"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." This is one way we could easily define pregnancy. First of all, we're growing a human (pause for applause), but at the same time that human makes us need to use the bathroom a million times a day because he or she presses on our bladder.
Some of us spent some time debating or searching for the "perfect" time to have a baby. We shortly found out that the perfect time is impossible and elusive. We might have made a pros and cons list with things like the glow of pregnancy or forever being sleep deprived after the baby is born. There is no calendar that will tell us when the right time to have a baby will be.
Babies are unpredictable. Plus, pregnancy is not always a walk in the park either. On the other hand, pregnancy can definitely have some perks, aside from giving us the most wonderful gift of a baby.
Being with child is a whirlwind experience. First of all, there's the whole hormone thing...yikes...crying over spilt milk literally. Some of us have the joy of morning sickness others might experience some pretty killer heartburn. No matter what side effects come with our pregnancy, that day we lay our eyes on our precious baby it is all so worth it.
It's even better when we get to enjoy some of the changes that accompany our pregnancy. Feeling our little one move around inside of us is something we actually miss after he or she is born. We have the ultimate protection for them while they are inside of us.
15 The "Glow"
The idea of a pregnancy glow may just be a myth. Or maybe it's just the glow of sweat from puking all morning. Who really knows? Some of us totally don't think this is a real thing. Others may have been told they were "glowing" while expecting. It could be a fluke.
There are women though who have actually seen a glow, that wasn't from vomit, on themselves during pregnancy. This radiant skin is something that we may miss afterward. Who doesn't love good skin?
Usually this glow is a result of an increase of oil on our skin. It gives us a shinier complexion. This is always nice when our skin is naturally moisturized. For those of us who already have oily skin, it can mean we have SUPER oily skin. Many who experience the actually, radiant pregnancy glow are lucky but few and far between.
14 Nail Growth
Some of us strive our entire lives to have healthy, strong, long nails. More often than not, we find that during pregnancy our nails ROCK! We are all well aware that pregnancy comes with a whole lot of hormones including estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone that encourages our nail growth.
Unfortunately our new found awesome nails are not here to stay. A few months postpartum they will likely be back to their previous state whether it be just as healthy as always or sad and breakable.
This is one pregnancy symptom we'd keep forever. Any mom would easily take permanent increased nail growth and strength over the more likely permanent symptom of swollen feet or feet that even grew a size. We wouldn't have to wear fake nails anymore, if we did before. We could let our nails grow longer without worrying about them breaking and scratching our babies.
13 Mental Clarity
If we're being honest here, pregnancy is a time of complete emotional and hormonal turmoil. We don't even know what we are feeling or why half of the time it feels like. We feel unprepared yet excited. We are sick from our favorite foods and cry at spilled milk. Pregnancy can make us feel rather crazy.
On the other hand, there is no time where we feel more at peace than while we are expecting. We have a purpose and for the first time in possibly our entire lives we realize it. We are growing a person. We are responsible for a tiny little human who is completely dependent on us. It is truly a settling fact that helps us see what is most important in our lives.
Pregnancy is also a gigantic wake up call. It makes us examine what we're really doing with our lives. Is our job the right one for us? Is it actually benefiting our chosen career path? Do we want to quit and stay home with baby if possible? A baby is also a big test on a relationship. It will be the test that determines what our future as a couple is going to be or if there will be one at all.
12 Get Out of Jail Free Card
Don't want to go out? Hit snooze a few times extra? Take a midday nap? It happens more than we might like to admit. Pregnancy can be exhausting. It's completely acceptable to skip out on a date night or a night out with the girls because we want to rest or catch up on some sleep. It happens. People will understand, and if they don't, well why do we want them in our lives in the first place?
Spending a Saturday in bed, binge watching a Netflix series is something we aren't going to have a whole lot of time to do once the baby arrives. Enjoy it now. We are crazy tired during pregnancy because our bodies are working overtime to literally create and make a human being. That takes work and can make us exhausted.
Have a family function with the in-laws we just don't have the will to attend? Pregnancy can be a one time get out of jail free card to skip for now. Once the baby comes, everyone will be way too excited that attendance feels mandatory, but for now they will understand that you're a little busy.
