I hit the 37 week mark over the weekend, which means Mr. Baby is officially full term. And I’m officially over being pregnant. Oh it hasn’t been horrible by any means, but I’m just…done. I want my back to stop hurting. I want to sleep on my stomach again. I want to be able to roll from side to side without feeling like I’m going to break my spine in the process. I want to wear my wedding rings again. I want to go shoe shopping so I can wear something other than these stretched-out flats or my flip-flops. I want to enjoy a crisp, cold beer or a nice glass of wine. I want to see the bones in my feet and ankles again. And I guess more than any of that, I’m just ready to meet our baby and start our parenting journey as a family of four (because when you have a 90lbs dog, he totally counts as his own person).
But while I’m busy looking forward, dreaming and planning about the future, I have to admit that there have been some positives to all this pregnancy business. It’s hard to explain, but part of me feels like I’m doing a social experiment, parading around in a pregnancy body suit just to see how people react to me. I’ve always been a people-watcher, but now I feel like a people-watcher that’s watching people watch her. And it’s bizzarre, but mostly in a good way. So even though most women tend to ramble a laundry list of horrible things about being pregnant (like I did above), I think it’s important to remember the positives about it.
So let’s start:
1. Women are ridiculously nice to you, regardless of if they’ve ever been pregnant or not. Experienced mothers will give you their sympathies and say things like “Oh you poor thing!” They’re supportive and have that “I’ve been there, so I know how you feel” look. The never-been-pregnant ladies will either tell you how great you look (liars, all of them, but it’s sweet) or make small talk about how you’re feeling, if you’re excited, and if you’re ready. The answers are almost always “Not too bad, yes, and not at all.” But no matter what the conversation, I have to say I appreciate the positive attention from these women. As a childless 20-something, most women tended to ignore me, and so I always felt that I got along better with men than with women, if only because making casual conversation seemed easier. But now it’s like the tables have turned and every woman wants to be my BFF while men avoid me like I’m carrying the plague. I kind of like it.
2. I can take advantage of the “expectant mothers” parking and not feel the least bit lazy about it. I only wish more establishments had that parking option. Only my grocery store and Babies R Us seems to have it.
3. I can take the elevator for only two flights of stairs and not give a damn about what anyone thinks.
4. For the first time in my life, I’m not self-conscious about my belly nor do I try to hide it with clothing. Instead, I look for outfits that show off my belly area most so that the eye is distracted from the other areas of my body that have also gained a few pounds (like my arms, legs, butt, etc.)
5. I can eat ice cream any and every night of the week. (Because the baby needs the calcium!)
6. I finally have justification for getting pedicures and (prenatal) massages.
7. I have to rely on either my husband or a cleaning service to do the “real” cleaning around the house. Sometimes this is more of a negative than a positive but lately, the hubs has stepped it up a notch in the housekeeping department and doesn’t bat an eye when I ask him to pick something up off the floor for me or to bring me a glass of water so I don’t have to roll myself off the couch and up the stairs.
8. No one judges me for eating my lunch at 10am. Which I totally did today.
9. Beggars leave me alone or will instead say something really nice like “You’re about to drop, ain’t ya?” or “Oooh boy! Any day now!!” I don’t care if I do still have another 2 months to go (at the time), I’d rather hear that any day than be hassled for some change.
10. And finally, I’d be an asshat if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that the most positive thing about pregnancy is simply being pregnant. With so many people struggling with infertility, I’m just over the moon thankful that getting pregnant was relatively easy for us and that, God willing, we’d be able to hopefully do this again. The hubs and I talk a lot about “baby #2” and I remind myself often that just having one is a blessing and that some of my friends, even those who will or have had babies via invitro, may not have another shot at this or be able to grow their family beyond baby #1. As an only child, I know that being the one and only is actually quite enjoyable at times, but I’m sure it’s difficult for those couples who have always dreamed of having a big family. We’ve been very fortunate in this regard and I don’t ever want to take that fact for granted.