our gender-reveal party will begin soon, and we are really looking forward to that! We will also be creating a labor and delivery plan, and getting ready for the big day! The next three months are going to be packed, stressful, and fun, all at the same time!

As our family prepares for all the good things to come, I want to take an opportunity to wish you all a very happy and safe new year!