It has officially been baby month for a whole week now, and things are starting to wind up and slow down at the same time. I’ve slowed down on work hours, and commitments outside the home, but also started to try and get some of my many “to do before baby comes” things out of the way.
There is surprisingly less to do in the baby prep department this time around. We bought a bassinet for a corner of our bedroom, I washed some neutral newborn clothes and put them in a dresser, and boom, I was done what needed to be done for the baby to actually come home and live with us. Which seems like a good thing unless you have been grappling with the overwhelming instinct to nest for the past two months, as I have. I need to sort. I need to organize. I need to make lists of all the things I want to sort and organize.
This has led to a lot of extra projects. Never has my sock drawer been so neat. (I’m talking colour and length coded, people.) I have steam cleaned floors, and car seats and baby toys. I’ve spent hours looking up recipes for natural oven cleaners so I can get in there and scrub to my hearts delight. I’ve even gone a little wild in the travel size section at Wal Mart, planning what I will need for my hospital stay when it’s time.
Of course, I am also 37 weeks pregnant, so while the urge to do and plan and accomplish is all-consuming at times, the energy to actually follow through is often somewhat lacking.
So last week, when I found myself lying on a stretcher at the hospital waiting for the ultrasound technician to review the results of my scan with the radiologist (because apparently I grow really big babies), it was a rare opportunity of completely forced stillness, where I could literally do nothing but lay and rest and think. Not that they had me strapped down or anything – I just got lying in a position where the weight of my belly had my hip pinned beneath me, and I literally couldn’t have moved to save my life.
But while I lay there, immobile, I started to think about this last month of pregnancy, and all the things I will miss about it. This is our last planned child, (I say that because we know that sometimes God has other plans, and accidents can happen, but we are pretty sure we are done at 2 kids), which means this is the last time I will get to experience all the joys and pains of pregnancy. So today I thought I’d share a few of the things I will miss most and least about being pregnant.
- I will miss – the joy and expectation that comes with discovering you are indeed pregnant after whatever period of time you tried for. I love the emotional roller-coaster that is taking a pregnancy test when you know the possibility is there. The anticipation, the fear of a negative result, and then the thrill and high when the little plus sign finally shows up after the longest three minutes of your life.
- I won’t miss – the constant nausea that comes with the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. I realize for some people this lasts a lot longer, or never goes away the whole pregnancy. I am lucky that it didn’t last that long either pregnancy, but while it did it was pretty gross. And the worst part was that both times the height of it was during Christmas vacation – right when you should be eating nothing but chocolate and pastries and drinking coffee and cider all day long.
- I will miss – the fun of sharing the big news with the Hubs. I loved planning a unique way to tell him, and setting it all up so that I could focus on his face as he got the news. I will miss that look of shock and wonder, and the special smile he had both times he realized what was going on.
- I won’t miss – having thought I was getting it all on video the second time around, only to realize that I never actually pushed the record button. Sorry Little Babe, we have no video record of your Papa’s reaction to the news, but it’s not because we love you less than your brother.
- I will miss – the kicks and bounces, jumps and flips a baby makes inside your womb. There really is nothing like that feeling. It is a strange and wonderful sensation to watch your belly bump and bounce through no will of your own. It is incredible to reach down and rub a particularly protruding spot and realize its a foot or a hand that’s pushing against your uterus. My babies have both loved the right side of my womb, for some reason, and I often laugh at how lopsided my abdomen is when I am sitting down.
- I won’t miss – the occasional jab or kick to the ribs that hurts so bad it takes your breath away and leaves you yelling at your belly “what did I do to you to deserve this kind of treatment?” I especially won’t miss when this happens at the checkout line in Wal Mart, or the slow sinking realization that the cashier thinks your nuts.
- I will miss – the confidence that comes with not caring what I look like. I am typically a very self-conscious person when it comes to my weight and size. I spend a lot of time figuring out how to hide or minimize all my wobbly bits. But when I am pregnant, that all melts away, and I feel beautiful and proud of my body. I am not concerned about how big my belly is (though I know full well it’s huge), and I don’t wonder about glances people throw my way in the store or on the street. I feel vibrant and healthy and alive in a new way, when I am carrying a life inside of me.
- I won’t miss – the monumental task of something as simple as turning over in bed at night to give whichever aching hip has been supporting you for the last hour some relief. This process involves:
- becoming fully conscious from the half sleeping state you’ve been in
- realizing that the pain is now too much to just go back to sleep like you did the last time you woke up
- deciding to turn over
- untangling yourself from the pillow you had between your knees/under your belly to help ease the strain on your back
- maneuvering onto your back (this can take several minutes of intentional thought, positioning of limbs and shifting of weight)
- maneuvering onto your other side (this can also take several minutes of intentional thought, positioning of limbs and shifting of weight)
- repositioning the pillow between your knees/under your belly again
- repositioning any covers you had on you
- apologizing to the spouse for waking him up yet again
- realizing you have to pee and might as well get up before you try to go back to sleep
- coming back to bed, and repositioning the pillow and covers once again (it doesn’t hurt to throw in another apology to the spouse if he’s not snoring again yet)
- trying to fall back to sleep after that whole flurry of activity
The truth is I will miss all of it – even the parts that are no fun, or annoying, or painful and uncomfortable. I will miss it all, because it is all part of bringing a life into this world – a life that God created out of love. I will miss it, but I also know that the best part – getting to know this life, understanding who it is, and witnessing it grow and develop into it’s own person – is still to come.
So come on, Little Babe, we are ready for you!