I'm pretty sure I made a list like this the first time around, but I'm getting to the point where I need reminders about why pregnancy is great. Last night I went to the gym for the first time in a while, and all I did was a slow-ish 30 minute walk, some minor weight lifting, some squats, and some stretches. And now I'm slightly concerned that I'm setting myself up for an early delivery, because man, was my belly sore. I was getting all sorts of sensations in the nether-regions, which I'm hoping is just a combination of the baby moving and stretching muscles and ligaments, but considering the last time I felt stuff like that I was eight months pregnant and stopped working out for that very reason (and also because my internal exams after 36 weeks all showed that I was consistently dilating), it's a little nerve wracking. I am very concerned about going early this time, so I'm going to have to be extra careful and see if I can regain some minor level of fitness without sending myself into early labor. Awesome. But given that I only walked about 1.45 miles in my 30 minutes when I was running 3.5 miles in that time seven months ago, it's a little bit of a bummer. So...to keep my spirits up, here's the good stuff...
Eating - Now that the holidays are over and I'm not eating every sweet thing in sight, it's nice to not feel guilty about my normal eating habits. I won't lie--over the holidays I ate a LOT, and it was nice to not worry as much about it because I was pregnant. However, I knew that it still wasn't ideal. But now that the worst of it is over and I'm eating more normally, it's nice to make average food decisions and not have to think twice. For example, if I have a small bowl of ice cream or a bowl of cereal (or want another small snack after that), it's nice to just eat it and not worry about the calories. No matter how reasonable the snack might be, pre-pregnancy I'd still think twice.
Eating healthy - I still don't do enough of this, but being pregnant gives me an extra excuse to buy certain things I might normally worry about spending extra money on. I've been eating a Greek yogurt and a string cheese every day, and I'm more likely to buy fresh fruit. They're not huge splurges, but I don't know if I could justify them if I didn't need as much calcium and other nutrients as I do right now. Also, per the point above, I like being able to drink milk or juice without worrying about the calories. I drink a lot of water, but it's nice to drink something else now that I've mostly given up soda (at least at home).
Not having to suck it in - I'm proud of my belly, and I'm enjoying that fact. It's such a nice change of pace after years of constantly being conscious of sucking it in to look skinny. Now my butt and hips are proportionately small and doing the job of making me look skinny all on their own! My belly is solid and I can't really find pudge on it. And there's absolutely nothing that will suck in, so it's not like I even have a choice. But it's nice not to worry about that.
Feeling like a rock star just for showing up at the gym - Not only don't I have to do a full-blown workout, but just being at the gym makes me look like a hero. That said, I do miss being able to put in a good, solid workout and feeling like I'm doing something worthwhile. But it is nice going there knowing I'm just trying to improve my fitness rather than lose weight.
Topic of conversation - There's always something to talk about with friends, co-workers, family, and even strangers. Wearing a big bulky coat doesn't allow for as many random moments as I had last time (since it was warmer and I didn't need a coat as often), but even that didn't stop one woman in the elevator at work this week. It was a pretty presumptuous thing to assume I was pregnant under that coat, but it worked out well for her this time! But it's fun to see people I haven't seen in a few weeks and to see their reaction when they see how much bigger I've gotten.
Feeling kicks - While not all of them are enjoyable, it is fascinating to feel him moving around in there and wondering what he's doing or what part that might be. It's a good reminder, too, that I'm never really alone.
Excuse to sit - I know that aside from nursing I'm not going to have much downtime or a reason to sit once this baby comes, so for now it's not a bad thing to have a good reason to sit and relax. Sometimes I'd like a little more energy and ability to move, but I know I should be grateful for this while I can.
The joy of a baby, without the work - We have all this excitement, without the middle-of-the-night wakeups, diaper changes, and feedings. It's not the same as having a snuggly baby, but I remember thinking it was easier when the baby was healthy and protected in the womb than when he was outside and I worried about everything that crossed his path.
Being "part of the party" - I read a lot of blogs, and while I relate to the parent blogs here and there, there's nothing quite like pregnancy to really bring out topics that I can totally relate to. Same goes for in-person stuff, or even Facebook, but it's easier to seek out pregnancy blogs than to rely on having pregnant friends. Last time there were three other pregnant women in my office, but the closest I got this time was one who delivered back in October and another who got pregnant but miscarried. I have a handful of pregnant Facebook friends, including a Knighthawks fan who's due the day before me! It's just fun to have something like that to bond over with other people and be one of the "in-crowd" when the topic comes up anywhere.
Less concern with clothes - This one could be subtitled "I can wear skinny jeans!", but there are a couple nice things about a maternity wardrobe. First of all, the belly's distracting enough that you don't have to look flawless every day. I might not look amazing in everything I wear, but given my options, it's good enough and most eyes just gravitate to the belly anyway. If someone doesn't like what I'm wearing, at least they know that it's not really part of my normal wardrobe and can assume that I'm just doing what I can to stay clothed! My wardrobe is smaller, so I pretty much know what my options are and have to be okay with doing a 2-3 week rotation. Again, people know pregnancy is a limited period of time so they're less likely to penalize me for wearing something a little more frequently than usual. But per my skinny jeans comment above, it's nice to not need clothes to fit perfectly. I can only wear skinny jeans right now because I don't have to find ones that fit me in the waist, hips, and thighs. As long as the latter two are fine, I'm good to go, because the waist is all elastic! Good luck with that after pregnancy! And as for tops, shirts are either drapey enough to hide things, or they're fitted, and since I don't have to worry about my usual belly pudge right now, fitted works even better than usual. Of course, I will pay for all of this post-pregnancy when nothing fits and I just look fat, but for now it's fun.
It's fun to go to the doctor - Normally it's the big dreaded doctor visit of the year to visit the OB/GYN, but during pregnancy it's downright pleasant. You get to hear the baby's heartbeat and receive confirmation that you're doing everything right, and you get to stay totally clothed in the process. That honeymoon will end in another month or so when internal exams start again and they start telling me that I'm dilating early again, but for now it's nice to
I'm sure there are more but those are the ones that come to mind right now. I think these are probably God's little ways of making an otherwise trying time a little bit easier. Not having to worry about certain things while worrying about a load of extra things is a nice little perk. I know this time is limited so I'm doing my best to soak it all in and appreciate every moment. It was a long road to get here and it's hard to believe it's now so close to the end. I may not love every second of it (and this time, admittedly, there's been a lot more not to like), but it is an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for the world.