We've been ridiculously busy on the home front lately between the holidays and tons of family happenings, not the least of which is my quickly-progressing pregnancy. Friends see me now and exclaim, “Oh my goodness, you've popped!” That, of course, instantly pushes popcorn to the forefront of my attention-deficit, craving-adled mind until everything from school buses to bumblebees seem to resemble giant buttery kernels and I'm forced to venture to the grocery store for the third time in one day.
But it's not all inconvenient culinary desires and flighty attention spans. The other day when my aunt asked me to name my favorite part of pregnancy, I came up with a number of truly enjoyable parts. There are actually a lot of benefits of pregnancy. My favorites include:
Everyone is nice to you
Strangers constantly let me cut in line for the bathroom (and with the baby treating my bladder like a trampoline, I truly appreciate the gesture). People I encounter smile at me and offer advice. When friends drop by, they often come bearing tiny blankets and bibs. Each day is filled with happy little moments and reminders that this whole thing isn't just about pregnancy. It's about life.
Pregnancy has brought Nate and I closer than I could ever imagine. I'm not about to go into our sex life (I've recently been informed that my DAD reads this thing!), but pregnancy creates a truly unique bond between a mother and father. I occasionally catch Nate looking at me with what I can only describe as pure adoration, and he's unbelievably supportive. He even tolerates my occasional hormone-driven outbursts with impressive humor.
I've never been the most health-conscious person. I eat a bit of junk food and exercise on occasion. Special occasions, that is. One of the benefits of pregnancy is that it's made me more aware of what I put into my body and helped motivate me to be more active. Now that it's not just about me, I actually remember to take vitamins every single day! My hair and nails are growing like crazy, and the energy slumps that pregnancy is known for are balanced out by occasional bursts of energy that help get me out and about.
Being responsible for another person suddenly throws everything else into stark contrast. I still have little day-to-day worries and annoyances come up, but I'm able to let things go and focus on the important issues. I've become more assertive and get things done faster now, ultimately spending less time dealing with tedious problems that are best solved with a direct approach. One of the greatest benefits of pregnancy is that my self-confidence has increased as I've begun to realize that while I certainly can't do it all, I am capable of a lot. I have a feeling that motherhood – and all the juggling that goes along with it – will also strengthen my personal time management and business skills.
Being just a little over halfway through my first pregnancy, I know that I still have a lot to experience. From fun nursery projects and baby classes to finally being able to hold our child, I expect the benefits of pregnancy to continue to outweigh the drawbacks. I even suspect that the dreaded delivery (yikes!) will be totally worth it in the end. Otherwise, no one would be crazy enough to have more than one child…right?