I try and keep this blog on topic and avoid veering too much into my personal life…but as I approach the end of my pregnancy it has dawned on me over the past few weeks that, uh, yes, this journey WILL actually come to an end, sooner than I realize, and I’m starting to feel a little nostalgic! We, of course, are terribly excited to meet our little one finally (famous last words?). But I’m also realizing that I’ll never be pregnant for the first time again, and I get a little emotional when I think about it! So I wanted to write down my thoughts.
I wouldn’t say I am one of those people who loves being pregnant. But, unexpectedly, I’ve actually found that I am happier now and in a better place emotionally than I have been at any other time in my pregnancy. Perhaps it is because the never-ending and frantic slew of home renovations, and the never-ending dreary wintery weather, have finally, actually ended (for now…though I DO still have a lot of furniture to be assembled!). My anxieties and insecurities about childbirth and parenting also seem to have calmed — I guess I’ve just arrived at a place of acceptance that there is only one way out of this situation and I’ve just gotta get through it! I’m also incredibly confident in the “team” I’ve assembled to get me through labor and really humbled by the support my family has shown. Taking a childbirth class and reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth really helped too. I’ve also just finished Breastfeeding Made Simple (great book!), the nursery is finally taking shape, the car seat is installed, we have some awesome friends and family who gave us some great stuff at our shower, and we seem to finally have nearly everything we need to get off to a good start. Everything just seems to be falling into place. But there is always more to do, so I hope this baby stays put for a few more weekends!
Physically, I’m feeling pretty okay too…I have definitely slowed down considerably in my 8th month, and am totally, utterly wiped out by the end of the day. I have some days where I feel so heavy and full and stretched I think I might explode. And doing some basic tasks, like ,you know, bending over to put on pants have become nearly impossible. But while I reserve the right to change my mind as I approach the very bitter end of pregnancy, so far it’s nothing unbearable and I’m not yet in any rush to get this kid out of me!
Other unexpected things:
-I was so tempted to break my vow of not learning the sex at my 20 week ultrasound, I thought for sure I’d cave by now. But I am actually SO SO happy we declined to learn the sex in advance! I am so excited to find out at the birth, at the same time we finally learn what this little person looks like and sounds like and feels like, etc. While I obviously don’t have an experience to compare it to, I don’t think I could feel any more love or feel more connected to this baby than I do now just by knowing the sex. I kind of love that I haven’t attached any stereotypical attributes to him or her when he or she is not even born yet; at this point, whether it’s a boy or girl just seems so irrelevant to me. And I love that I have all these gender neutral clothes and items that can be reused again and again! Keep in mind that this is all coming from someone whose nursery “theme,” if you want to call it that, is “Rainbow.” LOL.
-How hard pregnancy would be. I mean, aside from a few minor complications, I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy. And yet, it’s much harder than I thought it would all be. I don’t honestly know what I thought pregnancy would be like. It’s not something you can accurately imagine before it actually happens to you. But I guess I thought I’d be “better” at it than I have been. I thought I’d be that consummate pregnant woman who eats a perfect diet, exercises all the time, and never uses her pregnancy as an excuse to get out of obligations or sit on the couch eating ice cream all day. But that most certainly went out the window as soon as morning sickness hit me! Since then, I do my best but it’s far from perfect. And I sometimes still feel guilty about it. But I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’m not totally in control here. In terms of things like weight gain, umm…digestive issues, stretch marks, etc, your body kinda does what it will do and there’s only so much you can do yourself to direct it. Sometimes you just have to let go and let it do its thing.
-That I would be so excited. I have this distinct memory of a year or two ago seeing a friend post on facebook how excited she was to meet her baby due any day. And my first thought was…uh, that is not what I would be thinking! Pretty sure I’d be dreading the sleepless nights and overnight changes to my entire life! The decision to start a family is never entirely rational … you’ll always wish you had more savings/your career was more established/your bathroom was already finished…you just have to decide that you’ve reached a point where you can swing it and trust that things will fall into place. So I was surprised that since I found out I have truly been so happy and yes, excited to meet this little creature that’s been growing inside me!
-But it’s still the end of an era, and I have mixed emotions about that. I found out I was pregnant on our tenth anniversary. For over a decade, it’s just been the two of us, plus some cats and a dog…and that is about to irrevocably change. A good change, for sure, but I’ll still always treasure this time we had together. We both have confessed that this pregnancy has brought us together, and we feel even more connected and happier in our marriage than ever before, and I do wonder how things will change once the baby is here.
Similarly, as I alluded to above, I’m kinda nostalgic about this pregnancy coming to an end, even though it’s not like it’s been all fun and games. I just found myself a moment ago gazing down at all the tiny little elbows/hips/feet bulging out of of my belly and saying, “baby, I’m going to miss you being inside me when you come out!” I really didn’t think I’d ever get to a point of being able to say that. But it’s such a wild and amazing thing that’s going on and that I get to uniquely experience. And there is something special about that which I will miss, I think.
Anyway. I think that’s enough overshare for now!