While I’m perfectly aware that I’ll need every possible moment of sleep, the clock reads 4 AM and I’m already anticipating all the little details of what the next several hours, days, weeks, months and years will bring. Diesel was curled up in front of me as I painfully tried to find sleep in through one more relentless night fighting the ever-growing number of pillows which require perfect placement in order to support my many protruding pregnancy positions of sleep- none of which are comfortable. The husband resided to the guest room for the night to try to claim one night of uninterrupted sleep (Note to guests: now that we have a new Mattress and Box spring he’s finding that bed more appealing, hope you do too). As I reflect on what this past nine months (who am I kidding) 10.5 months has been like, I recognize there are some things I will miss and others that I am completely ready to be rid of.
When I began this journey, the thought of being an incubator for a living being was such an honor. While the symptoms to accompany this process have been less than desireable, there is nothing that can replace this experience. Being the incubator, I can feel the flutters and sudden jerks of movement before anyone else could feel or witness them. I can sense the sudden urge of pressure bearing down on other bodily organs and the ripe emotions that come with no warning. I have relished the opportunity to eat 27 times a day, with encouragement from others. While I am ready to experience real food and a glass of wine again, I also acknowledge my role in developing this embryo from a little egg plastered to the side of my uterus to a fully developed baby. A baby with a heart rate ranging from 120-130 on most occasions. A baby that keeps manipulating my body with random movements and adding to my ever-growing figure. And yes a baby who has determined that no one will decide when he/she is ready to come out. A baby that has kept us guessing and questioning all the decisions parenthood brings- What gender will it be? What will we name our child? Will our child sleep through the night? How will breastfeeding go? How are we, as parents, going to respond if our child does _____ (insert example here)? Will our child play Hockey or be a Figure skater (Winter Olympics have an influence this time of year)? Either way things turn out, pregnancy has prepared me for a life of patience- especially these last few weeks. Recognizing that no matter how much I want something to happen I can not always influence the outcome. I can hope and pray that my child will be guided in the proper direction, but I can not be there every step of the way to make decisions for my child. And so as I approach these next few hours, I recognize that while we are embarking on one of the most exciting and enjoyable rides of our life, we also will experience pain, anxiety and all the uncertainties that parenthood brings.
With all that said, pregnancy has also been a little pain (in the lower back mostly). Beginning in the first 6 weeks, I was plagued with a multitude of undesirable symptoms- morning sickness and the constant nausea, unrelentless heartburn and loss of appetite, fatigue and migraine headaches, the very uncommon pregnancy itch, and sleepless nights. Going a full 42 weeks, I can honestly say I have lived up to the expression, “put a fork in me, I’m done!” or as my niece might suggest I am one ripe fruit that’s beginning to rot. Either way, this baby has outgrown its welcome in there. So as you can imagine, there are so many things I am ready to kick to the curb and be done with. The wonderful symptoms above are just the beginning. I can not wait to go for a run again, and get off the swollen little stumps attached to my hips- like a real sweat producing run, where it’s just me beating the pavement with the cool spring air (oops, I just drooled a little bit). I can’t wait to put on non-stretchy clothes that don’t require several creative layers to adjust to my variable temperature or the robust belly which likes to sneak a peek to the outside world occasionally. I’m really hoping the cottage cheese in my thighs, calves and ankles melts as I’m really not so much a fan of the curdled stuff to begin with! Beyond the physical traits of pregnancy, I am so ready to eat a normal meal and not be concerned with the magnitude of heartburn I’ll need to prepare for. Or to sit down and have an amazing BOTTLE of wine- yep bottle. Or to be able to tie my shoes, or better yet to be able to put on my shoes and socks without having to contort into a position designed for an elderly person with aching joints (that’s not meant to insult any elderly person, just and observation). Or how about to LAY ON MY STOMACH, or even my back- completely flat on the floor. Oh, or having to swing my leg, or rock front and back to get out of the over-sized couch and chair in our living room. That alone will bring back so much self-confidence! Oh and the noises that come from this pregnant lady…OMG- You’d think my dad just let out a rip-roaring fart that would shake the house..but nope, just me and my swollen sausage feet. I’m totally blaming that on baby’s need to acquire all the internal space that the organs are now fighting. I’m really hoping that disintegrates with the passing of the placenta.
All and all this has been a wonderful adventure and I am so thankful for the amazing support system I have been surrounded with. From the ladies at work listening to my complaints, to our families. Our parents- even brothers and sisters, nieces and friends have been calling awaiting the excitement. It has been so fun and I am grateful for the experience. But I could not end this post without a special acknowledgement to my husband. He has labored every step of the way from accommodating my cravings to relieving the pain in my back at all hours of the night. While we have experienced a little role reversal in this relationship the last few months- I could not have gotten through the ups and downs without him by my side. I hope I can say the same next week 😉