I want to thank the lovely Liv Bambola for suggesting this blog topic <3
So lately you’ve heard a lot about the trials and tribulations of pregnancy from me. I’ve been a little bit knocked about with the diagnosis of both PUPPP rash and gestational diabetes (what are the odds of getting BOTH?!), so that’s what you’ve been inundated with. However, there’s more to pregnancy than just horror stories. There are some genuinely awesome things about being pregnant that you just don’t anticipate until it happens for the first time and I totally believe in counting my blessings and living in the moment (even if it’s easier said than done sometimes)!
So in the spirit of celebrating a new week of pregnancy (yep – we’re into the 32nd week!), I shall list some of the things I’ve really enjoyed
Support Networks – Feeling the Love
Throughout this journey I’ve really learnt that there are so many more people there for me, thinking of me and cheering me on than I could ever have imagined. Through the good times and the not so glamourous times, I have learnt that all I have to do is be honest about how I’m feeling and people really do pull through for you. Text messages on down days, lunch dates with people I haven’t seen in ages and thoughtful gestures really show me that not only should I not be afraid to reach out when things feel really difficult, but that I am so lucky my baby is coming into this world where he will be so loved.
I’ve had enormous family support, have been sent thoughtful gifts (you know who you are, ladies and I love you so much for it) and have had my ego absolutely caressed with compliments on how beautiful I look pregnant, even when I’m waddling about, have bad skin and strange improvised maternity outfits. It is just mindblowing.
I have also been blessed with good advice from friends who are new mums (not unsolicited – very welcome and realistic!) and I have been considered in so many social situations where I didn’t expect any special treatment.
Letting the Creative Juices Flow
I have really loved organising the nursery. Thinking of colours and themes. Getting furniture ideas and being able to put it all together. I have loved choosing little baby outfits (cluck cluck cluck) that are unusual, adorable and colourful! It’s not often I give myself an excuse to just do what I feel and make things pretty around the house. Usually, there are excuses holding me back like lack of funds or not enough time. During this pregnancy, I feel like I don’t need an excuse! In fact, I am pretty much obligated to do all this stuff and I LOVE it! It’s inspired me to try to beautify the rest of my house also. I want this place to feel as much like a sanctuary as possible, so it keeps me sane and peaceful when there’s chaos and lack of sleep in a couple of months! If I can’t do those nice things around the place now, when will I feel like I deserve to do them?
No time like the present!
Kicks, Stretches and Impromptu Dance Parties
Pic: This photo looks freaky but it’s also kind of amazing
There’s nothing more reassuring and smile-inducing than feeling the baby move inside me! Sure, there are times when it’s not so comfortable (a baby limb in the ribs, pressure on the bladder or crazy movements when you’re trying to sleep), but on the whole I wouldn’t trade feeling him conducting impromptu dance parties for the world! THERE’S A TINY, LOVEABLE HUMAN IN THERE!!!
Sometimes the best moments are sitting on the couch watching TV after dinner. My stomach will lurch all over the place (yes – you can totally see all the amusing movements from the outside – even through multiple layers of clothing) like the baby is having a little bit of a party in there. It’s hilarious and I love when my husband gets to see it happen! Sometimes he (the baby – not my husband) sticks what I can only imagine is a hand or foot or elbow or knee out. I can actually feel it hard against my skin! It makes me feel like we’re playing some kind of silly game with each other and it has me grinning from ear to ear
Kind Looks from Strangers and Better Customer Service
It’s amazing how nice people are to a pregnant lady. I’ve always heard horror stories about unsolicited advice from strangers, being groped inappropriately everywhere from the boobs to the belly button and being asked over the top personal questions.
None of these things have happened to me. I could count on less than one hand the amount of times someone has completely disregarded the fact that I am pregnant and in need of consideration:
1. The time a horrible lady pushed in front of me at the newsagents’ and pushed her trolley into my bump without noticing or apologising.
2. The time we were leaving an AFL football game and people were smoking in my face and pushing up against me in the crowd, causing me to almost fall forwards. I don’t get crowds sometimes. They weren’t going to get anywhere any faster!
Other than that, I have been offered a seat when I have looked tired. I have been given knowing, empathic smiles by kind strangers when I waddle about and men have really surprised me. The older types of guys who would either have ogled at me and made me feel slimy and uncomfortable in the past, or who I would have expected grief from just look at me gooey eyed in a completely innocuous way. I guess the possibility of a new life softens people! Also, I’m not really a sex object at the moment on account of the bump which says “TAKEN AND COMMITTED” (not such a bad thing)! Well, unless you read the dodgy ads in the local trading post…
Not Worrying About Looking Skinny in my Clothes
I love that I can wear things I wouldn’t have had the courage to wear when I wasn’t pregnant. Fitted maxi dresses that would have shown off my belly pudge? Can wear now, albeit a couple sizes bigger to accommodate the bump! Any worries I had about my stomach showing through clothing is now not an issue! In fact, it’s nicer to emphasise the bump so people don’t just think I ate a few too many burgers!
