As much as it’s fun to make fun of the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy – and believe me, at nearly 35 weeks, there are a lot of things I’d like to complain about – there are a lot of wonderful aspects to this journey.
1. Great hair – By my glorious genetics, my hair is thin, fine and fragile. My best friend’s nickname for me in 5th grade was “chemo woman.” (Looking back, perhaps she wasn’t the best best friend. I did call her “palm tree” in return because she had a massive, thick mop.) But when I’m pregnant, it thickens up, gets a natural shine without looking greasy, and grows at a record speed. In each pregnancy, I’ve gone up to 3 days without washing it and doing nothing to style it, and it still looks good when I wake up. It’s fabulous.
2. Great nails – The prenatal vitamins that so miraculously fix my hair for a season also make my nails strong and pretty. It’s a good thing, because they’re pretty low on the priority list, but my kids sure do appreciate how long they are when they ask me to scratch their backs.
3. That pregnancy “glow” – It’s real. Sure, it might be tainted by some pregnancy acne here and there (or everywhere), but your skin radiates. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s that you generally take better care of yourself and drink enough water. But there is a definite beauty halo that every pregnant woman gets. Her natural beauty magnifies.
4. Feeling a life moving inside of you – In all three pregnancies, I’ve never gotten so used to feeling one of my children move inside of me that the sensation has lost its awe factor. Sure, sometimes I wish there weren’t 20-minute hiccup sessions keeping me up in the middle of the night between one of 4-5 bathroom excursions, but even those remind me of the beautiful miracle growing in my belly. It’s pretty freaking amazing.
5. A renewed motivation to take care of yourself – Something about being pregnant makes you reassess all of your priorities, and I generally find I want to treat my body better. I also want ice cream and chocolate, but even those have things my growing baby needs, like calcium, vitamin D, protein and antioxidants. (It’s all about spin.)
6. An excuse to be pampered – People generally want to take care of others who are pregnant. It’s nice to have people give up their seats for me, open doors, carry things and the like. Remember the aforementioned ice cream cravings? Last night I showered after my Zumba class and felt I deserved a reward for exercising. But I was in pajamas. I asked Greg if he would go get me a McDonald’s ice cream cone since he was still dressed. Could the man really say “no” to me? (And ohhhhh, it tasted so good!!!)
7. An excuse to tease strangers – Now that it is pretty clear I am either about to birth a baby or I have a massive abdominal tumor, it’s fun to tease strangers who assume I am pregnant. “When are you due?” gives me the chance to respond, “For what?” A woman at church asked me on Sunday when I was expecting, and with a bewildered look, I said, “Expecting what?” Without missing a beat, she pointed at my belly and said, “Your BABY!” Eh, you win some, you lose some. But it’s sure fun to try to catch them off-guard.
8. Shopping – Regardless of how many times you’ve been through it, there are some things you need. Preparing for the baby gives you an excuse to buy some much-needed items, and adore all the cute baby clothes in stores.
9. Celebrating – Having a baby shower or any sort of party to celebrate you and the baby is super fun, especially the first time around.
Of course, there are many more moments of pregnancy I could cherish, but my pregnancy brain is currently blocking my memory. Feel free to add some true pregnancy joys to the list by commenting!