Friday, November 19, 2010

elephant wannabe

I have always known that I wanted to have a baby. What I didn't expect was how much I was going to love being pregnant. I don't know why -- my mom always had great pregnancies, and most of my friends seemed to enjoy pregnancy, too. I think I listened to the worst of everyone's experiences, watched a few too many sitcoms, and assumed that my pregnancy would be a compilation of all of it. I figured I would be crabby, emotional and irrational all the time... but according to Pete, I have been "more emotionally stable" than my non-pregnant self. (Okay, there were a couple meltdowns, but they were few and far between.) I thought I would look down from my positive pregnancy test and see stretch marks, but I'm almost eight months along and still in the clear. I thought my skin would explode into a pimplish frenzy, but my skin actually improved. I thought I would be exhausted all the time, but... well, yes. I've been exhausted all the time. That's par for the Joy course, though. And pregnancy is a terrific excuse for a nap.
The first time I talked with my midwife I was about twelve weeks along, and she said something that stuck with me. She said, "You're going to love pregnancy. The first one especially is just magical. But eventually the time will come when you'll have to let go of pregnancy and do the work of giving birth." Yesterday at my appointment I told her that I really hadn't believed her at the time. I said, "I'm still banking on the idea that something in these last few weeks will make me want to get this thing out of me, even if it means labor and then months of sleepless nights."
She said, "Well, even though you will probably get uncomfortable in the final days, you may never have that 'get this thing out of me' feeling. But here's the carrot I'll dangle in front of you: For as much as you love being pregnant, you are going to love this next part. You're going to love interacting with your baby and seeing him grow. You're going to love breastfeeding. You're going to love motherhood." (Yolanda has a way of making me feel better about stuff. I hope her calming effect works during birth, too.)
So here I am in the final weeks, and even if this is supposed to feel like the longest part, the holidays will probably whisk them away faster than I can ask, "Pete, will you rub my shoulders?" (Even if you have a very comfortable pregnancy, you should definitely take advantage of nine months of unlimited backrubs.) The pregnancy and labor books next to my bed are slowly being replaced with breastfeeding and baby care books, I'm stocking my pantry, freezing meals and washing baby clothes. Also, I'm trying to imagine that motherhood may be as enjoyable and exciting as these last few months have been.
* Photos are by Beth Laurren Photography, except for the last one. :)


Rebekah said...

You are simply being wise by enjoying each stage in which you find yourself. Pregnancy is an extraordinarily unique phase; have you read in any of your books that, really...a pregnant woman is a sort of third type of human. So many changes take place, etc. I read that in one of them. Makes sense.

Anonymous said...

she is right. her words are so true. i have "morning" sickness till nearly the very end and lose 20 or 30 pounds over the course of a pregnancy, but i still LOVE being pregnant. i feel so good pregnant; so womanly and real and quite frankly, i feel the most beautiful when i am pregnant. i have missed carrying my babies inside almost immediately when they have come out. pregnancy is the only time in their lives that their mamas don't have to share them with the rest of the world. but like most everything else in motherhood, this is bittersweet. because she is right: you will LOVE carrying your babies outside your body too. joy, there is nothing sweeter or better for us in this life on earth than mothering the sweet babies we're given. i am thrilled for you that you'll be starting so soon.