Well, here we are. A few days shy of my third trimester of pregnancy. How did we get here? (Just kidding. I know how we got here. But . . . it just all seems like a blur.)
You know those people who fall apart at the sight of a baby? Who know how to hold them, comfort them, make them smile? Yeah, that’s not really me. I’ve never been a Baby Person. For years, in high school and through college, I didn’t think having kids was for me. But then I became good friends with someone who had just given birth and all it took for me to change my mind was to watch her with her baby girl. Was being a mom easy? No. Was motherhood always fun and enjoyable? No. Was being a mom the best and brightest thing in her life, despite all this? Yes.
And so this past May when we found out we were expecting, we were pretty delighted. I won’t lie, though. The whole thing has been so strange, too. I mean, I’m literally sharing my body and growing a little soul, a little person. Some days I feel so connected to this little baby. Other days, I’m freaked out by impending motherhood. Mostly, I simply accept whatever weird, mixed up, complicated feelings I have and just accept them for what they are.
Meanwhile, my body is changing in all the expected ways. My belly is rounding out. I have constant sciatic nerve pain shooting down my left butt cheek. My lower back is frequently sore and tight. My breasts are gigantic . . . and they itch! Like all the time! I often have issues with a pinched nerve that makes my arms hurt really bad. Long gone are the days of multi-mile hikes. After a mile I’m huffing and puffing and have to go very s-l-o-w-l-y. I stopped biking (for the most part) a few weeks ago because I very suddenly hit a point of not feeling stable or steady on my bike. Sometimes my fingers swell. Sometimes my toes look like little sausages. There’s baby kicks and movements galore! Oh, and heartburn. There’s a lot of that. Sleeping is hit and miss; though, I’m always tired. And, yes, I definitely tear up at things more easily than I did pre-pregnancy (thanks, hormones!). But, things have been healthy so far. I may not always feel great, but I don’t take these healthy 27 weeks of pregnancy for granted. And, to be honest, I kind of love my pregnant body.
Mostly, I’m finding that I approach motherhood in much the same way that I approach other new experience: I feel kind of anxious, cope by watching lots of Gilmore Girls and Golden Girls, shrug my shoulders, and tell myself I’ll figure things out eventually (because I will!).
And in the meantime, there’s reading all the pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding/how-to-get-your-baby-to-sleep books. And prenatal yoga. And doctors appointments. And meetings with our doula. And labor and childbirth classes (starting Monday!) and newborn care classes (starting later this month!). And baby showers.
One benefit of having a baby due at the end of January is . . . there’s not much else to do in Michigan in the winter than hibernate. What better way to spend time bonding with and getting to know this new little family member than in the winter, timed perfectly with the winter Olympics?
Here’s to new adventures!