I’m entering month seven of my pregnancy and can’t wait to meet the little dude who has been keeping me up at night, waking me up in the wee hours of the morning, forcing me to stop mid-run at gas stations so I can pee, and sometimes even making me yell at my husband. Soon he’ll be here in this world and will keep me up some more at night, and wake me up in the wee hours of morning, only in person and in way more dramatic ways (like crying his face off until he gets what he wants — milk, dammit!). He’ll probably also force me to stop at a variety of awkward places – mid walk, run, or mid-errand so I can clean shit off of him. And I imagine he’ll still make me want to yell at my husband.
All that said, I have to admit that pregnancy is starting to suck a little less. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s the best time in my life….because it’s definitely not. It still sucks; it just sucks a little less than it did before.
And here’s why:
I finally look pregnant.
There’s no more mystery involved – no more chubby versus pregnant debates – I’m definitely pregnant. There’s a real, distinguishable bump now, leaving very little room for uncertainty. And since I spend the majority of my life in stretchy clothes, I’m happy that people just know. I’m happy that I don’t have to wonder if they’re wondering why I’m suddenly gaining so much weight.
Bump, there it is.
I’m so productive.
As an adult, I’ve always been a relatively early riser. I’ve never been one to shy away from an early morning workout or even early morning call. But now that I’m in my second (quickly approaching my third trimester), I’ve become a really early riser. Some days I get up before 5 am just so I can eat toast. And on these days, I typically enjoy my peanut butter and jelly toast while catching up on email (or even reading!), and some days I even manage to squeeze in a quick early morning Gixo workout (around 6 am) before the rest of the world even seems to be alive. I get back from my workout and it’s not even 7 am, meaning that my workday is already positioned to be that much more productive. I swear this baby boy is making me feel more alert, sharp, and focused…(or maybe it’s really due to the lack of wine in my life…). Either way, I’ll take it.
I watch WAY less TV.
For the last couple of years, I felt like I was watching way too much TV. I would get home after a really long day and just want to unwind on the couch, usually mindlessly watching TV while also finishing up work from the day. It would usually mean that I was going to bed later than I should and I was never leaving myself enough time to read…or gasp, sleep! Now that I’m waking up so early and feeling so darn exhausted when I get home at night, my first instinct is to go straight to bed with a book, and read for a little while before I fall asleep. And while the baby likes to kick me awake in the middle of the night, get me up to pee multiple times, or give me the most severe cotton mouth or hanger….I feel like I’m at least putting in more quality hours sleeping when I’m actually sleeping. And again…being way more productive.
I’ve started trusting myself again.
Pregnancy is scary. You visit your doctor every single month and it seems like at each appointment, you’re hearing some new crazy words being thrown around; all of these little reminders that there are possibilities for complications, or things you should be doing, thinking about, getting tested for, eating, not eating, and the list goes on. And it isn’t just your doctor, it’s everything you read online. It’s people in your life. Everywhere there are rules, stories, anxiety inducing information…..
Like the day I heard the words: you have placenta previa. You can’t run, lift weights, have sex……
I was absolutely haunted by these words and all of the rules that came with them; they consumed me. So. Many. Restrictions. It felt like yet another reminder that my body no longer belonged to me, and I started to feel like I was just a vessel for new life, a science experiment that gets poked, prodded, and analyzed on the regular. I felt like I was owned by everyone but myself, and I let all of the emotions, and realization of that take over until I was a shell of myself. I was stuck in the mentality of “I can’t,” and took everything SO seriously that I kind of stopped living my life for a moment. I felt like if I broke even the tiniest rule – like when I needed to lift my dog and put her in the bathtub, for example – that somehow I was a bad person. A terrible mom. A selfish asshole.
And then I woke up one day and realized that I have to live my life, that pregnancy is not and should not be a disability. I realized that I trust myself enough to do what’s best for me, MY body, MY needs, and that I have the tools and awareness to navigate and make sense of the rules as they apply to ME (go ahead and judge me).
Because let’s face it, pregnancy isn’t one size fits all.
I’m less miserable now that I’ve had this realization. I’m less miserable now that I feel more in control of my body again and the choices I make to take care of this life giving vessel.
Feeling your baby move is fucking awesome.
Last but not least, I’d have to say that one of the best parts about being pregnant – something that truly doesn’t suck – is feeling Baby Danger moving, kicking and squirming around in there.
Sure, it’s a little annoying when he starts to play Street Fighter in the middle of the night (I imagine he’s also a big Chun Li fan), but it’s also totally cool. With every little jab, flutter, and movement, I always try and think about what he’s trying to tell me, or what kind of mischief he’s trying to get into in there.
With each passing week, I keep telling myself to just hang on. The ride is almost over (which is terrifying in and of itself) and a whole new ride is about to start.
Stay sweaty friends,