Do you like being pregnant?
I find this a weird question. But yet it’s asked all the time. Do you like being pregnant?
I certainly don’t hate being pregnant. I have had an “easy” pregnancy when it comes to symptoms, feeling good and not having to change much about my routine. But do I like it? My answer is that it’s fine.
I miss things I shouldn’t have in pregnancy. I’ve been pretty strict about following the guidelines. This list includes but is not limited to: coffee, alcohol (summer beers and Pimms cups), lox, raw feta and goat cheese, sushi and soft ice cream (omg the Mister Softee truck taunts me on our block and on the way home from work).
Midwife note: Guidelines for safe eating during pregnancy vary from place to place. For example, women in Japan eat sushi in pregnancy. People in some cultures drink wine and eat soft cheese. Caffeine up to 200mg is considered a safe amount, but it does cross the placenta so some people give it up completely or drink significantly less.
Avoiding soft ice cream is not really a standard recommendation in the US. It is in the UK and Australia. The reason is that machines are not always properly cleaned and can grow bacteria such as listeria. A truck (like Mister Softee) is more likely to have improperly cleaned machines than a place like McDonalds.
I suggest doing your research and deciding what makes the most sense to you, and of course talking to your healthcare provider.
US guidelines, UK guidelines and Australian guidelines.
I miss having more than 4 outfits. This is an exaggeration - I have more than 4 outfits. But I don’t have a lot of maternity clothes, nor do I care to buy a bunch, so my options are limited. I have started accessorizing with belts, scarves and jewelry.
I very much dislike that no bras fit and I have to keep buying more. Maybe some people like that their breasts change and get bigger, I am not one of those people. It frustrates me and I’m constantly annoyed with bras.
I don’t like gaining weight. But we knew this already from my prior post. I have come to terms with this, but it’s still not my favorite thing, obviously.
I like getting seats on the subway (sometimes). There are actually times I’d rather stand because sitting is uncomfortable but then someone gets up for you and so you kind of have no choice….this is a love/hate thing.
I like the fact that my body is growing a person. This is really, really cool. No one told my body what to do, it is just doing it. There is an organ that was grown specifically for this purpose, the amazing placenta.
I like that I am never alone. This is actually my favorite thing and something I’ll definitely miss when I’m no longer pregnant. You are literally NEVER alone. There is always this little fetus with you. A client of mine recently said, “It’s like you always have a friend.” I find this to be so true and something I never, ever thought I’d be so sentimental about. I actually think about the fact that this won’t always be and get sad about it. Of course I’m excited to see my baby on the outside, but I will miss the feeling of this person being inside me. I like feeling the kicks and movements. I like being able to talk and sing to Embers and to be able to push on my belly and have Embers push back. I’m getting teary just writing about it.
So do I like being pregnant? It’s fine. I don't hate it. There are good parts, there are annoying parts. But I am so happy that I am pregnant because I’m going to have a baby! Fred and I are adding to our family and we couldn’t be happier about meeting this kid and raising a human. It's truly amazing.
A Very Merry Christmas
When we found out about the pregnancy and figured out the EDD, we realized it would be so fun to tell our parents on the same day when they were together on Christmas.
The waiting proved to be difficult to some degree, because my mom arrived on 12/21. After lots of fake drinking and some other hiding, we actually managed to keep it from her. Thank goodness she’s not very observant! And it was well worth it.
On Christmas, we arrived at their house. Lucky for us, very shortly after arrival, my mother in law suggested we open gifts. We saved the best for last.
We framed the picture (which really looks like a little blur, haha) and bought two matching frames. We insisted that they open them at the same time and for his parents, to open it together.
Fred’s parents noticed first. They both jumped up and ran to us. My mom was a little slower to realize, maybe even from a bit of shock about it. I caught her with a little tear and she stood up too. Everyone was extremely happy! Hugs all around :)
Fred’s dad did say he had a slight suspicion from the week before. He had made a whole pitcher of whiskey sours and I kept saying no. He said he wasn’t sure, but there was a glimmer of hope and thought about it for him.
My mom was the most surprised since we had been with her for 4 days already and she hadn’t noticed. We pointed out some of the funny things she missed (fake drinking, especially the night Fred drank two beers), mentioning my breasts looked bigger, etc.
Midwife note: There are actually several websites devoted to fake drinking and how to do it. I'll spare the links, but a quick google search should yield plenty of options.
We were so happy to give our parents this wonderful gift. Fred's father said, “take all the other presents back, this is the only one we need.” and his mom said “you guys will make great parents." My mom said she couldn’t believe “my baby is having a baby.”
As expected, Fred’s dad would be periodically grinning when I looked at him for the rest of the day.
Midwife note: When to tell people about the pregnancy is a very personal decision. There is no right or wrong time or too early. We chose to tell our parents at just over 6 weeks. This was based on many factors, but most importantly was that if I were to miscarry, we would tell them. We wanted to be able to lean on them for support. My philosophy as a midwife is the same and I tell my clients the same thing. If you would share your miscarriage, why not share the news of the pregnancy?
Today was our celebration of Christmas with some of Fred's family since they were going to be away for the holidays.
We had planned to keep it a secret and so we were hoping nothing would come up to give it away.
Fred’s father always makes his "famous" whiskey sours. He made a full pitcher and offered to me. I declined (I almost always have one). He asked me at least 2-3 times more to have one and each time I had to decline.
Midwife note: Don't drink alcohol when pregnant. This is usually a no-brainer.
His brother-in-law also offered me cider, which I had to decline.
It was amusing because Fred’s family usually isn’t so pushy about drinking. I'm wondering if anyone suspects.
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City