From the beginning of pregnancy you are labeled. Whether you’re sharing the news or keeping it a secret, whether you’re showing or not showing, people want to chime in with their two cents. How are you doing? How are you feeling? You wonder if you’re saying the right thing, if you’re feeling the right way. If you’re feeling sick, are you too sick? And if you’re feeling great, is the baby progressing normally?

As a little girl, I never dreamed about my future husband or children. Truthfully, I didn’t even find children that interesting and thought marriage was filled with chaos (gives you some insight into my upbringing).

I didn’t spend my time dreaming about how I wanted things to be; I simply chose to do things that made me happy.

Fast-forward to my adult life, and I now realize this way of being is what really helped me focus my attention on myself — not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that kept me from comparing myself to others. One that allowed me to follow my dreams, find my strengths, and explore my passions — passions that have led me to what is now The Fullest.

I’ve always been a curious person and used social media as a tool to share about myself, to create, or to discover small brands, people, art, music, etc. to share with our audience. After finding out I was pregnant, however, I found myself looking at others who were pregnant, comparing myself — criticizing myself. Is my bump too big for how far along I am? What is the norm? How far along are they? Am I working out too much or too little? Am I eating enough protein? Am I taking the right kind of prenatals? One person told me I looked small for how far along I was and I actually enjoyed it. WTF? I’m creating life — who cares what size bump I’m rocking!?

What happened to the girl who didn’t care about what other people said?

Something that I had always admired about myself was slowly being sucked up by the world of social media.

Thankfully, through my strong spiritual practice I was able to stop myself from going too far deep down the rabbit hole. But it wasn’t easy, and it’s left me with a desire to really want to share this experience with others who are going through any transitional period in their life, pregnant or not. What innocently started out as a search for guidance, became an obsession that left me feeling less-than, validating myself on externalities.

Sure, it’s fun to share your experience and journey with others, but it’s also important to be aware of your thoughts, emotions, and intentions.

Letting go helped me love and respect my own journey and cherish the experience I am able to have in this particular moment of my life.

The farther along I was, I felt a deeper appreciation for my process. What a blessing it is for me to create another life with my body.

Nikki Bostwick is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fullest. She and her husband had their first child, Truth, this year, though her spoiled Siberian Husky, Cessna (@cessnathebabe) will always be the first born.

Set Design by Walden Design Co.

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