When the bustle of the busy day (as recently they have all seemed to be) hushes to a lull late in the evening hours, and I finally settle into some sort of relaxed pose, I cherish the time I can focus on connecting with my baby within. It is a wondrous thing, feeling him twist and turn as he seemingly ‘swims’ in delight celebrating that we, he and I, finally have a moment to enjoy together in an otherwise marathon-like day. Despite feeling his kicks when I consume something to his liking (I pretend he has favorites), there is a specialness to his peaceful rhythm in the late hours, as though for no other reason then to say Hello. It never ceases to amaze me, that life so extraordinarily grows so delicately inside of us as we go about our ordinary day. And so it’s not that I could ever truly forget per se that this is my “condition”, however, life demands do require that at times this “condition” is not always the priority and is in fact secondary to what is in our surroundings. When you have little ones outside the womb there is much to be compromised in the way of what pregnancy literature suggests that one does while pregnant. All those time-lines, guidelines, friendly advice, and free passes sort of take a back seat to the reality of having dependents, (cute as they may be).
It’s true that every pregnancy is unique in its characteristics, and equally so, I have found in its sequence in your life. I can clearly recall my first pregnancy where every day was a milestone and the ability to track and document the wonder of it all was present. Where my excitement was matched or seemingly surpassed by others, continuously questioning my well-being and my whereabouts. There was time, lots and lots of time. Every bubble and gurgle and unidentified physical sensation was reason for glee and discussion. There was time to sit down and relax. Time to create lists and even check things off them. There was time to design and collect and assemble a room fit for a princess. Time to read books and consider the variety of methods offered in dealing with potential issues despite their seeming ridiculousness. And the overwhelming joy and anticipation of the unknown was so grand that our meeting day almost seemed unable to come quickly enough, (that paired with her true late arrival).
Oh how things change.
By the second pregnancy, I didn’t even realize that there was a first trimester and I may as well have started midway through. There was less time, a lot less time. Less time to sit, to think, to organize, to prepare and to ponder. There was an agenda, a time sensitive one at that, and the slightest stray from the game-plan was reason to panic. Although the excitement was there in the same magical way, the ability to be fully present as previously was simply unrealistic. Rather than counting my internal baby’s kicks, I was trying to prevent my ‘outer’ toddler from kicking my belly (accidentally of course). More than worrying about adjusting to ‘newbornism’ once again, the concern was about how could our precious darling adjust to life with another baby. And somehow, while we were reacquainting with the somewhat known territory ahead, almost without realization, it was time. She was here. Things weren’t pristine and perfect and ready, yet while there was a bit more chaos, there was a lot less stress. Ironic right? I know! It was this sense of familiarity that just took over and seemed to smooth things out. Sure it was challenging in new ways, but more than that, we knew stuff. We had done this before and surprisingly we hadn’t forgotten. And so it was, perhaps because of this feeling and sense of confidence, that we were much more apt and able to consider having another baby after we had our second…much sooner than we had considered having a second after our first.
Here we are. In the last week and a half (as per estimated due date and not by prior track record) of our third pregnancy. I am grateful to say that I have had remarkably healthy and what I would consider ‘easy’ pregnancies just in relation to what I have heard. Of course the discomforts and unpleasant symptoms exist, but they certainly haven’t disabled or drastically impeded my ability to function. It’s interesting though, because as others ask how I am doing, I feel compelled to say that “I am great”, because I am mostly, but at the same time, I do wonder, is there a choice not to be? I mean, all serious complications aside, of course I am exhausted and have chronic heartburn, by the end of the day I can no longer, bend, sit, stand or find any position of comfort in fact, I am either ravenous or completely dismayed by any nutritional option, and yet, “I am great”. And as I consider feeling that way, I feel that it is directly connected to the need to be ‘great’ (to the best of my ability) for my girls. While they have come to know my ‘belly’ as a daily reminder of the brother that’s coming, there is no true understanding (and none can be expected) of the limitations that come with hosting this little life for 9+ months. And so for the most part, their expectations go unwavered. “Pick me up mommy, carry me, play with me, sit with me, get me, take me, help me, I want to be on your lap mommy.” And while my heart consistently and without hesitation says, “Of course my darling”, my body says, “Not so sure I can although I’ll try”. But for the most part, except when the energy is completely drained late in the day, I have been able to be great and do those things that I treasure doing with them. And though they appear like small tokens, to them, I can see, they are monumental reminders that no matter who is welcomed into our family, my darlings must never fear losing their space or importance as they are permanent in our hearts.
And so it is with excitement, anticipation, love, and an abundance of overwhelming emotion that we eagerly await the arrival of our little boy. Countdown to Finley Ben