Some women suffer from nausea and vomiting for 40 weeks. Some women feel terribly unattractive in their changing body. Some women complain about pains and aches throughout their pregnancy.
I, for my part, feel utterly blessed with the smooth pregnancy I’ve been having so far. Yes, there was the occasional nausea and extreme drowsiness during the first trimester, the pelvic pain that nearly forced me to stop running a few weeks ago and keeps nagging me from time to time, but overall, the last 7.5 months have been a time of happiness and joyful anticipation. I can’t believe I have only 1.5 month to go until finally meeting my little bundle of joy! While I cannot wait for that moment, I am also quite sure I will miss carrying a little person inside. Here are 10 things (in pretty random order) I love about being pregnant.
1. The anticipation
I always love having projects or working towards a specific date or occasion, and being pregnant has given me something ah-ma-zing to look forward to! As cliché as it may sound, I love having this new purpose in life and looking forward to being responsible for a newborn as well as raising it into a loving and openminded person.
2. Pampering myself
My goal-oriented self doesn’t always allow me to spoil myself or take it easy. I am usually proud of my discipline and hard-working mentality, whether it concerns running and fitness, my job, learning a new language, or other objectives I set for myself. My pregnancy has allowed me to relax more and take it easy. After all, I have to do what’s best for baby, right? Even if that entails an evening flat on the couch!
3. Seeing the baby and hearing his/her heartbeat
I didn’t think I would be so emotional, but it was a very special moment when I first saw my baby – or the clump of cells it was at that time – and heard his/her rapid heartbeat when I was eight weeks pregnant. And every time we have gone for an ultrasound or visit to the midwife after that, it has been so exciting to see and hear the baby. For me, these antenatal visits have been joyful outings, not in the last place because of the reassurance that everything is ok.
4. Sharing the news with family and friends
When I was nearly 12 weeks pregnant I went for a visit to the Netherlands to tell my relatives and friends the BIG news. It was one of the happiest holidays ever! Even more special was sharing the news with my family and in-laws, which we did almost as soon as we found out about the pregnancy ourselves, because we just couldn’t wait! I can only imagine how wonderful it will be to share the news once baby is born…
5. The “high” from pregnancy hormones
I know it is hormones that are responsible for that awful drowsiness and nausea in the first trimester, but if my relaxed mood and high spirits are also a result of pregnancy hormones I am more than happy to put up with the former. Despite having gone through some stressful times – in particular our recent move to New Zealand – I did not freak out even once! Ahmed keeps telling me he would think I’m on drugs if he didn’t know I was pregnant! The only thing I am afraid of is what will happen after giving birth and the consequent drop in hormones my body will go through. Postnatal depressions suddenly don’t sound that alien to me anymore.
6. Attention from people around
A whole new world opens once you are visibly pregnant. People love sharing their pregnancy and birth stories with you (which is nice as long as they keep their horror tales about 40-hour long labours to themselves!) and even strangers start conversations spontaneously. I smile when I overhear people making a comment about me being pregnant and relish the compliments I get about my appearance, whether it is my rounded belly, glowing skin or thicker hair. 🙂 One of the highlights was the surprise baby shower my sister arranged for me. It was indeed a great surprise and I loved being reminded that I have so many great and caring friends.
7. Feeling and seeing the baby move
I will never forget the evening I was lying in bed when I suddenly felt a flutter. Was it just gas passing through my bowels, or…? Deep inside, I knew it was my baby revealing his presence to me! The flutters became kicks, and the kicks became waves and small rhythmic hiccups, but every time I feel my baby move or see my tummy shaking I am filled with a warm sense of happiness. I also feel kind of grateful towards my baby for letting me know that everything is all right inside there.
8. Not worrying about my waistline
I have never been obese nor am I genetically predisposed to gaining weight easily, but – just like every woman and most men – I worry about my waistline when I eat a few too many scoops of ice cream/pieces of cake/chocolate bars/… or don’t exercise for a while. Not during these nine months! I am proud of my growing tummy and do not worry too much about my diet. In fact, I feel I’ve been eating healthier than before, perhaps because I just eat when my body tells me to eat and stop when I feel full.
9. Dreaming about all the activities we will do with our child
A whole new world opens once you have children – or that’s what I think at this moment. Going to the zoo, spending a day at the beach, going for a picnic in the park – everything seems more exciting when you do it with your child. I already dream about the expression on his/her face when we take him/her to all those places and more. I can’t wait to read books with my baby, sing for him/her, take him/her to a playground and do much more.
10. The support I get from my partner
Ahmed has always been a very supportive partner, but since I am pregnant he is even more caring. Ever since we embarked on this journey called pregnancy, we have been feeling closer to each other. It is a wonderful thing to share with someone you love so much, and I am sure our love for each other will only grow once we have our baby. I am also positive he will be a stupendous birth partner. Yesterday we went for our weekly antenatal course and the lecturer compared labour to running a marathon, just like our midwife did last week. If Ahmed is as supportive during labour as he was when I ran my first marathon I have nothing to worry about!
To be honest, these are just a few of the many things I’ve been enjoying the last 7.5 months. Here are some BONUS things I love about being pregnant: Never being alone, meeting other pregnant women and expecting parents, being taken care of by doctors/my midwife/acquaintances/strangers, taking time for relaxation and hypnosis audios, napping (without feeling guilty for being so lazy!), baby clothes and other baby stuff, sleeping in without feeling guilty (it may be years before I can do that again!), wearing comfy clothes ALL THE TIME, learning so many new things (about pregnancy and baby care), sharing pregnancy (and later baby) experiences with my mother, my husband’s happy face when he feels the baby move, the feeling that I love this tiny creature so much without ever having seen him/her (and not even knowing the gender!), not worrying about intensive workouts (bye, bye sit-ups and planks!), talking to my baby, being still able to jog after 32 weeks of pregnancy, and – perhaps most of all – the pride I feel that my body is actually able to grow a human being!