From what I’ve heard, this is not how women feel during their last month of pregnancy. I’ve had people tell me, “oh get ready, the last month is the worst,” or, “you will be so uncomfortable and ready to get that baby out!” Here I am, 4 days away from my estimated due date and I don’t feel that way at all. Now I’m not here to brag or say I’m pain free. I wake up multiple times at night to use the bathroom, strain to turn over or get out of bed, and can’t walk for too long without my feet swelling and my back cramping up. Sure, it’s no walk in the park, pregnancy is hard. After a few weeks of my doctor telling me that Lily’s head is not dropping and I’m not dilated at all, it hit me. I’m not ready to not be pregnant anymore. I could keep doing this for a few more weeks. I really like being pregnant. I hear other women with similar due dates talk about how badly they want to meet their babies already. I feel that way too, but for me these are two very separate feelings. I’m so excited for Lily to be here. I’m even excited and ready for labor, I’m not scared. I couldn’t be more mentally prepared for the whole experience. But…can I have both please? Obviously not. So this is me trying to officially say goodbye to being pregnant because I really need Lily to know it’s okay for her to come now.
I’ve imagined being pregnant for as long as I can remember. I mean, who hasn’t shoved a pillow in their shirt to see what they would look like? My husband and I tried for about half a year to get pregnant and, for anyone trying to conceive, you know exactly what it’s like imagining every month that you could finally see a positive pregnancy test. When you do, it’s incredible. Everything suddenly changes when you realize you have a little buddy with you everywhere you go. Being pregnant is the most confident I’ve ever felt. I loved watching my body change. Sure I would cringe at the scale now and then, but I quickly accepted that my body was doing amazing things and got over the weight gain. When the stretch marks came, I showed them off to my husband and a couple friends even. Lily has a preference for the left side so I have pink stretch marks racing up higher on my stomach on the left. I love this. One thing I didn’t realize is that you have to wait more than halfway through pregnancy to have a proper bump. It wasn’t until month 6 or 7 that I was rocking a large bump that required full on maternity clothes. Now I’m looking at all these tight stretchy dresses that hug all my new curves and I’m a bit sad. I’ll miss them. I remember sitting on the couch when I first felt her move. The best moment was when my husband could feel those tiny little kicks. As weeks passed, the kicks got harder and soon we watched my whole stomach roll around. I think I have 20 videos of my stomach on my phone. I’ll show her those videos one day and she will probably roll her eyes at them.
Here’s the thing, pregnancy has defined who I am for the last 9 months. I didn’t just write three Master’s papers, I wrote three papers while pregnant. I got a promotion while pregnant. I traveled on a plane, while pregnant! I know I know, soon I’ll have a new identity, one that’s even more amazing when I get to hold her in my arms for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited for that moment. But I am going to miss feeling her wiggle around late at night and how she pushes me back when I lean forward. I’ll miss her little hiccups and all the appointments when I get to see her squirm around on the ultrasound screen. She’s my little buddy, it’s just been me and her. It’s selfish, but she’s all mine right now and I’ve loved every single second of our time together.
So back to saying goodbye. I prepared for every single aspect of pregnancy, but did not anticipate this part. It’s time to shift, it’s time to let go. Lily, you can come now. We’ve had so much fun together and it’s been so special. I won’t forget all these memories carrying you around. My little girly, I can’t wait to hold you. I can’t wait to see what you look like. You will still be my little buddy and I’m going to get to see all those little wiggles you have been doing for months inside in person. I think you’ll still have your crazy party time at 1 AM. Let’s work on moving that earlier, yeah? And maybe, just maybe when I hold you, you’ll still prefer to curl up on my left side to fall asleep.