Monday, January 28th, 2013
38 weeks/9 months
While wrapping up an interview with a psychologist for a pregnancy related article I’m writing, I kept coming back to her advice, “Just like a good wife never complains about her husband, a good mother never complains about her pregnancy.”
I’ve often heard that saying in regards to husbands, it’s one I subscribe to, but I’ve never heard it applied to pregnancy before.
With my pregnancy nearing the end and this unique opportunity to chronicle so many aspects of pregnancy, I can’t get her words out of my head.
I think back to the posts I’ve written and the way I’ve captured pregnancy and I hope that while honest and humorous, it’s also been positive.
There are only so many times a woman is pregnant in a lifetime and it seems cavalier, even detrimental to spend it complaining.
While some may find it arguable, I think it true, a good mother never complains about her pregnancy. Not because it’s easy or she’s being inauthentic, but because like with a marriage, what good comes from it?
The thing is pregnancy is finite. Not even a year in the long span of years we call a life.
Sure, this is the hard part. At 37 weeks, it’s uncomfortable, it’s mentally tough, physically excruciating at times but then, before I realize, the miracle will be over and there is nothing like the miracle of pregnancy.
I am truly grateful to be pregnant. I will miss this belly.
There are a limited number of times a mother feels her baby kick. There are a limited number of times a mother watches her body grow a baby. There are a limited number of times a mother gets to hold her new infant for the first time. These are the moments I want to remember.
All I’ve wanted to do is focus on the things I like about pregnancy. I’ve been afraid to openly say, “I love pregnancy” because I care too much what people think of me. “She’s annoying.” “She’s naive.” “She’s hormonal.” “She’s not being real.” “Her pregnancies are easy”…etc. But I don’t care anymore.
I am a woman who loves pregnancy.
For me, pregnancy is the grandest example of the body’s amazing capacity to grow life and the soul’s ability to love someone without ever meeting.
While this may be the last time I am pregnant, I hope that it is not. Regardless of what happens in the future, I want it written, documented, remembered, the things I love about pregnancy:
Baby kicks. The feeling of a life, a being, a healthy little babe inside of me is something I wish I could box up and save for the rainiest of days. It cannot be recreated and it is hard to conjure when pregnancy is over, but it is the most incredible sensation.
A constant companion. I love the fact that where ever I go, she goes. She’s with me day and night, sharing secret indulgences, silent tears, and sweet movements. To carry her is to love her.
Talking baby. I love discussing the new addition with family, friends, and even strangers. I love discussing how excited we are to meet her and hearing thoughtful congratulations. Babies are to be celebrated and the best way I know how is to talk about how much we already love her.
My husband falling in love with our baby. His worries indicate just how much he already loves our daughter. He’s protective and thoughtful. There are few things more beautiful than a man loving his children.
Envisioning our future family. I am hopeful when I think of our future. I look forward to the noise and chaos of multiple children. I welcome milestones and find fulfillment in the thought of trying to raise happy, helpful, compassionate children.
Picturing my daughters together. I find so much joy in at the thought of my daughters loving each other. Their shared kisses and toys and secrets is one of the things I look forward to the most.
As I’ve focused more on the things I like about pregnancy, I’ve realized how much their really is to love about it.
Image: My 37 week, full term belly
Monday, December 31st, 2012
34 weeks/7 months
As the end of 2012 draws nigh, let’s review some of the beautiful, unexpected, and some expected highlights of the pregnancy thus far.
A little year, er, pregnancy in review if you will. While I’ll never be able to do it my media crush, Tom Brokaw worthy, let’s give it a stab. All the reputable media outlets do it. VH1 is reputable right?
Take that and rewind it back…a pregnancy review complete with hashtags I’m still trying to make happen. #ICan’tQuitYou
We discover we’re having a baby! We feel moony and elated. It is our hearts’ fondest desire.
