I am six months pregnant today and happily realizing that I have more behind me than ahead! Interestingly, I've noticed that some people can't help making a face (usually a rapid signal of sadness or embarrassment) when I mention that I don't really enjoy being pregnant. Maybe they interpret this to mean that I am unhappy about having another child. Quite to the contrary, like my first, this baby was enthusiastically planned and is very happily anticipated. Of course, nurturing another human being within your own body is a beautiful thing... in concept. One of the heights of the human experience, a blessing, etc.. But, for me, being pregnant is the means to an end -a baby.
It is the baby I am excited about. I get no special pleasure from the extra attention (except that which I get from my husband who claims to find me beautiful this way). And, contrary to social expectations, I don't see myself as "glowing" -just having oily skin. I don't think the added weight makes me look "cute" -just fat. In fact, the only part of being "with child" I enjoy is the "child" part; feeling her move inside of me, seeing her on the ultrasound, anticipating our meeting, buying the clothes, the gear.
The truth is I am growing increasingly uncomfortable in my own skin, having horrible heartburn and mild insomnia that only gets worse every night.Coupled with the ever present, somewhat comical and often embarrassing pregnancy brain and mood swings I am, admittedly, no walk in the park- especially for my silently suffering husband.
That said, it is a funny thing duly noted by many of my mom friends that in a year or two I, like them, will look back on the discomforts of pregnancy and think to myself, "It wasn't that bad. It was fun... I can't wait to do it all over again!"
Though, for now, all I can say is no pain, no gain. Pregnancy is hard but oh so worth it -a minor sacrifice for the unparalleled beauty and joy a new life brings. A sacrifice I willingly accept, am grateful for and will want to endure again (and again?). But it is not the sacrifice itself I enjoy, it is knowing what I will get in return.