We’ve reached mid-April which means that our baby is just weeks away from making his appearance to the world. Reflecting back over the 38 weeks I’ve spent growing this little life inside me, I’m struck by how defining each moment has been.
Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I rely on my creature comforts. I like routine, definitive plans, comfort and predictability. When you find yourself pregnant, all of those are basically disregarded as your body relinquishes control over to this small, fragile life. The amazing part is that it does so because it knows that your baby needs it. It needs chaos to keep up with its fast paced development. Growing a human in just nine months is truly a miracle- though it may seem like an eternity while you’re going through it. If you’re honest with yourself, it’s not very much time to grow an entirely new breathing, moving, thinking human being. So with such a short time to check of a long list of developmental milestones, your body knows the need for chaos, struggle and discomfort. Because it knows that inside your womb, all of those are taken in exchange for a nose, heart, eyes and lungs.
David has mentioned a few times recently how proud he is of how I’ve handled this whole experience. While my symptoms have been vast, they’ve remained for the most part, physical. My typical anxiety and need for control was kept at bay even through all the changes and restless nights. I really have no explanation for it. This calm temperament that’s taken over isn’t a natural one for me. All I can attribute it to is a lot of prayer and a full heart of love.
During my first six months of pregnancy, I had an inner struggle because of the lack of connection I felt with my baby. I was excited, no doubt, but it wasn’t like what I had read in books or seen in movies. Further, it wasn’t the same as it was for the seasoned mothers who were asking me pointed questions about how deep of a connection I had formed with the life inside of me. I knew it was there somewhere, I just wasn’t feeling the way the rest of the world was telling me I should have been feeling. It was frustrating to say the least and I found myself feigning lots of smiles and nodding my head in contemptuous agreement. That was a lot easier than explaining that no, I didn’t feel connected and no, I wouldn’t say those were the very best days of life so far.
Now that we’re close to his arrival, I can honestly smile and tell you that I’m fighting the urge to hope for an early delivery because I’m so excited to finally see his face. Now that he’s fully developed and I can run my hand over my belly and catch his foot sweeping across the interior, now that his room is complete and waiting for him, now that all my work is scheduled out for my maternity leave, I’ve realized the total amazement of what’s been happening in my body for the last 38 weeks and I can’t help but wish for a quick resolution. I’m not just excited to be having a baby, I’m excited to meet this person that no one else knows as well as I do.
Looking back, while those days before were confusing and often frustrating to me as I navigated pregnancy for the first time, I can’t help but feel there was something entirely different happening inside of me that I was fully unaware of in the moment. While I didn’t experience those feelings of quick connection and delight, I believe that the calm, easy going spirit that came over me was my way of connecting. The ability to let go and succumb to the changes my body demanded to keep my child whole, the opportunity to find peace in the quiet of sleepless nights, the ability to shrug my shoulders as projects took much longer to meet completion- these were all intangible moments of connecting with my child. I was unconsciously aware of my baby’s need for a peaceful environment to grow. He needed to feel grace from me and not anxiety. He needed more from me than most babies. All of the tension and worry I typically carry around with me needed to melt away to make room for a restful environment conducive to the chaos that would insue in nine months.
So while I didn’t immediately feel all of this happening, happen it did and in the process, I grew closer to this baby than I anticipated. Because of his life inside me, I’ve found a calm resolve. I’ve learned to value the importance of being still. I’ve recognized the importance of examining situations and not jumping to the worst case scenario but rather consciously weighing all the outcomes and resting in the positive until further notice. I’ve learned how to remain confident even when I feel completely out of control. This little life inside of me has taught me all these things and more not because of anything other than out of helpless need. In these last 38 weeks, he’s been telling me again and again that no one else in the world can bring him the solace he needs to become a human being. No one else but me. If that isn’t connection, I don’t know what is.
So now that we’re nearing the end, David and I are just counting down the days to his arrival. Friends and family have put in their guesses as to when he’ll make his entrance. In the months leading up to these days I thought I would be a lot more eager for him to make an early appearance, but I’m ok with waiting until he’s ready. I’m ok waiting a little longer not out of my own gracious nature but because of what he’s taught me. His small needs have brought massive change in me already, and he’s not even here yet. I’m overwhelmed by the thought of what he’s going to teach me throughout his entire life out of the womb that will begin any day now.
Until next time!
The biggest Thank You to Autumn Kern for the maternity photos. Cheers to all the baby dates about to happen so very soon.