A Pregnancy Guide
Pregnancy is a privilege. When I feel well and when I feel bad, I still say joyfully, "I love being pregnant" because it is such a holy miracle I get to witness firsthand. I also know many women are painfully and prayerfully going through infertility or recent losses. I want you to know that I am praying with you. If God put a desire in your heart for children, I believe with all my heart that a miracle baby will be in your arms one day. I always want to be sensitive when writing anything about pregnancy. I am in no way a professional in this field (so please know non of this advice is medical) however, I do have some thoughts about the journey. This blog post will be split in 2, because I believe being spiritual and practical is the best policy. (In that order). First up, my pregnancy prayer guide.
Prayer is the most productive thing we can do as mothers. A time to converse with the Lord, sow seeds of identity, and hold tight to promises the Lord has given us. So with that being said, here's what I've found helpful in my pregnancy prayer journey.
Transfer the Trust. One night when I was pregnant with Oliver, in getting a weird symptom I reached to my phone to look up my current situation. (I know, rookie mistake. Cue foreshadowing fear. ) What started as a simple search, plunged into a terrifying path of worry reading about possible things to my situation. I heard Holy Spirit whisper, "Abby, decide right now to transfer the trust." I knew what that meant. Was I going to trust the "expertise" of some random mother's forum I found, or was I going to put my trust in the Lord? (The one who actually knows me, my baby, and my body.) This one encounter transformed my pregnancy. Making prayer a priority and transferring the trust at the beginning helped me stay in faith. I'm not saying, don't use the websites, or books or apps. There is a lot of really helpful information that could ultimately guide you through life and death situations. But before you open your phone, take a prayer pause. Take 30 seconds to tell the Lord what's on your mind, what the situation is and ask for His wisdom. I had to come to a point (daily I still do) where I decide "Jesus, my trust in not in man's opinions or research, my trust is in You." Pray Holy Spirit would guide you to the right article. Pray Holy Spirit would direct you on his own. Before you google - pray. Before you text your friend - pause and pray. Prayer changes things, yes, but it also changes you. Peace, mama. I speak peace to your heart. Prayer Alarms: I currently have an alarm for 9:09 everyday (Because September 9 is our due date) to remind myself to pause and pray for baby's development, mom's body, dad's transition into fatherhood. Somedays it's "Lord bless baby." Other days, if it works with my schedule, I pray 10-15 min. Prayer is never a duty, always a delight to me, so I love this time to intentionally pray about anything and everything. If you can think it, pray it. Remember, prayer is conversation, not a checklist.
Personalized Confession: The Lord gave me an acronym to pray (I know, I'm such a teacher. But I love that the Lord knows that about me and speaks to me in that way. I spoke about this in our Family Creed post). Usually I quickly declare this when my 9:09 prayer alarm goes off. I encourage you to get a scripture or some personalized declarations to say over your child. Mine goes like this: "Baby, Out of all the families in the world, God chose you to be a Cirkles. So today, I declare you are a : Child of God. Important to the Kingdom of God. Recognize the Voice of God. Kind to yourself and others. Leader and a Learner. Excited about the Word of God and Things of God.
Saved, Set Apart and Spirit-Filled at a young age. No matter this child's future career or calling, personality or preferences, these are Christ-Centered characteristics I want instilled into my little one's big heart.
Supernatural Childbirth. Lastly a book. (You know I was going to put in at least one.) This book has been awesome in building my faith. In a culture where pregnancy is painted as a time of misery, this book reminds us of our portion as daughters of God. Sure childbirth pain was a part of the curse with Eve, but I'm not a part of that old curse! I give credit to this book for keeping my faith focused through promises and confessions. (Plus, it's 70 pages and you can read it in one 30-45 min setting.) I hope one or two of these items have encouraged you. You do what's best for you and your baby, there's no pressure to copy or paste... just promises me you'll pray.
Now moving on... I know, I know, the spiritual stuff is good but abstract..... you want the practicals. Here are some products that helped me and I found myself reaching for again. ***Please note, every woman has different opinions, bodies, convictions, etc. These products are what worked for me and what I had peace about.
1. Prenatals - NatureMade Soft Gels. They are easy to swallow, and have DHA already added in which means one less vitamin for you to take. **Tip, I've heard from other mamas if prenatals made them nauseate, gummy prenatals were more gentle on their stomach.
2. Ovia App - There are so many great pregnancy apps out there, but I loved Ovia the best. Great tips and an easy "home" for all your pregnancy data.
3. The Pregnancy Body Pillow - I am one of the most prudent, frugal gals you'll meet. I don't want any unnecessary fluff. Until I met this pregnancy pillow, then I wanted ALL the fluff. Actually Ryan got this for me because my pride was too high and I didn't want to be a "high maintenance pregnant gal." But thank heavens for my husband.... friends, buy the pillow. **Mine was the Rose Pillow on Amazon, but I'm sure any body pillow this shape does the trick.
4. Preggie Pops - I actually have never thrown up once in my pregnancies (Don't stone me mamas). I did however, in my first trimester, have nausea to where I felt like I was carsick all day. These worked great for me! Within seconds, my nausea was gone.
5. Reusable Water Bottle - You have no idea the amount of water you drink when you're pregnant. Get a big one and keep it close.
6. Maternity Unmentionables - Trust me when I say, just take the dive early, buy the maternity bras (Go ahead and get a nursing bra if you plan on breastfeeding and save some money) and maternity underwear. It's SO worth it. (Motherhood Maternity were my favorite in both categories.)
7. Paper Plates - During the first trimester, I didn't have the energy or stomach for doing dishes, cue the paper plate. Paper plates were such a simple helpful tool. 8. Greek Yogurt - This was my go-to all pregnancy. It's loaded with protein and calcium, can be a snack, or blended into a smoothie to make it more of a meal on the go.
9. Neutrogena Naturals - There are some nasty chemicals that can disturb baby and your hormones, especially in beauty products. So finding a natural option was important to me. I have very dry, sensitive skin, and this line has worked great for me. I use both the face wash and moisturize. In fact, even with the pregnancy pimples here and there, I haven't worn foundation my entire pregnancy thanks to these products and nature's "Pregnancy Glow".
10. Burt's Bee Belly Butter - Again, a natural product I love. No scent (which is helpful in that first trimester) and so soothing for your stretching skin. I use it daily and still am on my first jar from my first pregnancy, so you get your money's worth.
For my Mama's out there, what would you say is your top pregnancy products? Ladies, let's learn from each other. Husbands, now you know what to buy ;) Well there you go! Praying for you mamas, Abby ***Don't forget, the Cirkles are cheering you on!