Now that I’ve been pregnant for over 38 weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on my experience. In a lot of ways, pregnancy was nothing like I expected it to be. In some ways, it was harder and in some ways, it was easier. Everyone’s pregnancies are different and each woman will have a different experience being pregnant with each child, so there is no way to completely generalize the good and bad of pregnancy. However, based on my experience in the last 38 weeks, here’s what I personally enjoyed the most and the least.
The 5 Best Things About Being Pregnant
- Stronger Connections with Fellow Parents/Parents to Be. I think my favorite thing about being pregnant is how many people I’ve gotten to know better that I may not have if I weren’t with child. Strangers come up to me and tell me stories about their children (such as when one man’s child hugged an obese man’s protruding stomach and looked up at him and said ‘Is there a baby in there!?’), I got a glimpse into my dermatologist’s life when he spoke fondly about how he is surrounded by women with a wife, two daughters and female pets, one of the senior VPs at my company sincerely told me that parenthood is the best thing that has ever happened to him, and I’ve had conversations with countless other people who I may not have normally been able to make an easy connection with. I’ve also created stronger bonds with friends and family who are are parents and are excited to share their pregnancy experiences, birth stories and parenting advice with me (which I may not always agree with but I appreciate hearing it). It’s been heartwarming to learn so much about other people’s lives simply based on the fact that I’m entering this club called “parenthood.”
- Reading the Weekly Pregnancy Update Emails. Every single Friday I turn another week “more pregnant” and as a reward, I get two emails in my inbox which read aloud to Mike. The emails provide facts about how my baby is progressing, how I should/may be feeling at this point and tips on things to do or think about in the coming weeks. I get one from Baby Center, which is more to the point and one from The Pregnant Chicken, which is witty and always makes us laugh. In the beginning the updates were pretty incredible (your baby grew lungs! your baby opened her eyes!) and now they are less astounding (your baby put on some fat) but I still look forward to reading them every week.
- Ice Cream. I picked up this lovely habit around the 5 month mark and I’ve pretty much scooped myself a bowl of ice cream about 5 nights a week on average since then. Ice cream has always been my favorite dessert but when not pregnant I would never allow myself to indulge this often. Probably contributed to a few pounds of my weight gain, but I could care less!
- Bradley Method Birth Classes. Mike and I spent 7 Sunday afternoons (we missed one class for our Baby Moon) in a three hour birthing class and I actually really, really enjoyed it. Not only did I find it fascinating, it was great to meet and bond with other couples in the same situation as us. The best part was the way it seemed to even make my bond with Mike even stronger and I am genuinely looking forward to the day I give birth and am not scared.
- Experiencing the Human Body Perform a Miracle (and Baby Kicks!). Sometimes I’m simply in awe of how my body has just known what to do to create a human life. It’s truly incredible that Siena was once the size of a poppy seed and now she’s a full size baby. Although all the information on pregnancy is overwhelming at times, there really isn’t much to creating a baby. The human body is pretty amazing (and it’s almost as incredible that I’ll be able to provide her with her most perfect food from my breasts as well). I definitely don’t take it for granted all that my body is able to do. And seriously, those kicks are amazing. I still get excited every time I feel her inside me – this is the definitely the thing I’ll miss most about being pregnant.
The 5 Worst Things About Being Pregnant
- Morning sickness. This is BY FAR the worst part of pregnancy. I kept expecting the final few weeks of pregnancy to be the worst but the non-stop 24/7 nausea was miserable. I only actually threw up once, but basically felt like I had a constant hangover from week 6 to week 13 or so. I would even wake up in the middle of the night nauseous!
- Birth Group Forums. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the pregnancy forums (I’m in a “September 2015” birth group) but I’ve come to realize that I don’t have much in common with the women who actually do post in them. Not to mention, some women are really mean to each other on there! However, I can’t help but read them from time to time.
- Limitations on Workouts & No Real Racing. Although I really feel lucky to have been able to work out so much during my pregnancy (even through the nasty morning sickness!), there are definitely limitations on what I can do. I’m not running anymore and when I was running I wasn’t able to push myself to the limits that I previously did. Although I definitely think it’s all worth it and I’m really learning to appreciate restorative workouts like yoga, I do miss a good, adrenaline pumping workout and I love racing hard!
- No Alcohol. I don’t consider myself a big drinker (anymore) but I do love a nice buzz from a couple beers on a Friday night after work, or the girl talk that comes from sharing a bottle of wine with a girlfriend. I also just genuinely enjoy the taste of a good craft beer, and I miss it immensely!
- Comments About Belly Size. I am TOTALLY someone who has commented on friends (but never a stranger’s) belly size in the past, saying things like “wow you’ve gotten so big” but I’ve learned my lesson. Belly size is a sensitive topic and although the majority of feedback I’ve received is that my belly is small, I still don’t love to hear it. Every woman wants to feel like their belly is tracking normally, yet I’m pretty sure not a single woman actually thinks their belly size is normal. I know women who are really sensitive about how big they look (never ask a woman if she’s having twins, and definitely don’t ask her if she’s sure when she says no), yet it seems to be the one thing that people can’t handle not commenting on.
Overall, I would say I’ve had a very enjoyable pregnancy. There are some low moments and times when I feel like my body is not my own, but no matter what, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I am so excited to meet Siena and every sacrifice and moment of discomfort will be worth it. I haven’t even met her yet and I know it’s true. Now we just have to wait and see when we finally get to meet!
If you’ve been pregnant, what was your favorite and least favorite part? If you’ve never been pregnant, which part scares you the most!?