6 Uncommonly Good Pregnancy Side Effects

IMG_2130I realized after writing my ode to all things wacky in pregnancy that I needed to even the score on pregnancy symptoms a bit. Along side all those tiny little evils (*burp*), there are some really fun aspects of being pregnant. Some you’ve heard of (yep, the glow is real) and others you may not have thought of (been sucking that tummy in since you were 15?). Hopefully these will perk you up if you’re feeling the in utero baby blues.

Note: I’ve steered clear of “feeling the baby move/kick/flip” etc. because you can kind of expect that part is going to be all kinds of awesome.

1. The Glow. Everyone’s always telling you how radiant you are and that you’re glowing. It’s fabulous.
Reason: Increased blood volume gives your face a perma-flush, much like the one you get when embarrassed and blushing. You also secrete an oil that gives your skin that light sheen that makes other women run out and buy bronzer.
Savor it: Skip the blush and maybe even your foundation. You’ve never looked better, sweetheart.

2. Cravings, eating, food, et al. Everything tastes ah-mazing. Like this apple, it’s the best apple you’ve ever tasted. Cheese platter as an appetizer? For one? Sure, why not. I literally wept after eating cheese enchiladas on more than one occasion, because it was Just. So. Good.
Reason: Hormones, of course. (Hey, there’s another one to add to the list. You can always blame anything happening of any sort on your hormones. Nasty mood? Hormones. Lost your keys? Hormones. Out of toilet paper? Hormones.) There is some truth that you’re craving what your body needs, unless it’s junk. In that case, your body is probably confused about what it needs/wants because food production has evolved much faster than our bodies.
Savor it: When you’re craving good foods, indulge them like crazy. I went on a major smoothie and fruit spree in my second trimester. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. I also happen to be one of those people who has a small stomach and can rarely finish a meal. Not so in pregnancy! I could eat an appetizer, side salad, steak, broccoli, and sweet potato, and still ask to stop for ice cream on the way home. Yee haw!
Caution: If you are craving non-food items like clay, dirt or ashes, tell your doctor. It could be a condition called pica and it needs medical attention. I also feel obliged to say not to over-indulge your cravings. Eat for two when you’re eating the healthy stuff; when hitting the junk eat for that skinny bitch you want to be after the baby comes.

3. Less allergy symptoms/migraines. For some lucky women, they actually see a decrease in allergy and migraine frequency and severity. I have seven allergies, including three food allergies. I noticed after my first trimester that most of my allergies, especially my food allergies, seemed to have lessened in severity.
Reason: Pregnancy changes a lot of things in your body, including your allergies. Some women, unfortunately, discover all new allergies. But particularly for migraine sufferers, the hormone families of estrogens and progestins have a lot to do with how many migraines you get and how bad they are.
Savor it: Take a moment to take a deep breath and enjoy the lack of pain happening in your head and nasal region. It’s glorious.

4. No more sucking it in. Been subconsciously sucking your belly button back and up toward your back for the past 15 years? Yeah, me too. Let it go, girl. Isn’t that nice?
Reason: Uh, there’s a baby in there. Everyone knows it’s gotta go somewhere. And yes, jackass, I’m sure there aren’t two in there.
Savor it: I turned in my button-and-zipper pants by about Week 8. Seriously, go get some stretchy waist jeans and enjoy them. (It’s so much faster to go to the bathroom too… which is good, since you live there now.)

5. Naps, naps and more naps. Oh, the glorious pregnancy nap. I’ll admit to having a love-hate relationship with them. There was no 30-minute cat nap for me. It was always an hour-and-a-half to three-hour coma that took me 30 minutes just to fully awake from. But lord, did they ever feel good.
Reason: A sudden craving for mid-day naps (that’s right, I said naps plural) begins with the influx of progesterone in the first trimester. The people who guessed I was pregnant in my first trimester did so because I was falling asleep sitting up at my desk. The amount of energy it takes for your body to get that tiny cell grown into that itty bitty bean you see on 12-week ultrasound screen is equivalent to running a daily marathon (it feels like it anyway).
Savor it: Nap your ass off, girl. It’s practically a prescription. Who’s gonna say anything? You’re growing a freaking human being from a SINGLE cell. (Good opportunity to blame your hormones here.) Besides, halfway through the third trimester you won’t be able to sleep much anyway. And after the baby… well, you know.

6. Maternity clothes/clothes fitting right. Could maternity clothes be any cuter these days? I was actually sad to put away some of my favorite little dresses and tops. (Ok, so I might still have a shirt or two that is technically maternity but you can’t tell… right?) I never felt like I could get clothes to fit exactly right either. There was always some bump here or a panty line there or not quite fitting in one part. Not so in maternity clothes!
Reason: I guess someone finally decided to cash in on pregnant women desperately needing to not feel like a whale for nine months. I’m sure some part of it has to do with the whole Hollywood mommy thing taking off a few years ago. Gap and Old Navy churn out some pretty cute maternity lines, and I still find myself clicking over to the maternity section online to see what cute new stuff has popped up since I had my son.
Savor it: Play up that whole carrying-the-fruit-of-your-loins thing to your significant other so you can up the clothing budget. Because while you may have a glow, less headaches, and can eat whatever you want, there are too many days where you feel like a fat exhausted cow carrying what you are sure is a 13-pound baby kickboxer. And a pair of stretchy-waisted denim capris and a ruched three-quarter sleeve boatneck top might be the only thing saving your husband’s balls.

stork-parking

BONUS

Expectant mom parking. Why don’t more stores do this?? You have no idea how much effort it takes to waddle an extra 50 25 lbs of boobs, butt and belly from the far end of the grocery store parking lot just to buy some Ben and Jerry’s spinach.
Reason: Some marketing genius came up with this, I’d wager. Or a woman with some sympathy got into a position of power inside the company and decided to take pity on their number one customer.
Savor it: I went to stores with expectant mother parking as often as I could. Even if their competitor had an item slightly cheaper. Hence the marketing genius. The only way I got lazier than expectant mother parking was the parking I did behind the computer while I online shopped my nesting away.

Comments

  1. Oh you are just a doll. I am friends with Sherry Smith and she told me about your new blog. Enjoy those naps now because when you have more than 2, naps are a thing of the past ;) With my 3nd I could still nap with my oldest and the baby, but after that…never again ;)

    So excited to read more about you!!! Who did your design? I love it.

    • Thank you, Kim! I used the Prose theme on the Genesis framework, but did all of the graphics and branding myself. I owned a small marketing agency in my former life. :)

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