This past Tuesday marked 3 months until our due date and all I can think is, Woah there! Let’s slow this all down a little. I realized the other day how much I have begun to enjoy this pregnancy, and then I immediately thought, how can it almost be over? It is not that I wasn’t enjoying it before, but because of a lot of complicated and layered factors, I felt like I wasn’t able to even make room for the joy, the bliss, and the amazement at what was happening with this little person growing inside of me.
The first couple months I was wrecked with anxiety about something happening and losing the baby, I was battling nausea all day every day, insomnia,and pregnancy hormones were in full swing leading to hours of unexplained crying. We also weren’t telling many people about the pregnancy so there wasn’t much support for why I was feeling so terrible and worried and anxious. In short, I was a disaster.
Then the second trimester came and everything settled down for a little bit, the wanting to throw up and also eat only bagels every day all day subsided, as did the long bouts of crying. But then we started sharing our news with people outside of our immediate and protected circle of family and friends. And, for the most part, we were met with so much excitement, joy, love and support, but not always, and that was [and continues to be], really hard and disappointing. I also struggled with how it felt unjust to have to worry about what people would think about our family, about this very private and personal choice, and especially to already feel like we are having to defend this kid we created and rally against a world where not everyone is ready to accept them with open arms and no questions asked about how they got here. The pregnancy began to feel less like it was our special secret, and more like another coming out that everyone we told got to weigh in and have an opinion [good or bad] on. As the months went on there were big changes happening in our personal lives, which were not entirely baby related- but let’s be honest, everything is baby related these days, like it or not. Due to increasing aggressions and fights between our two dogs, we had to re-home one of our dogs- which was heartbreaking and one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. We decided to move before the baby came, which meant finding a new space for our growing family and finding people to take over our lease so we don’t loose our security deposit. And while the decision to move was overall a positive and necessary one- it added a layer or two of stress into an already stressful time. Then out of the blue my car died, on the side of the road on the way to work and I began to think maybe the universe was against me. Then I thought better of it and realized that the universe was just getting all of this out of the way before May, so that when the baby arrives perfect and healthy and never crying, we can just enjoy it all with absolutely no undue stress. Ok, that might be an exaggerated pipe dream, but it got me through some of my darker days.
And now here we are at the finish line of the second trimester and the start of the third trimester, or the beginning of the end. I feel huge, sore, and it is getting harder to find ways to mask this growing belly and find any comfortable position to sleep in. But I also get to feel this little baby moving, kicking and punching all time time now. And though it may feel inconvenient- the belly is tangible evidence that this baby is growing and getting bigger and getting more ready every day to join the world. The other night I couldn’t sleep and I lay in bed counting kicks and pokes and I suddenly felt very sad that this part would end. There is something so precious and intimate about pregnancy, something magical about a person growing inside of me who will someday be independent of – and yet, still a part of us, something amazing about what my body is capable of, and something so beautiful about what has been happening for these past six months.
I have also started caring less and less about what other people think about this pregnancy and about our choices. The more real this baby becomes the less space I have for people who aren’t able to be overjoyed, excited and as in love with this little person as we are. There just isn’t room for anything else these days, and I refuse to make space for negativity about our child or their journey into this world. At some point I realized that we aren’t becoming parents, we already are parents- we are already worrying about and protecting this baby, making big and small decisions that will effect the quality of our lives together, loving and taking care of this baby since the moment we found out we were pregnant. Part of me feels cheated that I wasn’t able to relish this kind of particular joy sooner in the pregnancy, but I also take responsibility for what I allowed in and what I allowed out during the harder months.
The good news is that at some point I realized this kid was coming and that I could spend the rest of my pregnancy with them worried about everything else, or focused on them, and that either way at some point the pregnancy would end and there would be a baby and all the time spent in anxiety and frustration would be time lost when I could have been filling up on feelings that were nourishing to my spirit and energy. I am grateful that I have a network of support around me and within me to know how to take care of myself, where to draw hard lines, and how to get myself to a better place.
So here we are, three months to go. I plan to relish every last bit of this pregnancy and this magical time we have to share with our baby before they come into this world. Then they will be here and I will have practiced letting go, I will have practiced welcoming this beautiful change, I will have practiced protecting this child, I will have practiced learning how my heart can possibly grow big enough to support the love that I will have as we welcome this tiny, new, incredible person into our world.