I have learnt to stop stressing about how “fat” I look. It just seems silly now, doesn’t it? I just like that my body is doing what it is supposed to. Doesn’t mean I don’t look forward to working out properly once the baby is here (and once the doctors give the go ahead etc), but for now I just feel like this is all for a reason and it’s kind of cool seeing a bump. I like my bump! Although I will be anxious to get back in shape later in the piece, I don’t think I will look at my body so negatively again (famous last words but that’s how I feel right now and I hope I’m right).
Also, on another note I have started to get stretchmarks at the base of my bump. I was preventing them really well with oils and natural creams at the beginning of my pregnancy, but the rash interrupted my ability to use a lot of the really good products for that kind of thing. I love that I look at those marks and don’t even care. So bloody what? A few weeks ago I was covered neck to knee in a terrible rash and I have seen my skin at its worst. Those marks are nothing and although it will take time, I am confident that after my pregnancy they will fade with a bit of TLC. I would say to all the girls out there who are terrified of them: it’s not that bad. It really isn’t. There is so much worse stuff that can happen to you, your skin or the baby. Be thankful if that’s the worst you get. Genuinely thankful. I don’t say that bitterly at all. I think this experience has made me wiser and certainly less vain!
Life is Never Boring Anymore
Sure, this can mean taking the good with the bad, but I kind of like that I have new symptoms each week. Just when you think you’ve experienced them all, something new is going on with the baby. I love reading up on what he’s doing inside me each week and it makes me feel connected to him. While it can be hard for the control freak in me, when I can just let go and appreciate each new crazy moment, I feel like life is really interesting! I can be outwardly appear to be doing jack sh*t but the baby is so busy in there all the time growing up a storm!
I can sometimes worry that I am so totally consumed by the whole ‘being pregnant’ experience, both mentally and physically, but I guess I just want to feel everything. Sure, I get impatient and I do look forward to not having worries about a rash flare up or a blood sugar level spike, but I like the actual “there’s a freakin’ baby in there” feelings
There’s always something new to prepare for, buy, plan, feel. It’s crazy!
I used to be scared to go to the doctor. I used to feel like I was going to be treated by some patronising, smug a**hole (usually was) so I would dread it, even when I knew I should get something checked out. I avoided routine tests I probably should have had and I would agonise over it all.
Now I am at the doctor’s all the frickin’ time! It gets tedious but I am no longer scared about what it would feel like to have my blood taken. I’ve had so much blood taken and tested for scary things now that I just face it and get on with it. I am also amazing at peeing in a cup and not being embarrassed. Much. I am supposed to bring a “sample” every time I see the doc (which is now fortnightly). I never know when to pull it out of my bag…do I present it to him before we even say hello or do I wait until he asks if I brought one? I usually wait…awkward.
All of this stuff is about so much more than me now that I am forced to get over myself. I am even thinking about becoming a blood donor after all this stuff is finished. I am no longer afraid to have a needle stuck in my arm and I also know that I won’t necessarily pass out or get sick if they take a lot of my red stuff, which I always feared. I like this whole ‘becoming a better person’ thing. I feel less selfish and more proactive about my health.
A Stronger Appreciation for Life
I have always considered myself to be quite a positive person. I may have suffered a few blows to my upbeat demeanour in recent times, but I have always taken to counting my blessings when things have challenged me (even if I did it while feeling p*ssed off and not quite believing myself)! However, now I realise more than ever that every moment is precious. I reminisce about my own pretty awesome and fortunate childhood and those memories feel like gifts I was given each day. I want my own child/ren to know these gifts. To look back and have these memories. I want to look back on my pregnancies and first days/months/years with my baby and feel like I did something positive whenever I could. Something that would help create those kinds of memories.
My biggest motto these days is “LIVE IN THE MOMENT”. Don’t just let things pass me by. It would be easy to get tunnel vision, to block out the scenery. To not feel a special moment or give it the celebration it deserves. I am determined to appreciate everything I have in my life. I don’t want to be lost in failings of the past or be so obsessed with planning the future that I realise I haven’t stopped to smell the roses and actually lived.
Everything I do now will influence my new little family. I want to be really present and I want to be an inspiration.
So, that’s what I like about being pregnant.