It seems like only yesterday I was making plans to attend wild New Year’s Eve parties. Wait. Was that just last year? How can that even be possible?
The holidays take on a whole new meaning when you are pregnant. Your priorities shift and, understandably, your desire to do things that previously seemed like a ball really do dissipate. Given how full I feel in the tummy at all times right now – coupled with the fact that I could easily fall asleep at 7 p.m. – the idea of ringing in a new year while standing on my feet in a crowded room filled with people wearing sequins and holding glasses of sparkling champagne strikes me as mentally exhausting.
My husband very sweetly offered a list of wonderful New Year’s options the other night. They included: attend a friend’s house party, pay $150 for a sit-down dinner at a romantic Brooklyn restaurant where Beyonce was recently photographed, or pay just slightly less to have the most amazing hummus ever made at a totally yummy local Middle Eastern restaurant. He even went to the trouble of asking his parents and sister if either is available to babysit our toddler – not an easy thing to do because, well, would you want to spend the last night of the year chasing a 2-year-old if he or she hadn’t sat in your tummy for 9 months?
Fortunately, he wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed, and even seemed glad, when he heard my New Year’s Eve wish this year: “Baby, maybe we can order in, hang out with the baby, put her to bed, and catch up on Boardwalk Empire – while snuggling under a blanket on the couch?”
Bingo. The perfect pregnant New Year. My husband can cash in my fortune and consider this his pregnant year, too.
My last pregnancy also took place over the holidays, but that time I opted to go out. My husband and I thought that, since it would be our last childless New Year’s, it would also be the last one we’d ever get to enjoy – ever in our lives. I don’t regret seeing friends and having an alcohol-free, shellfish-free night while everyone else whooped it up – those things become no sweat after a few months of pregnancy. But no matter how much fun the night was, nothing compared to the moment I got home, threw on pajamas, and could hug my husband and tell him I adored him. Those were the best few minutes of my pregnant New Year’s Eve – without a doubt.
The “it’s-just-not-the-same” principle applied this Christmas, as well. I can honestly say that, as much as I love giving gifts, it always excited me to receive them. But when you’re in the process of growing a family, and especially after baby is born, your answer to the question, “What would you like for Christmas?” might just be: “Oh, I don’t need anything.” Only this time, you will actually, truly mean what you say! Instead of looking forward to opening your own gifts, your knees shake in anticipation when your little one begins to tear off the wrapping paper you applied to the little drum set you just know will make her little face light up. It feels a bit like being a little girl all over again, but instead of wiggling in your chair waiting for your beloved dollhouse to appear, you practically burst knowing the little person you love most in the world is about to experience that feeling of awe.
If you’re pregnant and feeling old and just a little bit lame for not wanting to do much this holiday season, know that you’re in good company. But instead of thinking of it as a negative thing, embrace it. If this is your first pregnancy, I promise it won’t be your last opportunity to count down the seconds to midnight while standing on the roof at some hotel party. But how many chances – and good excuses – will you get for snuggling with the one your love and experiencing what might be the first quiet New Year’s Eve of your life?