Here I sit, waiting (impatiently) to have my sweet little baby. No, not little baby…big baby. This kid measured in the 90th percentile for his cranial and 95th percentile for his abdominal…a big fat brainiac.
It is a Sunday, a beautiful Sunday not unlike the day I found out I was pregnant. I was due last Thursday the 7th, but am told it is totally normal for first babies to be late. Be that as it may, this waiting is bananas! If you thought you might feel emotional when you find out you’re pregnant, it doesn’t compare a bit to the rollercoaster you’re on while waiting to go into labor!
Eli and I were talking a few nights ago about these conflicting emotions and I think we made an important observation. We were discussing how excited we are for the baby to be born, to hold him and smell him and listen to him. We hear from every set of parents new and old that it is the best thing in the whole world, meeting your child for the first time. We trust that we will experience that sudden burst of love and joy and change. But at the same time, we both also had this ever so small but very present feeling of sadness, almost of mourning.
I brought it up first, that I felt guilty acknowledging this sad feeling because I should be so happy and feel so lucky – up until now both I and the baby have been healthy and normal through the whole pregnancy. Sadness shouldn’t have a place in my heart right now. I have nothing to mourn – no wild young and carefree life of partying and freedom that I’m being forced to bid farewell to. But yet I still felt true sadness, if ever so slightly.
But then Eli said, “I feel that way too, and I don’t think we should feel guilty at all.” Having your first baby is such a solid marker of the start to a new life. Of course elements of your pre-baby life continue on, you’re the same person, you’re with the same person, you live in the same house and have the same job and friends. But the nature of your life is irreversibly different in the biggest possible ways. That degree of change rocks your world and unhinges some of the strongest parts of your soul. That’s a lot to deal with. It is a feeling for YOURSELF, Eli said. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking a moment away from thinking about your baby so that you can feel something for yourself.
What an important reminder that self care truly IS caring for your family as well. You can’t be your best self for your family if you aren’t looking out for your physical and emotional well being. So the next night I tossed a bath bomb into the tub, slathered on some shower smoothie, put coconut oil in my hair and binged a few early Pam and Jim episodes of The Office. Daddio took me on a nice long walk this morning, and here I sit reaching around my giant abdomen to write down some thoughts during my last few days before birth while this sweet baby rolls around inside of me.
I’ll miss these quiet moments, but will cherish the memory forever. Sitting in our living room with sunlight streaming in, listening to cars drive by while my baby stretches and rolls around inside me. I’ll miss the little hiccups, I’ll miss his heel digging into my side and then him snatching them away when I push against him with my hand. I’ll miss resting my hands on my belly and talking to him about what his life will be like, how much his daddy loves him already, how many people are excited for him.
Most of all, his mama is very very excited to meet him.