Maybe you're expecting your first, maybe you're a five time champ, or maybe you have no babies on the horizon and are just curious what it's like. With two members of our team pregnant with quickly approaching due dates, we have the perfect opportunity to get a good perspective on what pregnancy and motherhood is like. This is Kirsten’s first baby and Melanie’s third, so they both have different amounts of experience with the subject. Something that I heard from both is that you don’t really know what it’s like until you experience it, but I figured I’d sit down with them and do my best to learn a little about this incredible time in their lives. Here’s what they had to say.
Kirsten, is pregnancy different from what you expected?
K: Yes, it’s different. It’s a lot harder than I thought. I wasn’t really too sick, so I can’t imagine being sick. And how do you be pregnant while having kids?!
M: Yep, it’s brutal.
K: In that aspect, it’s a lot harder. Everyone’s always like “Oh, your bump gets in the way” and [before I was pregnant, I’d say] whatever, but no, it really does! And I don’t think people really tell you how much energy it takes, so you’re just constantly exhausted.
Melanie, how is this pregnancy different from your past pregnancies?
M: I’ve been more sick with my girl, [especially] in the first trimester. Nausea has been around for most of my pregnancy, especially when I get hungry. For my boys, I was only sick for the first trimester. It’s definitely more challenging being pregnant with two crazy boys. Taking naps are a lot more far and in between. So now I put myself in my room and say “I’m having a time out. I’m setting a timer, go play for one hour while I sleep.”
Do you enjoy being pregnant? What’s your favorite part of being pregnant?
K: Yes! Feeling her move and just seeing your tummy move. I think it’s so fun.
M: I love being pregnant! One of my favorite parts is watching my stomach move. Pretty sure I’m addicted to filming her when she gets on her kicking streaks… she’s a wild one, that’s for sure. That’s something that will never get old, but I also love being able to eat whatever and not feel bad about it, or eat as much as I want.
K: You can’t get mad at me for eating five cookies.
M: Yeah, and people always [say] “Oh, go for seconds! You’re eating for two.” It’s like, alright, I’ll take that, I’ll eat an extra roll.
What’s the hardest part of pregnancy?
K: I would say for me, just being tired and not having energy to do things.
M: Putting on shoes in your third trimester…. I’ve given up and have switched to slip ons, much easier that way! Bending over in general is no bueno when you’re in your final stretch
K: I’ve tried to have Ben [K’s husband] do it a few times and he just cannot get my shoes on, so it ends up being like, “Okay, just stop, I’m just going to bend over and have it be awkward”, and I’ll hold my breath because you cannot breathe!
M: Shortness of breath is no joke. It’s like I just ran a mile after walking up the stairs.
K: Or when you’re talking a ton and have a long conversation, and you’re like “Oooh, man.”
A: It’s fine, it happens to me too, and I’m not even pregnant.
Is there anything you love that you’ve had to give up? Whether it’s something to do, to eat, or anything else?
K: Oh, I’ve been craving corn dogs! A Disneyland corn dog, specifically.
M: My jeans. I’m a huge jean lover and it’s been so sad putting those on the back burner for the past 9 months. And cookie dough, I love cookie dough.
K: I do agree with the jeans and with clothes, especially because I’m the person who doesn’t want to buy maternity clothes, so this [stretchy body con dress] is like the only thing I’ve bought since being pregnant. And a few tears have been shed.
M: Oh, me too.
K: And that’s one thing is that you’re getting bigger, so you kind of already don’t feel the prettiest, and then you can’t even wear your clothes, so you’re just stuck wearing, like, sweats all day. Which is fine, I mean, that’s pretty much what I wear anyways if we’re going to be honest. But then the times you do want to dress up, you can’t.
M: For me, there’s no in-between. It’s the everyday wear that’s hard for me, so I’m either super dressed up in a skirt or dress, or I just wear [exercise clothes].
Is there anything you wish you could change about your pregnancy or pregnancy in general?
K: This is my first time being pregnant, and obviously every pregnancy is different, so I don’t know if I would say I would change anything. I feel like I’ve been very lucky [when compared to other pregnancies]. Obviously, I wish I had more energy, but at the end of the day, you’re probably not going to.
M: The one thing I wish I could change, which I know physically is impossible, but if I could, I think it would be cool to let our spouses be pregnant for one day, just so they can feel what it’s like. I’m not saying Chad doesn’t have sympathy, because he’s really, really awesome, but just to see what it’s like, and how to sleep.
K: You really don’t understand it til you’re there. People will tell you things, but then you’re here and it’s like, oh wait, no, it really is hard work being pregnant.
Do you feel prepared to be a mother or to add a new member to your family?
K: I feel like you can never be fully prepared, but I have a ton of nieces and nephews, and my sister just had a baby, so I’ve been really noticing things more now, because I’m like, “This is going to be me.” But I think it’s going to be a reality check when I can’t give the baby back [like with nieces and nephews]. When she won’t stop crying, I have to be the one to fix it.
