Monday, July 22, 2013

9 Reasons to Love the 9th Month of Pregnancy

I realize lots of women don't love pregnancy.  And I also realize that lots of women abhor the end of pregnancy. There are lots of reasons to dislike this stage (I mean, do I have to wake up every morning feeling like I just got beat up by a thug through the night?!, Am I the sweatiest human being that has ever lived?, Why is the bathroom always so far away from where I'm sitting?) and I know lots of you are truly miserable - but I want to savor the last bits of this comedic ride that just gets funnier every day.  These are the nine reasons I think we should love the ninth month of pregnancy (many also apply to the other months as well!)

1. You can exercise your right to be crazy.
I try to use this one sparingly, but there are instances where it comes in handy to be far beyond super-pregnant.  For instance, dear McDonalds worker, do not even THINK about making me pay for that large water.  Do you see me?!  Does it look like you should charge me fifty cents for water right now?! I don't think so.  In general, you don't have to say anything - there's a general vibe that you're a little crazy and people want to appease you.  So, that's nice.

2. You get to have conversations with every single random person you see.
I realize this one could be hard for introverts.  But seriously, when you're 9 months pregnant, everyone in the world is your new best friend.  Eric and I were at Bob Evans last week, and after a conversation with a woman, he said, "Did you know her?  I honestly thought she was going to kiss you."  She was a close talker and incredibly interested in my pregnancy, and no, I had never met her before in my life.  When you go in public, people will randomly smile at you and feel sorry for you, and they seem to clear an extra large path as you walk down the aisle in a store.

3. Go ahead, touch your belly.  This is the last time it will be rock hard in a LONG time.
Pregnancy encapsulates the entirety of my life with rock hard abs.  I know that technically, my abs are below my baby and still are weak.  But leave me alone.  When I think about how big my belly is, then I think, "well, at least it's hard". In a few weeks, that will not be true.  At all. B And when those Braxton Hicks kick in - I might as a well be a super hero.  I am considering trying to demo something with my belly during a Braxton Hicks contraction.  (As a side note, this is why it never bothers me when people touch my pregnant belly.  I mean, if people did that to me normally, I would tell them to BACK AWAY from the flab.  But there is a human in there ... who wouldn't want to get a chance to feel that thing kick?  It's craziness!)

4.  You get compliments for being huge.
"You look great!  You are so big!" ... "Are you sure there aren't twins in there?!"  My dad started a rumor that I'm having triplets but didn't want people to know.  Everyone knew he was joking ... I think.  This is funny stuff!  Take it in stride.  Outside of pregnancy, these comments merit a punch in the face.  But when pregnant, don't get annoyed - chuckle at it.  When else do people get to tell you that and when else do you get to be okay with it?  It's like a Weight Watchers meeting, but opposite.  People love it when you get bigger. Big = healthy to a lot of people, and they're trying to be nice.  Big = lots of ice cream in my case, but that's our little secret.  This leads to point 5.

5. Feel free to eat without judgment.  
I was driving to an appointment last week and thought, "Oh man, I could really go for a DQ twisty cone with crunch coat right now".  As I considered the thought, I realized it was 8:30 a.m. and they were closed.  Darn DQ with their ridiculous non-morning hours.  This is totally normal 9th month thinking.  Also, this is the only period of your life when you can sit down with a sleeve of Oreos and a glass of milk without feeling like you need to count how many you've had.  Dunk away, my friend. You want ice cream for lunch?  Go for it.  You need an afternoon snack of a milkshake?  By all means.  Even better, send someone to get it for you.

6. You never pick anything up off the ground.
You may be extra clumsy during pregnancy.  Or like me, you may be clumsy all the time.  But those things that you drop, they're gone.  Just let them be.  Maybe someone will be close enough to bend over and pick things up for you, maybe not.  But seriously, you cannot be expected to pick up anything that falls down there.  Don't people realize how far away the ground is?!  On this note, I'm grateful for summer babies.  I tried to lace up a pair of tennis shoes and it took about ten minutes and three breaks.  Per shoe.  Please ladies - slip ons, only this month.

7. People treat you like a ticking time bomb.
People are a little on edge when you're super pregnant.  I've been on two trips this summer where people (generally men) have pulled me aside and asked, "No, seriously, what am I supposed to do if you go into labor?"  Fair enough question.  I appreciate their concern.  I left the church service because I forgot something in the hallway last week, and multiple people asked if I was okay, clutching their car keys and cell phones to be prepared for an emergency.  Every time I make a call to a loved one, my first words are "I'm not in labor" (this especially applies before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m.)  But still, why not have some fun?  Every once in a while, just grab your belly and start to get really tense. Fix your eyes on the clock and look like you're timing something.  For the ultra-brave, pour your bottle of water on the ground (when Pam tried that on The Office, it didn't work so well, but hey, it may for you!).  Have a little fun.  Just not too much.  Nobody wants to be the girl-who-cried-labor.

8. Enjoy your free time.
You probably have pared down your schedule for the last four weeks of your pregnancy.  Isn't that nice?  Enjoy it.  Take a nap.  Bake some cookies.  Take a nap.  Watch some Hulu.  Take a nap.  Paint your fingernails.  Take a nap.  Talk someone into painting your toenails.  Go to work if you must.  Take a nap. Go to a park.  Take another nap because you know you're going to be up for at least four pee breaks in the night.  Watch a movie - but not one that will make you laugh too hard or cry too hard: both of those are very dangerous in the 9th month.  If you haven't lightened your schedule, that stinks for you.  I recommend trying it now (yes, Mom, I'm listening)! But really, this is a great time to enjoy the last days of your current life stage - so do it!

9.  Savor the last moments of having a life inside of you.
This is partly practical - it is much easier to feed, entertain, and not forget your baby when they are inside of you attached via umbilical cord.  Seriously.  So enjoy that.  But also, this is an experience that happens so very rarely in life.  Even if you're feeling horrible, try to focus on the miracle that is a living being growing and being nourished by your body!  Soon enough, you will get to hold that baby, feed him or her, and cuddle through the day and night.  I am so excited for that day!  But today, I try to focus on loving every kick, every move, every toe in my rib or roll over my bladder - because I don't know how many times I will ever get to experience that miracle again.