Monday, August 1, 2011

What I Love about Being Pregnant

For many women, pregnancy is a joyous time.  It certainly has been for me.  Yet, a large percentage of what I read in pregnancy books and online and much of what I’ve heard from pregnant women over the years are complaints about pregnancy.  Obviously, there are many uncomfortable elements of pregnancy and I too have had my own complaints.  In general, I think it’s often easier to complain (especially to join in on complaining) than to discuss the blessings in our lives.  Yet I think it is essential that if we want to promote a pro-life culture, we must portray the process of giving life in a positive light too.  So I came up with a short list of some of the things I’ve loved about being pregnant so far.
1.  I get to be intimately involved in the creation and nourishment of a life.  While praying before Mass yesterday, I was struck with an overwhelming desire to give thanks to the Lord for allowing me to be part of His creative, life-giving process.  Although many women the world over get to experience the growth of a new life within them, that doesn’t make the process any more miraculous.  If you have been pregnant or had a child before, you have probably felt something like overwhelming awe when you think about how your body is growing this little being inside of you.  It’s really hard to wrap your mind around!  I feel that my words are not adequately expressing the emotions I feel, perhaps there are other people who can explain it better? 
2.  I feel a peace with my body (and my beauty).  Much of my life, I have concentrated on how my body looks and often I fall short of the high expectations I have for myself.  During the pregnancy, I’ve started to think more about what my body can do and am continuously amazed by how it exceeds my expectations!  The body that I was constantly disappointed in has proven that it was made to be great after all.  Why did I ever care that my hips are a little too wide?  They are the hips that are going to birth my baby.  Who cares if my stomach was never as flat as I wanted them to be?  That same stomach cradles and nurtures my child.  My body is working exactly how it was made to and it has nothing to do with how it looks!
On that same note, I feel very beautiful and feminine as a pregnant woman.  Do I really look all that beautiful and feminine?  Probably not – some days I’m bloated, my skin has broken out, need I go on?  But for some reason, I still feel beautiful.  And my husband seems to think so too – I don’t think I’ve ever gotten as many compliments from him about my looks as I do now!
3.  I have to take care of myself.  Not only do I realize that it is very important that I take care of myself for the baby inside, but physically, my body seems to demand that I take care of it.  When I get sleepy (which is so often!), it seems like I can’t do anything but take a nap.  When I am hungry, I have to eat.  And I seem to be much more sensitive to what I eat – when I eat junk food, I feel terrible; when I eat fresh, home cooked meals and lots of vegetable, I feel amazing.  When I’ve been sitting around too much (read: spending too much time in front of the computer screen), I get really restless until I get off my bum and get active.  I’m probably much healthier pregnant than I was before I got pregnant!
4.  I can focus on my priorities.  This isn’t just physical – pregnancy has forced me to take care of myself mentally and spiritually as well.  Pregnancy (and the ensuing baby) is bringing so much change into my life, my home, and my relationships with my husband, my family, and my friends that it is forcing me to slow down, analyze my life, and reorder my priorities.  I feel much clearer about what is essential and what can be cut, and that has resulted in a lot of stress being lifted.  I no longer feel that I have to meet certain priorities and expectations, because if they ultimately do not serve to benefit my family, they no longer meet the standard for “priorities” or “expectations” in my life. 
5.  I love watching those around me (especially my husband) change and grow in expectation of the baby.  It is incredible watching my husband fall in love with his little son or daughter before he/she is even born.  The love between to two of us has grown as we experience the pregnancy together.  How could I not fall even more in love with my husband when I see the wonder and delight on his face when he heard our baby’s heartbeat, felt him/her kick for the first time, or when he leans down to kiss my belly?  I know that the extra expense of a child puts a lot of pressure on him as the main provider, but he never complains and has been more than happy to give up luxuries (like cable!) so that we can save money for the baby. 
It’s also been exciting to see my parents excited to become grandparents.  But even more fun is seeing my little brother (who is 19 and generally still very much into himself as teenagers often are) so excited to be an uncle!  I never imagined him giving me baby name suggestions, but he is really into being a present uncle for our little one.  Who would have known?

6. THE BABY.  Of course, there is a baby at the end of this pregnancy, and that's what makes all the discomforts of pregnancy worth it.  I don't think I need to go into details here about why the baby is a blessing and something I love about pregnancy, because it's the whole reason for the pregnancy in the first place and none of these great things about pregnancy would be possible without the little one.

I’m sure I’m missing some things here, but these are my big ones.  What have you loved about being pregnant? 


  1. I really enjoyed reading this! You make really good points!
    I enjoyed a lot about being pregnant. My hair looked much better than usual, haha! I felt very feminine and beautiful in a way that I had never experienced pre-pregnancy. It was nice to get extra consideration from people in general. It felt appropriate, not because of anything I did, but because of the beautiful work God was doing within me!
    I loved feeling the special bond with Elise months before ever seeing her. I felt strongly that she was a girl a long time before the ultrasound confirmed my suspicions (one time when I was praying for her, I accidentally said "daughter" instead of "child" and thought God was trying to tell me something, since I'd had absolutely no preference!). As time went on, her feisty kicks introduced me to her awesome personality, which I have loved to watch blossom over the past year. It's just such an amazing experience. Sure, there were days when I was exhausted and sick, and by the end my feet hurt like crazy, but in retrospect it seems like it went by so fast! And for such an astounding blessing!
    I wish you all the best during your pregnancy! You're in my prayers! :)

  2. Thanks for the thoughts. We just found out we are pregnant for our sixth child. There will be a 23 year difference from our first to our last and I am 41. We are experiencing much joy right now and I am feeling confident in my own skin as well. I applaud you for saying we need to express the positives about pregnancy and be a shining example of the real gift of life in todays world. Many blessings to you! - alice

  3. Louise, my husband read your comment and now he is convinced we are having a boy because he always unintentionally says "he" when we are talking about the baby! I love the way you explained how extra consideration from people seemed appropriate because of the work God was doing in you. That's a beautiful way to put it!

    Alice, congratulations! What a blessing this child will be for your family. That is quite an age difference between your children, but imagine how much your little one will learn from all his/her other siblings!


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