Pregnancy Has Its Perks

Pregnancy Has Its PerksA Soon-to-be-Mom Delights in Discovering 10 More Things to Expect When You’re Expecting

By Kristy Seeliger

When it comes to having a baby, there are many new emotions and experiences that come along with it. There is joy and excitement while you are awaiting the arrival of your precious newborn. Yet there also are body changes, mood swings and uncertainty. Taking a look at the humorous side of pregnancy is one way to stay positive through it all. If you or someone you know is expecting on the Emerald Coast, you may find some comfort in knowing you are not alone.

1. Chivalry At Its Best Ever notice that when a woman is pregnant, people suddenly start opening doors for her and carrying her groceries? Well, other acts of chivalry may also come her way. About halfway into my second trimester, my husband and I were invited for a ride on our friend Jim’s new boat to Crab Island. I was all ready to go with my cute, white cover-up and straw hat. Things started off great. Then the guys turned on the engine. As it turned out, the water was especially choppy that day, so before I knew it, I was bouncing around like a drenched kangaroo. Needless to say, it didn’t take long before the captain and his first mate carried to me safety, literally. Carrying me in and out of the boat became the protocol for the rest of the day.

2. More Reasons to Shop The days of muumuus being the only available type of maternity apparel behind us, shopping can still be fun when you are expecting. The latest fashion trends, such as long tunics, leggings, cotton jersey dresses and ballet flats, not only fit a pregnant woman’s changing body but allow her to be stylish as well. So have at it, and when the hubby asks about all those new clothes, you can respond, “Maternity, sweetheart.” Motherhood Maternity at Silver Sands Factory Stores in Destin carries a wide selection, from swimsuits to special-occasion attire. Also, Liz Lange for Target maternity clothes are up with the times at an affordable price. Hurry – they go fast.

3. Lovely Lady Lumps If you are petite like I am, you may not have as much of what you thought God intended all women to have – boobs. Well, in the words of singer CeCe Peniston, “Finally it has happened to me … Right in front of my face … And I just cannot hide it!” On the other hand, well-endowed pregnant women may have a different view on the matter. On the bright side for these women, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding can help mothers return to their pre-pregnancy figures. Guess I will just enjoy the perk while I can.

4. Pampering There may be times when you feel as though you are swelling up like Violet did in the movie “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” This is why one of nicest things you can receive while you are expecting is a spa gift certificate for a pregnancy massage. Serenity by the sea at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa offers a classic Swedish-style pregnancy massage for women who have passed the first trimester. This is a pleasant relief to muscle cramps and swelling in the lower back, legs and neck. A pedicure is another treat, and let us be honest: After a few months it will be hard to see the toes, much less paint them. It is important, however, to choose a salon that is well ventilated to help reduce inhaling any chemical fumes. I recently enjoyed my experience of a Deluxe Pedicure at 4 Seasons Nails & Spa in Destin. Boy, did that foot massage feel good! Yet the salon’s most luxurious version is called the VIP Pedicure, in which a paraffin wax and natural vitamin treatments are used. I was pleasantly surprised at the fairly large pedicure area, complete with eight comfortable massage chairs and a low level of fumes.

5. A License to Sound Crazy When you begin saying things to your stomach like, “What are we hungry for today?” you are bound to get some funny looks at The Fresh Market and Publix. But do not fret. Talking to yourself is normal when you have a bun in the oven, and a mother’s voice can actually help to soothe and stimulate the baby. There are studies that have also shown benefits from playing classical music to a baby while still in the womb. If you have not heard of Baby Einstein before now, you will soon enough. Now if you catch me on the road or while doing house chores, you are likely to get a healthy dose of “Baby Mozart.”

6. Food Cravings I have no desire for pickles and ice cream. However, I can say that pizza has been on my mind more these days, and not just any pizza. Once I even drove 30 minutes to Eglin Air Force Base for a specific slice of Anthony’s pepperoni, a favorite from my military-brat childhood days. Too bad the eatery closed 10 minutes before I arrived. The good side to food cravings is that friends and coworkers will sympathize and grant you your restaurant of choice more frequently. Ever notice all the preggos at Zoës Kitchen at Destin Commons? Also, if you have a really sweet husband – show him this – he will go out to get your craved foods for you while you stay home with your feet up.

7. Gaining Weight is Good Many women dread this part of pregnancy, but think about it. This is the only time a woman can say she is eating for two. What freedom! More importantly, it is necessary for the healthy development of your baby. This is why your health provider may suggest a goal weight range depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, body mass index and past medical history. Unfortunately, sometimes women have trouble gaining weight during pregnancy. This was my experience during the entire first trimester. So when my appetite returned in the second trimester, and the pounds began flying to my waistline, I could not have been happier. Hearing “Great job, honey” from my proud husband with every added pound has just been a bonus. So eat, drink fruit juice and be merry.

8. Friendly Strangers I have noticed more strangers smiling at me. One look at the baby bump gives people an automatic twinkle in their eyes, which can especially come in handy for those embarrassing moments with strangers. One day, my mom and I were driving separate vehicles in a hurry to a bridal shower in Crestview. As planned, we left my car down the road at our friend Sharon’s house to help with parking. When we returned after the party, we noticed a couple standing in the driveway looking at my car. “Oh no, I blocked in some people from the party,” I said to my mom. As we drove closer, my mom exclaimed, “That’s not Sharon’s house!” We tried to control our laughter, but realizing that I had parked my car at the wrong house just kept us going. We could see the man’s concerned expression changing to a frown. Only when the couple noticed my pregnant belly did they begin to laugh along.

9. Free Stuff In honor of your unborn child, someone is likely to throw you a baby shower. This will come as some relief, as there are many things you will need: nursery furniture, a highchair, a stroller, a car seat, onesies, receiving blankets, a breast pump, bottles, pacifiers, diapers, diapers and more diapers. If you plan to register for these items, take time to do a little research before adding them to your list. You will find that when it comes to baby products, pregnant women can be incredibly motivated to make their opinions known. You can check out products online, as several stores now allow customers to rate items directly on their Web sites. Also rely on friends and store attendants for advice. The staff at Storkland in Pensacola was especially helpful in assisting me in selecting a crib mattress and changing table, and I received excellent service by Custom Stitches in Panama City during my search for a baby crib.

10. Choosing a Name Be aware this is a decision that will affect your child for the rest of his or her life. You may want to mull it over before choosing something that is likely to get him or her made fun of on the playground. “The Big Book of 60,000 Baby Names” by Diane Stafford suggests steering clear of Shampooya and Dijonnaise (perhaps this mother had cravings for mayonnaise and Dijon mustard). But in all seriousness, you get to bestow this first gift on your newborn. It is pretty special.

Kristy Seeliger and her husband, Nick, live in Destin and are expecting their first child on Aug. 22.