There's a long to-do list when it comes to preparing for your baby's arrival. The fun part was getting pregnant, the tough part is basically everything that comes afterwards. From designing your dream nursery, to picking the perfect baby name, to deciding between the various childcare options, to taking time to relax and focus on self-care, there are things every grown-ass woman does when she's pregnant, that will only make labor, delivery and postpartum life easier for her.
When I was pregnant with my first child I (like many new moms) didn't have the slightest clue what I was doing. I read all the baby books and researched online until my fingers cramped from abusing the internet and it's many search engines. I had a ton of pre-baby fears that no amount of research or reading seemed capable of easing. Since my own mother is deceased, I really didn't have anyone who had "been there and done that," to confide in. A lot of people understood that my mom's absence made pregnancy a little more difficult, and took it upon themselves to offer me their advice. While I was thankful for most of it (seriously, some of those ladies saved me), I'd be lying if I said that I felt like my naivety didn't get taken advantage of on occasion, or that the unsolicited advice didn't, from time to time, become overwhelming.
At times it seemed like my decisions regarding my pregnancy weren't really my own at all. I couldn't eat or drink a single thing without the well-being of my baby being questioned; my baby shower had to cater to the comfort of others; my labor and delivery was wrecked because I allowed people to come and go as they pleased while I was in and out of consciousness, due to the tormenting pain of Pitocin contractions. People constantly telling me what to do and what not to do with my own body, made me feel like people thought I wasn't capable of making decent decisions on my own. Honestly, and ironically enough, it made me feel like a kid again, even though I was about to have a kid myself.
In other words, it's safe to say that it took some trial, error, and a little growing up for me to realize that the following 12 things are decisions that every grown-ass woman needs to make on her own. Thankfully, because of the lessons I learned and the decisions I realized every grown-ass woman should make when she's pregnant, my second pregnancy was a different story. I decided from the very beginning that I would be the one sitting in the driver's seat that was my pregnancy, and that if someone had something to say about my decision making, I would politely tell them as I put my swollen foot down, "Thanks, but no thanks. I've got this."