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What’s a Perfect Pregnancy?

When your perfect pregnancy expectations go awry, it actually prepares you to become a mom.

What’s a Perfect Pregnancy?

I always imagined my first pregnancy to be nine months of looking and feeling my best ever. I fantasized about flaunting my bump in beautiful, form-fitting dresses and rocking that quintessential glow. When I got pregnant with my daughter, Emma, I had totally mastered the art of bringing order to chaos. My life was finally a well-oiled machine, and I worked my ass off to get there. I was as mentally, physically, and practically prepared as I could ever be. So, of course my pregnancy would be perfect, right?

Uh, nope. As it turned out, that fantasy was a far cry from what really went down. I was so sick I could barely work, which really shook me to my core.

I was nauseous, constipated and fatigued (among other things), and the all these physical symptoms took a serious toll on my psyche. There were days I spent crying in bed, in part because I couldn’t stand the way I felt physically, but also because I knew I was being ungrateful. I couldn’t turn off my complaints even though I had this incredible blessing growing inside me. Bringing a child into the world is arguably life’s greatest gift, but this was no picnic.

I eventually realized that everything I was going through was re-shaping me in preparation for being a mother. From what turned out to be the most physically and emotionally stressful time of my life, I’ve learned the value of slowing down, of trusting, and of being able to ask for help (which was not my strong suit). And while viewing it all from a different context didn’t make the pain go away, it did allow me to feel empowered and deal with it more actively.

I called upon the resources that had helped me before. I seeked the support of my friends and family, worked hard to stay as healthy as possible throughout my pregnancy, and took the time to unwind through meditation and prayers. I learned to surrender to the uncontrollable and discovered that self-acceptance isn’t a state of being, but a practice. On particularly rough days, I cultivated the discipline to live in the moment. Every moment of physical and emotional pain yielded patience or flexibility or gratitude—invaluable things I now know I need to access on the daily as a new mom.

Emma was worth every bit of pain and discomfort it took to get her here—and to learn these powerful lessons. She was the inspiration and driving force during my pregnancy, and now as my little girl, she continues to be the shining star guiding me through life’s unknowns. When everything seems to be falling apart, I look to her innocence in awe and gratitude, and I just breathe.

Photography by Amy Frances for Well Rounded NY.

In This Article

    Why right now is the best time for a drivable getaway

    Flexible schedules mean more vacation options. 🙌

    Looking back now, last winter feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, my husband and I were eagerly planning our summer vacation just as we've done in years past. You know how the next part goes: COVID-19 came into the picture and changed our plans not only for vacationing, but for so much else in life.

    In the time since then, we've gained a truly valuable new perspective on what matters—and realized we don't have to look so far to make beautiful memories with our kids. By exploring getaways within driving distance of our home, we've developed a new appreciation for the ability to "pack up the car and go."

    Of course, that isn't to say that travel is the carefree adventure it once was. With COVID-19 still a very big part of the equation, we've become much more diligent about planning trips that allow for social distancing and exceed cleanliness standards. That's why we've exclusively turned to Vrbo, which helps us find nearby accommodations that meet our new criteria. Better yet?

    Thanks to the money we've saved by skipping air travel and our remote-friendly work schedules, we're able to continue with the trips throughout the fall.

    Here are a few more reasons we believe it's a great time for drivable getaways.

    Flexible schedules allow us to mix work + play.

    After months of lockdown, my family was definitely itching for a change of scenery as the summer began. By looking at drivable destinations with a fresh set of eyes—and some helpful accommodation-finding filters on Vrbo—we were able to find private houses that meet our needs. (Like comfortably fitting our family of five without anyone having to sleep on a pull-out couch!)

    With space to spread out and feel like a home away from home, we quickly realized that we didn't need to limit our getaways to the weekends—instead we could take a "Flexcation," a trip that allows us to mix work and play. Thanks to the ability to work remotely and our kids' distance-learning schedule for the fall, we're planning a mid-week trip next month that will allow us to explore a new destination after clocking out for the day.

    We’re embracing off-season deals.

    With Labor Day no longer marking the end of our vacationing season, we're able to take advantage of nearby getaways that mark down their rates during the off season. For us in the Mountain West, that means visiting ski-town destinations when the leaves are falling rather than the snow. By saving money on that front, we're able to splurge a bit with our accommodations—so you can bet I search for houses that include a private hot tub for soaking in while enjoying the mountain views!

    Vacationing is a way to give back.

    If we've learned one thing this year, it's that life can change pretty quickly. That's given us a new appreciation for generous cancellation policies and transparent cleaning guidelines when booking trips. By seeing both of these things front and center in Vrbo listings along with reviews from fellow travelers, I feel confident when I hit the "book now" button.

    Beyond that, I know that booking a trip through Vrbo isn't only a gift to my family. On the other side of the transaction, there are vacation home owners and property managers who appreciate the income during these uncertain times. What's more, taking getaways allows us to support our local economy—even if it's just by ordering new takeout food to enjoy from our home away from home.

    While "looking ahead" doesn't feel as easy as it once did, I am confident that there will be a lot of drivable getaways in our future.

    This article was sponsored by Vrbo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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