It’s easy to gripe about the scary/hard/uncomfortable/annoying parts of pregnancy, especially as the end draws near, but I want to remember the positive parts, too, so I’ve composed a list:
No period - For those who dread their monthly visit from Aunt Flo, and the emotional upheaval she causes, pregnancy is a beautiful reprieve (I’ve heard for some folks it doesn’t come back until after they stop breastfeeding…here’s hoping!).
Pampering yourself - Now’s the time to do it, before you’re changing someone else’s Pampers, right? I’ve never been good at taking it easy, but every mom I know said to take advantage of the last free time I’ll have and be good to myself. So, I’ve been chillin’ – doing yoga, reading, relaxing, resting, eating well, and I feel great. Ready for anything. I highly recommend prenatal massage at a place that has the special beds and pillows – you can actually lay face down for the first time in nine months. Aaaaahh……
Weight gain is good - Though I’ve never been too obsessive about my weight (I don’t even own a scale), it was still shocking to see never-before-reached numbers appearing with each visit to the doctor’s office. But it’s all for the baby. In fact, they wanted me to gain more, so in just the week since I started maternity leave, I’ve gained almost three more pounds. Bring it on!
New body, new wardrobe – I’m not much of a shopper, but I have many generous friends who have just gone through pregnancy, so I was the beneficiary of a ton of new-for-me maternity clothes. Some are really fun, and you can pull off stuff you might normally never consider. Take the swimsuit. I’m sure next season will hit me like a saggy slap in the face, but this summer I’m embracing my accentuated curves. No one’s looking at your cottage cheese thighs when you’re carrying a watermelon and two canteloupes on top. Bear it all, and take pictures!
Cute stuff – Again, I don’t like to shop normally. In fact, if you ask my husband, I’m a tightwad. But who can resist baby stuff? It’s all so soft and fluffy and adorable and fun. And then your friends and family throw showers and get the baby even more cute stuff. And you imagine your baby’s cute little body in there and it’s all so cute your heart wants to explode. (Man, if I had read that before I was pregnant, I probably would have gagged…)
The Mom’s Club – Pre-prego, I would completely check out when my mom friends would get together and start gabbing baby talk. What?…mucous plug?… meconium?…I don’t know what you’re talking about, but it’s disgusting. I feared ever becoming that person. Now, I can’t get enough. I want to gather stories and exchange information with every mom I meet, even total strangers. Yes, the alien host takes over not only your body but your mind.
Attention – I usually avoid being the center of attention at all costs. My husband and I basically eloped to avoid standing in front of throngs of people staring at us. But as a pregnant person, you are hard to miss. Now that I’m big enough the belly cannot be ignored, I am the recipient of all sorts of attention. I thought I’d hate it, but it’s kind of nice. Strangers pull out their kids’ photos in post office lines, new parents stroll by with meaningful eye contact and knowing smiles, people comment on how beautiful I am, always mentioning “the glow” (never mind that it’s probably sweat from being so damn hot and heavy, but I’ll take the compliment). Friends and family are checking in regularly. I’ve reached a whole new level of acceptance with my in-laws. I guess I like it because it’s not really about me, it’s about the baby, and everyone is excited about a new baby.
Anticipation – First, there’s the waiting to find out if you’re pregnant, then finding out the gender, and then waiting for the big day. Now that his arrival is right around the corner, the waiting is killing me, but really this is one of the biggest gifts in life to look forward to. There aren’t too many mysteries left that science can’t answer and even the doctors can’t tell you how and when your body and your baby know when “it’s time”. Amazing!
New Relationship Territory - Pregnancy has been a special time with the spouse, sharing our hopes and dreams and fears about becoming parents. I get a little nervous when he talks about crate training and electric shock collars, but overall, it’s made me see and appreciate a whole new side of my Big Man. Nothing turns you on like hearing your husband daydream about future life as a father. And nothing turns him on like your new curves.
Creating Life – This is stating the obvious, but the best thing about being pregnant is that there’s a real live baby growing in there, and I am his whole world. Watching videos like Life’s Greatest Miracle and reading books like Your Pregnancy Week by Week have made me realize just how phenomenal it is that my body can do this. And though I’m ready to meet him face to face, I will miss the strange sensation of his tiny body moving within me, and knowing this is the closest any two human beings can ever be, literally attached to one another. Not to mention it’s the last time I’ll always know exactly where he is and that he’s safe. So, even though it’s uncomfortable, I will enjoy this bond these last couple weeks (or days?!) before he becomes his own little person in the world.