Spoiler alert: the most amazing thing about being pregnant is the incredible sensation that you are physically growing anther human life inside of you. I think every mom or mom-to-be can agree on that.
However, so much of the conversation around pregnancy revolves around the levels of ailment, discomfort, and inconvenience it brings.
Aww congratulations, you're pregnant! How sick have you been? Are you getting up like 10 times every night? Do you need a crane to stand? Don't you just want to karate punch everyone who makes eye contact?!
I realize that some women have a really hard time with pregnancy-- hugging the porcelain gods, swelling in parts of the body you thought were safe from enlargement, etc.-- but I am not one of those women. I know, I'm lucky. Trust me, I feel slightly guilty about it. (And at the same time, not really, because why should pregnancy have this right of passive via pain mentality? That's a rant of its own, though.)
Regardless of how each woman responds to pregnancy, I feel like there are some amazing perks that too regularly get brushed under the rug. There are some seriously amazing reasons to celebrate during this 9 month journey.
1. Maternity Fashion
Once your bump starts expressing itself as an actual baby and not the remnant of a holiday feast, you get to transition to maternity clothing. Truly, the creator of such a concept as maternity fashion as opposed to formless potato sacks should be handed a giant calorie-free milkshake and carried everywhere on a golden throne. Cute clothes that are made entirely with optimum stretchy and comfort in mind? I meaaaan... I may never go back.
2. Gym forgiveness
In the past, heavy breathing at the gym was a result of your slacking morning routine. Now, you're excused because that second life you're supporting inside your body is a workout in itself. While it's still a good idea to keep exercise in your routine, the pressure of persistence and pushing yourself to loose weight/gain muscle/build endurance/train harder... all gets put on hold. And it's kindof a relief.
3. Naps welcome here.
You're actually medically encouraged to take naps?? Don't mind if I do. It's for the baby.
4. Snack with abandon
Ice cream after dinner? For a week straight? NO SHAME! Eat when you're hungry, listen to those cravings! Again, it's for the baby.
5. Fall (even more) in love.
There is nothing like watching your husband become a father with every whisper and kiss to your growing bump. Those moments of quiet stillness lying on the couch with his hand on your belly, feeling baby's kicks and daydreaming about what he/she'll be like... those moments are irreplaceable.
6. Bump Pride
For the first time in 10 years, the thoughts of "is this too tight?" "I need to pick up my ab workouts" or "gotta suck it in!" haven't crossed my mind. Boast that belly! Strut that Gut! It's a freaking baby in there after all, and that's something to be proud of!
7. Baby showers
Talk about an incredible reminder of how much love and support you have from family and steadfast friends. The emotion + an afternoon with the people you love the most and an abundance of adorable baby gear and you have happiness on a silver platter.
8. Built-in Conversation starter
You always get the nicest smiles from strangers, some of whom just immediately strike up a friendly conversation, as if the protrusion of your belly has suddenly brightened their day.
9. Being Kicked Repeatedly
You never thought you'd enjoy being kicked and punched quite so much, but it never gets old to feel the kicks and rolls of your little one at the most random moments in your day. Sometimes it's as if he/she's attempting to throw a dance party or rearrange your organs in there (oh wait, they are doing that) but still, it's incredible every time.
10. Giving Back
The anticipation of the joy you’re bringing into the world-- there’s nothing like a baby to bring people together. The swoons from new grandparents, the care and love from your friends who have seen you through the best and worst, the attention from random strangers who express their excitement to touch what is essentially your uterus (just get over it, it makes people happy). In a time where we're surrounded by so much negativity, stress, and worry on a daily basis, the sweet miracle of a newborn baby is the purest form of joy and you get to be a part of (literally) pushing that into the world.
So basically, whether it's been smooth sailing or a nightmare of aches, pains, bedrest, and anxiety, there are positives to this journey that all women can share. Most importantly, at the end of that 9 month roller coaster, our lives will be transformed in the second we hold that perfect little blessing in our arms.