Pregnancy is a one-of-a-kind experience that truly demonstrates how amazing our bodies are. It’s just one of those things you can’t describe unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. Of course there are aspects of pregnancy that are challenging, and even down-right scary (knowing childbirth is in the near future!), but I think it’s important to discuss how women can still enjoy being pregnant. Obviously everyone’s experience is different – every woman is different, every body is different, every baby is different, and every pregnancy (even for the same woman) is different.
Having had two children within three years time, I can say that my pregnancies were very different. Both had their positives and negatives, but I wanted to make sure that I still found ways to enjoy certain things about being pregnant. I considered it a blessing to be able to experience such an amazing thing, and of course, I was thankful that my children and I were healthy throughout the pregnancies. For me personally, my second pregnancy was slightly more challenging than the first, but I think many of the contributing factors were external. For example, I was working full-time, and I had a toddler to take care of this time.
While there are definitely things that are not exactly fun during pregnancy, there are some things that I think are important to enjoy, and savor while you can:
The inevitable fact that your body is changing so rapidly can be hard to accept at times, even if you’re excited to be pregnant. And it’s probably safe to say that most pregnant women are anxious to get past the point of “I’m pregnant but it just looks like I’m gaining weight and/or really bloated”. I personally loved having a round baby bump, and taking pictures to track mine and baby’s growth. I think it’s important for women to feel beautiful and radiant during their pregnancy, and wear clothes that compliment their bump, rather than trying to hide it because they think it’s something they should feel self-conscious about. I realize everyone feels diffeerently about it, but I enjoy and appreciate when pregnant women are proud of their baby bump. Of course it’s also important to be comfortable and make practicle wardrobe choices, but don’t feel like you have to sacrifice style just because you’re pregnant. After all, you do have a good excuse to buy new clothes, and that’s not a bad thing!
This was, without a doubt, what I enjoyed the most during my pregnancies. Feeling your baby move for the first time somehow makes it all more real. Prior to that point, you know you’re pregnant, especially if you’re experiencing the less-than-desirable symptoms, but it can still be hard to wrap your mind around the fact that there’s a little body growing inside you. But when movement and kicking starts, it’s so exciting and special. I think this is also an important milestone in pregnancy that is important and special for fathers, because it’s really the only way they are able to physically connect with baby before they are born, unlike us mommies. Yes, they know there is a baby in there, they can see our belly growing, and hear the heartbeat, but actually feeling (and after awhile, seeing) the baby move is a different experience. There were times my husband would ask me how it felt to feel a baby moving inside me, and it was nearly impossible to describe.
Again, there is a point where fetal movement becomes uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful, but don’t let that diminish the enjoyable moments.
One thing I always looked forward to while I was pregnant, were checkups. This was probably the first, and only, time in my life I was excited about going to the doctor, much less, going to the doctor so often. Prenatal appointments are not only extremely important, but can also be exciting because you get to hear your baby’s heartbeat, and it’s also reassuring to know how you and baby are doing. I think hearing baby’s heartbeat is another one of those things that is special and important for dads to be a part of, similar to what I discussed about fetal movement. I was personally, very thankful that my husband was able to go to my prenatal appointments and ultrasounds. He was also happy and excited to go with me.
Speaking of ultrasounds, one of the tools I was happy to take advantage of, was 3D ultraounds. Of course we were always excited to get traditional ultrasounds, but the 3D ones are even more exciting. We got a 3D ultrasound with both of my pregnancies, and it was definitely worth the money. Yes, it can be disappointing if you are not able to get a good look at your growing baby. It’s also unpredictable because you don’t know what kind of position your baby is in prior to the ultrasound, or if they are going to try to hide once the ultrasound begins, but nevertheless, being able to see your baby in any way before they are born is amazing! In my opinion, if you have the chance to get one, you won’t regret it!
Change in appetite, one way or the other, is a very noticeable thing during pregnancy, including food cravings. Developing food cravings is one of the things you just expect to get when you fnd out you’re pregnant. You can even start having them before you know you’re expecting, which starts to make sense after you find out. However, it’s a common misconception that ALL pregnant women have wacky food cravings. One woman can even have different experiences with food cravings from one pregnancy to the next, or not have them at all. And yes, sometmes, we do crave things that we wouldn’t normally desire, or unusual combinations. If this is the case during your pregnancy, why not enjoy it? Obviously, it’s important to remember that your baby is getting everything you get, so the whole “I can eat anything and everything I want”, is not necessarily a healthy view to have. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fnd ways to satisfy your cravings in a healthy, enjoyable way. If you’re craving things you don’t usually want to eat, why not take advantage of introducing yourself to new flavors. Especially if you have had to give up eating some of your favorite things, if they are making you sick. During my second pregnancy, it was dfficult to enjoy any kind of food during the first trimester, so once my appetite returned, I was happy to enjoy food again.
Needless to say, there are many things that influence what one expectant mother enjoys during her pregnancy, versus what another woman finds enjoyable. And let’s face it – even the smoothest of pregnancies is not easy. But it’s definitely not an experience to be taken for granted. No matter how many pregnancies you have experienced, or even if you haven’t yet experienced it but plan to in the future, try to your best to enjoy the moment that are most special for you. After all, you know what they say – pregnancy is the easy part!
What is/was your favorite part about being pregnant?
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