Perhaps it’s because my baby is quickly approaching his first birthday. Possibly it’s because everybody I know seems to be having a baby this year. Or, maybe it’s just that I was feeling fat this morning. For whatever reason, the thought crossed my mind (for a fleeting moment) that I wish I was still pregnant.
For all of the discomfort and awkwardness that comes with pregnancy, there are some real benefits to growing a human being. I mean, yeah, of course you get to take part in the creation of new life and claim a new relationship status as “mom”–yadda, yadda, yadda. But the benefits I’m talking about go much shallower.
For starters, when you’re pregnant and your belly is pooching out over the top of your pants it’s cute. It’s a baby bump. People–even strangers–have a strange fascination with wanting to touch your poochy belly. Now, two kids later, I have my own little baby bump–only it’s the bump of stretched out skin in my lower abdomen that won’t go away no matter how many crunches I do. It’s not cute (but thank goodness my kids are, or I just don’t know if it would all be worth it). Along with this, I long for the days when I would gaze anxiously at the scale–to make sure I was gaining enough weight. Anxious scale-glances still happen, but they’re for different reasons now.
And here’s another thing I miss about pregnancy: I miss being selfish. I even feel selfish saying that I miss being selfish. You see, when you’re pregnant it’s almost expected that people will dote over you and pay extra-special attention to you. Of course, they’re only doing it because they want to take care of the baby that happens to reside in your uterus, but that’s a mute point. It’s also kind of expected that you won’t be able to do everything that you used to do in your pre-pregnant state (like mowing the lawn, putting away dishes on all of those high shelves, vacuuming, rubbing your own feet–you know, strenuous stuff). I like not doing all that stuff and having an excuse not to do it.
And, finally, I miss the sleep. When I was pregnant I took naps every afternoon and slept in most weekends–and people just let me. They encouraged me to rest. Ah, to have guilt-free rest again would be pure bliss.
In the end, though, there is always a silver lining. That lovely belly pooch I get to lug around with me for the rest of my days is proof of the miracle that happened in my body–not once, but twice! The extra-special care that I loved receiving is the care I get to shower on my own children each and every day. And the sleep that I’m missing just means that I have healthy, jubilant boys who are excited to greet each morning with gusto. I love my life, exhaustion and all.
Whew! I think a pedicure may be in order this afternoon.