Well, I’m 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant and according to my OB, baby is starting to make her way down and has dropped into the pelvis. As the reality sinks in that I’m about to have my second child, I find myself holding on tightly to staying pregnant as long as I can. Part of the reason is because I don’t plan on having a third child, so I know I won’t experience all the joys and pains of pregnancy again. And that makes me a bit sad. Pregnancy is truly a miracle… and I don’t want to forget what it’s like.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand the exhaustion, the sickness, the anxiety, watching the numbers on the scale going up and up and up… and by the third trimester, the troubles falling asleep, needing to pee, carrying a tennis ball in my purse so I can relieve my back and rib aches, and religiously taking a bath every night just to feel weightless and pain free for a few minutes of the day. But there are some wonderful sides of pregnancy, and I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5 blessings of being pregnant:
1) I Love Eating
Average weight gain during a normal single pregnancy should be between 25 to 35 pounds. With that said, when a pregnant woman has a craving… let her indulge in it. With my first child, I craved curly fries. That turned into craving eggs and cheese on toast every morning, and then I just wanted anything dairy. Yogurt and ice cream, specifically. Everyday. Every night. (Note: I also ended up with 9 cavities and 2 root canals after that pregnancy…). With my second child, I started craving Mexican food in the first half of pregnancy. Guacamole, cheese, sour cream, steak… and then the remainder of my pregnancy has been CHOCOLATE. Peppermint hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, and all types of cheap to expensive chocolate candy… I just can’t resist. And I can’t stop either. For example, I ate this box today. Just in the past 12 hours.
Not good… and definitely not looking forward to my next dentist visit. But the best part is, who cares? Normally I try to eat pretty healthy, but since I’m gaining weight anyways and I’m within the normal weight gain range, I might as well eat what I want to eat! I love it, this is my time to indulge and I don’t feel guilty at all!
2) Why Hello, Stranger
Pregnancy is one of the rare socially acceptable times when strangers are just friendlier… and not in a weird or creepy way. Every few days or so, I’ll be out at the grocery store or just walking through the neighborhood, and a kind stranger will just say, “Congratulations,” or “You look beautiful,” or simply smile when their eyes make contact with my belly. People make more effort to hold a door open when I walk by, or pick up something I dropped on the floor. Even friends or acquaintances often ask to touch my belly. Of course, this would normally be very awkward and my shy self would probably quickly turn away. However, I love that being pregnant breaks down barriers and instead, sparks up conversations. Everyone just seems happier and more friendly around pregnant people.
3) It’s OK To Accept Help
In the third trimester, the belly is obviously reaching its maximum, and physically, you feel weaker and less capable of doing everyday things. For example, I bought two 2.5 gallon Arrowhead dispensers along with my normal groceries. At checkout, when the cashier asks if I need help to my car, I always answer, “No, thank you.” But when someone’s pregnant, the cashier asks in more of a “We’d really like to help you, and you should let us” tone, and they’re right. Pregnant woman shouldn’t be taking extra risks like carrying 40 pounds of water when our balance is completely off, and we should allow ourselves to have some help during this time. It takes a while to get used to, especially if you are like me and don’t ever ask for help… but when it is offered, I’ve learned to say, “Ok, sure.” At home, this has even translated to my husband offering to wash dishes after work at night to my 3-year-old daughter offering to help me put on my socks and shoes (which, by the way, is probably one of the hardest tasks of my day!). Just say yes, ladies. Let others help you!
Pregnancy is a time to slow down. That is something hard for me because I usually pack my days with activities and go go go. However, especially in the first and third trimester, pure fatigue kicks in and all you want to do is sleep. In the first trimester, I would sometimes arrive at my daughter’s preschool 10 minutes early, and I would instantly be able to take a 10 minute nap in the car. At home, I sometimes just fell asleep on the couch as my daughter worked on a puzzle next to me. I learned that I couldn’t pack my days as full as before, and now in the third trimester, I try to sleep whenever I can… sleeping soon after I put my daughter down, taking naps on the weekends, letting my husband show my daughter a video so I can close my eyes for an hour in the middle of the day.
If this is your first pregnancy and you don’t have to chase a toddler around, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR FREEDOM!!! Go to the movie theater, go out to fancy dinners that are not kid-appropriate, get a pre-natal massage, watch 5 seasons of a show non-stop, sleep all day if you’re tired!!! Splurge and get as much rest as you can!!! When we are pregnant, we need to listen to our bodies and rest. I think it’s our body’s way of preparing us before the newborn arrives… storing up as much sleep as possible! So don’t fight it. If you are pregnant, you have a very valid excuse for needing to relax! Enjoy it!
5) A Little Alien
By far, the best part of being pregnant is during the third trimester, when you can really feel your baby moving in your belly. There is no doubt when you feel a kick, or you see an elbow or knee gliding under the surface of your skin. Yes, it does seem a little strange and alien-like at first, but it is absolutely what I will miss most about being pregnant. A physical reminder that you are literally growing a tiny miracle inside of you. A real, human being. It is so amazing to feel that connection with your baby, knowing they can hear your voice, they can feel your warmth, and already sense your love and emotions for them. I wish I could capture more of my baby’s movements, but it is actually pretty hard since the movements are sporadic. Here is a short glimpse of my little one:
Technically, I have two and a half more weeks until my due date, but I think this one is going to come early. Hopefully only a week early. Of course, I can’t wait to meet her in person and hold her in my arms. However, until then, I am cherishing every single second having her inside my belly. I am going to miss being pregnant!!!