The Magic and Disappointment of Being Hugely Pregnant Near the Holidays

You would think that since I’ve given birth six times, my children’s birthdates would fall on a variety of seasons. Nope. All but one fall around the holidays! Between November and February, we have five birthdays to celebrate and for many Christmases, I either had a newborn or carried around a belly about to burst, like Santa Clause after eating too many cookies on Christmas Eve.

Experiencing Christmas hugely pregnant is both magical and hard.

Christmas lights add sparkle to life

Ah, Christmas lights. They make everything appear enchanting! The lights offer a soothing atmosphere to practice relaxing through contractions with some  Braxton Hicks. Or maybe the lights help make your time laboring at home more beautiful before you head to your birthing place or call the midwife.

The time goes faster

Let’s be honest, near the end of pregnancy we just wish to be done. We’re uncomfortable, we feel like we’re storing the entire holiday turkey in our belly, and we are ready to have our body back. Thankfully, the busyness of the holiday season seems to speed up time. Between chorus programs to attend, neighborhood parties and family events, all the fun makes the time fly faster! It also helps keep our minds busy from wondering, “When will I ever go into labor?!”

The memories made are even sweeter

Your family’s life is about to transition and change, so you’re already treasuring these last days a family of three (or whatever number this is for you!) before a new sibling arrives. With the extra holiday traditions of baking cookies or hanging ornaments together, it can feel like a Hallmark Christmas movie in real life. These memories are all the fuzzy, heartwarming feels.

The food

During pregnancy, food tastes extra amazing anyway, but holiday feasts, pies, cookies…oh my! It’s a hungry pregnant woman’s slice of heaven on earth. Eating the treats and enjoying the special meals during the holidays with ultra-sensitive taste buds certainly is a reason to enjoy pregnancy and celebrations even more.

Having to miss out on family trips

Providers typically don’t advise traveling after 36 weeks of pregnancy, so if you’re close to that timeframe, it may be a year to miss out on the annual trip to Grandma’s house. Which, can be sad and disappointing for many.  But, it also can be a really nice excuse to simplify your holiday season, at least for this year, and recharge your batteries at home with different kind of memories.

It is just not comfortable

Our natural pregnancy glow may be emphasized by the soft glow of Christmas lights, but I know I sure didn’t feel glowy and magical on the inside. The end of pregnancy can feel heavy and cumbersome, with achy parts all over. It can make car rides or standing up to bake goodies in the kitchen painful. It can rob us of much-needed sleep before our little ones wake us up at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning thrilled to see what is under the tree. It really can put a damper on enjoying parts of the holiday season when we feel like we can’t get comfortable in any place or position! (Psst…here’s a few tips that may help).

As with many aspects of motherhood, this holiday season spent being pregnant is just that– a season. It won’t last forever and it likely won’t be like this next year! Keeping that in mind helps us through the hard moments of uncomfortable hip pain as we open presents by the tree, but also helps us remember to treasure this season for the fleeting, beautiful moments it offers.