With the disappointing news that I’m not making much significant cervical progress at this point, it often feels like this pregnancy may never end, and yet I know it will. I am hyper-aware that the ending is near, in fact. Skittle will be here soon and while we will be so happy to meet her and greet her and hold her, there is plenty I will miss about pregnancy. And of course, plenty that I will not.
I WILL MISS THIS: The shape of my belly. The way my maternity clothes fit its roundness perfectly and leave me feeling beautiful, not huge or fat in any way.
NOT THAT: The redness and expansion of old stretchmarks. The faintest linea nigra that I don’t ever remember having while pregnant with Cupcake. The acne. The skin tags. Fat feet that can no longer fit into my cute shoes.
MiSS THIS: The baby shopping. The anticipation. Preparing the nursery. Dreaming of the moment Skittle is in my arms.
NOT THAT: The nights I lay awake, imagining all that can go wrong. The moments when she isn’t moving and I convince myself she’s gone.
MISS THIS: Seeing Skittle on ultrasound, that plump little nose, those puckered lips.
NOT THAT: The twice-weekly doctor appointments. The bloodwork. The frequent non-stress tests. All the visits to a pharmacy or mall just to check my blood pressure.
MISS THIS: The foot rubs from my husband. The friends who offer to take Cupcake so I can rest. Always having an excuse when I want an extra cookie or am too tired to unload the dishwasher.
NOT THAT: The hemorrhoids. The recent cervical pressure and pain. The breathlessness. The carpal tunnel. The general discomfort.
MISS THIS: Moments alone with Cupcake. The times she asks to cuddle with the baby in my belly. Her soft kisses against my stretched skin.
NOT THAT: Lacking the energy I need to clean up Cupcake’s toys, wake her and dress her every morning, make her meals. Play with her with total abandon.
MISS THIS: Most of all, Skittle’s kicks and rolls and pokes and stretches inside me. Laying awake in the middle of the night, a hand on my belly, with her alive inside of me. Knowing I am not alone, not ever. Even when I feel I am, I am not. She is here, my precious gift from God, and I am the one who has been given the privilege of carrying her. It will be a thrill to have her in my arms finally, but while she’s still in my womb, she feels wholly mine and only mine and there is something intimate, and fleeting, and beautiful, about that. And I will miss, miss, miss it.
NOT THAT: Most of all, obsessing about every kick and roll and poke and stretch. Is she moving enough? Was that a movement or gas? When was the last time I felt her move? I’m tired of the worry and doubt. I’m tired of waking every night to pee, unable to go back to sleep until I feel her move. (Yes, I really do that and last night was a hard night because she refused to move hardly at all.) I’m tired of having to stop everything I do multiple times a day so that I can sit on the couch for a kick count. (I do that too!) No way will I miss that.
It’s a bittersweet time. A blessed time. I am happy to be here and in awe of what is to come. I can’t believe how quickly these nine months have passed and how close to me I still hold all the days and months and years of tears and pain that came before those two lines on an unexpected January day. These are good days, and impatient days, happy days and sweetly sad days, and I am hanging onto each one with a gentle, grateful grip because I never know if it will be the last.