on real joy

I've spent a fair amount of time since getting pregnant reading books, blogs, and articles about pregnancy.  In my opinion, too many of them are downright depressing.  There are so few resources that really tell you anything good about being pregnant - for some reason most writers prefer to commiserate instead of congratulate.  I get it, misery loves company (and maybe sells books?), but contrary to what most people think about pregnancy & pregnant women I haven't focused much on how fat I'm getting or how sick I've felt.  I also haven't been all that bothered that I have to pee all the time, or that I can't have a glass of wine.  Of course, I list these types of annoyances in the weekly awkward and awesome posts because a) they're funny & true, and b) I don't want to come off as a permanent ray of sunshine.  Nobody's perfect.    

With that said, I do want to highlight that the most prominent "symptom" of my pregnancy so far has just been joy.  The kind of joy I haven't felt since I was teenager.  Riding in the car with the windows down, summertime holding your boyfriend's hand ecstatic joy that makes your heart soar.  Most often it just hits me for no particular reason at all.  

Before I got pregnant, I had been in sort of a yearlong emotional funk.  Darrell and I had just figured out our lives in a way that felt sort of secure.  We had good jobs, a big group of friends, and an apartment that we really loved.  Everything was good.....but just good.  I felt stagnant, maybe a little "off."  I don't want to sound ungrateful or unaware of other people's real problems, I know how lucky I am.  I'm just sharing my experience.  To explain it better: I would be in a moment where most people would feel that everything was as best it could be - moments where I should feel as wonderful as someone could ever feel, like a wild night out in New Orleans or a summer day during a weekend in Manhattan.  But it would feel sort of....average.  I wasn't sad, not at all upset, not even anxious, really.  Just not as happy as I had remembered feeling before.  I tried to reclaim that level of happiness - I used champagne or bought pretty new dresses to try and get it back, but alcohol and shopping induced happiness isn't usually authentic and I knew it.  Then I started to wonder if that type of emotional high was just a feeling you lost after youth, and maybe adult happiness was more like contentment.  In fact, a lot of articles say that it is, and I'm sure that's partially true for a lot of people.  I'd also like to point out that this is just me I'm talking about here - I am in no way saying that you can't be blissfully happy and childless, or really sad while you're expecting.  I think either is totally normal, and getting pregnant wasn't a solution I used to fix my feelings of imbalance, it was just a wonderful coincidence.    

When I did get pregnant, all of those average feelings became a thing of the past.  Yes, pregnancy has manifested in icky ways - last Monday I had a pretty crappy day, just because I felt hormonal and restless.  My empathy is in hyperdrive, and it's nearly impossible for me to hear a sad or happy story without really feeling it from the protagonist's point of view - even if it's the protagonist of a 30 second commercial.  But most of the time I feel the kind of joy I only thought possible during moments like when my husband first said I love you, when we were seventeen - only better.  The kind of high on life I previously only felt at a music festival at dusk with my best friends, watching the stars slowly start to come out, knowing that the night ahead was one I'd never forget - only even better.  I now feel that kind of unbridled joy just driving in the car, when a song that reminds me of Darrell comes on the radio.  A warm, buzzing happiness that makes me feel grateful and exceptionally alive, and I can feel it just from sitting next to him on the couch watching Netflix.  That is what being pregnant has really felt like - the best I've ever felt in my entire life, and when I see or hear yet another reminder that having a child will completely change your life, I know that it already has.  

So if you can, try to ignore the negative books (Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, cough) and if you're in the market for some more positive and uplifting materials about having a baby or being a family, this is a list of my favorite books and blogs that cover those topics.  These are the women and writers who I felt related to how I wanted to approach being a mama-to-be.  

Hither & Thither

*A little note - this post isn't sponsored or affiliated with any of these blogs or books, I just really enjoyed them and thought they were much better than many of the more popular resources out there.  


  1. thank you so much for sharing .. your blog is truly great

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate the sweet comment, as I was a little nervous to share this : )

  2. I am so happy to hear that pregnancy has brought you joy! My daughter is almost a year old now and I miss the innocence of pregnancy and newborn days. Enjoy it! I'll always remember pregnancy as the best days of my life :-) xo

    p.s. congrats to you!

  3. This is beautifully written! I'm not preggo nor have I ever been but I do have to say you seem spot on with you comments and it's great to know there is a positive side for one day! I could also feel your joy jump out of the screen and just made me smile and brighten my day - thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed it : )

  4. So lovely to hear that you are feeling blissfully happy! I look forward to bearing children one day and this post reaffirms my belief that it's a wonderful experience I want to have!


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