12 Awe-Inspiring Moments Only Pregnancy Can Provide

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I've noticed a little something when it comes to pregnancy: there are a lot of low lows and high highs. Lows like nausea and fatigue and discomfort, and highs like pretty much, um, everything else. While there are plenty of stressors and downsides to growing another human being inside your body, there are, thankfully, a number of awe-inspiring moments only pregnancy can provide, too.

Really, and when you take the time to really get down to it, what is pregnancy if not a miracle? I mean, we could explore the biology of it and the actual development of a baby like we’re totally in 7th grade health class again, but no matter what grade you got on that test, we probably can all agree that it’s an amazing process. A crazy, awesome, uncomfortable, nauseating, swollen yet amazing process.

Perhaps I have some extra feels because I’m currently in the midst of my second pregnancy, so I’m admittedly thinking about all of this more than the average person (I'm assuming but, of course, I don't know your brain). I can barely go a few minutes without being reminded of the fact that I’m growing a person, whether or not those reminders come in the form of baby kicks or by passing a mirror and seeing my growing stomach or by the fact that I can’t stop thinking about donuts. Awe-inspiring, indeed. Here are some of the other moments that stand out:

The First Kicks

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Kicks are complicated at first, not unlike a few of your Facebook relationships (you know which ones I'm talking about, dear reader). Like many pregnant women know, there was a period of time when I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. What it the baby? Was it some sort of digestive blip? What it something else entirely, and perhaps I don't even want to know? However, once I knew for sure that, yes, this is the feeling of a baby kick, things got much better.

The First Kicks You Share With Your Partner

To each their own, of course, but I started enjoying baby kicks even more when I could prompt my partner to feel them, too. Seeing and sharing his reaction was one of the highlights of my first pregnancy, actually.

The Sight Of Your Growing Stomach…

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Perhaps it’s because we feel pregnant for so many months before we actually look pregnant, but once the belly appeared, it was a whole new ball game. The maternity clothes I’d acquired months before they were actually necessary, and my body matching what I pictured when I thought of pregnancy, which was a trip.

...And Just How Much Your Body Can Change In A Short Period Of Time

I’m not sure about everyone else, but (and especially with my second pregnancy) it was as if my bump appeared overnight. It seemed like one day it wasn’t obvious that I was pregnant, and the next day it was. I’m sure other moms handled this more smoothly but, for me, it was an adjustment.

The Thickest, Most Lustrous Hair You’ll Ever Have

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Pregnancy hair is the best hair. It was almost as if nature wanted to throw us pregnant women a bone and say, “Here, have something you can enjoy.” I actually cut my hair when my son was a newborn because my hair was so heavy. I know, I know. Who does that, right? Women who’ve just given birth, that’s who.

That First Piece Of Baby Gear

In my case, it was a fluffy white body suit with a hood that had ears on it. Total and complete gender-neutral cuteness that was on display in our bedroom for months. I can't wait until our next kiddo wears it.

Ultrasound Images

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Of course, I’d seen sonograms before and, if I’m going to be completely honest, they all kinda look the same to me. However, seeing my own babies, for the first time? Way different and way better, in my opinion.

Hearing The Heartbeat

What a time to be alive. Not only do we live in an era where we can we see our babies, but we can also hear them. I was lucky in that, with both of my pregnancies, we heard the heartbeat fairly early. By “early,” I mean that my doctor warned me that it might be hard for her to find it and that I shouldn’t worry if she didn’t, but both times, she found it anyway.

It’s the best sound ever. (Until your kid arrives and starts laughing and saying things like “I love you.” Then it gets bumped to lower in the top 10 best sounds ever.)

The Responses Of Your Nearest And Dearest Friends And Family

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like feeling loved and supported. I’ve found this to be the most common way my loved ones responded, and it’s humbling.

Just How Many Times You Can Pee In A Short Amount Of Time

Not sure about everyone else, but I’m not exactly a fan of the “still standing at the bathroom sink washing my hands and already have to go again” urge that frequently strikes.

When Baby Reacts To You

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I’m not far enough along for this in my current pregnancy, so I’m still anxiously awaiting the stage when I can tell where baby is in my belly. Assuming she responds like my son did, there may even be some interactions between us. (As in, “Kick once if you like this name, kick twice if you don’t.”)

Pregnancy Test (Or Tests, As It May Be)

Maybe it’s just me, but staring at a positive pregnancy test was surreal. As in, “Everything is changing and the minute I walk out this door and tell my husband, our lives will be different forever.”

If that’s not awe-inspiring, I don’t know what is.