Friday, August 17, 2012

Announcement Part I

Today is the last Friday I will ever be pregnant. 

Pretty much the only maternity picture you're going to see.
This third pregnancy has been a countdown for me, in regards to "the final time." (And no, you did not miss a blog announcement. This is it. I'm behind). Growing up, I was surrounded by babies. I am the oldest of ten children, and I remember my mother being pregnant every other year or so. It was such a common part of life that I wondered frequently what pregnancy and newborn-ness would be like: labor, nursing, feeling a baby kick? I knew I would be pregnant some day, but what would it be like? Babies everywhere or not, I think most little girls wonder.

Now I know. And I am tired. I have never enjoyed pregnancy like some women do. Those moms who glow, who have little basketball bellies, they are so cute, so happy.

I'm just not one of them. By the end of my pregnancies, I cannot wear normal shoes and my extra-large maternity clothes get too tight. I drink tons of water, which I'm pretty sure my body stores in my feet and hands, and can't sleep let alone type well. With Ty and Za, I would look at darling pregos and sigh. Even this time, I'm miserable.

I'm also thankful. I know so many women who would do anything (have done everything) to get to this point in pregnancy and have healthy children. I try to look at that perspective. I don't complain on Facebook or my blog because honestly, no one wants to hear it, and I chose this situation. I do appreciate the miracle, the cute little kicks and the heartbeat at the doctor's office. I love my growing child. My hurting body? No.

This time has been different as far as my approach. Unless miracle trumps science, this will absolutely be my final pregnancy. Because I dislike pregnancy, I previously stormed through them. People would ask how far along I was, and I would round up. I was 11 weeks and 1 day?  Sounds like the second trimester. I wanted to speed the process.

My husband's Christmas present. He thought I got him a fancy pen for work. Not quite.
I tried to savor this pregnancy though, even as my ankles turned to cankles. I would pause and think, this is the final time I will take a positive pregnancy test, the final time I get to tell my husband the news, the final time of telling my kids. This is the final time of feeling kicks for the first time, having that first sonogram where you see the blinking heart, texting all your friends that you are pregnant. The final time of having the gender sonogram (where I was dead wrong, for the first time, this final time), and again, sharing that fun news. I've even tried to enjoy lousy finals: last ob appointment, last time laying on my side trying to lower my high blood pressure, peeing in the middle of the night, avoiding raw mushrooms and onions - and my beloved sushi, for - the - final - time. I've counted down the weeks, the days - prepped my house with baby gear, all knowing this was it. I'm ready. This is my final Friday, and when people ask when the baby is coming, I can simply say, "Thursday." I've known this was it for a long time now.

I'm not ready for the finals that are to come, though. That final time I'll feel a baby kick inside me. The final time I'll hold my newborn for the first time. The final lullaby the hospital will play. The final first ride home, and then tons of first finals. To me, the fun finals are coming, and that is sad, in a weird way.

Maybe that's why I procrastinated announcing this baby on my blog - I wanted to save one last fun "final." I'm grateful I am granted these finals, this baby. Three babies to love, to grow, to teach. And that can be my final mindset for this time in my life.