I’m now 38 weeks pregnant. And boy, am I pregnant. We’re talking cankles worthy of gout, nausea, dizziness, waddling, mild insomnia. Oh yeah: my glow is radiant. The contractions are getting stronger and baby is head down making the pelvic pain and pressure truly awful, so I’m very much done being pregnant. The last month is always the hardest, but with the daily contractions I’ve been having the whole time with this one, the whole thing has kind of been like the last month. I’ve been particularily emotional because I feel so worn out from it all.
But looking back to the anxiety of the beginning–with all the uncertainty of whether we were going to lose the baby, with absolutely nothing to do to stop the contractions–it’s really amazing that I’m here, pregnant at 38 weeks. So even though I’m the definition of uncomfortable and it’s so easy to complain and wish for the baby to be out already, I have to praise God that I’ve made it this far. I’m already a “generous” 3 centimeters dilated and based on how much my cervix has been changing between my weekly appointments, my doctor estimates that I won’t make it longer than the end of next week. But even if I still go another 2 weeks, or even go late, I am making a concerted effort to shake off the frustration that comes so easily and savor the chaos instead.
I’m in high nesting mode right now, which has been put on steroids because of the holiday and birthday season (all of our kids birthdays are in October and November). Not only am I preparing the house for the baby, my mind has been racing to prepare for everything between now and New Year’s. My husband has tried to stop me, but with no success. I’m a mama on a mission.
But every couple hours when I’m forced to stop whatever I’m doing to elevate my cankles, I find that my nesting mode also has given me a hyper awareness of our household. Regardless of whether the baby comes today or in 2 weeks or sometime in between, the fact is that we are only going to be a family of 5 for a short time. Very soon, we will welcome another little person into our nest and everything will change again. It’s a change we are all excited to embrace, but there’s a small part of me that wants to savor everything that I can before this chapter ends.
So I stop to listen to the girls belly laughing at the funny part of their favorite movies.
I listen to the way that their voices sound right now at the beautiful ages that they are at.
I see all the different hues and tones in the highlights of my girls’ curly brown hair.
I let the thump of their feet across the house resonate into my heart.
I commit to memory the feel of 3 bodies snuggling with me.
Because pretty soon there will be a new laugh added to the chorus. There will be a new voice that yells, “Mama” in it’s own unique pitch. There will be more brown hair that will curl in a different way. There will be another set of feet that runs with the herd and adds to the sound effect of elephants stampeding throughout our house. There will be 4 tiny and not-so-tiny bodies climbing on top of me for snuggles during a movie.
So even though there is so much left to do, even though the 2 and 4 year olds keep undoing the cleaning that I have already done, even though there is a part of me that desperately wants to move on to the next chapter–there’s another part that can’t help but savor all the chaos just as it is right now.
Since it’s been 10 weeks since my last bump date, here are a few of my recent bump pictures.
Me on Halloween. I was the 11th Doctor, because I have 2 hearts and am bigger on the inside. Yes, I’m that big of a nerd.
The last of the Fall colors. Yes, I wore my Doctor Who fez to vote. I’ve actually worn it most days since Halloween. Why? Because I made it, it’s my new favorite thing, and no one is going to question a pregnant woman so I do what I want. Besides–fezzes are cool.