You’ve probably heard the saying “life is about the journey.” It’s good advice that applies to many areas of life, including carrying a child in your womb.
Pregnancy is a funny thing. Every woman has a different experience. For some, it’s 40 weeks of love, peace, and harmony. For others, it’s painful, torturous, and full of physical and mental suffering.
Often, we hear about the woes of pregnancy: nausea, chronic fatigue, the constant urge to pee, and so on. Sure, there are aspects of pregnancy that are challenging, but for the most part, I loved it. It was a time when all was good with the world. Of course, I had my share of ailments. Despite the minor discomforts, my 10 months were a special period in my life that I look back on fondly.
If you’re having a hard time getting through your pregnancy, it’s important to remember the positives. Regardless of your circumstances, there is an amazing event that is happening inside of your body. Nine or so months of pregnancy may feel like forever and a day, but this period passes by quickly. There are many reasons to appreciate this time of your life.
Embracing the benefits of pregnancy may help clear the cloudy skies. Ignore the negativity, and focus on the good. There are 11 reasons why I loved being pregnant. Hopefully, this list reminds you to enjoy your pregnancy while it lasts.
9 I Felt Lucky I Could Have a Child
Not everyone has the ability to grow a fetus and deliver a baby. I’ve always loved kids, and always knew that I wanted children. Because I had never been pregnant before, I didn’t know if I was even capable of having a child. Fortunately, conception was lightning fast. In fact, it happened within one week. When the blood tests confirmed that I had the ability to procreate, my dream came true.
I couldn’t stop smiling when I found out that I was pregnant. Every day, I tried to live in the moment. But the anticipation was coupled with the unease of the unknown. There had impatience and nervous butterflies for what was fated in the near future. I’m sure it’s a natural emotional of a mother-to-be, the concern that her baby inside is safe and sound.
I had heard from other mothers that parenthood would be tough. I knew that lack of sleep, lack of money, and hard work were ahead of me. Even with all of that, I couldn’t contain my excitement, not just for me, but for others, too.
It's a thankful experience
My husband wanted a child as much as I did. Seeing each other take on new roles as mother and father were new stages in our lives. Also, I knew my parents would be thrilled to hold their first grandchild. All of these wonderful events were right around the corner. The excitement felt similar to being a kid on Christmas Eve, except that feeling lasted for months.
To this day, if I see a pregnant woman on the street I think, “Isn’t she lucky. I’d love to be in her shoes again.” Most of the time, these women don’t look so happy. Maybe they’re uncomfortable or tired, which is understandable. I remember having moments of fatigue. Yet looking back, I realize that it was such a short chapter in the book of my life.
When its over, it's kind of sad
What is more special than creating a little person? There is nothing boring about pregnancy. When you really think about the miracle you’re creating, it should give you a big reason to smile.
There are many women who would love to have pregnancy problems, nausea and all. I am lucky that I’ve never had to experience a miscarriage or problems with infertility. For some reason, my body was designed to create and carry life. I acknowledged what happened to me was an amazing act, and I approached this gift with appreciation.
8 The Daily Changes to My Body Were Fascinating
One day at work, I was chatting with a group of co-workers. All of a sudden, my baby dragged a foot or an elbow across my belly, noticeably protruding my sweater from one side to the other. Everyone saw it. They were all amazed, as was I. It was just another reminder of the awesome development happening within me.
Cleavage was definitely not in short supply. Hormonal changes caused my breasts to grow large. They were fuller than at any other time in my life. At least, I had two very good reasons to buy new bras.
My hair was shiny, and didn’t shed as much. My skin was clear and bright. I looked well rested, healthy, and I’ve never looked better. This “pregnancy glow” is backed by science. The reason why many expecting moms experience shinier hair, and stronger nails is because of higher estrogen levels.
My pregnancy was a blessed experience
A pregnant woman produces more blood to support the oxygen needed for her baby. This increased blood circulation doesn’t really improve your skin. Doctors attribute the “pregnancy glow” on an inner joy that radiates to the face. It’s amazing that this unborn baby had so much control over my body and my emotions.
Again, not all women go through this beautiful phase. If you’re experiencing dark, baggy eyes from fatigue, get as much rest as possible.
