November 5, 2012

What I Will and Won't Miss About Being Pregnant.

I found out I was pregnant in mid-March and have now been pregnant for three quarters of a year. Three quarters of a year! Now that I'm in my last month of pregnancy (due Nov. 29), I've been thinking a lot about what I'll miss when I'm not pregnant anymore. There's plenty I won't miss, but for now it's important for me to focus on the good and to try as hard as I can to be here in this moment without hurrying through it. Because this month is just as much a part of Livvy's story as her birth and all the months and years that I pray will follow. And I know that while she would technically be all good to come out now, she is working on putting on some chub, growing hair and fingernails and eyelashes, strengthening her lungs for late-night cries that will need my late-night attention and readying her body for the passage of birth. The doctor says she is already head down, and I feel her there--that heavy head like an anchor pressing down, down. Her feet are tucked between my upper ribs, her knobby knees and elbows jutting into my sides and abdomen, her round bottom causing the rounding of my belly. For now, she is warm and safe.

Things I'll Miss:
  • Feeling Livvy squirm and shift. This has been the greatest gift of my pregnancy. Each movement provides comfort and joy, surprise and a much-needed reminder. When Livvy moves, I almost always stop whatever I'm doing, place my hands on her, and smile.
  • Having an only child. My sweet Tessa, these are her last few weeks as our only. Nekos and I are both only children, so we are all curious to see how this having two kids thing is going to go. 
  • Knowing that by eating well and getting enough sleep and taking care of myself, I am doing all I need to do to take care of Livvy, too. This is the only time in her life when she'll be low maintenance. 
  • The anticipation. Imagining Livvy's personality and her face, her eye color and hair texture, and how she might compare to Tessa has inspired countless conversations over the past nine months. I've never looked forward to anything the way I have looked forward to meeting my daughters. 
  • Sleep. Even though our two-and-a-half-year-old still interrupts our sleep most nights (Mama, I peed the bed and it's soaking wet! Mama, I need you! Mama, there's a purple monster under my bed!) and wakes up by six in the morning, I usually get about seven hours of sleep a night. 
  • Being part of this miracle as old as time that is growing and giving birth to a child. It never stops blowing my mind how bizarre and how beautiful it is that I am carrying my child, Nekos's child, inside me, and that she will be born into this world the way every one of us was. 
  • The kindness of strangers, the well wishes, and inquiries. I'm a hugger; physical affection is crucial to me, so I'm of those women who doesn't mind strangers touching my belly. 
  • Body acceptance. It's surprisingly easy for me to love this body with all the work it's doing and the way it's shape shifted to make room to grow the daughter I've longed for. But, even though I shouldn't be, I'm less forgiving of the slack version of my body that follows. 
Things I Won't Miss:
  • The identity. I'm excited to return to myself and to part with the "pregnant lady" I've become. As a mom, I can take a break for a few hours from motherhood, but I never get to take a break from pregnancy. Also, there's not a whole lot about this journey that's made me feel remotely alluring. I won't miss the complete unsexiness that is pregnancy. 
  • The clothes. I have moved onto the hobo portion of my maternity wardrobe where I just put on anything that fits and that doesn't cut off circulation to my midsection. As the weather grows colder, my layered ensembles get crazier. I can't wait to get back into shape and return to shopping for normal clothes again this winter. 
  • The symptoms. First there was the debilitating morning sickness. Now there are ocular migraines and aches and pains. And exhaustion has tagged along the whole way. 
  • Restricting myself to just one little glass of something to drink. I'm not ashamed to say that I cannot wait to drink two or three Yazoo Pale Ales. I will relish every drop. 
  • The waddle walk. I fight it with all of my strength, but it persists. 
This month is my time of waiting. For all I know I could have this baby tomorrow or her arrival could stretch days or weeks into December. Either way, I will be here waiting, anticipating Livvy's pretty face more with every new day. She'll be here soon enough.