When I found out I was pregnant with my baby girl last summer, like any mom to be (who had been trying for a little while) I was absolutely ecstatic. I knew it would have been very normal if it had taken some time for me to feel bonded with the little creature growing in my belly, but I was in love from the moment I squinted very hard at that incredibly faint second line on my pregnancy test.
I was also, of course, more than a little nervous-- not just about the momentous change my life would undergo but also simply about how I would get through the next 9 months. My mom had had horrible morning sickness with all three of her kids, and they say you can often expect your pregnancy to mirror that of your mother's. Plus, I'm kind of a wimp and I really hate being sick. I suspected I'd be one of those women who spent so much of their first trimester puking that they actually lost weight in the beginning (which might actually make it worth it).
The early days of my pregnancy seemed to confirm my fears. I spent that first week feeling grossed out by thought of eating and drinking much of anything beyond saltines. I constantly felt nauseous and on the edge of throwing up. I even googled "feels like a balloon inflated inside me", which helped me figure out that I was bloated for the first time in my life. It was the most physically uncomfortable I'd ever been, all before my baby had even progressed beyond the tadpole stage and before I had even gained a pound. I figured it was going to be an incredibly long 40 weeks, but then... Just as quickly as the sick and miserable phase began, it passed. And then I actually felt really awesome! No more sickness, a normal appetite, a decent amount of energy (which is to say, I wasn't any more or less lazy than I normally am). Don't hate me, but I ended up being one of those (admittedly sometimes obnoxious) women who'll tell you they absolutely loved pregnancy.
Here are my top ten favorite things about being pregnant:
- It truly is the miracle of life. You get to experience the awe-inspiring magic of growing a little person from scratch, and I can't think of anything more amazing. Okay, enough of the mushy stuff...
- Your partner basically becomes your personal assistant. In my case, my husband (a.k.a. That Daddy Guy) made an excellent manservant, making trips to the store to fulfill my cravings, massaging my swollen legs and feet, and just generally indulging all my pregnant whims (babe, if you're reading this, I love you!)
- People have to give you their seats on public transportation, and if they don't, you're allowed to give them the stink eye. I miss this perk every time I hop on an overcrowded NYC subway, and I'm sometimes tempted to "let it all hang out" and see if my post baby body can trick anyone into letting me sit down. But, I probably actually don't want to find out how well that might work.
- People let you cut them in line for public restrooms, at the supermarket, etc. My Target runs were so much faster when I had an obvious baby bump (no less expensive, however).
- You have a valid reason to cancel your gym membership. I paid for an absurd number of months too many after I stopped going because I had to cancel in person, and I didn't really want to deal with it. I finally handled it when I was about 4 months along. This conversation: "The reason for canceling?"..."My doctor told me avoid strenuous activity, so I can't work out." Was a lot less embarrassing than this one would have been: "The reason for canceling?" "I'm just a very lazy person. And I don't like sweating. Or fitness."
- Never having to "suck it in", because you're supposed to have a belly. I really miss this one as well, though not enough to exercise or wear Spanx.
- No one can criticize you for wearing the same 3 outfits over and over again, because they are all that fits. As D-day approached, even most of my maternity clothes stopped fitting. I was basically down to two body-con Old Navy dresses and a pair of black pants from Target that needed to be hiked up every 5 minutes, and I'm still not sure if that's because they were too big or too small.
- You're the center of attention pretty much everywhere you go. This one can be a double-edged sword, because I don't think any woman enjoys having her belly rubbed by strangers, but it's nice to see how much joy your baby inspires before it's even entered the world.
- Someone is always bringing you presents. This seems to be doubly true when you're having a little girl, when people go nuts buying outrageously cute little dresses, shoes, and hair accessories. Someday when my daughter is invited to her first formal ball, she'll have quite a selection of gowns to choose from- provided she can squeeze into a size 18 months.
- Napping becomes a lot more acceptable. I may or may not have had a pillow and blanket stored in my desk at work, and I may or may not be able to tell you the 5 most comfortable places to lay down in the newsroom (while on lunch break, of course).
I know every pregnancy is different, but I feel really lucky that I was able to enjoy mine so much. Baby Johnson #2, even though you're just a twinkle in your father's eye right now, please don't make me eat my words!