Unpopular opinion ahead: I love being pregnant. A big part of that is due to my history with infertility; pregnancy always feels like an extraordinary, undeserved miracle. But another magical element of pregnancy (well, besides the morning sickness and all) is the delicious feeling of anticipation.
Many psychological studies demonstrate the pleasure we get from anticipation. Waiting for a vacation, for example, is statistically even more fun than the vacation itself. Watching the waiter bring over our food in a restaurant, our mouths watering at the presentation and aroma, is even more delectable than the experience of eating it.
Why is this? Well, in anticipation land, everything is perfect. When we sit at our desks thinking about our upcoming travels, we don’t daydream about long delays in airports, or food poisoning bouts in tiny hotel bathrooms. Our optimism bias lets us assume that the stressful things won’t happen this time; that everything will be wonderful.
Pregnancy, too, is in that anticipatory stage. There is no baby yet to keep us up at night, to vomit all over our favorite outfit, to slam the door while yelling, “Life is so unfair!” All of that feels impossible.
And yet, when it comes to anticipation, pregnancy may prove an exception. Because no matter what life brings, when it comes to creating a human, reality is pretty great.