Your pregnant body is a natural beauty. Embrace every aspect of your pregnancy while you can.
7 The Weight Gain Was a Good Thing
I’ve always loved food. Pregnancy didn’t change that. Maybe I should have been more careful about what I was putting into my body, but pregnancy became a time in my life when I relax on my dieting. Luckily, most of my cravings were ice-related. Around the clock, I crunched on ice cubes, and popsicles. Not sure how I gained 40 lbs. from eating frozen water. Okay, a few pints of ice cream may have added to the extra padding.
Despite the weight gain, I’ve felt proud of my belly. In the third trimester, I knew I was bigger than I had ever been, but it was a different kind of girth. Of course, I had my days when I would catch my reflection in the mirror, instantly feeling fat. But I had to remind myself that I was pregnant. This is what was supposed to happen. So, I convinced myself that my protruding belly was beautiful, no matter what number was on the scale.
Of course, 40 weeks of gluttony is not recommended. Eating for two is a myth we’ve created, and it’s not accurate. 300 extra calories are all you need. Satisfying every food craving will pack on the pounds quickly. The more you gain, the harder it is to shed after delivery. That being said, my indulgences were guilt-free. I surrendered to cravings. I’d have dessert after dinner. And if I went a little overboard with the food, I didn’t beat myself up because I was hungry.
The baby weigh agreed with me
Buying new maternity clothes helped me feel good about my expanding waistline. There was no way of hiding my bump, so I went with it. The good news was all of my new clothes had some stretch, so they were ultra-comfortable. Different silhouettes and colors allowed me to experiment with new styles.
Looking as fashionable as possible made me feel better about spending money on clothes that could only be used temporarily. I also reinvented the wardrobe in my closet. My outfits were not my mother’s maternity clothes.
When you are with child, weight gain is necessary. Perhaps pregnancy is a gift from Mother Nature that gives you a free pass to put on a few pounds that allow you to embrace your curves.
6 I Had Few Pregnancy Symptoms
If only there was an easier way to have a baby, everyone would be doing it. The funny thing is 40 weeks of pregnancy is not easy, yet women continue to have babies. The “child” part is great, but getting there can be tricky. Pregnancy can be a rough experience, but obviously, the process is worth it.
I had three pregnancy-related symptoms:
There were bouts of heartburn. At one point, I was eating antacids like there were popping out of a Pez dispenser.
In my last trimester, my feet felt like inflated balloons. Sandals were my only friend.
Painful leg cramps woke me up on a few occasions. One night, I screamed so hard, my husband jumped up and grabbed the hospital bag. He thought I was in labor.
Frequent urination comes with the territory when you’re expecting. That was pretty much the extent of my side effects, so I considered myself lucky. Many women experience severe nausea. I never experienced morning sickness, not one day. Even in my 41st week of pregnancy, there were no major hiccups.
If I ever needed a break from work, there was no problem. If I needed a nap at home, I went for it. There was no guilt to take time for myself because of the baby. In fact, the rest was prescribed. And 40 weeks without a period was just a bonus.
5 I Joined the Mommies Club
Becoming pregnant automatically gets you into a sorority called the Mommies Club. Once mothers find out that you are pregnant, you suddenly have so much to discuss.
A visible bump gives other pregnant women and moms carte blanche to share motherly information. There always seemed to be an infinite supply of advice. At times, it felt like information overload. For the most part, I was impressed that mothers were so generous with their time, and were genuinely interested in my experience. It opened up a world of motherhood while I was a mother-to-be. There is just one warning: the advice gets more intense after the baby is born.
It's like you're part of a secret club
I took that time to learn as much as I could from all sources: books, my mom, my mother-in-law, co-workers, strangers, whoever was willing to offer information. A woman who has been through the same experience has a lot to offer. Hopefully, you will not be inundated with horror stories of labor. If you encounter this kind of “help” you can politely decline to hear the story by saying “I’d rather not hear that.”
A pregnant woman is a walking magnet for unsolicited advice. The constant barrage of information can get frustrating because all pregnancies are different. What worked for you may not work for me. Don’t let everyone’s opinions overwhelm you. Select your favorite advisers, and take the rest with a grain of salt. Oh, and welcome to the club of motherhood.
