practices for life beyond pregnancy

Pregnancy problem: I don’t have anything to wear. Seriously.

Solution: Wardrobe simplicity.

Women’s clothes normally come in an overwhelming array of sizes and styles. But when you’re pregnant, a small is supposed to fit a multitude of bodies of varied heights with differently shaped bellies, butts, and boobs. And maternity clothes are expensive. It took me all summer to find reasonably priced non-knee-length shorts whose leg openings were the size of one leg instead of two. And then it started snowing :(

These days, I’m not working a regular person job. It’s very convenient for getting dressed. I rotate between two pairs of maternity leggings I bought specifically so I can still wear them post-baby. I have several non-maternity stretchy tees. I have socks. I have scarves. I have my winning personality. I look the same every day, but having fewer clothing options makes my life easier.

Life principle: I never want to be weighed down by stuff.

Pregnancy problem: My ribs hurt. All the time.

Solution: Regular showers.

It’s been my most persistent, most vexing pregnancy inconvenience. I have a small rib cage and just don’t have a lot of room. It’s not my muscles that are sore, so massage doesn’t help. Child’s pose is comforting, though inappropriate in some social situations. But hot water does wonders with relieving rib pain, and effortlessly persuades me to bathe on a consistent basis.

I’ve known about hot showers for a while, but I went through a phase where I would go without for days. I would wait to shower as a reward for exercising, or I would wear braids and hats and prove to myself how low maintenance I was. After I got married, in an attempt to embrace adulthood looking clean and bright, I slowly increased my showering frequency. But pregnancy has been the ultimate motivator.

Life principle: Good hygiene can be a gift to myself as much as it is a gift to those who must interact with me.

Pregnancy problem: I have no idea when I’ll go into labor.

Solution: Rest. Now.

October 1st, I stopped working a stressful schedule that was extremely taxing on my relationships with others and my relationship with myself. Since then, I have more time to engage in activities that inspire me. By operating out of a daily practice of rest, I’ve experienced a noticeable increase in my productivity, creativity, and peacefulness.

But sometimes the most restful activity is good ole passive slumber. At 38 weeks + 4 days, my baby is as active and nocturnal as ever, and he can greet the world at any moment. My midwife recommends daily naps so I will have enough energy for whenever a regular day becomes a birth day. I love it. Life will happen, and it’s out of my control, but I want to be ready to put in the effort when it matters most. (tweet that)

Life principle: Rest as a prerequisite for hard work and not a reward.

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Photo credit: http://reagandeninephotography.com

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