On Loving (And Sometimes Not) Being Pregnant
Being pregnant is such a privilege. I am lucky and blessed to have carried two healthy children to term.
There are so many things I loved about being pregnant.
Full disclosure? There were also a few things I did not love.
1. Seeing my baby through the ultrasounds. The little hands and feet, the bigger-than-body-head, seeing the placenta, the thing that physically connected me to my child.
2. Listening to the baby's heartbeat. There is nothing like the first time of hearing that startling loud thump, thump, thump of that tiny being in your womb.
3. Feeling and watching my belly move when the baby kicked, punched and rolled.
4. Maternity pants. Enough said.
5. Glowing skin and a full head of shiny hair. Oh, pregnancy hormones, I love you.
I did not love….
1. Swollen feet. In my first pregnancy, the only shoes I could wear were flip flops a size up from my usual, from seven months onwards. It was uncomfortable and rather unattractive.
2. Hip pain. My hips hurt as soon as I entered my third trimester in my first pregnancy. Walking was agonizing.
3. The sleepless nights. I could not get comfortable, whichever way I lay, especially in the final month. Getting up every hour to go to the bathroom did not help either.
4. Falling ill frequently. With my second pregnancy, I was run ragged by having to look after my toddler and I was hit by colds and flus every month, and two stomach bugs.
5. Gagging every single time I brushed my teeth. That's at least twice a day of feeling like I needed to empty the contents of my stomach all over the sink, on top of the first trimester nausea. This lasted until the day I gave birth.
Despite all the physical discomfort, overall, I loved being pregnant.
For it meant that I was able to bring new life into the world.
It meant that we were blessed that we were able to conceive easily.
It meant that I was healthy enough to carry two children to full term (39 weeks, 3 days and 39 weeks, 6 days respectively).
It meant that I was on my way to the most important role in my life – as a mother.
It meant the start of a journey into this parenting gig.
This journey that teaches me something every single day, brings so much love and laughter into my life; that brings out a side of my husband that I never knew existed (which I love).
This journey that has taken me to places of pain and joy that I could not have imagined.
Because you see, pregnancy, with all the I-love-its and I-don't-love its, is the beginning of a lifetime of something bigger than myself.
How could I not love that?
Photo courtesy of Alison Lee