Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Confession... plus the Must-Haves

I am going to come out and say this. I have not really enjoyed being pregnant. Why do I feel the need to confess this sad little fact about myself? Largely because it seems there are very few women who will openly admit this. I have lots of pregnant peers who have genuinely enjoyed the whole experience of being pregnant, and I am really happy for them. On the other hand, I know lots of really fantastic mothers who have told me along the way that pregnancy just wasn't a phase of life that they enjoyed. At 37.5 weeks, I am ready to say that I am part of the latter group. Really, I have been pretty blessed with a relatively smooth pregnancy. I had morning sickness for a long time, but not nearly as severely as some friends of mine. My feet have been swelling in these last weeks, but after some experiments, I have figured out how to keep that (somewhat) under control. I haven't had back or joint pain, heartburn, or any of the other nagging things that pregnant women so often talk about. At the end of it, I just haven't enjoyed this. I am really ready to have my body back, and to be honest, I have been at that point since the beginning. For me, pregnancy really is a means to an end that I am very excited about.

So again, why do I say this? Because I know that during the first 20 weeks or so of my pregnancy, I felt really guilty about this. Why? Because the majority of people will say things like, "Enjoy this magical time," or "I just loved being pregnant." And me, being a pleaser, nod and smile, secretly thinking to myself, "Am I going to be a terrible mother because I can't seem to connect with pregnancy magic and really just want a margarita and some sushi?" While some women love their bellies, I was crying over my designer jeans that I still fear I will never again be able to button, let alone pull over my hips. It may sound ridiculous, but all of this really made me question whether or not I would be a good parent, and I really think I am not alone.

So now... the list of must-haves for women who need a little push to enjoy pregnancy. (These things will probably benefit the lucky ones who love the whole process from beginning to end, but my target audience here are the ones who are like me. Sorry!)

--A really fantastic pair of maternity jeans, and at least one top that makes you feel fabulous. Just buy one pair, or if you can afford it, two. I have worn my maternity Citizens to death, and I firmly believe they were worth every penny!
--Prenatal yoga. This was one of the places where I did not feel like a fitness failure. I continued practicing power vinyasa through week 34, something I am very grateful for, but I have loved prenatal yoga because it was one place where I didn't get frustrated when postures were so much easier for everyone around me. (You try doing dancer pose with 30 pounds of belly on you!)
--Maternity photos. This was one of the few times that I felt pretty during the past nine months. The woman who took them was so affirming and complimentary. I am really looking forward to seeing the photos!
--Fancy soda. For me, this started as Izze soda, but now has switched to Fizzy Lizzy. I need a little something when Robin gets to kick back with a beer or glass of wine.
--Cocoa butter, shea butter... any kind of butter. The real kind. Not lotion that says "Contains Shea Butter." Spring for the 100% cocoa butter or shea. (Bath and Body Works has two great products... Shea It Isn't So Shea Butter Balm and "Four Butters" Lotion. Thanks Kris!) While I know that stretch marks sometimes pop up during the last two weeks, I am knocking and wood and counting my blessings so far. The butters have helped me feel a bit of control. Plus I haven't experienced a whole lot of itchy belly, which just sounds uncomfortable.
--A box full of all of your clothes that don't fit. Don't leave them in the closet! Put them far, far away, where they don't remind you of that nagging will-I-ever-be-able-to-wear-my-clothes-again question!

I may think of more and add to this list. For now, I am going to get ready for my day and dream of the things that are to come. Baby, yes... but also wine, sushi, soft cheese, workouts (we have a baby jogger, thank you very much), at least some of my clothes, my ankles.... just 2.5 weeks to go!

1 comment:

  1. I hope that I didn't make you feel bad. Here's my most recent thing that I keep thinking that makes me feel like a bad mom: I can't wait until I wean Aidan. I really do love breastfeeding in a lot of ways and would feel bad if I just stopped doing it because it can be an inconvenience sometimes, but it is an inconvenience sometimes and I am counting down until solid foods, and then the one-year mark when we will start the weaning process (and Aaron can be as responsible for food). I think we all carry crazy ideas around about what makes us good and bad parents. Oh, just FYI, it took me about a month to get out of my pregnancy clothes post-birth (maybe longer). And I had a total breakdown 7 days after Aidan was born (I'll never forget it) because I was so sad and disappointed about what my body looked like even though there was no child in it. Just be prepared. You will get your body back, it just takes time. I have been incredibly impatient. Slowly, but surely.