It occurred to me today that out of all the time I’ve spent thinking about how I have “only two and a half weeks until the baby comes” (and trust me, there has been a LOT of thinking along those lines), I haven’t even considered the flip side – I have only two and a half week left of being pregnant.
That feels so strange to wrap my head around, it’s such a bittersweet realization. Of course pregnancy is just the journey, the means to an end- but it’s also just such a delight.
The world, in my limited experience at least, adores pregnant ladies. Pregnant ladies make people smile, they look at me, down to my belly, then back to my face, as a grin creeps over their features. There’s a strange sort of kinship with other women with kids, especially young babies. A look gets exchanged where you just know that she’s looking at your big belly and swollen feet and waddling gait and thinking, “I used to be there – that was me, just six months ago.” and in exchange you are peering at the face of her baby, its perfect features and also how utterly comfortable the woman looks with her child, and you’re trying to wrap your head around the fact that “This will be me in six months.”
I haven’t experienced any of the judgement or inopportune belly touching or pushy advice that I’ve long heard pregnant women lament about. Instead, Adam and I both have been incredibly lucky to be on the receiving end of a thousand-thousand well wishes, good luck’s and congratulations. Adam has customers who have given us baby gifts, knitted us blankets. My neighbour is insisting on cooking for us in the days after we arrive home from the hospital, and it goes without saying that our families have been incredibly excited and supportive. I think they are almost more eager to meet this new little person than we are.
So. Letting go of all of that – the excitement and planning and anticipation, it’s bittersweet.
Of course I’m looking forward to the “after”. The actual holding of this baby, the naming and knowing and seeing Adam become a father. But a small part of me is a little sad to be saying goodbye to this closeness, these wicked thumps and bumps and the sense of being more than one.
Part of it, I’m not ashamed to admit, is fear. Fear of the surgery, and the pain, and the recovery. Fear of everything that can go wrong between the first cut and the last stitch. Fear that we won’t know what to do. Fear that I won’t be a good mother – and then simultaneously, fear that I will, but that it will change me in some irrevocable way. Fear that it will change Us, in some irrevocable way.
Another part selfishly mourns the loss of this “special” feeling, this privileged status. It’s been so nice to be taken care of, treated with kid gloves. It’s been a treat to have people open doors for me and offer their place in line for the bathroom.
Finally, a large part of this wistful feeling is just sheer incomprehension. I do not know how to put into words how little I can do to wrap my head around the fact that in 16 days a little human being that looks sort of like Adam and sort of like me will be pulled out into this world from an incision in my belly. What’s more, I will be in charge of feeding this creature with milk that I somehow produce in my body, and then after a few days we will be allowed to leave with this little being. No questions asked.
Just like that.
A son or a daughter. A name. A face. And for Adam and I, new identities. A new slant to each other after ten years as partners – parents.
Last week I was done. This week I realize how close I am and I’m trying to claw those words back – done? I’m not done! I’m just getting started! I’m finding myself fantasizing about arriving at my last ultrasound (taking place Friday morning) and having the nurse tell me that WOW! My placenta has somehow miraculously moved and I can go full term after all!
(I know this won’t happen.)
(But a girl can dream.)
In less esoteric ramblings: the stats! I’m wavering between 137-140 lbs, which takes me 22-25lbs up from where I started. I still feel good, I’m sleeping well, eating well, I’m happy.
I still have a few posts I’d like to do before baby, (so, in the next 16 days) (have I mentioned it’s 16 days away? 16 days. But who’s counting?) including what changes we’re making to prepare our first baby – the hairy, slobbery 180lb one – for the new family member; a detailed breakdown of how much moolah we have spent on baby stuff (because this is something I always wondered about – how much all of that stuff would really cost us); and an overall reflection on pregnancy, the unexpected, the strange, the stuff I would have wanted to know prior to seeing that little pink line.
In closing, of course, we must once again give proper thanks to the Pregnancy Goddesses for seeing that I made it here, to 35 weeks.
And we mustn’t forget to say a fervent sort of prayer that we make it through each and every one of the next 16 days without incident.