11 Baby Bump
The baby bump is one of the cutest body changes we experience during pregnancy. It is much more welcome than heartburn and swollen feet. We get to feel our little ones wiggling around inside of us. There's an indescribable comfort to be had from knowing he or she is in there and safe.
Some women enjoy dressing up their baby bumps. If we can find some cute maternity clothes, it can be really adorable. We can also dress up the bump for Halloween, Christmas, and every other holiday. It can get pretty fun if we're into it.
There are also those challenges of how many things you can stack on your baby bump. Be careful not to use anything too hot, cold, or sharp. Common sense suggested. We can use the bump as a table for our snacks as well.
Pickles, peanut butter, Big Macs, and every other crazy craving we have during pregnancy are actually something that some women enjoy. For some of us, our cravings can be really healthy. Some women crave oranges and chocolate milk. Others become obsessed with peanut butter and celery. These cravings may actually make some of us eat healthier than before we were expecting.
They make even turn into a habit which we can enjoy for our life after pregnancy as well.
Pregnancy can make us hate some of our favorite foods, but our cravings might introduce us to some new foods or weird combinations that we will end up loving for a lifetime. French fries and tarter sauce anyone? Our cravings might be pretty interesting.
Another perk that goes along with our cravings is usually sending our husbands to the grocery store at all hours of the night to pick up some weird combination. Sometimes it's nice to be a little pampered.
Some of us nest right before the baby is about to make his or her appearance while others nest nearly their entire pregnancy. Nesting is when we clean our entire house and finally deep clean those spots that have years worth of dust on them. It's quite the phase for some of us.
Nesting is the time where we organize like a mad woman. We go crazy preparing for our baby's arrival and making our home ready for them. Some of us baby proof right away. Some of us set up the nursery. Painting should not be done during pregnancy though so leave that job for someone else!
This is the time we really embrace our inner Martha Stewart without the jail sentence hopefully! We cook, clean, bake, the whole nine yards. This stage would also be a great time to start some freezer meals that can be an easy meal when baby arrives. It is no easy task cooking three meals a day by yourself with a newborn.
8 Healthy Hair
There's always that legend about women who lose their hair postpartum. We don't necessarily go bald; although, the really lucky ones do get to enjoy some bald patches. Our hair just starts falling out. No, there is no need to worry. It's perfectly normal. It's another treat from all of those wonderful hormones.
During pregnancy, we usually have some great hair. It's thicker than ever. It grows like crazy. Plus, it grows everywhere. Seriously, did anyone else have hair on their belly? Even our toes can get hairier.
The one place we really do enjoy this increase of hair growth and strength is on our heads. What momma doesn't love having some luscious, long locks? This is one perk of pregnancy we all love. It's great to feel pretty especially when we spent the first couple months of pregnancy puking your guts out. Yuck.
As we are all more than well aware during pregnancy everything gets bigger. For the most part, it's focused in our bellies. Sometimes our hands, feet, and even faces swell as well. For some of it, it's water retention. Our bodies hold a whole lot of water when we're expecting. On the other hand, it's hormonal as well.
One enjoyable enlargement that some mamas and their men love is when milk starts to come in. This means our boobs inevitably grow, sometimes quite a bit. We usually experience this change towards the end of our pregnancy, and it can occasionally come with some leakage.
During pregnancy, our body prepares for baby's arrival. This includes breastfeeding whether we plan to or not. Our body prepares anyways because that's what it knows how to do. While we may feel totally annoyed possibly a little sore from this engorgement, our men might find it attractive. They do love them! Some of us enjoy it as well because we feel perky and attractive at a time when we may not be feeling our best.
6 The Excuse To Eat What We Want
Hello extra slice of chocolate cake! Eating for two has its perks. Although we really only need about 500 extra calories each day by the end of our pregnancy, some days "eating for two" is the perfect excuse to have a little extra.
No one is going to bat an eye. Heck, half of the time they'll be scooping extras on your plate the whole time. Pregnancy is the one time we don't have to worry about others judging us for how much we eat, unless they think it's too little. Either way, follow the advice of your doctor and block out the negative Nancy's.
