Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lessons :: How Has an Unexpected Pregnancy Affected Your Life?

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"Anonymous Childless Reader" asks,

"What changes are you making due to your unexpected pregnancy? What dietary changes have you had to make since you found out you were pregnant? Are you having to change your dreams or plans due to your pregnancy? If so, how? Also, do you feel that your relationships with your single friends are going to be affected now that you will have a child or are pregnant? I was a little worried about this at some point, but most of my friends already do have kids."

Hey ACR! Thank you so much for these questions. I'm sure others have been wondering these things too, but maybe are afraid to ask. I'm totally open though, so here we go!

In a word, yes. Pregnancy changes everything and I assume that's true even if you're prepared and planning for it. As you're aware, Brandon and I weren't expecting to become a threesome quite so soon, but one thing led to another and now we're getting ready to welcome a baby boy!

A lot of people have been confused because they thought I was on birth control since I never considered myself the motherly type. Let's just say that I was... but not the day our son was conceived. This may seem careless or irresponsible but after being on The Pill for so long (6-7 years) we didn't think it would happen so easily. We did discuss taking Plan B but instead decided to see what God had in store. We knew that we would be together forever anyway so we were both on board with whatever happened.

I recognize that many women struggle to get pregnant, while we weren't even trying. My doctor remarked that our exact situation is rare. I don't take this for granted at all and I'm really grateful that we're able to bring life into this world. My mother was actually infertile before she had me and it took years of hoping and praying before I was born. Though her first reaction to my pregnancy was shock (and perhaps a tinge of disappointment since I'm not married) it didn't take her more than a few minutes to get excited about being a grandmother because she didn't know if she would ever have that chance.

One big change for B and me is that we are moving in with his mother. This was actually her idea and we're thankful for the opportunity to have a grandma around (though she insists that we call her GG, since it sounds cooler). B and I were planning on getting our own place anyway when his lease is up at our current house in July but since we now have an extra mouth to feed, it will be cheaper this way. We'll still be paying rent but it will be less than if we were to find our own apartment and the houses that we're looking at are a lot bigger than what we would have been able to afford on our own. We're signing a one-year lease but after that we'll probably get our own place. We haven't come up with a concrete plan for that yet because as we've learned, sometimes you gotta roll with the punches!

I've been pescetarian for awhile now but since I'm pregnant I've been more open to meat products. I'm not becoming a full-on omnivore but now I'll eat soup made with meat broth, etc. This is because I need to concentrate on my protein and iron intake more than ever. I don't want to become anemic and of course I want my baby to get enough nutrients too. I've been taking pre-natal vitamins which helps with this. There are a few things that pregnant women are not supposed to eat like sushi, shellfish, soft cheeses (bleu, feta, brie) and of course no alcohol or smoking. Also, I have completely given up on paleo. Two words: pregnancy cravings. Plus, for the first few months I was mostly surviving on crackers and soda. I plan to get back into it after I give birth, though, and start 2015 off with another Whole30.

When it comes to my dreams and career goals, I actually haven't had to change much. Even before I found out I was pregnant, I was planning on leaving my corporate job to concentrate on my writing and start my own business. I was also hoping to continue down the modeling path as well, but that has been put on hold. I'm not worried though because writing is my first love anyway, and modeling is more for fun. Getting to work from home is the perfect situation for me to raise my child, so the timing on that was lucky. I don't know what I would have done if I had decided to keep my "normal" job; I give major props to moms who decide to do this. Yes, we will be living with GG but she has her own career and life as well so I would not have been able to depend on her to watch our kid all day. That is not her responsibility anyway (though I'm sure she won't mind taking care of him if we want a date night in the future).

My friendships have already changed since I found out I was pregnant. Most people have been super encouraging and supportive of the idea but others have been negative and snarky. I have gotten a pretty interesting mix of feedback about my pregnancy, even though it is my body and my child. But, as I've mentioned before, women will always be judged -- whether they choose to get pregnant or not, go through with giving birth or terminate. Pregnancy and children have become so public and everyone seems to have an opinion. When I texted Dina that I was pregnant, she responded with, "I'm happy if you're happy." I thought that was perfect. Your friends should be on your side no matter what.

On top of that, I do think that friendships shift when any big life change happens. I have been through lots of changes over the years and I have made and lost many friends. I'm grateful for everyone who has come in and out of my life because I believe that you can learn and grow from any situation. I have definitely noticed that many friends seemed to fall off the face of the earth not only because I got pregnant but because I left my job. Since I didn't grow up in LA, most of the people in my life were met through work. Anytime I've left a job, I've noticed that I only stay close with one or two people, so this wasn't surprising for me. However, having a shrinking support system does suck. I'm really thankful that I have friends in Michigan that I've known for 10-20 years and, of course, my internet-turned-real-life buds. But, it's hard out here because most people my age aren't ready to settle down yet. That is perfectly fine but that leaves us with less in common than before. I used to be a single party girl but I'm not anymore, and many of my friends during that time haven't changed. I try to keep in touch with most of the people I used to hang out with but when they don't seem interested, I just let it go. Life goes on. I truly believe that what's meant to be will be and if someone is meant to stay in your life, they will make the same amount of effort as you. I wrote more about that here. I am just choosing to focus on those that have stuck around. :)

I hope this answers your questions and if you have any others feel free to email me!

*Photo found here.
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