Fit Pregnancy Part 2: Spiritual, Mental & Emotional Health

So, the countdown has begun at our house. Only four weeks left until our new addition arrives. I’m starting to get excited and nervous all at the same time. You would think that with my second child I would feel more at ease, but I’m not. I’m actually freaking out! It’s ridiculous. I think what worries me the most is how my daughter is going to adjust. I’ve been trying to prepare her mentally and emotionally by letting her be involved with getting the baby’s room ready and washing the baby’s clothes. We read books about being a big sister. And of course she kisses and pats my belly telling the baby she loves him, although I’m not so sure she doesn’t think we’ve just been playing a silly game of Let’s Rename Mommy’s Belly Button and Talk to It.

Last week I talked about having a fit pregnancy with diet and exercise. This week is Part II: having a “fit” spiritual, mental, and emotional pregnancy. For me, this part of the pregnancy comes a lot harder, at least this time. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I felt so in touch with God. I prepared spiritually by praying every day, usually multiple times a day. I prayed for my daughter’s physical development, as well as her character that she would be molded and shaped into the little being that God wanted her to be. I prayed for myself, that God would give me strength during my pregnancy and labor. I did devotions everyday, finding great comfort and support from reading my Bible. It’s as simple as that; I felt prepared spiritually to have a baby.

If you asked me if I felt spiritually prepared for this baby to arrive I would say no. (I can’t tell you the last time I had personal devotions outside of reading my daughter her Bible story books and singing “Jesus Loves Me.”) Now my prayers go a little like this: “Dear God, please remember this baby inside of me, help him to be O.K. I love You. Amen.” Isn’t that the saddest thing? I think it’s a little depressing. So I’ve got four weeks left to get it together spiritually. Do you think I can do it? No, neither do I, but I still know I have a connection with God. I know He is preparing for me a beautiful baby. And even though I may not be one-on-one with Him, the work I’m doing to prepare my daughter to be a princess of the Kingdom connects me to God in a way I could never have experienced without having had a child already.

Yes, I do feel prepared mentally. In fact, this is going to be “old hat” for me––at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Deep down in my heart I know it’s probably going to be completely different. Anyways, I will just stay in denial until the baby arrives to prove me wrong. O.K., so I know I’m going to be severely sleep deprived. There is no way to prepare mentally for that. During my first pregnancy someone told me that getting up during the night for those frequent bathroom trips helped prepare for the sleepless nights. That’s really not true since that’s a five-minute deal. Feeding, changing diapers, rocking, etc. takes a lot longer. Getting the room ready and washing the baby’s clothes are all great to prepare mentally. In fact, I washed my first load of baby clothes today, and oh, how I love the smell of baby detergent!

Getting prepared emotionally to have a baby can be challenging too. Not only are your emotions on a rampage when you’re pregnant; sometimes they tend to control you. And the whole pregnancy is really an emotional journey leading up to the very end, which is the best part of course! Sometimes it can be hard on pregnant women emotionally mainly because of hormones. Plus, everyone you meet feels they have a free ticket to comment about you and your size. (All you pregnant ladies out there know what I mean.) So a couple of weeks ago my husband read me this quote by Miss Piggy, and it’s become my new motto: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” Don’t you just love Miss Piggy? That quote gave me warm fuzzies all over (Ha, Ha).

In the end, there is no one particular way that is right or wrong to prepare spiritually, mentally, or emotionally for a baby. It’s just as unique and individual as you are and as your baby (or babies) will be. So do what feels natural to you, and let God lead you through this amazing nine-month journey!