One of my goals this holiday season (and in life) is to count my blessings more often and stop focusing on what’s not perfect. I went into pregnancy with the attitude I probably wouldn’t like it. I would glance at women in their 3rd trimester and think OMG that looks so effing uncomfortable, fast forward to my 3rd trimester and I was right! I wish I embraced pregnancy more but I was a hormonal wreck plagued with every possible pregnancy related issue.
Starting a family is one of the most rewarding and equally challenging experiences. It’s essential to take note of all the wonderful aspects, especially when you’re bogged down by stress and anxiety.
My best friend sent me a picture of her baby bump (she lives in another state) and I was ecstatic! It reminded me that being pregnant can be wonderful. I decided to look back on pregnancy with fondness. (Never thought I'd do that!)
Pregnancy glow, feeling beautiful, and bursting with energy didn’t make the list. I didn’t have that type of pregnancy. Some women truly love pregnancy and thrive; I am not one of them. Here is a reminder to myself (if I do it again) and a note to other women that there are perks to being pregnant.
Cozy maternity clothes. Maternity clothes are luxuriously comfortable! Many women get acclimated to uncomfortable but stylish clothes; I was the poster child for this. You wouldn’t see me in heels under 5 inches. During pregnancy I embraced the excuse to stop wearing heels and based all my outfits on comfort rather than how I looked. Even post-pregnancy I have adopted this attitude a bit more. I have chosen to wear flats a lot more often because I enjoyed it so much. I never stored my maternity sweatpants because I still wear them from time to time.
Lots of attention. This is a curse and a blessing. For the purposes of this post, I’ll focus on the blessing. Everyone wants to know everything. While extremely annoying at times; it’s nice to be celebrated among family and friends. Everyone wants to see you, hear how you're doing, talk about babies/pregnancy, and all the happy blessings. It's like the holidays but for 10 months: you see everyone/celebrate and all the conversations are happily spirited.
A break from bad habits. It’s hard to give up excessive coffee drinking, wine with the girls, processed meats, and staying up way too late on a weeknight engrossed in some project. That being said, it's nice to be forced into having a break from all these things. I feels good to be extra healthy.
You're spoiled. I have the most amazing husband. When I was pregnant he spoiled me constantly (as a partner should). A cupcake from Sprinkles just because I was craving one. Doing chores for me when I’m fighting pregnancy fatigue. While we were on our babymoon he bought me a Tory Burch purse just because I was having a rough month with pregnancy related acid reflux and indigestion. My mom and sisters spoiled me as well taking me shopping for maternity clothes or brunching at my favorite restaurants.
Laziness is embraced. There is no other time in your life (aside from a negative life event such as illness or grieving) when you can have a guilt-free nap in the middle of the day. You can choose to sloth around in sweatpants and no one gives a shit. You didn't finish that project? Oh well. You're effing pregnant, it's understandable!! It's an all-access pass to do nothing (when you're able).
Excitement. There is nothing more exciting than decorating a nursery, guessing whether you’re having a boy or a girl, or going to bed/waking up and wondering if “today is the day.” The adrenaline and happiness accompanying a pregnancy is incredibly unique from anything else I’ve experienced.
Stylish maternity clothes. It's not a total oxymoron. We are blessed to be pregnant during a time when maternity clothes have evolved to be as fashionable as possible. You can still wear skinny jeans, Trina Turk dresses, and beautiful BCBG dress shirts. Sure it’s hard to drop an excessive amount of money on something you’ll wear for 2 months of your entire life but with the right sale and splurge you can have a few really cute staples.
Putting yourself first. This might be a luxury of first-time pregnancies. Now that I have one child I'll still put him first when I'm lugging around number two. During my pregnancy with Nate it provided me motivation to put myself first. I would go to bed early, take a bath every other night, go to pregnancy yoga classes, and ensure my diet was top notch.
Eating extra food. Who doesn’t like the excuse to add a few hundred extra calories a day? Plus the last few weeks were pretty much a free for all.
Not everyone gets to do it. I hate when people minimize others' discomfort by saying “just be grateful you can get pregnant” when you feel like death. It is true. Though this doesn't minimize the struggle of a tired, nauseous, broken-backed momma going through the throes of a rough pregnancy. It’s OK to feel fed up, sick of being sick, and borderline martyr-esque. Regardless, it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences this blessing. I don't just mean other women either. My husband will never know what it’s like to nurture another human being to that extent. It’s a closeness impossible to understand unless you’ve done it. Feeling your baby's kicks or hiccups is truly amazing and many people will never experience that.
Thus if you’re currently pregnant or planning on it, remember to embrace the uniqueness of the experience and all the blessings it brings (unless it's a really shitty pregnancy day then just remind yourself how strong you are for enduring it and be proud).
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