I wish I had written this while I was still pregnant. The excitement of motherhood has in some ways had an amnesia effect on the last 9-plus months. I cannot believe that I had been pregnant for nearly a year, yet the whole experience seems a blur when I look at my newborn. It’s also eerily true what I've heard many mothers say – you forget the pains of labor and delivery once you see your baby.
By week 41, I was ready to no longer be pregnant. I missed my due date. Our world of family and friends was growing impatient to meet our daughter. Towards the end, my husband had a daily ritual of whispering to the belly, “get outta there.” His patience also wore thin. I, along with a few family members, started having vivid dreams of what she would look like. (I don’t think any of us got it right).
Somewhere between the incessant “did your water break yet” phone calls and discussions with the doctor about a potential induction, I remember lying in bed thinking, slow down. There’s a lot about being pregnant I will miss.
Pregnancy was once seen as a means to the beginning of a new life. But the period of pregnancy has now become an event unto itself. Gender reveal parties, sonogram parties, and creative “we’re expecting” announcements have all helped make pregnancy a sans-baby (yet!) occasion worth celebrating.
When I found out I was expecting I wanted all of it. I was more excited than I let on. That excitement was overshadowed by the nervousness of a new experience, the anxiety of each medical test. I remember being told by some family and friends that I waited too long to tell others I was pregnant. More than an announcement, I wanted a healthy baby.
Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t get too carried away.
I will miss the quieter and much more private moments. I will miss heading into work with hidden baby in tow. She quietly went wherever I went – no bulky carriers, no scheduling for care.
I will miss the pregnancy “firsts.” The first time hearing a heartbeat; the first “scare” that thrust me into my first emotional experience of motherhood; the look on my husband’s face when first announced ,”it’s a girl!”
I will miss relaxing on the couch at the end of the long day and feeling baby’s movements. Those movements and inner conversations were shared only between us. No barrage of touching or holding or squeezing by anyone else.
You might be thinking, there’s always the next one. Slow down. The solution is not another pregnancy. I’m still trying to navigate my way through the grueling schedule of a newborn. The first week home felt like treading water and gasping for air -- for a week straight. No classes or books or advice from other mothers prepared me for it.
I know that motherhood will bring its own private moments (hello 2a.m. feedings…). Getting to know our daughter in person has been amazing, and being able to sleep on my stomach again sure feels nice. Still, I can’t help but feel that a wonderful part of my life went by so fast. I can truly say that I have enjoyed the journey.
Mothers: What do you miss most about being pregnant?
The author is solely responsible for the content.