Baby name discussions immediately get tabled because the husband and I are both stubborn oxes with very different opinions who tend to melodramatically ralph at the other party’s suggestions. #TillBabyNamesDoUsPart
We learn we’re having another little lady and I do a cartwheel of joy for the gift of sisters. And matching outfits. My husband sees the dollar signs of two weddings but tempers that worry momentarily with all the girl paraphernalia we’ll get to reuse. #GlassHalfFull
We tell our two-year-old daughter who in her very own toddler way promises to love and cherish the baby because she’s “not going to scare her.” #ShellSmotherHerBecauseSheLovesHer
We tell the beloveds in our lives that we’re expecting another baby who mostly, kind of, sort of, already guessed it. #LuckyGuess
I’m overwhelmingly grateful to become a mom again and for the people who taught me to cherish pregnancy and motherhood.
I, scratch that, WE welcome the return of my boobs. #PregnancyPerks
I school the peeps on things to avoid saying to a pregnant lady. #CheckYoSelfBeforeYouWreckYoSelf
I crowd source the question of having a second baby shower and people share strong opinions on the topic. #JurysStillOut
I get where cuddly, lazy, sleep-all-day, eat-all-day pandas are coming from and wish people thought my pregnant lady, panda-like shenanigans were just as cute. #PandasGotItMade
I confess I pee my pants regularly. My husband quits reading the blog. #IJoke
I embrace being the stereotypical hormonal pregnant lady we all know and love. #HotMess
I proudly teach my mom the phrase “grower not a shower” and it’s relevance to how different bellies show. #MomQuitsReadingTheBlog
We survive the worry of a health scare with the baby and feel overwhelmingly relieved for the miracle of a healthy baby.
We welcome the glorious holiday season and the clear trump card it is to wear maternity pants to every holiday party. #StretchyPantsForTheWin
Her Royal Highness, Princess Kate reveals she’s with child as well and I’m certain she totally copied me. #TrendSetter
I remember why the third trimester can be a bit tricky as the burgeoning belly makes its presence known and vow to channel Santa’s jolly ability to work a belly. #HollaForHemorrhoids
This brings us to today, the cusp of January. We’ve reached the stage where people give the belly the once over before saying hello and I could post over-share dilation updates on Facebook (I promise, I’ll spare you).
I’d upgrade my panda status to heffer status after visiting a dairy farm last week. I learned them cows go on community bed-rest at 7 months, which makes me feel as if cow society might be a bit more awesome than human society at the moment.
As the end approaches, long gone are the days when people be thinking my belly is small, and big and huge are starting to escape their lips. This is a good sign. I should be huge. Huge, hormonal, and happy is the third trimester in a nutshell.
We are a smidgen closer to baby name diplomacy and I’d like it in writing that I’m being very cooperative to avoid going over the “can’t compromise” cliff.
Harper knows that a baby is coming and regularly asks when “sissy boo” will be here. She no longer lists the contents of my lunch when asked what’s in my belly. She sweetly asked me to hug the pretend baby in her belly the other night and I melted.
Sure, the pregnancy is getting a bit uncomfortable. I want to say a swear every time I drop something and have to bend to pick it up. I’m constantly hungry like a wolf (not as the song suggests but lit’rally ravenous). I now pee every 3 minutes and expel gas every 8 minutes. At least I give a courtesy check to see who’s behind me before breaking wind? So thoughtful.
But as the year wraps up, I realize there are only 6 weeks left (Come again? 6 weeks!), and things are about to get really real and exciting in the pregnancy department.
She’s almost here. The very thought fills me with more excitement for the New Year than I can possibly put into words. It’s going to be a bit different, a bit messy as we transition into a new stage but mostly, I’m looking forward to it being a bit of everything I’ve ever wanted to grow and love my family more. I want to relish these last few weeks and the anticipation that fills my heart for the upcoming year with a new baby.
Image: Classy bathroom mirror photography at roughly 33 weeks