As much as I'm ready to be done with the aches, the sluggishness and needing help getting out of chairs and bed, there are some things I will miss about being pregnant. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Positive Body Image
This is a big one. I can't remember a time when I wasn't self-conscious about some part of my physical body. From the very innocuous: in 5th grade, my ear piercings that took too long to heal and formed dark scars on my earlobes and I nearly died when someone asked what happened. To the life-long dysfunctional relationship with my weight. Some part of my brain was always unhappy with some part of my body.
But for the past nearly-ten months, all (well ok, MOST) of that has gone out the window. I fearlessly stand on the scale every morning, letting the number reflect back at me, acknowledge the change from yesterday and step off without another another thought. Luckily maternity clothes are quite forgiving and come in S-L and variations there-of, but I've been fearlessly purchasing size Large whenever I need to. And lastly, I've stopped sucking in. Sucking in was happening so often - getting past people, chairs, in the presence of a camera - that it surprised me when I could no longer. And then I just took up space, and I liked it.
Don't get me wrong, inhabiting a pregnant body isn't all ice cream and self acceptance. Pregnant bodies are subject to the same unrealistic and idealized images that female bodies of all stages are subject. That perfectly round, smooth-skinned belly surrounded by toned arms and legs and dimple-free ass? Doesn't exist. Your belly starts out a little loose, like you had one burrito too many, progresses to a wide, fleshy belt, sometimes followed by a full upper belly, making it looks like a square lunchbox in my case, and now in late term, can only be described best as lumpy and lopsided.
By some miracle, I am OK with all of that. And I will miss being OK with my body, just as it is.
2. Ice cream everyday
Perhaps related to perpetually not liking my body, I had a love-hate relationship with ice cream. It was a huge mental battle whenever I accepted or declined it. But during pregnancy the only second thoughts I've had are about which flavor?
I can rationalize by saying that ice cream has calcium, which I need more of. That the combination of cold and creamy eases nausea. But seriously, I just like it, so I eat it.
3. No woman is an island
At times a pregnant woman may feel like an island - large and isolated - but there is no better time to practice accepting help from others.
Normally when asked if I need anything, it's rare to hear something other than 'I'm good' or 'No thank you.' These answers are second nature to me, because you know, I am woman hear me roar. But these days, when I need another pair of hands to simply get out of bed - NOT so simple, as it turns out - I can no longer rely on just myself. And it's been difficult to ask, to accept, and not to jump in when I see an opportunity to do something.
But as it turns out, people, especially loved ones, love to help. Well of course they would - they're your friends and family, they're good people, and you've probably helped with once or twice - but that logic doesn't quite sink in. But trust me, don't fight it. It's much better for everyone to accept the help, accept the gift of time, advice, goodies and kind gestures, don't feel bad about it, and say Thank You.