I had a lot of grand ideas about pregnancy self-care when I first got pregnant. A vacation before the baby was born? Certainly! Prenatal massages? As many social events as my calendar would allow! But then a funny thing happened: I actually realized what being pregnant was like and learned that my wants and needs (and wallet) were different from what I figured they would be. The things I did for myself when I was pregnant usually had to do with maximizing physical and emotional comfort — things were a lot more fundamental than I'd presumed.
When I discuss the things I did for myself when I was pregnant, I'm mostly talking about my first pregnancy. When it came to my second pregnancy I was raising a toddler and, spoilers: when you have a toddler you do almost nothing for yourself, regardless of whether or not you're knocked up. A toddler is self-centered (which is developmentally appropriate) and DGAF about your struggle (which is also developmentally appropriate, but is nevertheless annoying and often feels like a personal slight). Ultimately, first pregnancies and any subsequent pregnancies are related but wildly different animals... like a Chihuahua and a Great Dane. They're both dogs, but I feel like that's over-simplifying things.
But let's talk about that first pregnancy and the ways I defined and prioritized self-care. Because it's not always easy out there for a mama-to-be, and you deserve time and space to take care of yourself before you fling yourself into taking care of someone else.