Pregnant at the Holidays: 5 Things You Won’t Hear Me Say

pregnant belly

“I totally want to stand in the cold outside Best Buy for 12 hours for a cheap TV.”
I love the game of sales and deals for Christmas shopping. But I’d rather save the little reserve of energy I have (getting lower everyday) for creating holiday memories with my boys, not lugging around shopping bags and standing in lines. Knowing I’d be a million months pregnant by Christmas, I’ve finished the extended family shopping in October. Now it’s Amazon Prime all the way to complete my list.

“I’ll have seconds!”
You’d think one of the best parts of being pregnant at the holidays would be the free pass on stuffing your face. Turns out, third trimester eating isn’t as dreamy as my pre-mom self thought. You can bet that when I am now at the stage where water gives me raging heartburn, Thanksgiving is more like a ticking time bomb than a delightful feast. The Christmas cookie plate is a lot easier to resist when I remember the fact my stomach is smushed up into my ribs and any sort of food/drink/air lights a fire from my belly to the back of my throat.

“Oh, you can never bake too many cookies!”
The snow is falling outside. If you looked through my kitchen window, you’d see my (completely compliant and helpful) four-year-old and I in front of the KitchenAid Mixer baking four different kinds of cookies, a few versions of fudge and several pans of Chex Mix. I never pull out of a cookie sheet of black cookies because I forgot to set a timer. And the cookies I make? No calories. Or, you know, that’s how it all looks like in my head. But there are usually dozens of cookies trashed because I got distracted. And the sugar cookie dough never gets rolled out, or if it does, I compromise for sprinkles and no icing because so. much. work. My sciatic nerve and crampy calves can’t handle the all day standing over the mixing bowl this time around for a result that never meets my dreamy expectations. So this year, it’s refrigerated sugar cookie doughs and a cute bottle of sprinkles. The fudge will be the microwave version.

“Whatever is easier for you.”
When it comes to adapting traditions, loading up the car and traveling to accommodate everyone else’s holiday plans, I’m usually pretty flexible (no matter what I grumble about behind the scenes…). We frequently travel to other houses for Thanksgiving or Christmas – sometimes 2 hours, other times 8 hours. Places where there is lots of love but also less sleep and more chaos. I would normally sign up to bring cute little Santa snacks for preschool or help out on the neighborhood luminary committee. But if  there was ever a season to choose to say no and advocate for myself, it’s this one.

“Everything was just so perfect this year.”
I won’t say it, because it won’t be. On Christmas morning, I’ll be two or three weeks from birth. The decorations probably won’t all get up (or down) in a timely manner. The tree is going to dry out because there is no way I’m crawling on the floor to water it. We won’t make it to every fun festival, Santa sighting or holiday play. I’m going to look swollen, large and exhausted in the pictures.

It’s not going to be perfect and possibly not even that much fun. But there will be turkey eaten, gifts under the tree, and we know the best gift of all is a healthy baby girl waiting to join our family.

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