Pregnancy has gotten a bad rap. As soon as people get over the initial excitement of congratulating you about your thrilling news, the pity questions often start to pour in all focused on the main topic of “How have you been feeling?”
Pregnancy seems to be associated primarily with negative things like sickness, exhaustion, puffiness, mood swings and all around misery. But is that really what we should focus on when we are going through one of the greatest miracles of all?
Now, I must give a disclaimer that I have been blessed with an exceptionally easy pregnancy and I know that isn’t the case for a lot of people. So if you are one of those people who threw up every day for 9 months straight, you might want to just stop reading now before you feel the strong desire to send me hate mail, which I won’t read, or throw your iphone across the room, which I don’t want to be responsible for replacing. But if you’re thinking about getting pregnant and you are feeling discouraged about how terrible your life may be for nine straight months, or you’re in the midst of it right now hoping to cling to something positive, than let me shine a little light on the subject for you with seven reasons why being pregnant is amazing.
1. It is literally a miracle.
I’ll start with the most fascinating part of being pregnant. Despite the fact that it has happened to billions of women for thousands of generations, the fact that a tiny part of you mixes with a tiny part of the person you love the most and actually grows into a real life baby and eventually a human being that has the ability to make a positive impact on the world is incredible. Whenever people ask me what I am up to lately, I respond with, “Oh you know, growing a human”. It’s a miracle. Don’t miss it.
2. It brings joy to other people.
So aside from growing a human the past 40 weeks, I also have the privilege of working with a lot of teenage girls who have been victims of some terrible things. I have found that nothing brings them more joy or breaks the ice quite like them being able to marvel over the baby growing inside of me. From having them try to guess his name, hearing about baby things or feeling him kick, nothing warms your heart more than knowing that the child you haven’t even brought into the world yet is still able to bring joy to someone else.
3. People think you are Wonder Woman.
“You’re coming in the pool… with your baby?!?!” (Actual quote from a girl to me when I was the worship leader at a camp for girls this summer.) Suddenly, every single thing you are capable of doing whether it is hiking to the top of a mountain or actually being able to paint your own toenails becomes the most incredible thing people have ever witnessed. People know that being pregnant isn’t easy and that makes everything you do seem like you are just as hardcore as Wonder Woman conquering armies in battle. Embrace it. Who doesn’t want to be Wonder Woman? (Or is that just my personal fantasy?)
4. Random strangers actual say really nice things too.
So we’ve all heard the horror stories about random strangers saying really rude and inappropriate things to pregnant women that make them feel terribly insecure. But I can’t tell you the amount of times people stopped me and said really kind and encouraging things when I’m walking through the mall or the grocery store. “You’re my hero!” “Keep it up!” “You look amazing!” Aw, thanks random stranger. The world isn’t all bad. Don’t expect it to be.
5. You have a built in excuse for everything.
Binge watching Netflix in the middle of the day? Your house is a mess? Going to sleep at 8pm? Not bringing anything to the potluck? Even if your real excuse had nothing to do with being pregnant, no one is going to judge you because they just assume it’s because you’re pregnant. Live it up for 9 months!
6. You get to set an example.
This goes back a little bit to the work I get to do with teenage girls, many of whom have grown up in foster care or in really dysfunctional families. But all of us encounter plenty of people who have never seen a great example of what love looks like: We get to show them. One of the biggest things I keep learning the more I study trauma is that you can’t tell people that what they experienced wasn’t normal or right, you just have to show them a different way. One girl I talked to recently was telling me how she just lost her baby brother because her mom didn’t want to be pregnant so she took as many drugs as humanly possible so the baby couldn’t survive in the womb. Talk about heartbreaking! I didn’t have to tell that sweet girl that what her mom did wasn’t right. She could tell from watching the way I take care of myself during pregnancy that what her mom did wasn’t normal. You may be the first person to show someone what it looks like to love a child and help break the cycle of dysfunction that they experienced. Don’t take that lightly!
7. You get a baby at the end of it.
At almost 41 weeks to date, I’m not 100% confident of this one. But evidence does seem to point towards the fact that at the end of it all, you actually get a tiny human to call yours forever. So I start and end with the fact that being pregnant is amazing because regardless of whether you experience any of the things I mentioned above, you still get a miracle child at the end.
Don’t let all the bad PR on pregnancy drag you down. It truly is an incredible time. Seek joy and soak it all in!