Learnings from My First Pregnancy. Ft. Relish By Arielle

* We’re so excited to have Arielle Worona, from Relish by Arielle, as a guest writer. Many of you are probably already expecting, or are thinking about it, so we thought it would be helpful to hear her experience as a first-time mama. Also, feel free to add any comments or questions below.

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Pregnancy for me was one of the most stressful and amazing times of my life all at the same time.  

As excited as I was to become a mom, looking back, I spent the better part of all 9 months wondering what to expect like a neurotic, anxious mess. 

I couldn't shake the fact that so many things could go wrong at any moment and don't even get me started on my initial thoughts on the actual birth process itself. Petrified can not even begin to explain where my head was at when it came to thinking about the physical act of actually going through labor. 

But as cliche as it sounds, all of my fears melted away when I first met our daughter, Naiya. She arrived via emergency c-section after an induction that did not go as planned on August 30, 2017. 

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When I held her for the first time, it was as if I was seeing my heart in tiny human form beating outside of my body. The world around us melted away and I immediately promised myself to stop focusing on all of the pain I was in because it was all so much more than worth it. Naiya is, hands-down, the best thing that's ever happened to me and it's hard to believe she's already close to two.

If I could go back and start my whole pregnancy over, there are a lot of things I would have done differently. For those of you who are pregnant now or thinking of getting pregnant in the near future, it's my hope that the below list will inspire you:

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Take CARE OF YOU

For starters, I'd tell myself to breathe a lot more and realize that so much throughout pregnancy is out of our control that there's no use spending all of our time and energy worrying about it. I'd get all the prenatal massages, go on as many kid-free trips as possible and I would've slept in as many weekends as possible.

Make time for “Us”

I would've gone on so many more dates with my hubby. I remember feeling exhausted all the time while I was carrying Naiya but the truth is, until I actually had her, I had no idea the level of exhaustion that was to come! 

PLAN AHEAD

I also would've gone a bit of a different route when it came to buying maternity clothes and baby items for Naiya. 

Throughout Naiya's pregnancy, I don't believe I bought one maternity item--I just sized up. While this method totally works for most of your pregnancy, new mamas to be: please know that it's okay to splurge on at least one pair of really amazing maternity jeans if they make you happy or pieces that spark joy for your baby's nursery.

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Along these lines, I would've loved to utilize the help of a company like Reel. I'm loving this online shopping one-stop shop because it helps you to set your sights on something you really want to buy that's not quite attainable in a one-time purchase. Especially when it comes to big-ticket nursery and baby items--strollers, cribs, etc. because while these items tend to be pricy, they could be totally affordable with a comfortable payment plan.

In having a new baby, stress is always amplified so it's important to keep everything as calm as possible around you and to pre-plan out finances so that you're able to accommodate for your growing family.

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Arielle Worona / Collaborator