It's common knowledge that pregnancy is a period of time where a boatload of change occurs. You're about to embark on this whole parenthood thing and, in the process, your body is wreaking havoc in more ways than you can process. Not everything changes when you're cooking that little bun, though. For example, there are things pregnancy didn't change about me. In fact I'd go so far to say they might have even strengthened in their resistance to said change.
Pregnancy for me was, to put it nicely, hellish. Not just once, mind you, but twice. There wasn't a thing I loved about it, except feeling my little babes move every now and then. Although, that excitement waned once those adorable kicks turned into painful kicks that kept me up all night and in absolute agony. Sure, I conformed to a lot of the quintessential pregnancy traditions; wearing all the maternity clothes, eating all the things, crying at all the commercials, and everything in between. So I definitely can't lie about the fact that (sometimes even against my wishes) a barrage of things changed during those nine months.
However, the things that weren't altered when I was growing another human being are the reasons (I think) I was able to bounce back from my second pregnancy a little quicker. They're definitely why I'm still as fierce as I was before growing those little nuggets in utero. With that said, here are some things those nine brutal months didn't steal from me (though I wish it had taken some if it, to be honest).
My Sense Of Humor
Before pregnancy, and after, I've always maintained my sense of humor. It's probably the one thing that's helped me get through some difficult days and, thankfully, I'm with someone who's similar. If you can't laugh, you'll cry and I'd really rather laugh. Arguably, I've laughed quite a bit more since having children because they're natural comedians.
How I View Myself
I've never been a very confident woman and I think pregnancy only defined my insecurities that much more. Between my expanding waist, stretch marks, and swollen extremities, of course it was hard to feel beautiful while pregnant.
However, after those same insecurities still linger even though I'm in better shape. It's hard to let go of the negative that's always been a voice in my head, no matter who is staring back at me in the mirror.
My Social Anxiety
I was socially awkward the moment my mom gave birth to me, so there's no way it'd just disappear after my own pregnancies. In fact, it's grown substantially worse. Having children means putting myself in social situations I don't want to be in, but have to be in. I'm working on it (and by working on it, I mean I'm really not and fine with it as is).
My Need To Feel Heard
There will never come a day where I won't long to be heard. Having a voice as quiet as mine comes with many challenges and although my hormones went on a rampage during pregnancy, it didn't alter how often I felt heard — especially in my own house. I think I'm actually heard a lot less now because there are more voices in the mix. Yay.
My need for structure, routines, and schedules didn't change one bit after pregnancy. In fact, they only grew more intense. My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is something I've essentially structured my life around, so of course having a baby couldn't get in the way. I still have to wipe the counter and count the seconds. It's just what I do.
The Love I Have For My Partner
I loved my partner long before our babies entered the world, and will continue to long after they're grown and off on their own. There were periods of time when pregnancy demanded most if not almost all of my attention, and the love may have shifted or evolved, but our relationship definitely got better and stronger than before the pregnancies.
My Need For Alone Time
I love quiet time to myself; always have and always will. Being pregnant actually made me realize how important that time is. Once the first baby came, the quiet came less and less. Then, five years later with our second child, even less than that (a feat I truly didn't believe was possible, by the way). I've made having time to myself a priority in order to keep a level of sanity that I know wouldn't otherwise be there (and sometimes still isn't).
Pregnancy changes a lot about us as women, but it doesn't have to change everything. Hold onto what's important. Those might turn out to be the saving grace when the baby comes out and the world around you falls off balance, if only for awhile.