Oh, pregnancy. You have surprised me in a million ways.
People will tell you all kinds of things about the maternity experience. I’m here to tell you that they are all true. It’s one thing to read facts. It’s another thing to experience them firsthand.
Phase 1: positive pregnancy sign. Nothing prepared me for the overwhelming joy of this. It’s just a stick that you pee on. A stick. That you pee on. I knew that it was going to be positive. Things started smelling super weird. Food didn’t hold it’s usual appeal. My face held an unusual glow. And when that stick said YES, I had to double check anyways. YES I’m pregnant? YES I’m not pregnant? What does this mean?! YES. OH MY GOODNESS I AM GOING TO HAVE A BABY. And, suddenly, I couldn’t even walk down the stairs without taking extra care to hold onto railings. I started following the speed limit. I was more tender with myself.
Phase 2. My friend calls this the first trimester hibernation. True true true. I hibernated in my room, eyes closed, room spinning, head in plastic trashcan for, like, 3 months. The joy of that first week turned into despair. I never want to do this again ever in my life. Followed immediately by I love this baby so bad it hurts! Followed by Wait, I don’t think I’m pregnant anymore. Followed by I hate this! Followed by This is the best thing ever!
Then you hear the baby’s heartbeat. The world changes. There is a baby in there! I heard its heartbeat! It’s really real! Tangible love. That’s when I started daydreaming about my baby instead of wishing away morning sickness. It’s unreal. A little tiny heartbeat in your belly.
Phase 3: second trimester. Oh, the bliss. It’s probably what butterflies feel like when they come out of the cocoon. You can breathe and go out in public and eat again. And, finally, a baby bump appears. It actually looks like a bump instead of a pudge. This is what you’ve been waiting for. The cute stage of pregnancy.
But your clothes stop fitting, and maternity clothes stink. Except the leggings. Those rock.
Phase 3.5: The ultrasound. You see your little one on that screen. It looks like a baby. It does little flips and waves and sticks its thumb in its mouth. It’s the most precious thing you have ever seen in your life. Other people might think it looks just like all the other ultrasounds out there, but you know that it’s actually the cutest of them all. Because seriously, IT IS SO DARN CUTE. You can’t even handle it’s cuteness. You hang the picture on your fridge, text it to your friends, set it as the background on your phone.
Now, I am finally feeling my baby’s little kicks. It’s adorable. I feel its hiccups. They are so darling. We have conversations. I want to be a good mommy. My prayers over this little life have doubled and tripled. And Adam is already such a good daddy.
Other weird things happen, too. Like how your joints get all loose, and you start getting charley horses. The girls grow a couple of sizes, and you can’t even wrap your mind around the fact that those suckers are going to feed a little human in a few months. People really do touch your belly without asking. You cry about nothing. You cry about everything. You forget things. You appreciate other moms, your mom, animal moms.
I hear Phase 4 is when you start feeling like a wobbly dumpling. And then there is the whole labor and delivery thing. Those phases I cannot yet vouch for. But my guess is that they are all true, too.
My love for my little family overwhelms me. More than they told me it would.
Mommy and Daddy love you, little bear!
She finished the last round of chemo! Hooray! Now, we wait. In a few months she will have a bone biopsy to confirm that all of the cancer is gone. Praising God every day for her!