"Oh, baby, what you've done to me, you make me feel so good inside" ~ Aretha Franklin
At the moment I know about five women who are pregnant for the first time. Baby boom, anyone? Domino effect that I started? I hardly give myself that much power. But still. I figure it's about time that I share a little wisdom from the other side -- AKA what to cherish while you are pregnant but still don't have a little one attached to your boob/hip/hair/knees.The umbilical cord attachment is like a vacation compared to the external stuff. So, in no particular order . . .
1. Okay, so this is terribly obvious, but SLEEP! If you weren't a napper before, become one. Go to sleep early and stay in bed late. Even if you have a hard time sleeping, just lay around in bed and daydream. That will be such a novelty post-baby and you will miss all of that unproductive lolling about. Desperately.
2. Meals to yourself. Eat them leisurely. Savor every bite. Because soon you will be cramming food into your mouth at warp speed. Experiencing pregnancy heartburn? That's nothing compared to new-mom-and-I-have-no-time-to-eat-anything-but-this-leftover-burrito-heel-in-49-seconds heartburn. And not long after, your precious little one yells "NUM!" while you try to eat your lunch, and you have to hand more than half over to this ravenous, bottomless pit of a creature.
3. Are you an avid movie-watcher or book reader? Well, stock up on your movies and books now because it will be a while before you have time to sit through an entire movie before face-planting into your popcorn or passing out and drooling all over the pages of your book.
4. Obsess over yourself. I know that pregnancy may be the most intense, craziest thing you have gone through thus far in life. There are a million things to worry about and no alcoholic beverages to serve as an escape. Your body feels like it has been invaded by a bulbous parasite. And it has. But it will be the most beautiful, amazing parasite you've ever seen. Also, the most demanding and easiest way to forget entirely about your own needs. So, enjoy being pregnant. Enjoy obsessing over your body. Enjoy having time to think about the way your cuticles look.
5. Which leads me to pampering (and I'm not talking about diapers). Pamper yourself, ladies! Manicures, pedicures, prenatal massages, facials, waxing. Just do it. Because soon enough showering for longer than 3 minutes becomes your idea of indulging.
6. Accept others' kind gestures. When you're pregnant, people offer to do all sorts of nice things for you. Like giving up their seat for you on a bus or at a social event. Offering to carry a heavy package to your car. Rubbing your feet. Please accept these offers (unless it's a stranger offering to rub your feet -- that's just creepy). Even if you feel that you can handle these things on your own. Soon, you will be a bag lady, hauling all kinds of "necessary" crap for the kiddo, and offers of help become a distant cry from your past.
7. Hang with the homies. Get out of the house. Let's just say that being home with a newborn for several weeks can lead to a fun mix of feeling isolated and going stir-crazy. In fact, go have a spa day with your girls!
8. Cherish time alone with your partner . . . and sex. You may not feel at your sexiest when pregnant (or maybe you're one of those Heidi Klum types and we all hate you), but just get it in already. Be spontaneous! Spend a Sunday together in bed. Watch movies, eat leisurely meals, count each other's moles, accept that foot massage, and smoosh it up. Because once the little prince or princess comes, you have to schedule date nights and sexy time. And you're exhausted. And it's just not the same. (But date nights do become pretty special, so there's that to look forward to . . .)
And despite what all of this sounds like, yes, it really is all worth it.
|Photo by Nick Rivera|