Plus, this temporary change will stick with us if we do decide to breastfeed. Breastfeeding requires anywhere from an extra 500 to 800 calories a day. There also won't be any morning sickness during this time and limited foods we can't have. Hello sushi, you've been missed!
5 Higher Libido
We all know our bodies are going crazy with hormones during pregnancy. That means we cry at the silliest things and even laugh at extremely inappropriate times. Whoops! Our hormones can also affect our sex drive.
Usually, it is either really hot or really cold. We may not want to be touched, at all, during pregnancy. It's perfectly normal. We're growing a person. Smells drive us crazy, and our favorite foods make us sick. Plus we're trying to get used to all of the changes going on in and with our body.
On the other hand, it is perfectly normal to have a crazy high sex drive. Some of us literally spend our entire pregnancy wanting it all of the time. As long as there's no medical reason not to, it's perfectly okay to go with that and do it. Our husbands will also love it as well.
There's something seriously wonderful about having our babies in our bodies. We get to protect them from everything out here in the scary, cold world. We keep them with us everywhere we go. One of the best parts is that we get to feel them move.
This is often referred to as "quickening" and can happen as early as 15 weeks for some women but usually starts at about the 20th week or so. We get to feel our little one's pitter patter kicks in our bellies. It's precious. It's completely heartwarming. For some moms, that first movement is a gentle reminder that there's really a baby in there and everything is okay.
Quickening obviously isn't something that we're going to experience anytime outside of pregnancy, but wouldn't it be great to just keep our babies in our womb forever and keep them safe? While we know that is neither practical nor possible, there are still days when we wish it were the case.
3 Pregnancy Dreams
When we're expecting, there's no telling who or what will appear when we close our eyes at night. Maybe it's an uber romantic date with Channing Tatum or giving birth to something from the Insidious series. Either way, we have some wild dreams during our pregnancy. This could be attributed to our surge of hormones.
During pregnancy not only are our dreams crazier than ever, they are ridiculously vivid. It is incredible how realistic a dream is during pregnancy than they were before or will be after. This can make them all the scarier, crazier, or even hotter.
Pregnancy is the time when all of those random people we've encountered will start to make appearances in our dreams. Leo DiCaprio might be a common visitor. Don't worry too much about the meaning of these dreams, if there even is any. We all have them. They pass for the most part in the first couple of weeks following delivery.
2 Stronger Immune System
During pregnancy, our bodies are working in overdrive. They are trying to protect the baby from all of the scary stuff out here in the cold, dark world. That includes germs. Our immune systems become stronger during pregnancy or maybe it just works harder.
According to Parenting.com, specialists aren't exactly sure what is happening with expecting women and sickness. But it was found, that they are less likely to catch flu bugs and colds during pregnancy. Our bodies pump out all sorts of hormones and enzymes to help the development of the baby. Our placenta also protects the baby from these enzymes that are destroying germs, bugs, and viruses.
It is obviously recommended we still avoid places and people with the Zika virus. Talk to the doctor about immunizations that are suggested during pregnancy as well. There is no sure fire way to not get sick. We can wash our hands regularly, avoid sick people, and take our vitamins.
1 Letting It Go
This doesn't mean our waist line, although, by the third trimester those skinny jeans and pencil skirts will be long forgotten. Hello yoga pants! During our pregnancy, we learn that we don't have the control we think we do necessarily. There is only so much we have a say over and the rest is out of our hands.
For control freaks like myself, that's a pretty terrifying ideal to grab onto. But it's true and it's something we have to accept. We can take all of our vitamins and do everything right but there are no guarantees. We can't control the gender of our baby or how he or she will look. We can't control their height or weight.
We can write an elaborate birth plan seeking a natural birth and end up in a crash C-section or plan a C-section and end up delivering in the car on the way to the hospital. Sometimes, it's just out of our hands.
Our kids will surely remind us of this upon their arrival. We aren't going to have a newborn sleeping through the night week two out of sheer willpower and good scheduling. We aren't going to control that he chooses to poop and blow out his diaper while in the car seat or that baby spits up all over the nice carpet at a relative's.
During our pregnancy, it's a nice reminder that we can just let it go. There is no use worrying about things we can't control. It will only make matters worse and stress us and our baby out more.