A Letter to My Pregnant Self

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Dear Pregnant Self,

I know you have prepared for this pregnancy. You’ve read all the books, taken classes, and asked all the questions. You’ve always been such a good student (read control freak). You want to control all the variables. So what I am about to tell you, sweet pea, will burst your bubble.

You can’t prepare for what’s about to happen. Because nothing on this planet can prepare you for the seismic shift that motherhood is!

But let’s talk pregnancy first. 

Morning sickness will knock the wind out of you, and you will pray for the day that you can smell anything without throwing your guts out. You will lay in bed for hours tormented by pregnancy insomnia. You will hate the word “night” because of the incessant cramps darkness seems to bring. And within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, your dreams of regular exercise will go out the window. You will want to hold on and control your symptoms. But ruthlessly, pregnancy will teach you that you need to let go.

You will be reminded repeatedly that there is something bigger happening inside you. And there is very little you can do to control it. I am here to tell you that it’s 𝘖𝘒. Not everything needs to be controlled. Some things need to be experienced. Be thankful for what your body is doing and go with the flow. You’ll be much happier. 

And listen, complications in your pregnancy are NOT your fault. Your baby’s genetic screen is not abnormal because of that one drink before you knew you were pregnant. Your gestational diabetes is not your fault. Stop killing yourself over it. And eating fish three times a day despite being a vegetarian is not going to help. Your guilt is not going to make your baby healthier. Trust the process. 

And while we are talking about preparing, could you have ever prepared for a global pandemic? Or not having your mom around to witness your child’s birth? Not having the birth team you picked? Or needing an emergency induction? NOPE. So you know, trust the process. Go with the flow.

Now on to the baby things. No one cares whether your baby’s hat matches their outfit. Those little newborn shoes will not see the light of the day. Crib designs are irrelevant because that’s not where your baby will sleep (no matter how hard you try). All the beautiful onesie prints you have bought (and keep folding, repeatedly, every day) will be covered in spit-up stains when your munchkin is one week old. And don’t even think about cloth diapering. You’ll barely survive changing your pads. Mother Earth will forgive you for this one time!

I think I have to be upfront with you. If you think pregnancy is unpredictable, you are in for a ride with this parenting thing. None of the things in “baby books” will make any sense when your baby wakes you up screaming at 3 a.m. for the seventh time in a single night. You will have no idea what to do when your baby cries for hours for seemingly no reason.

Not long from now, the worry for your child will be so overwhelmingly debilitating that all of the pre-baby worries will seem irrelevant. You will worry about his weight, height, hair, and surprisingly enough..his poops. Yes, you will obsess over his poops. You will worry about his milestones, health, and every little bump.  You will worry about things you didn’t even know you could worry about. 

No cliche has ever been truer than the one “The days are long, but the years are short.” Motherhood is flawlessly chaotic, as you will realize. It is raw, painful, heartfelt, and blissful all simultaneously.

It’s long nights, tiring days, wasted meals, canceled plans, and endless work. Some days you will want your old life back, your body back, and your freedom back (it does not make you a bad mom, it makes you human). ⁣Yet, every day you will stare at the pictures gallery on your phone for hours and tear up knowing that your baby is growing up so fast. You will wait for the day to end so you can finally sit down and beg for the time to pause so you can savor every moment. 

And you don’t know it yet, but you’re about to embark on a journey to discover yourself—your real authentic self.

Carrying, birthing, and raising a tiny human will help you learn more about yourself than anything else. You’ll doubt yourself more than you ever have. You’ll feel vulnerable and exposed, but you will grow stronger and clearer each day. There is no recipe that I can give you to navigate parenthood. Because I am future you and I still don’t know. But almost two years into this thing, I know that there is no “answer.” It’s not the goal of raising a “good human” that parenting is all about. It’s the process of growing with the child. 

Just remember that you are exactly what your baby needs. 

Love, Your Future Self 

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Nidhi lives in Mamaroneck with her husband Chandan and their baby Ishaan. She is a Women’s Health Physical Therapist and specializes in working with women during pregnancy, after childbirth, and the years beyond. She understands (through clinical and personal experience) how hard pregnancy and motherhood can be on a woman’s body. Her passion is to empower women to prevent problems before they happen, know when (and how) to get the care, and always feel at home in their bodies. Nidhi practices locally in Mamaroneck NY and in Midtown Manhattan. Along with helping women in her clinic, she also speaks at local libraries, childbirth education classes, and hospitals to debunk common myths and spread awareness about pelvic health. In her free time (which there isn’t a lot of), she loves exercising, hiking, learning ballet, and planning vacations. Connect with Nidhi through her Instagram page @thinkbeyondpain (and learn everything about pelvic floor and pregnancy) or visit her clinic website to work with her at www.funcphysio.com.

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