This pregnancy has been a pregnancy of lasts. The last time I’ll hear a baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The last time I’ll feel those first flutters. The last time I’ll wear these maternity pants (I’m okay with this one). The last time I’ll wake up in the night because the baby is moving so much.
I’m someone who really enjoys being pregnant. It helps that I have always had relatively easy pregnancies with no complications, but I feel so completely special when I’m pregnant. I feel a deep connection to God during pregnancy, I think because it truly is such a miraculous event. I feel like a vessel for him, carrying and nourishing this tiny person that he created within me. I also feel a connection with the history of womankind, participating in this sacred event that has been occurring within women since the beginning of time. When I delivered Ezra completely naturally, all 10 pounds 11 ounces of him, I remember feeling a connection to all the women in the past who had no choice but to do it that way. I marveled in the way our bodies work, the way we are able to carry and grow human beings, the way our bodies contract to bring the baby out, and the way that natural instinct takes over, the way we are able to feed our babies from our bodies, and the way our bodies heal and resume.
I started to write a pregnancy update when I was in the 39th week of pregnancy, which ended up being my last week of pregnancy as our sweet girl wasborn the day before her due date. That week and in the week prior I had been suffering some pregnancy insomnia as I awaited labor. Having done it three times already and feeling a deep, spiritual connection through labor does not mean that labor is any less difficult and I was feeling some anxiety as I anticipated the big event. I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep, or else a child would deliberately wake me up or husband accidentally, and that would be it for me for the night. Eventually I started to sleep in the spare room, trying to hide myself from any interruptions.
At that point, I started to have very bittersweet feelings as I looked forward to the difficulty of labor being over, meeting our baby, and having all the unknowns of the birth story be known (When will it happen? Where will I be? How fast will it be? Will we make it to the hospital on time? Will everything be okay?) but also wanted to stay right here in the moment, full of hopeful anticipation as we await the birth of a new life, marveling in wonder with each kick and movement.
So here is another last — the last pregnancy update, the one I never got around to typing.
39 weeks – the baby apps tell me she’s the size of a watermelon. I keep getting scared about how big she might be. Scared I’m going to go overdue again like with Ezra and have a 18 pound baby or something. Isaac was born at 38 weeks and Eva 38 and 5 days, so by 39 weeks I was telling people “the last time I was pregnant for this long, I went 9 days overdue!” I was having lots of heartburn, not sleeping much, and feeling the nesting urges. Around 38 or 39 weeks it became top priority that I find replacement batteries for the thermometers we’ve had laying around here that have never worked since their original batteries died. I was on the phone with Staples and Future Shop, and I already knew Superstore and Wal-Mart didn’t carry them. Found them on Amazon. I was crocheting up a storm; I made a little dress and bonnet, tried making booties (two different patterns didn’t work out, so I gave up on those), made 2 hats and 3 soother clips. I sewed some dresses for Eva that I had cut out last Spring and still hadn’t gotten around to sewing yet, two jersey knit hats, a soother clip, and then on my, unbeknownst to me, last day of pregnancy, I sewed up a little dress for baby too. I felt the need to clean everything all the time, every night before bed I wanted all the ducks in a row because what would the baby think if she came home to a messy house?
And then, on that last day of my 39th week, I woke up with contractions… and the rest, is history.
(All images from 34 weeks of pregnancy)