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Friday, August 5, 2016

what I'll miss about being pregnant for the last time

Being in my third and final pregnancy, there is much I am going to miss about this process. It's not been easy, in fact it's been my hardest pregnancy yet. But knowing it's my last means there is this bittersweet reminiscing and soaking up every moment feeling present with me the entire nine (ten) months. I'm really going to miss a lot of this, and I want to document it here so I remember...

Let's start with the good stuff... I'm going to miss the FOOD and cravings! My standard craving with every pregnancy during the first trimester are bagels. But this time the bagels have continued the entire pregnancy. Asiago cheese bagels with veggie cream cheese to be exact, and from my favorite local town bagel shop. I've loved the food cravings this time, because they seem so prominent, whereas before I didn't feel like I HAD to have a food at a certain time. This time, get out of my way or else. 

I'm going to miss having the belly as a table late at night in bed eating ice cream. I mean, come on, when else will this be a cool thing to do?!

Oh, the cravings. Barbecue chicken nachos, that was a good one.

I'm going to miss my monthly belly shots. I love taking belly shots. I never understand why moms don't take pictures their entire pregnancy. I find pregnancy beautiful. Yes, sure, I feel huge, but it's a gorgeous thing to know that you're growing belly is carrying life. It's a miracle. And that is something I love documenting. 

I'm also going to miss those flowy dresses and stretchy clothes. I always say that I don't understand why we choose to wear jeans and pants without stretchy band material on them post-pregnancy?! We should all live in maternity clothes forever. I'm not even kidding. Way more comfortable. 

I'm going to miss this book. Yes, really. It's a right of passage when you become a mom, to flip through these chapters, soaking up every new information that is going to happen to your body and your baby in the coming weeks. I have loved reading this book three times now. I'm eager to pass it on to a friend, but it's been a companion of mine for many months and it's kinda sad to see it go from my bedside table where it's been for 7 years.

I'm going to miss the Snoogle. Well, kinda. I have a love hate relationship with this pillow. I love what it means right now- sleeping as comfortably as I possibly can (not so much) and taking naps as often as possible. Napping is a beautiful thing.

I'm going to miss the preparing and nesting phase. It seems this pregnancy the nesting started week one and hasn't let up, so much to do to prepare an already busy and full house for another little one to join us! But I love this phase. Where I'm busy busy busy and moving constantly and getting things done and feeling accomplished. I love imagining where the baby will sit, sleep, eat, be rocked before naps. I love picturing what he or she will wear home from the hospital and how it will squirm and kick on the diaper changing table. I love the diapers. I will regret saying that after the 55th diaper change, I know, but I love smelling them and feeling them out of the package, so soft in the beginning. I love preparing our home and family for a little one to become part of this bigger family soon. There's nothing like it. Not planning for a wedding or a birthday or anything else. 

I love baby laundry. There's nothing fun about laundry except when it's for a baby. I love it. It smells amazing and items are so tiny it takes forever to fold so you are forced to sit down in a comfy spot and just enjoy looking at these teeny items. I love reminiscing about when my older two wore these items and imagining the new baby in them. It's like you get to remember your big kids as newborns again... 

I love my kids excitement. I'm going to miss this when we're busy and they're jealous perhaps. I love how they are so into waiting for their new sibling to arrive, asking questions, touching the belly, helping fold baby clothes.

I'll miss the baby moving most of all. Those kicks, jabs, flips and flutters are the #1 best thing in the world when pregnant. I'll miss every second of those, even the moments when I can't get comfortable at night or when I'm ready for sleep but its ready to do somersaults at 10 p.m. I wish so badly I could capture these feelings on the inside forever so I could strap them on in the future when I'm missing this part. It's the biggest thing that makes me sad about this being the last time. Those feelings are indescribable. I'm so blessed to have felt this three times.

I'm going to miss how being pregnant the last time makes me focus even more on the kids I already have. It's like I know how this goes, how busy we get, how tired we'll be. I want to memorize my littlest girl as my baby for now before another baby is here. I want to appreciate how grown up my son is acting and how I know he was just little not too long ago and it all flies by, so better soak it all up now.

