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  • Writer's pictureNelly Thiessen

Naive and Pregnant

I didn’t realize how different I’d feel after being almost full term with my third baby vs my first. In so many ways, I wish I could turn back time and do this all over with the same mindset I had when I was 19 and pregnant with my first.

Now looking back, I was so naïve with my first pregnancy. Henry and I were married for a year and a half and never really discussed what our family dynamic would look like. We got married at 18 and 20, and deciding to get married was all we were really set on at the time. We knew we’d eventually like kids but never discussed when or how many. We might casually throw out a number like 2 or 3 kids would be nice, but never any serious discussions. I still don’t know what started this conversation one evening, but I remember mentioning to Henry how it’d be “fun” having a baby. I’m smiling as a write this because most people know that having a baby is so much more than “fun”. It absolutely is fun in so many ways, but having a baby is also so much more than just fun. The thought process of not thinking about anything besides “fun” when deciding to start a family really sheds light on my naivety and age at the time.


Fast forward 3 months after having the “fun” conversation with Henry, I was pregnant with my first baby. I wasn’t feeling so much fun during this time. I had hyper gravidarum and was in the hospital twice due to dehydration. This was something I had never heard of until I went through it. I knew about the dreadful morning sickness that all of my baby apps mentioned and said would only last throughout the first trimester, but all-day nausea and vomiting throughout my entire pregnancy caught me off guard. This pregnancy wasn’t fun. I also happened to notice my petite frame didn’t stick with me like the cute pregnant ladies on Pinterest. I gained 40 pounds, and this, too, surprised me. After I became pregnant, I read that women gain about 25 lbs, most being weight from baby, increased blood volume, placenta and water weight. Was this a joke?!

My labour was pretty textbook, about 6 hours long, and painful, as I suspected, but I opted for the epidural, so I napped for about half of it. Looking back now, I can’t believe how calm and collected I felt. I walked into that hospital with no birth plan; I planned to do “whatever felt right”. I was pretty sure I’d get an epidural, but that was it as far as my planning went. I never researched epidurals or even knew what the needle looked like. I didn’t know I’d be getting a catheter or that I wouldn’t be able to walk for some time after labour. I am thankful I opted for the epidural, and my labour went well with no complications, but I do wonder if this would have been the outcome if I had done more research or was aware of how HUGE the needles are. That being said, I am not ruling out an epidural this time around, but I do feel a bit more anxious about it this time.


Pregnancy and labour aside, bringing your first baby home is exhilarating. I felt in awe, exhausted, and overwhelmed but so, so happy all at the same time. I knew absolutely nothing about newborns. Again, I had no plan. I took every day, every milestone over the next few months, day by day, as they came. I hadn’t put any thought into whether I’d be giving my baby a pacifier or bottles if I’d be co-sleeping or sleep training, baby food or baby-led weaning. I just felt it out and did what felt right at the time. So, to sum everything up, Henry and I put zero thought into pregnancy, labour, how our financial status would change/be on hold for the next few years or what type of parents we might be.


My thought process of bringing a human life into this world might sound terrifying to type A moms who have done all of the research possible, those moms with set birth plans and formed opinions and a super solid financial plan, but I think my experience was the biggest blessing in disguise. I’m not recommending anyone pregnant or thinking about having their first baby dive right in without any understanding of what is to come, but for me, personally, diving into motherhood at 20 and clueless with a go-with-the-flow mindset was the absolute best thing because I’m not sure if I’d be a mother today had I waited another 5-10 years. I think the anxiety surrounding parenthood and having a better understanding of everything that could possibly go wrong would have turned me off to the idea of having a baby. Henry and I were so clueless about budgeting and handling our money at the time; I think that if we had waited until we felt “financially ready,” we would have never been ready. We did have our own house, car, and secure jobs, but I’m still grateful that we dived into parenthood without the pressure of comparison and anxiety about not being rich enough to have a family. When Hazel came along, we just made it work somehow. Conversations around parenthood and womanhood have also changed so much. Singleness, independence, and child-free lives have been glamourized a lot more over these past few years as well. There is nothing wrong with these things; I just think I would have been influenced by some of the luxuries that come with being child-free, not realizing how special motherhood is.


Being almost full term for the third time and most likely last time has really made me reminisce and think about how not so long ago, I was pregnant for the very first time. I am so excited to bring this baby boy into the world, but I now know what type of obstacles lie ahead. I also now know how much joy and love lies ahead. Something I couldn’t have fathomed before becoming a mom. In so many ways, I wish I could put on those rose-tinted glasses again that I wore with Hazel. I am thankful for the wisdom and learning that has come with each pregnancy and child, but I wish I had savoured being a first-time mom just a little bit more.

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