10 Totally Awesome (No, Really) Things About Being Pregnant

This was me the night before giving birth to Nora. I felt great right up until the end--hoping that's the case this time around too!
This was me the night before giving birth to Nora. I felt great right up until the end--hoping that's the case this time around too!

I am not someone who complains about being pregnant. Maybe it's that I've always had relatively easy pregnancies, maybe it's that I've seen too many people (my sister included) battle cancer while pregnant, maybe it's that I know how damn lucky I am to be pregnant in the first place. Or maybe it's because I don't want to seem insensitive to the way too many people I know who would give anything to be pregnant right now. Whatever it is, I just don't do it. When people ask me how I'm feeling (which they do a lot), I always say, "fine, great, no complaints." And I mean it. I think people like to assume that all pregnant women must be miserable and that assumption irks me (just as people assume all parents of newborns are equally miserable which was never the case for me and, fingers crossed, won't be again this time). It's not that I'm one of those people who loves being pregnant and mourns the end of the pregnancy as much as I celebrate the birth of the baby. No way. To me, this is a means to an end. But I wanted this. I signed up for it. Sure, some stuff isn't super easy or super fun but, whatever, it's only nine months and I'm growing a human. In light of that, I wanted to share my list of the things I love about being pregnant. The stuff I am truly enjoying. Particularly this time around since it will, undoubtedly, be my last. Here goes (disclaimer: this list will not include things like "Creating life is so amazing" or "I love singing to my belly" because that just ain't me…).

1. The super-vivid, slightly-racy dreams.
I often wake up having just had an affair with, say, Ryan Gosling. Not a bad way to start the day.

2. I don't have to hold in my stomach
. At all. (At least not now that I'm 20 weeks.) Stomach-holding-in is something that usually plagues me on a daily basis in my non child-carrying times. I've always had thin arms and legs but my midsection, well, not so flat. Nine months of letting it all hang out truly is a gift.

3. The guilt-free TV watching
. As I mentioned, I like my TV but sometimes in real life there aren't enough hours in the day. In pregnant life, I always make time for lying in my bed at night and zoning out. And I find that my tastes go very low-brow, very fast-and I let myself go along for the ride. Last night I actually tuned in to Princesses: Long Island (don't get me started).

4. The built-in excuse to bail.
I don't often do these things but knowing I can leave a party early, skip a non-essential meeting, sit out of yet another family BBQ or just not do something I would normally do is a nice card to keep in my back pocket.

5. My newfound wardrobe.
I have a bunch of dresses (A-line, shift, maxi) sitting in my closet that I normally don't wear because every time I put them on, I think ugh, these make me look pregnant (see my gut, above). But now that I am pregnant, these looks are in heavy rotation.

6. People are generally nicer to you-and expect less of you.
Even though I'm not a sappy, emotional, this-is-a-miracle kind of pregnant person, it is pretty damn cool to be growing a human and you get mad respect for that. I will say that people are far less impressed when it's your third pregnancy but still, my family and friends offer to do things for me and when I do said things myself, they are crazy impressed.

7. I'm easier on myself, too.
I cut myself serious slack when it comes to being pregnant. I don't force myself to work out if I don't feel like it, I sleep until I wake up in the morning (instead of attempting to set an alarm and then hating on myself when I snooze it for an hour), and I generally just let myself be. This is not normal for me. Normal is being my own worst critic and constantly striving to do and be more every second of the day. Having nine months to step off that crazy train is just what the doctor ordered.

8. I have zero body image issues.
I am not someone who is obsessed with my weight/shape on a normal basis, but I do think about it and staying healthy is very important to me. That inner dialogue literally screeched to a halt the second I saw the two lines on the pregnancy test. I don't care what the scale says (I know I will lose it as I've done twice before), I eat what I want when I want, and even when I see a flaw that was definitely there pre-conception (like, say, the patch of cellulite on the back of my thigh) I just blame it on the pregnancy!

9. The eating, the eating, the eating!
I'm planning a bigger post devoted solely to the amazing/strange/gluttonous things I've indulged in over the past few months (and what I plan to gorge on for the remainder of the pregnancy) but as a teaser I will say: This is my last chance to be pregnant, to let the belly hang out, to not give a crap about a lot of things I normally give a crap about and I am taking full advantage. (I am also still eating plenty of healthy and nutritious things so no need to alert the authorities.)

10. The looming deadline.
As a writer, I respond really well to deadlines. I always have them, I'm used to meeting them and, if I don't give myself deadlines, I basically wander around aimlessly through my day and my life. I simultaneously love and hate deadlines but they are a huge part of who I am and the more I have, the more I tend to get done. Knowing that I have a really big one on the calendar (November 9, to be exact), has pushed me to do so many things I've been wanting to do for years. Like throwing out my old college books and papers (OK, maybe I'll save a few), finally ordering our wedding album (it's been almost eight years-whoops!) and getting a new front door. Because God forbid we bring another child home through that crappy, paint-chipped entryway.

OK, that's my list for now. There are many more upsides to the situation (and, yes, downsides, but that's not what this post is about) but I'd love to hear some of yours. What do you love about being pregnant? Please share!