Image by Ali Anderson Photography.
(Written March 30, 2011.)
It’s official; this is the longest I’ve been pregnant. It’s been fun listening to everyone’s guesses about when our littlest man will arrive, but one thing is now certain: it will be very soon. Despite my most noble attempts, I’ve found myself on many occasions falling into the trap of turning the last couple of weeks into an excuse to complain, but when I take the time to be quiet and still and truly present, a whole different set of thoughts floods my mind: there are so very many things for which to be grateful, to enjoy about this fleeting season.
- The questions and comments. Don’t get me wrong; some of them have been truly appalling. I’m especially amazed at the stranger next to my boys and me in the deli line who, upon learning I was having a third boy, looked at me sadly and said, “But what you REALLY wanted was a girl.” Or the fellow Little League mom who pointed to her third and youngest son and said “That’s my ‘girl.’ I wouldn’t wish three boys on anyone.” Sometimes, I think people’s comments were (very) misguided attempts at humor, but some comments just left me profoundly sad. Regardless, I have relished each and every opportunity to tell people how tickled/excited/profoundly grateful we are to be having another little boy. We decided to have a third, not because my two boys left some hole in my heart that could only be filled by dresses and bows and frills, but because we felt our family wasn’t yet complete with just two children. So, no, I’m not disappointed in the least; I am blessed.
- The flutters and bumps and kicks and rolls and hiccups and… There are so many things about being pregnant that are truly amazing, but hands down, feeling the baby move is the greatest joy I have experienced in pregnancy. From that first flutter when I wondered if that could really be the baby to the first case of hiccups that rock their unsuspecting bodies to the jabs under the ribs so strong they will wake you, I have treasured every movement. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me rub my belly and talk to the little one inside, they make me wonder about his future personality. It is this I will miss the most.
- The joy it brings other people. There was something extra special about telling people we were expecting this time around. The timing of the first may have been a surprise to some, but most people knew it was coming. The second was expected by all, though no less well received. But the third, well, we caught a lot of people off guard, and we LOVED it. This little one just feels like a bonus to so many people. I, also, love to see the smiles spread across people’s faces as they see my belly – mostly people of grandparental age who seem to take a special delight in pregnancy and children who ask with wide eyes, “Is there a baby in your belly?!”
- The awesomeness of pregnancy. I was particularly reminded of this on two occasions during this pregnancy. My older son was looking at his anatomy book and learning about reproduction. When he saw the picture of the embryo at the two cell stage, he just stared and said, “That’s how I started?! With two CIRCLES?!” Not long before that, one of David’s uncles, one of those people not prone to overt displays of emotion, was visiting and asking about the pregnancy. He has one, grown, adopted son. He wanted to know if the baby was moving. When I answered “yes,” he reached out to feel my belly. With tears in his eyes, he said, “I’ve never felt a baby move, you know.” When you’re having your third baby, and things start to feel routine, sometimes what you need is a reminder that pregnancy is anything but; it is, in fact, profoundly awesome.
Sigh. I’m going to snuggle with my big boys now, before we start our next adventure and their brother demands so much of my attention. And I hope the littlest brother will roll and kick me the entire time and give me a few more precious memories to store away in these final days.