I had a great week off with Garth. When he left for class this morning, it felt weird to be home alone. We spent all day every day together for eleven days. It was such a blessing to get that unexpected time together.
Now we’re all ready for the baby–we purchased the last of our baby needs, got her space ready, baby-proofed the apartment, and spent the last of our alone time as just the two of us. She can come any day now. Really. My body doesn’t want to be pregnant anymore. I’m term, which means she’s done cooking, and anything from here on out is basically just more fat.
I don’t want to complain. I realized how blessed I am to experience pregnancy, and I really do think it’s an incredible and beautiful process. Actually, in the beginning, I said many times how I wouldn’t be that woman who just wants the baby out. “She can stay in there as long it takes,” I’d say. Well, no. I’ve changed my mind. And here are the top ten reasons why:
10. The big belly. I swear I wake up feeling heavier every few days, and this baby is so low I feel like I’m carrying her on my lap. I can no longer reach the outlet over the sink for the portable washing machine, and when it comes to bending over, forget it. If I drop something, looks like it’s staying there until I find someone else to pick it up.
9. Peeing. All the time. I won’t miss running to the bathroom in the middle of whatever I’m doing, sometimes three times in an hour. Who would?
8. Unpredictable, shooting pain. I’m excited for when the aches and stinging assaults on my nether-regions are no longer an hourly experience. Depending on the baby’s position, sometimes it takes me a few minutes to find a comfortable sitting position, sometimes I suddenly have to change positions when sitting or lying down, and sometimes when I try to get up, nope, have to sit awhile longer or my pelvis might break.
7. Relaxin. Relaxin is a well-meaning hormone that loosens things up to prepare the body for childbirth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t only loosen up the necessary areas, but sometimes ruthlessly attacks other joints as well. I had carpal tunnel before pregnancy, which was controlled with compression wrist braces, a hard brace for nighttime, and lots of naproxen. Being pregnant, I can’t take anti-inflammatories, so I’m stuck with sore wrists that have led to constantly tingling thumb, index, and middle fingers. As a writer, it makes life quite uncomfortable, but it also keeps me from cooking alone as I can’t cut or stir anything, and I have a pile of thank-you cards from two baby showers still waiting to be written and mailed (come write them for me, anyone, anyone?).
6. Stretch marks. These did not appear until the third trimester. I actually don’t mind the marks so much as the itchies. Oh, the itchies. I go through a lot of lotion. Also, stretching skin can really hurt.
5. Maternity jeans. I’ve heard a lot of women say they love their maternity jeans, but I’m not one of those women. The long elastic band makes them awkward to pull up if they creep down a little, and it aggravates the itchies. I would wear leggings more often, but I’m not really a legging-wearing girl unless I have a shirt that covers my cute little butt, and those are hard to come by these days with the burgeoning belly and all.
4. Baby brain. i.e.: I meant to put this farther up the list but couldn’t remember what I was going to write every time I started. I know this forgetfulness won’t go away as soon as they baby is born, or maybe ever, but at least I won’t also feel huge and hormonal at the same time I feel like I’m losing my mind.
3. Sex. I’m not going to go into detail on this one. All I will say is it’s hard to feel attractive when your abdomen is stretched to 1,000x its size. Pregnancy has made me feel feminine, yes, but not sexy.
2. Pregnancy anxiety. Until the baby is born, there’s no telling what may be wrong that can’t be detected before birth. That terrifies me, and I won’t stop worrying until she’s born, grown, and I’m dead. But seriously, once they look her over and she passes all the tests I’ll breathe easy knowing she’s healthy and whole.
1. The baby. I just really want to see her, hold her, watch her discover the world. Finding out I was pregnant was an incredible feeling, but it was a beginning, not an end.
I spent so much time the entire pregnancy worrying that something would go wrong or that she would come early. I was content to wait and wait and wait for her arrival. But once I made it to term something switched on in me, an anxiousness for her to finally be here, to meet her, to know that she’s really ok. Overwhelming as new parenthood may be, I’m ready to bring this kid home.
With that anticipation comes a sort of sadness at the thought of no longer being pregnant. I’ll miss feeling her move inside me, not having to share her, and ironically, the mystery that she is for now.