Pregnancy is a huge transformation for mind, body and soul. Rochelle Gillespie shares 15 things to love about those months when baby is truly a part of you.
1 mum’s the word!
For a few weeks at least, enjoy the fun of keeping a really good secret from 99.9% of the population. You and your baby’s daddy will feel like members of a highly exclusive club while you wait to tell the world your good news. You can have quiet conversations at night chatting over baby names and debating whether you’re having a boy or a girl. You can also spend the time coming up with creative ideas to share your pregnancy news. See some inspiration on cute ways to spread the word.
And once you’ve delivered your good news, there are other secrets you might like to keep from the general public. The sex of the baby perhaps, or your baby name ideas.
2 “oh, I’d love to but...”
Being pregnant can be a great excuse for getting out of things you don’t really want to do. People are very forgiving of a pregnant woman and her symptoms, be they morning sickness or general tiredness. If you’re moving house, for instance, you won’t be expected to carry any heavy boxes. Your need for an “early night” will get you out of those long, boring social engagements you’d rather avoid.
You can also use “preggy brain” as an excuse for your forgetfulness or clumsiness. Where once you would have been looked at sideways, now you can look cute and just say, “Oh well, blame the bump!”
3 nana naps
There’s something very indulgent about an afternoon nap. Once baby comes along naps will be a far-off dream, so make the most of them while you can. Head off to bed for a little siesta in the middle of the afternoon. Even if you don’t manage to nod off entirely, you’ll enjoy some quiet time just lying down, head on the pillow, reading a good book and putting your feet up.
4 doting strangers
In that last trimester when you’re very obviously pregnant, you will be a magnet to others. They’ll share your good humour and excitement and will be sympathetic if you’re having a bad day or struggling to lug your grocery bags into the car boot. They will freely offer you tips and advice. Of course, don’t feel obliged to pay any attention to it, but you can be grateful for the generosity of strangers nonetheless.
If you’re out at a social event you won’t have to worry about how to get the conversation going. Your pregnancy will be the talking point, avoiding those awkward starters such as, “So, what’s new with you?”
5 comfy clothes
In your pre-pregnant days, you likely held true to the fashion adage of no pain, no gain and damn the fact those new heels are killing you — they look FABULOUS!
Now it’s time to shed the shackles of haute couture and laze in the luxury of comfort. Flat shoes, elasticised waist bands and maternity jeans. You might not have been able to do downward dog for weeks, but that doesn’t stop you wearing your yoga pants 24/seven.
6 feeling baby move
It starts with gentle butterflies in the tummy around the 18-20 week mark and will get steadily more active and unruly as time goes on. It’s a crazy, almost alien feeling but one that you’ll miss when baby is born. And while you’ll enjoy the unique feeling of baby squirming and wiggling inside, your baby’s daddy can enjoy the moment too by putting a hand on your belly and feeling baby kick. He won’t be the first dad-to-be who reckons he’s got an All Black in training.
7 let’s talk about sex, baby
Once you get that morning sickness out of the way and the second trimester begins, things in the bedroom department can really heat up. An increase in pelvic blood flow, vaginal lubrication and breast size can increase the pleasure for both you and your partner. Some women report multiple orgasms during pregnancy and it can also be a good excuse to start experimenting with new positions to accommodate your changing body shape.
Labour and birth is intensely powerful, almost animalistic, and sex may be the closest thing you’ve experienced to it. You have to switch off your mind and let your body and physical sensations take over.
For more on sex during pregnancy click here.
Of course, there are a couple of added bonuses — you don’t have the hassle of your monthly period, and no more worries about contraception!
8 taking the plunge
Of all the exercise regimes you can do, there’s something very calm and relaxing about swimming when pregnant. You’ll feel lighter and more graceful in the water. You’ll love floating on your back and watching your belly protrude above the water.
9 making friends
The best friendships are formed over a shared experience and there are few more life-altering than the birth of a child. So, you’ll connect with colleagues and acquaintances on a whole new level when you can share your pregnancy.
Many life-long friendships have begun in antenatal class where a group of strangers share the common bond of wanting to be best prepared for the looming arrival of their firstborn.
You can also make great online friends with others expecting at the same time by joining our due-in threads on our forums.
10 well, hello there D cups!
Yes, boobs, glorious boobs. They’ll never be quite the same again, so enjoy your burgeoning bosom while it lasts.
11 you’re never alone
There’s no reason to feel lonesome when you have a little companion along 24/seven.
You can chat away to your tiny passenger, giving him a commentary on your day or sharing your thoughts on his impending arrival. Think about it — you’re literally sharing your body with another human being — you have an extra heart-beat, 10 extra toes, 10 extra fingers inside you (more if you’ve got twins or triplets) — that’s pretty freakin’ amazing!
There’s no more intimate relationship than a mother and her unborn child.
12 doting husbands
Being the mother of his child is a remarkable gift to give a bloke, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find him wanting to repay in little ways. He may be more inclined to get up and make you a cup of tea. He may be more willing to unload the dishwasher to save you and his unborn child bending over.
He’ll also become more emotional, although this is a transformation that will be complete only once baby is actually born. He’ll watch TV ads for phone companies and Christmas family holiday movies on DVD with a little tear welling in the corner of his eye. He will also get all cute and hold conversations with your belly. Oh... bless!
13 you’re glowing!
Many women report thicker, fuller hair during pregnancy as well as stronger nails. A pregnant woman is often described as “glowing” and indeed that could well be true. Your skin may improve and appear rosier, as a result of the increased blood flow circulating around your body.
14 getting healthy
Knowing that you’re responsible for not just yourself but another human being is as big a motivator as you can get for adopting a healthy lifestyle. Not only will baby thank you for cutting out alcohol and caffeine, but your own body will benefit from your pregnancy-prompted healthy choices. You’ll drink more water and take greater care to read the labels of what you eat. Not only are you what you eat — but so is your baby. Suddenly, it all seems to matter a whole lot more.
15 waiting to meet baby
Nine months may seem like a long time to wait for baby but before you know it, your little bundle will have made his entrance and you’ll have all the time in the world to get to know him. So enjoy the time you have to prepare for his arrival. Indulge in buying tiny clothes and shoes. Go to town on Pinterest, creating a mood board for your perfect nursery. Give those mummies at the playground admiring looks and daydream about the strolls through the park you’ll be taking with your baby soon enough. It’s like being a kid counting down the days to Christmas!
Rochelle Gillespie thoroughly enjoyed all three of her pregnancies. But she was a little taken aback when her daughter met her baby brother for the first time and asked, “Have you got a baby sister in there for me now Mummy?” Too soon darling… too soon.