Yesterday I posted the following as my facebook status:
Good things about pregnancy #11: You feel totally justified eating enough strawberry sorbet to give your tongue frostbite at the odd hour of 1:30am.*
A truly surprising number of people liked this status. Perhaps I’m not the only person who thinks of sorbet when they wake up in the wee early hours. Or perhaps many others also enjoy feeling totally justified doing something that they suspect is not good for them.
The risks inherent with this status, however, were clear to me even when I posted it and it didn’t take long for Mike to read it, smile sweetly, and challenge me to name the other ten good things I’d discovered about pregnancy during the last nine months. Herein lay the problem, for I had given exactly no thought to what the other ten things may be. In fact, I’d first typed #3 instead of #11 on the sorbet status, before deciding that sounded too whiny even for me.
“I don’t know, you come up with them,” I said, abandoning any effort not to whine.
“OK,” Mike said. “Let’s start with all the extra attention and cuddles you’re getting.”
“That is true,” I admitted. “All the cuddles are lovely, even if some of them motivated mostly by your desire to dump more oxytocin into my bloodstream so that I go into labour and get this show on the road.”
“There you go,” Mike said, not disputing this. “That’s one. Only nine more to go.”
It’s taken more than twenty-four hours of concentrated thought to come up with those other nine but, finally, here they are: Ten good things about pregnancy.
- Trying to get pregnant.
- The minute you know you’re pregnant you have an indisputably valid reason not to drink beer or lao lao (wretched homemade whisky) during social gatherings in Laos. It’s a bit harder to get out of eating offal or pig fat, but if you’re willing to claim morning sickness and do nothing but nibble on rice you can also sidestep that particular delicacy.
- Pregnancy is also an indisputably valid reason to miss most of the hot season in Laos and spend it in Australia, during winter, at the McKay pregnancy resort and spa (also known as my parents’ home).
- And while we’re talking indisputably valid reasons…When you’re pregnant and you have lymphedema you also have a great reason to spend an extra $500.00 to buy a business class ticket with Air Asia so that you can keep your legs partly elevated during the trip from Laos to Australia at 28 weeks pregnant.
- Pregnancy has provided lots of extra life experiences. Despite what some might believe, I do value life experience for more than just fodder for the pen, but I can’t deny that pregnancy has also furnished me with a whole lot of new writing anecdotes.
- Maternity clothes are super-comfortable. Left to my own devices I’d be quite happy to spend most of my days in pajamas, so I’ve been delighted to discover that when you’re pregnant it’s not only acceptable but necessary to spend five months dressed in soft and stretchy leggings, baggy tops, and sweatshirts.
- Apparently it’s unwise to exercise too hard during pregnancy. This meant that I had to stop using our staircase in Laos as a step machine and doing sit ups and be content instead with doing lots of pregnancy yoga and walking. Win.
- As Mike pointed out, I have received a lot of extra attention, massages, foot rubs, and cuddles. Can’t go wrong there.
- Pregnancy pretty much functions as a blank check that you can cash in anytime you want to explain any emotion or discomfort, or to attempt to get out of doing anything you don’t feel like doing. I’m not saying I’ve been wandering around doing this, mind you, I’m just making an observation.
- You can ask things of your spouse with zero guilt that you would never ask of them at other times. Like, for example, whether they will come with you to see a movie called Bridesmaids at 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon. And, here’s the best part, they will do it without any arguing.**
*I really think that perhaps the last three nights of solitary sorbet fests in the wee hours have given my tongue frostbite – it hurts like the dickens and I can’t think of any conceivable way to blame this on pregnancy hormones.
** Trust me, do not use this specific example as a blueprint for action – just extract the principle and then use it more wisely than I did. I ended up feeling so bad that I’d made the poor man sit through the whole thing that near the end of the movie, right around the time Wilson Philips was singing “Hold On”, I had to lean over to Mike and admit that I now owed him two hours of labour.
Over to you… What would you add to a “good things about pregnancy” list? And does anyone know whether you can, in fact, give your tongue frostbite?