M: I’m definitely ready, especially since it’s a girl. This is it. I’ve been waiting for a girl for six freaking years. So yes, I’m definitely ready.
How has life changed since you’ve been pregnant and how do you expect it to change once you give birth?
K: I’m honestly just planning on my life turning upside down when I give birth. I can just expect the worst, not to make it sound bad, but expect that I’m not going to sleep, I’m probably not going to be able to get everything done that I want to, and just trying to tell myself now to be okay with that. I’m the kind of person where I want to get things done, and I hate when I don’t, so just trying to go in with the expectation that that’s probably not going to happen. I probably won’t be able to keep my house clean and do everything I want to, and that’s okay.
M: Since I’ve been pregnant, nothing’s really changed. Because I already have kids, I feel like not much will change [once I give birth]. I feel like obviously, it will probably be more stressful having a newborn and two other kids, but for the most part, what’s adding one more? I already have my system down. I feel like it won’t drastically change as much for me, versus a new-time mom…at least that’s what I hope!
Are food cravings as big of a deal as people say they are? What food cravings have you had?
K: I wouldn’t say I’ve had a ton. Ben thinks I have. For me, chocolate milk has always been my biggest thing that I always want. When I was first pregnant, like the first trimester, I couldn’t eat anything I normally ate. I couldn’t even look at it. And now, chicken depends on the day, but other meat, I really can’t do.
M: Along with food cravings, I feel like there’s also huge aversions to food. As much as I crave food, there’s also certain foods I can’t stand. For me at the beginning, it was Thai food. The smell of Thai food made me feel like I was going to throw up. During the first trimester, I craved pizza nonstop. Lately, I’ve craved sweets..... Gimme all the sugar. And STEAK. I could eat steak every single night. Give me a big ribeye. I always love protein when I’m pregnant.
Is there anything you wish someone would have told you?
K: I feel like I honestly didn’t know a ton.
M: I feel like one thing that people don’t talk about, and maybe it doesn’t happen for everyone -- it actually didn’t happen with my other two pregnancies -- but this pregnancy has been really hard mentally on me. Even though it’s been physically my easiest, I feel like it’s really easy to get down on yourself watching your body change so fast. I was depressed during the first few months, especially in the first trimester where [your body] is changing, but you’re not showing and no one can tell you’re pregnant.
K: Literally everything about you, and your body, and everything...everything changes! Your hormones are going crazy and you can’t keep up with any part of yourself.
M: And when you randomly cry. Yesterday, we were driving in the car and I was perfectly happy, and then I just started crying because I was looking at pictures. Chad asked if I was okay, and I’m like “It’s just pregnancy” *sniffles*. You hear people talk about it, but you don’t really understand it until you’re going through it and you just randomly can’t stop crying. Hormones are really weird when you’re pregnant.
What advice do you have for future mothers?
K: Like Melanie was saying, just don’t get hard on yourself, which is easier said than done. Every day, there’s something. For example, my face has broken out insanely since I’ve been pregnant. My friend’s an aesthetician and she’s been helping me, but you can’t do anything when you’re pregnant. She’s been helpful and tells me, you’re growing a baby! Your body and hormones are all changing. Just remember that you’re growing a human inside of you. That is incredible! No matter where you are in your pregnancy, if you accomplish one thing that day, good for you! Yeah, you had a million other things you wanted to get done, but the fact that you took time for yourself to go take a nap is good! You needed that. This is your time to just kind of be selfish and take time for you because once that baby comes, you’re not going to have the time for yourself; you’re going to have someone to take care of. So just finding the small victories. You want to do all these things and you just kind of can’t. With being so tired and exhausted, the smallest thing is a big victory.
M: That’s exactly what I was going to say. And to add to that, [there’s] one thing that someone told me that I really liked and has helped me appreciate being pregnant more. [Pregnancy] obviously has its pains, literally. Like physically, it’s hard to bend over, but this is the only time in your entire life where you get her, or him [to yourself], the only time you get to be selfish. So keeping that in the back of my mind helps pregnancy be a little better when it’s uncomfortable, especially getting into the third trimester. Like, she always kicks my ribs, and it hurts, but this is the only time that it’s just me and her, there’s that special bond. When she’s out, everyone gets to hold her, no one gets to feel what you feel. So that kind of makes my pregnancy more enjoyable. I only get you for a short amount of time, and you’re ALL mine, I don’t have to share you.
And Melanie's been loving skirts lately! We don't blame her, she rocks them!
Let’s hear it from you, mamas! Did you have similar experiences to Kirsten and Melanie or are there some things that were completely different for you? What were your favorite (and least favorite) pregnancy foods? What was the hardest thing for you, and what’s your favorite thing about pregnancy and motherhood?
A huge thank you to Kirsten and Melanie for taking the time to chat for this project. I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with these two and we’re going to miss Kirsten so much while she’s on maternity leave!❤️