5 Ways to Enjoy Your Pregnancy (Even When You’re Miserable)
By now, it's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of being pregnant.
And although my body doesn't exactly seem to agree with me, insisting on playing the pregnancy card every chance it gets (every 1.25 years to be exact), there are still quite a few things to dread about the preggo state, such as:
- Feeling like you can't breathe
- Uncontrollable weight gain
- Embarrassing gas
- Internal kicks to the ribs
But really, who's keeping track?
In all seriousness, 40+ weeks of pregnancy is a long time, and I do believe that it's important to keep positive during pregnancy, if not for the sake of the baby, then for a mother's mental health. I know from experience that a turbulent pregnancy can lead to a somewhat tumultuous post-partum period as well. This time around, I know I have to work a little bit harder at keeping a positive attitude during my pregnancy (four kids in five years might do that to you …), so here is my working list on keeping a healthy and happy attitude, even when you're miserable.
1. Focus on the good of the pregnancy. Yes, this advice may seem of the simpleton variety, but I include it only because it really does help me focus on the good things that are to come: an adorable baby to cuddle, a full family, the joy and fun of siblings, and the bond between partners that really only a newborn baby can bring. Plus, think of all the cute Instagram pictures you can take!
2. Exercise. Honestly, one of the hardest parts about pregnancy for me is the weight gain. I'm not a small pregnant woman, let's put it that way. I've seen full-term women look like I do at about five months, which is nice for them, unfortunate for me. Staying active not only releases those happy chemicals to keep me positive, but it helps me feel like I'm not letting pregnancy weight get the best of me.
3. Ignore and don't compare. And by this, I don't mean ignore those annoying people who insist on asking you if you're carrying twins or “when are you going to pop that kid out already?” but those pregnant women who insist on documenting every minute of their blissful, glowing, beautiful pregnancies. Yes, some women have the good fortune to sail through their pregnancies without so much as a whiff of morning sickness, but meanwhile, some of us have a harder time. And that's OK! Don't compare pregnancies; it will be a good lesson to learn now before the parenthood games begin.
4. Use a pregnancy app. I've never been one of those “what size of fruit is my baby this month?” women, but after downloading my first-ever fetal development app (because I happened to write it, ahem), I have to admit, it's actually making a world of difference in upping the excitement factor. It's just so much fun to follow along every week and watch the baby change before my eyes. My girls know to check my phone every Saturday to see how big the baby is, and their enthusiasm is catching. If you don't have a smartphone (or even if you do!), try EverydayFamily's week-by-week pregnancy guide for videos and emails that will keep you informed along the way.
5. Invest in some cute maternity clothes. Nothing will make you feel worse than schlepping around the town in sweatpants and your husband's ratty old t-shirt. Seriously, buy some maternity clothes that make you feel good. Knowing that I will spend a good majority of this pregnancy in the hot summer months, I just bought a really cute green maternity bathing suit on clearance that I know will be put to good use when I'm floating my baby bump in the pool. And I already know that lots of flowy, maxi dresses are on my shopping to-buy list. This is one pregnancy I'm determined not to make myself even more miserable.
Do you love being pregnant or struggle to enjoy it? What do you do to bring positivity to your pregnancy in those less-than-stellar moments?