Deep thoughts today. I blame these third trimester hormones. You have been warned.
I should also warn that if you suffered through pregnancy, you could not wait for those nine long months to ennnnnd, or you rejoiced ceremoniously when you gave birth to your final babe, you might want to STOP. Right. Here.
Nine months. Months that are now mere weeks. Three weeks, in fact. Three short weeks to go, if this babe is as punctual as my first two, until we finally meet this tiny person and he/she makes us a family of five.
Three more weeks of sharp kicks and wiggles that are a thankful reminder of what is actually going on in my belly. Despite this being my third pregnancy, and this being a totally normal biological process that has been going on for, well forever, I am still in complete awe that my body can do this. That we do this. Pregnancy and delivery are the most incredible physical feats our body goes through. The physiological changes are ASTONISHING. (ps did you know that your body produces more estrogen during pregnancy than your entire non-pregnant years?!? Mind. Blown). I think it's, in part, this awe (marvel, wonder, curiosity!) that has me so enamoured with being pregnant myself. With a hormonal contribution, no doubt.
Yes, of course I complain (to my husband) about ALLTHETHINGS (the waddle, the weight, the restless leg, the restless sleep, the heaviness, the constant need to pee, the sneeze-pee, etc.), but I do really, truly lovvvvvve being pregnant. The 24/7 closeness with this baby - it’s a bond that no one else on this planet will ever have with this child. Knowing every kick, every wiggle; when they sleep, when they wake.
And so there are three more weeks of being, well, here.
Three more weeks of being stretched and strained in the most incredible, mind blowing (and yes, uncomfortable) way.
Three more weeks of deep drumming hiccups on my bladder just as I lay down to sleep. Lungs, muscles, tissues preparing to breathe air for the first time, not the amniotic waters that have bathed them for nine months.
Three more weeks of feeling around for those alien-like body parts: a bony bum, a knee, a foot.
Three more weeks of midwife appointments and reassuring doppler heartbeats. No more anxiety producing waiting periods for test results, ultrasounds or heartbeats.
Three more weeks of this blissful, nesting lull. Three more weeks of waiting - of having no idea when or how this baby will come (what day, what time, how fast, how slow).
These are my last three weeks of being pregnant. Ever.
And the heart pulls are strong.
These end-of-pregnancy feels are common to me. I remember saying to my husband towards the end of my first pregnancy that I felt so selfishly protective of the baby in my belly. I didn't want to let him out (like I had control over this). I didn't want him exposed to the harshness, the stresses and strains of this world. In my belly, he was safe - innocent and completely all mine to protect. From the moment of his birth, he is no longer all mine.
But this time, this last time, the feelings are substantially more raw. Not for the protection I feel towards this baby, it's different this time. This time, it's those LAST pregnancy feels. The knowing that this is it. The planning to conceive, the two-week wait to find out, the excitement to share the news, the worry of things going wrong, the anticipation of birth - the ups and downs. It's been six years of these ups and downs, these highs and lows, and I know I will miss them all. Even the pains of delivering a baby into this world. Call me crazy, but I will miss it all.
It is, of course, a constant flux of emotions - undeniable, shear excitement to finally meet this person (all the exclamation marks). The thrill of this new chapter about to start, with our family complete (awk! I cannot wait - see, there to you go, battle of the preggo emotions), but the closing of these pregnancy years is a tough one for me. My pregnancy years are coming to a close in three short weeks. These have been the most significant years of my life.
I breath deep as I write this. In. Out.
You can bet, I will be trying to focus on the excitement of meeting this person over the next three weeks, but just like we get a little bit sad when our babies/toddlers/school-agers move on to the next milestone, these deep last-pregnancy feelings will continue to percolate every so often over the next few weeks. And I am sure that a deep stillness in my womb will be felt when I see friends, family and other mummas-to-be with growing bellies in the years ahead.
For now, every little kick is a reminder to savour these moments. Engrain them in my mind. And to say a little "thanks" to this body that could so easily conceive, carry and birth these babes of mine. I am so grateful of this body. But darn it, the closing of this chapter is hard.
Breath in. Breath out. And focus on the next chapter.