I'll miss the belly, feeling like it's supposed to get bigger and that it's beautiful on its own. The imagining, wondering what's in there (we don't find out gender until birth), and the noise of the heartbeat. That is the best sound in the world. I can't imagine anything better.

I'll miss the glow and how you're supposed to pamper yourself while pregnant (picture below is after a massage!). I'll miss how you're supposed to sit down, you're not expected to carry bags and heavy things. You're supposed to ask for more help because it's better for you and the baby. I will miss making sure I put ME and this body first, because it's doing this huge job.

I'll miss saying often to my husband, "Um, I can't ____ (do the laundry, dishes, etc.) because I'm busy building a leg or nose or brain." I'll miss knowing the power and responsibility I have within my own body to create and then build and grow a life. A real LIFE. Wow.... it's just amazing. Even three times later, it amazes me.

I'll miss the ultrasounds. Seeing the little head, heartbeat, nose, etc. I will always miss those. They are so cool. I'm amazed each time I see it.

I'll really miss looking down and trying to find my feet, and seeing how long it takes into the pregnancy before I can't see them anymore. I love the view from up here.

I'll miss baby showers. How everyone is there to surround you with love and support for this new little one coming your way. I'll miss maternity pictures. How gorgeous you feel and round and how you're supposed to stick that large belly out farther to make it really glow in the sunlight, to capture this amazing thing your body is doing. I'll miss picking out baby items and touching the little clothes in the store.

I'll miss some of my maternity clothes. Being my last time, I'm giving away lots of maternity clothes I've held onto for years, to friends and a sister, and consigning some to trade in for baby clothes. A majority of them are easy to give away- the jeans, the big pants I wore in the winter, the tank tops I slept in to keep the gals from hurting all night. But then there are a few that are sentimental and make me sad. There's the red and blue plaid shirt that I remember where I was the first time I wore it - on a beach taking pictures and smiling SO large in my first pregnancy - that I'll keep for some quilt someday. There are the sweaters I wore with both my first two pregnancies but didn't work season-wise this time around, but that kept me warm and made me remember my big bellies, these make me sad and I only want a special sister to have them instead of just selling them.

I'll miss taking selfies in the mirror to show my sister how big I got this week. It's so fun hearing her responses.

There is so much that I've loved about being pregnant. I've never been someone who dreaded the process. I was told I may not have children when I was 26 years old. So for me, being pregnant these three times and having healthy babies because of what my body did, I'm forever grateful during the process. There's no shame in complaining about the tough stuff - like back aches and sciatic hip pain and heartburn and just feeling so large you can't walk straight. But moreover I'm grateful.

While we're on those tough things though, a few things I WON'T miss:

Peeing nonstop. I mean nonstop. Bathrooms have become my friends this summer for sure. In fact, I hesitate going anywhere without bathrooms nearby these days. I'm sick of visiting bathrooms. And being woken up at night. Really?! Again?!

I won't miss how hard it is to tie my sneakers. I won't miss how I'm winded by just going down the stairs to change a load of laundry. I really want to get back into my workout regime again. I won't miss feeling like I can't walk far. I'll never ever miss Ginger Ale or Tums ever ever again.

It's a ride, an adventure, isn't it, being pregnant? It's amazing and crazy and overwhelming. And I'm so happy I got to do it again.

We're ready to be done, our family is complete. This pregnancy was hard on my body. I know my body has done its job and given me three wonderful chances at this big job of pregnancy. I know it's our last time and I'm 100% happy about that. But still, there are pieces I'm going to miss and things I'm appreciating now that I'm heading into the 8th month of pregnancy and the final stretch toward labor day.

I intend to spend the next two months taking more pictures, slowing down when I need to, resting my tired and busy working body, and enjoying those little kicks,  picturing what's to come versus what I'm leaving behind in this last pregnancy.


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