You've probably read this post. And this one. And maybe this one.
Or maybe you've had the misfortune of actually seeing me and my cankles lately, and you've actually heard me complain about how tired I am, and how much my hips hurt, and how my fingers are swelling for the first time in any of my pregnancies, and speaking of swelling have you seen these cankles?
And after you read/heard all the complaint junk, you thought to yourself, "Man, that poor girl is just miserable! She's over there complaining about sleep and back pain and drinking water and anxiety and hormones and peeing and waddling. She hates being pregnant. Guess I can't blame her though...those cankles..."
And well, you might not believe me when I say this, but you're actually totally wrong.
Pregnancy is full of challenges. This pregnancy has certainly had enough. And I know I've done my fair share of complaining, and possibly beyond my fair share. Am I stealing someone else's share of pregnancy complaints? Yikes. Sorry about that.
But really, the truth is... I love being pregnant. Cross my heart and hope to die, I do. I love it. I've missed it in between all my other pregnancies, and I'll miss it again after this baby is born.
The thing is, being pregnant has its perks. Sure, some of them are pretty shallow. You get to park in those amazing parking spots (that every store on Earth should have, by the way). You get to shop for new clothes because darn, none of your old stuff fits! You get to flaunt a cute bump (can we all just agree that baby bumps are pretty darn cute?). You can justify eating almost anything, at almost any time. And you get so much attention, am I right? (See? Shallow.)
And then, there's the not so shallow things. There's seeing a little human that oh, you happened to CREATE, for the first time as a little gray blob on an ultrasound screen. And crying when you hear that heartbeat thumping impossibly fast. And there's feeling that first little flutter and wondering if it just might be a kick. And then feeling a slightly bigger flutter and realizing that holy heck, it is a kick! And then having those kicks keep you company day and night for months and months.
There's also so much joyful anticipation. Waiting for your belly to finally look like a belly. Waiting to find out if it's a boy or a girl. Waiting for that cute, tiny outfit you ordered online to finally arrive at your door so you can hold it up and marvel at how tiny it is. Waiting to see when she'll really come, when her birthday will be for the rest of her life, how long it'll take her to get here, and whose nose she'll have. It's the kind of waiting that makes you think you can't possibly wait. The best kind.
But honestly, my favorite thing about pregnancy is that it makes you automatically special, somehow, and it takes one look at you to know it. You are constantly working to physically sustain a LIFE. You are eating differently, stressing over medications, changing your physical activity. Every choice that you make directly impacts another person.
And it's not just any other person: it's another person that you wholeheartedly love, but technically have never met. It's a person who you want to give the world to, but all you can really do is gently press back on her feet when she presses them against the inside of your belly, or give her Phish Food when she tells you that she wants it, or spend hours thinking about what you could name her because she has to have just the perfect name, and when you finally pick one it just feels so right that, of course, it makes you cry.
And you know you'll never have time like this, with just the two of you, ever again. Her little kicks will no longer be yours to share. She'll learn to rely on other things for food and entertainment and comfort. She'll learn to love a world outside her mama. And you want her to, of course. But maybe not today, you know?
Anyway, I really just felt the need to let you all know that this is how I really feel. I might come across as negative, and I might actually BE negative sometimes, and I'm sorry for that. But in my heart of hearts, this is how I really feel about being pregnant: Happy. Content. Special.
And blessed. Very, very blessed.
Wish me luck over the next couple days, friends. It's about to get real.