4 Things I Learned in My Fourth Pregnancy

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Image via Chaunie Brusie j&j brusie photography

You might think that after having four pregnancies and working as a labor and delivery nurse, I might be just a little smug about my vast repertoire of pregnancy knowledge.

But you would be absolutely wrong.

It's precisely because I've worked in the field and have had so many kids, that I know when it comes to pregnancy, you can't ever be too prepared. Even my fourth pregnancy taught me a thing or two, like …

Every pregnancy is different

I went into my fourth pregnancy fully expecting an easy, uncomplicated pregnancy like my other pregnancies. Sure, I would gain a million pounds and look like I was birthing an elephant rather than a newborn, but it would be relatively smooth sailing. Um, not so much. I mean, I still gained a million pounds, but for the first time ever, I had some complications during the pregnancy that had my doctor pretty concerned about my baby's health and well-being–as well as my own. Bottom line? Every pregnancy is different, so be sure to listen to your body and go with a care provider you trust, should complications arise.

Theres no such thing as a “perfect” birth

For the first time ever, due to those pesky complications I mentioned, I had to be induced and let's just say I was not super graceful about it. I wanted my all-natural labor, no buts about it! But, like all things in motherhood, I had to learn to go with the flow, set aside my preconceived notions about what “perfect” moms do, and do what was best for my baby.

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The work doesn't end with pregnancy

I was so fixated on being done being pregnant this time around, that I was completely forgetting about how hard my body still had to work after pregnancy. I can't stress enough how important it is to give yourself plenty of time to recover and rest, especially if you're breastfeeding–that's an entirely different world in itself! Trust me, I get the desire to get back to “normal” and on a good schedule again, but the most important thing is to give yourself time to ease into that new normal–whatever it may be.

Help does not make you a bad mom

I am the worst at accepting help. The absolute worst. Today, I even hired a babysitter for the first time ever to help me while I worked from home and I felt too guilty to let her do anything. Sigh. This pregnancy, more than all my others (due to me getting sick after having the baby, having multiple complications during the pregnancy, and more work responsibilities) I have learned to accept some major help when offered to me–and it's been excruciating. It's not that I don't appreciate the help that my loved ones are willing to offer me, but I feel so guilty for needing it in the first place, and then guilty for them taking time out of their lives to help me. Shouldn't a good mom, especially a fourth-time mom, be able to do it all by now? Turns out, no, and accepting help as a mom might just be one of the best–and hardest–things you can do for you and your kids.

{ MORE: Creating Your Own Pregnancy Glow }

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4 Things I Learned in My Fourth Pregnancy

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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