Things I Like About Pregnancy

So, I’ve been trying to write this blog entry for about 6 months now. I started it as “Things I Like About My Pregnant Body” because I was trying to be positive about all of the physical changes, especially in those first four months when I felt especially disgusting. It was a tactic to push myself towards the light, to pry myself up and out of the darkness.

However, until now, I would start writing and then quickly discover that I didn’t have much to say and then stop writing it. This happened several times. I just had no content. After a couple of sentences in, I’d felt rather ingenuous, like a restaurant greeter whose smile and welcome are transparent in their motivation. The truth is that I just don’t like enough about being pregnant and, fittingly, feel additionally terrible about that.

When I was in Toronto and surrounded by a lovely group of friends one night, I heard myself say, as though I were outside of my body, “I am thrilled to be soon becoming a Mom because it’s what I’ve always wanted, but I really hate being pregnant.” The whole table silenced for a moment when I said this and I have surely expanded the weight of awkwardness in my hindsight memory, but it had just been my instinctive sentence, emphasis and all. I blurted out some softeners to follow its heavy thud, but the impact was still resonant a few moments later. I felt terrible about that, especially when certain friends in my life are eager to enter this stage and are dealing with the challenges of getting pregnant. How ungracious can I be?

But as you all know, I am thrilled that Little Spark is so nearly here. Six weeks (or so!) and he or she will make an appearance! Who will Little Spark be? What will Little Spark look like? How will Little Spark’s little voice sound? All of these questions and more are bouncing around in my head just as Little Spark is bouncing around in my belly. I can’t wait!

But, being pregnant… wow. I am ready for it to be OVER.

I did, however, manage to get a positive list together (albeit with a long-winded negative intro—oops! ha!) and so this blog is for anyone following who thinks that I have been overly negative and perhaps hasn’t heard me mention anything positive throughout these blogs (and I have!). Here’s my big burst of yellow sunshine for all of the women whom I’ve met along the way who’ve said, “I loved being pregnant! It was the most beautiful time in my life!” For them, I am choosing to seek a small semblance of solidarity in an exaggerated effort to refrain from kicking them in the shins.

THINGS I LIKE ABOUT MY BODY:

  • My skin is really clear: I usually don’t have problems with my complexion, but I think I’ve had one small little pimple in eight months. I could definitely get used to this!
  • My eyes are really green: My eye colour has become much brighter throughout my pregnancy. Even though I’m tired, the whites of my eyes are whiter too. I like that. (I wonder what colour Little Spark’s eyes will be? Most likely brown, but maybe not?!)
  • My areolas are very distinct: Believe it or not, I used to be shy about the near absence of pigmentation that my areolas had. They were just a slight shade of pink and I thought of myself as rather strange in comparison to other girls my age whose areolas were distinctly different shades to the rest of their skin. Now, I know they’re darker for the sake of Little Spark locating them for feeding purposes, but I actually like the distinction! Cool! I wonder if that will go away after I stop breastfeeding? Time will tell.
  • I’m rarely cold: I usually get the chills easily and have cold hands and feet. The hot feet syndrome has continued into the cooler weather (that I talked about in this blog) and, in the evening when the temperature goes down, I’m often overheated and so I don’t notice. I’ve been enjoying that feeling of being warm all the time, rather than shivering in this pre-winter chill.

THINGS I LIKE IN GENERAL:

  • Taste is more prominent: Unlike before I got pregnant, I relish in all kinds of tastes now. I love the sweetness of fruit and the tartness of salty and sour foods. The physical sensation in taste has been forever changed for me. I hope that sensitivity doesn’t disappear after I give birth!
  • The baby’s movement is fun and amusing: I really like that I can now see the baby moving while also feeling it. It’s fascinating to have a creature in here who has free will and who is kicking and twisting, pushing and stretching, hiccupping and farting. Fantastic! All while immersed in water. Amazing. My stomach bobs and sways now like a bowl full of jelly, but unlike Santa’s, it’s being poked from the inside!
  • I am more honest: Pregnancy has made me much more real in general. I say what I feel and I’m much more direct, which is interesting because I thought of myself as a very direct person before. I seem to have lost all remaining filters, however, and I like it better (even when there are awkward thuds like the one I described above.) I just have no time for energy wasting, and no energy for time wasting. Pregnancy is definitely a reality check!
  • I am more patient: Despite the last point, the aforementioned reality check has helped me to be able to see what is worth my frustration and what isn’t. It’s made me much more patient of situations that I can’t control and/or situations that will shortly be over. I’m going to need that patience when Little Spark emerges, I’m sure.
  • Receiving knowing smiles and acknowledgment, especially from older women: It’s so lovely to feel the solidarity with women the world over. People now see my belly and get a film of kindness and wistfulness in their eyes. I’ve never before seen such tenderness directed at me from strangers. Beautiful.
  • My partner’s increased sensitivity: Guo Jian probably ranks higher on the sensitivity scale than most straight men, but he has become much more gentle, giving, thoughtful, generous (and many more adjectives) at a rate in direct proportion to the growth of my baby belly. It’s created another dimension of caring between us that I couldn’t have predicted. I love it.

 

And I’d say that’s a fairly full list, wouldn’t you?

It’s hard for me not to start writing copiously about the things that I don’t enjoy. I’m restraining myself! Even though I can’t wait to have my body back and to meet this creature, I know all-too-consciously that I willingly volunteered to be leased out for 9 months (10 lunar months according to Chinese tradition) and that contract is in its final phase. Luckily, it can’t be renewed! Until then, I shall relish in these final few weeks of alone time and leisurely days.

And, yes, as per your encouragement, I’m at 33 weeks now and I’m continuing to take pictures.

Little Spark just kicked me to punctuate that thought.

Smart kid.

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