Today starts the last month of your pregnancy, in theory. However, your little body-mate dictates the timing of his arrival. Maybe he will have a late February birthday as predicted by his due date or maybe he will arrive early to share the love of Valentine’s Day or arrive late roaring in with March like a lion. The answer to when he transitions from body-mate to house-mate is unknown. In the interim, you prepare, grow larger and await his entrance into the world (or should I say his exit from you-that’s mom humor, you may be indulging in it soon).
This is a time of anticipation. Your nesting is in full swing. The room is ready: crib assembled, clothes washed, and car seat waiting by the door. Baby showers are upcoming with friends and family ready to share in your excitement. Each day brings more discomfort, awkwardness, and a bit of hilarity as your growing body struggles with heartburn, interrupted sleep, and the seemingly inconsequential task of removing your winter boots becomes a two-person monumental chore. And there is no need for an end table and coaster when you can rest your teacup on your growing uterus. Your busy workdays at the hospital rock him to sleep and once home your quiet awakens him. He executes the precision of an English Premiership soccer player taking a PK in his ability to kick your bladder. You are hard at work, both internally and externally, preparing for the baby, for the creation of this new family of three.
I’m not going to go on about labor, you witnessed the delivery of numerous babies during your residency. My only comment is to say that labor and delivery offered the ultimate immediate gratification for work accomplished. The snuggle of my child onto my chest in the moments after delivery was joy defined. There was pain, but the memory of it diminished, surpassed by the memory of joy. What remains decades hence is the joy, and the love.
Motherhood is a bit like snow, it covers everything as it falls, but like a snowflake it is unique to each woman. I won’t speak for others or to what your experience will be, but for me, the moment of motherhood was love, and love is a pivot point. Sometimes in life something happens that changes us forever. A baby, you, my darling first born, was that for me. I felt part of the universality of carrying on the species, of woman becoming mother, yet felt something reserved for me alone, becoming your mother. I saw and felt the big picture of life and the universe in your little face. Those first moments and the following days were full of awe and wonder of the little person your dad and I created, as well as my recovery from the delivery, and our adjustment to the needs of an infant. A transcendent and impactful time.
You are still on the imagining side of motherhood, even amongst his very real kicks, hiccups, and broad movements from one side of your body to the other. You anticipate the actuality of him. This time of imagining motherhood will be over soon, and it may be hard to recall it after your son’s arrival. Enjoy it if you can and know that I am happily awaiting to see you as ‘mommy’. And of course, to meet my grandson.
love each and every day,