I’m in the middle of my second pregnancy, and I have to be honest: I’m not one of those women who excels at being pregnant. You know the ones, right? They’re the preggos with glowing skin, a cute little basketball bump under their adorable maternity tops, and a peaceful smile that says to the world, “I’m making a little miracle.” Nope. Not me. I’m more like the pregnant woman with a complexion straight out of a junior high nightmare, wearing whatever makes me look the least squishy that day, with a look on my face that says, “Can you bend over and pick that up for me?” But in all seriousness, even though being pregnant can be tough, I look back over both of my pregnancies fondly. It’s a crazy, fascinating time filled with amazing and unknown things, and aside from all of the challenges there are so many reasons to love being pregnant.
1. It’s the best secret ever, especially in the beginning when it’s just between you and the little poppy seed growing inside of you (and, OK, probably your partner, too). How crazy is that?! At the beginning of my pregnancy with my first child, I remember feeling like I was always carrying around a friend with me. A secret little friend who would go where I went and hear what I said and feel my movements; to think that the bond between mom and baby starts right there, even in the early weeks, is enough to make any mom a little teary-eyed.
2. You get to daydream. Some of my favorite pregnancy moments have been conversations with my husband, daydreaming about our future child: what to name him or her, where to put the crib, or any of the million little details that have to fall in place before the baby is born. Now that we’re expecting our second child, I’m realizing that it’s no less exciting to dream about the nursery or plan for the kiddo’s arrival. I still find myself wondering who this little person will be, and what our family will be like once the baby is here.
3. There’s even more reason to give yourself extra TLC. For me, pregnancy has always been a time of great self-care. I think that as moms we tend to let self-care become a last priority, but when you have a body that is yelling at you in every way it can toslow down, there’s not much you can do to ignore it. And as it always turns out, taking time to care for yourself (especially during pregnancy) is so worthwhile. Naps? Yes please! Exercise? Absolutely.
4. It’s a blast to plan the nursery. I love the process of putting together a cozy little place for the baby. Washing tiny clothes, putting up curtains, and picking out blankies with extra care have been some of my favorite things. Picturing a baby using all of these things makes me take extra care while we plan the space. Now that I’ve seen our son in action, discovering all of the fun little touches we put into his nursery, it makes the memory of putting it all together even more special.
5. Baby hiccups are so cool. The first time I felt my baby kick and roll around was pretty incredible. But even better than that: baby hiccups. I fell in love with them when I was pregnant with my first child. When I first felt them I actually thought I had a twitch! Turns out it was just the kiddo. I love those little jolts; they’re the most solid reminder I have had that a tiny little living person is hanging out in my stomach, and that he’s just a normal guy like the rest of us. He gets the hiccups! And they are adorable.
6. Your hair and nails become extra gorgeous. Don’t even get me started on my great hair and nails right now. Not everything on my body stays beautiful when I’m pregnant, but I swear my mane is at its best when I’m expecting. It feels thicker, looks shiner, and just seems to fall into place better! And my nails? Those babies grow fast and strong.
7. You’re surrounded by love. The thing I adore most about being pregnant is the little bubble of love and care that surrounds you. Grandmas catch your eye with a knowing wink. Men open doors or offer their chair. Little girls try not to get caught looking at your growing tummy. There’s a whirlwind of goodwill that runs through your expectant days, which I always find calming and centering. So even when I’m worried about finishing the nursery or which bottles to buy, there’s a little cushion of love to fall back on.
So now, as we wait for our second baby to arrive, I’ll do my best to ignore the swollen ankles and the too-tight pants and the uncomfortable nights. Because once the baby arrives, the biggest reason to love being pregnant will be right there in our arms.
Photo: Chelsea Foy