The secret life of a pregnant woman is mysterious, intense, and definitely full of secrets, emotions, and pants with elastic waistbands. Oh, and donuts. Lots and lots of donuts (if your cravings are anything like mine). There are things every pregnant woman does when she’s alone, too, that only lend to the enigma surrounding pregnant women.
Perhaps us pregnant women value and passionately protect the sanctity of our alone time because we know they're some of our last moments free of the impending responsibility about to be thrust upon us. Then again, maybe it's because true solitude gives us the chance to stop worrying about how much of our pregnant body is visible through our clothes, or if we’re eating too quickly and dripping sauce all over our shirt (not that I do that, or anything).
In my experience, pregnancy also increases the value of our alone time. It's like, all of a sudden, we have to get the most out of it. It’s one of the few times in life where the clock is ticking and we know things will change significantly in the coming months, so we better take advantage of the time we have now. Here’s what that looks like for me. I mean, here’s what it mostly looks like. I can't tell you everything I do when I'm by myself.
She Rubs Her Belly Repeatedly
Sometimes I'm doing it to say hi to my baby, sometimes I'm doing it because it's comforting, and sometimes, it's to remind myself of what is actually happening to my body.
Then again, sometimes it's for absolutely no reason at all, and simply because I can.
She Uses A Mirror To See Body Parts She Can No Longer See Without Help
There are parts of me (parts that I actually care a lot about as a pregnant woman) that are totally out of eyesight now, thanks to my new shape and size. Good thing prenatal yoga is common these days, right? With the right combination of stretching, bending, and angling of my mirror, it's almost as if nothing's changed.
I mean, as a currently-pregnant woman, I can attest to eating pretty much all the time and regardless of whether or not I'm in front of anyone. So, yeah, my constant snacking definitely doesn't stop because I'm alone. I'm eating just as much as I always do, if not slightly more, because I know I'm free from judging eyes.
She Gives No F*cks About Her Clothes Fitting
As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I'm now officially through the phase of enjoying my new bump and my new maternity gear. I've now grown out of about 80 percent of my pants and shirts, but I'm also so close to the end that it seems silly to buy new clothes, when I can manage with the other 20 percent or so.
Still, as you might imagine, I'm far less self-conscious about it when I'm by myself, and I'm not worried about confusing my toddler with a protruding belly button (or anything else, for that matter) is exposed.
She Daydreams About Her Old Wardrobe
Speaking of clothes, I made the mistake of packing away some of my regular clothes in a clear bin currently on the top shelf of my closet. As in, I can see most of my favorite shirts just sitting there, taunting me. I actually miss them. Even though I've been through pregnancy and childbirth before, and even though I eventually fit into my clothes again and after that first pregnancy, I'm still slightly nervous about whether or not it'll happen this time.
Granted, this is low on the list of things I'm nervous about right now, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it wasn't a minor concern.
She Googles All The Crazy Stuff She Doesn’t Want To Google In Front Of Her Partner
If you've never been pregnant, or have never spent a lot of time with a pregnant woman, just take my word for it when I say our browser histories contain every possible food dish, the word "pregnant," and every minor ailment or potential environmental hazard. You'll also find some really absurd descriptions of the various side effects we're experiencing, which pregnant women Google for reassurance (and ensure that they don't require an immediate trip to the ER). I'm not sure how women managed pregnancy before Google, but I assume they were slightly more relaxed.
She Watches Glorious Shows Not Suitable For Families
Confession: I finally watched Magic Mike this very week. I know, I know, I'm super behind. It took eight months of pregnancy, a head cold, and an empty house for me to finally pull the trigger, but it happened. Now, if only I could recreate similar circumstances (perhaps, minus the head cold) before baby arrives so I can squeeze in a viewing of Magic Mike XXL.
Of course, we can only stay awake for movies if we're rested, right? I realize this one isn't very exciting but it's, perhaps, the most real. If I have solo downtime, chances are good that I'm going to be horizontal. And, if I'm horizontal, I'm probably going to doze off. It's just the reality of growing another human.
Obviously, don't do anything that would make your doctor nervous, pregnant ladies. However, when it comes to some of the stretches I need to do the most, privacy is my best friend.
Then again, it does help to know my partner's in the next room over, in case I get stuck.
She Does Whatever She Does In Front Of Her Loved Ones, Because At A Certain Point You Stop Caring
If I waited until I was alone to do something that made me feel even remotely self-conscious, I would simply not get anything done. I mean, just existing while pregnant pretty much makes me self-conscious, but at some point I've got to keep living. By now, all of my favorite people have seen me drip food on my clothes, have seen a maternity shirt creep up to where I didn't want it to go, and have seen me heave and hoist myself out of a seated position. Nothing surprises damn near anyone in my life now, and even if it did, well, I stopped caring a few months ago.