4 Baby Preparation was Fun
On my days off, I felt the need to organize the house from top to bottom. Cleaning, sorting, alphabetizing, and rearranging while pregnant is a phenomenon called “nesting.” A mama bird prepares her nest for her babies, just like a pregnant woman readies her home for her newborn. It’s Mother Nature who prepares your world for your baby.
A 2013 McMaster University study found that pregnant women need to have control over their surroundings. It’s a science that is built into most of our DNA.
Nesting organized and cleaned my entire house from top to bottom, not just the nursery.
Decorating the nursery was the first step. Choosing paint colors, and furniture brought the baby room together. Buying baby gifts was another delight. Up until that time, I had only bought toys and clothes for other people’s babies. Buying things for my baby was an unbelievable pleasure.
Making a list of baby names was particularly fun. Analyzing meanings, figuring out spellings, and combining names carried on for weeks and months. Just when we thought we had figured it out, another name came to us, then that name was the forerunner.
The preparation bug bit me pretty early. If it doesn’t hit you, don’t worry. Keep in mind that life will soon become hectic, so preparing early will save you work later. Don’t try to do everything in one day because you also need your rest. Pace yourself, and tackle only one task at a time.
3 I Received Lots of Attention and Care
“Would you like a seat?” “Let me get that for you.” When I was pregnant and protruding, chivalry was alive and well. My husband already looked at me as a mother. He wouldn’t let me carry anything over three pounds. The support was sweet, and something I had not seen since our days of dating.
My husband was far from the only considerate soul. So many people were observant and courteous. Everyone wanted to take care of me. Even strangers would generously give up their seats on the bus. They would feel comfortable enough to talk to me about anything and everything. Suddenly, every story anyone has ever heard about pregnancy becomes your business.
Everyone showers love upon pregnant women
When people would smile, I assumed why. Being visibly pregnant was surely the reason. You feel like a celebrity when strangers smile and stare. Questions and well wishes were a daily occurrence. A visible belly is an instant icebreaker.
Co-workers were extra considerate. I couldn’t walk through the door without someone scurrying to help. I knew I wasn’t helpless, but everyone’s consideration made me feel special. Pregnancy has that kind of effect on people.
2 It Was a Time of Personal Growth
Every day, I lived in the moment. The pregnancy forced me to slow down and take it easy. During this down time, I put my feet up, took deep breaths, and anticipated a human being coming into our lives.
It was amazing to think that our love created a baby. This new life would become an extension of us. I would soon be in charge of a human being. Vivid dreams in my third trimester really let it sink in that something was happening that would change me completely.
You become more of who you were meant to be
Wherever you go, the baby is there. Even before I was visibly pregnant, I knew a baby was in there, even if others didn’t. I never felt alone. No matter where I was, it was me and my kid. Every day, I was strengthening a bond with my baby. I had never felt such a close connection to anyone else. This bonding gave me a new appreciation for my mum.
Looking back now, it’s a feeling I miss. I loved the feeling of the baby moving inside of me. Every jab and kick was awesome. I knew I relished as many moments as I could, but I realize it was a once in a lifetime, brief moment in time. It was a magical feeling, and I loved it.
1 Meeting My Daughter was Love at First Sight
Women endure so much pain to go through childbirth. I was so nervous once my labor pains started. I had decided on an epidural, but the thought of inserting a long needle into my spine started my physical tremors. I managed to get through it even though I was terrified because I had to do it. Childbirth wasn’t painless, but it reminded me of my strength.
When my obstetrician said “here’s your baby” that’s when it really hit me. This was my baby. I’m someone’s mother. My husband was equally as euphoric. He repeated “it’s a girl, it’s a girl, it’s a girl” over and over again. He snapped pictures as if he was part of the Hollywood paparazzi. I had never seen him so frazzled.
When my daughter made her debut, she was so precious. I anticipated that I would instantly fall in love when I met my baby. Every day I woke up knowing that meeting my baby would be wondrous moment. I wasn’t disappointed. I had finally met the little angel that was kicking me. Now when I look at her, I know I did at least one thing right.