Last night, Cute Husband remarked that he has witnessed nothing (well, except for feeling the baby move) about pregnancy that is remotely enjoyable or could be missed after the baby comes. And after some introspection, I decided that I disagree – there are lots of things I’m enjoying about my pregnancy! Here are 10 of my favorite things (in no particular order):
1. Feeling the baby move. It’s even more exciting now because his movements are a lot more visible from the outside. There’s something very comforting about it, once you get past the strangeness of realizingthere are bones and all sorts of other body parts growing inside of me! I like his hiccups, too, because they let me know how he’s positioned and serve as a reminder that he’s practicing the use of his lungs.
2. Quiet time with my husband. Oh, we had quiet time before the pregnancy when we would sit on the couch and snuggle, but quiet time has developed a whole new meaning now because, though there’s still technically only the two of us, these are our first few moments bonding as a little family. I like it when he talks to the baby (though he doesn’t do it often), puts his ear on my belly (and reports clicking sounds when the baby has hiccups), or just holds my belly and savors the baby’s movements.
3. Baby things. I especially love those things that are miniatures of my husband’s clothes. For example, my mother bought a pair of little khaki “cargo pants” that look an awful lot like a miniature version of my husband’s pants. I went to the Converse outlet this past Saturday and bought a tiny pair of black Chuck Taylor “high tops” – again, miniatures of my husband’s shoes. I love baby booties, baby blankets, baby clothes… It’s just so hard to believe that something so tiny is going to grow to be so big one day. Even harder to believe is that the little baby with his foot lodged in my ribs was once no larger than the size of a grape seed when we first “saw” him on ultrasound.
4. Hearing pregnancy and baby stories about family members, especially those about my husband. I have two beautiful nieces, so I’ve already heard a lot of stories about my mother’s pregnancies, but they didn’t seem to fully register until I was pregnant myself. I could tell you all about my own birth, too, because I’ve asked for and heard the story so many times, but it’s much more real now that I’m expecting a baby of my own. My mother-in-law’s stories about my husband and sister-in-law were all new, and I’ve enjoyed hearing them. The combination of these stories make me wonder even more what kind of a child Baby C will be – and what kind of labor and delivery I will have!
5. More reasons to talk to the family. Not that I’ve ever needed a reason to talk at all, mind you, but knowing that a little boy is joining the family soon is a wonderful reason to send random e-mails to my family! I actually started journaling the day I found out I was pregnant, but I didn’t start sending out e-mails to everyone until I was well into my second trimester. It was really my husband’s idea to e-mail my weekly journal entries to our immediate families. In all honesty, I didn’t think anyone would really care – so much of pregnancy, I’ve discovered, is an internal process – literally and otherwise! While my body makes room for the baby (and prepares to eject the baby at some point) and the baby is growing and getting ready to face the world, my own psyche has to undergo its own transformation. After all, the world will no longer revolve around me as it has the past 32 years. Rather, in a matter of weeks, I’ll have a whole new identity: Baby C’s mom!
6. Developing my Mommy Network. Of course, my Mommy Network consists of friends I already have, some (like my sister) who already have kids and some who are just a few weeks or months behind me in their own pregnancies. There’s something about pregnancy that’s this strange bonding thing, something that you can’t quite explain to the people who have never been pregnant before. And whether my Mommy friend has a 16-year-old, a 6-year-old, or a 16-month-old, they’ve all been here and can empathize like no one else.
7. Nesting. I started nesting in my second trimester and haven’t quite kicked the urge to clean, which frustrates my husband to no end because I’m so fatigued right now. This is particularly odd because cleaning has never been a favorite pastime. It’s something I’m enjoying, though, because I’m getting ready for my little baby! And who doesn’t want to bring a brand new baby home to a nice, clean house – even if he won’t see the top of the refrigerator for another twelve years? I’ve made trips to the library to donate books and to Goodwill to donate stuff (for lack of a better word), and I couldn’t even begin to tell you how much stuff I’ve either thrown out or given away in the past few months. There’s something very liberating about it.
8. Baby preparations. This kind of falls in the same category as nesting, but I think of it differently. No, these are those idealistic plans I’ve put in place for once the baby comes. I really ought to journal them in my pregnancy journal so that I can laugh at myself in a few months or years when I realize nothing I have planned (or will ever plan again) will go according to plan. My planned maternity leave is just the start, I’m sure. Thank goodness I’m a good contingency planner, too!
9. Daydreams. I haven’t been much of a daydreamer for at least the last 15 years, but when Baby C is moving around a whole bunch, I can’t help but wonder all sorts of things about him. What kind of a child will he be? Will he be into sports and play football and basketball like his grandfather? Will he be an artist like his dad? Will he have a good head for numbers like both his aunts? Will he look like his dad? Will he be tall like his dad? What will he be when he grows up? What will his favorite color be? Will he like going to Disney World? Will he like to read? It’s things like this that can keep my mind occupied for hours on end.
10. A new sense of purpose. The fact that I have a little person coming into this world who is going to rely solely on my husband and me for the first few years of his life is amazing. Recently, I reworked my personal budget to make room for his daycare expenses and was astounded at how willing (and perfectly able) I am to cut back on certain luxuries and unnecessary expenses to make sure Baby C has everything he needs. And now I understand why my mother was always confident that if we (my sister and me) ever needed anything, somehow, we would manage it. I am actually savoring this new reality. I just hope it lasts!