Hello!­­­  My name is Sara, and I’d like to introduce myself before delving into my experiences and thoughts related to pregnancy.  I am 32 years old and pregnant with my first child.  I am a native of the Pacific Northwest, educated as a health care professional, enjoy running, cooking, friends/family and hanging out with my husband.  I now spend a large amount of my mental energy trying to prepare for the arrival of this baby, which can be a challenge to balance with all of my other former interests. Although I’ve spent a fair amount of time around babies and small children throughout my life, between cousins and babysitting and more recently, nieces and nephews, it’s been surprising to discover just how much I didn’t know about the science of pregnancy, options of birth, and then infinite variety of approaches to everything that comes after.  Moving from processing the fact that I was suddenly part of the pregnant-woman club to exploring what that meant for me physically and emotionally and then trying to anticipate the months to come has been a zero to sixty ride.  I don’t think that I’m alone in experiencing whiplash from this transition.  I’m also sure that I have plenty of company in women who have expected that pregnancy would be like most anything else they’ve tackled in their lives.  For the most part, this assumption has been erroneous, which has been enormously difficult to adapt to at times.  I’ve had to wrap my head around being a participant, not a leader.  I’ve had to accept that a lot of my questions won’t have firm answers, that the wealth of information includes lots of contradictions, that rationality and even science can be obscured by liability and public opinion, and that none of this is going to change when I’d like it to- namely now, when I need it. The hard-earned lesson that I’ve learned is that I have to let go of expecting one answer for any particular question.  I think that all you can do is take the time to learn about the proactive things you can do, make the best choices you can and remember that you’re not alone in this time in a grey area.  Also, remember that there’s a precious little life developing inside you, and try to focus on that little light when the trials of pregnancy start to weigh you down.  That’s what I try to do, 33 weeks into this journey- focus on the goal, appreciate the incredible process that it takes to get there, and enjoy the kicks and flutters that remind me of who I’m doing this for.