Long before I had kids, I had heard pregnant women joke about being able to eat for two. And let's be real, getting to eat as much as we want is definitely a major pregnancy perk. But it wasn’t until I got pregnant that I really understood what it meant to be free of my own judgement about my body—and how good that would feel. Being pregnant frees us from so many of the expectations we put on ourselves to be a certain weight, size or shape.
Maybe it was the hormones or maybe it was the fact that I spent so much time rubbing my belly, feeling the changes in my body and getting comfortable with its new shape. Whatever it was, being pregnant lowered my inhibitions and made me stop caring about which parts of me jiggled and whether my ass was too big. It was huge, and I didn’t care! In fact, I liked it.
I felt ripe and voluptuous. A beautiful, fertile goddess.
The goddess-like feelings gave me a confidence I’d never experienced before—and that confidence translated into some pretty steamy sex. I’ve heard other women say they’ve never felt less sexual than when they were pregnant.
My sex drive went into overdrive and I couldn’t be bothered with things like turning off the lights so my husband didn’t see my jiggly bits or wearing clothes to bed at all. I was hot all the time—physically and sexually!
I luxuriated in sensation when I was pregnant. Soft sheets, cool showers, the decadence of having my hair washed or my feet pampered. My skin was hyper sensitive to touch … everywhere. Underwear was a nuisance—my old underwear rode up uncomfortably and pregnancy panties were ridiculous—so I often wore skirts without undies and enjoyed the freedom I hadn’t before I was pregnant.
Pregnancy made me feel like I was fully inhabiting my body for the first time in my life.
I have never been more self-indulgent than when I was pregnant and sometimes I have to remind myself that self-care is still important.
Of course there were pregnancy issues I could’ve done without and every woman’s pregnancy is different. I never experienced morning sickness and most of my discomfort came very late in my pregnancy in the form of swollen ankles and heartburn, so for most of the time I was pregnant I got to enjoy my body and the magic it was creating. I’m one of those women who really loved being pregnant and I’m so grateful I got to have a positive experience.
Pregnancy made me feel like I was fully inhabiting my body for the first time in my life. Correction: I felt like I was allowed to fully inhabit my body for the first time in my life.
All the messages I’d heard since puberty about starving myself to be skinny or being physically perfect went right out the window. I was growing a baby! I didn’t have to starve myself! I didn’t have to do anything but take care of myself and the life I was creating.
Being pregnant taught me to love the body I had instead of longing for an impossible ideal. It’s a side effect that has lingered long after I’ve packed away the maternity clothes and baby onesies, and I couldn't be more thankful.