A lot can change in 9 months. When I first found out I was expecting I was definitely taken aback. This pregnancy would not rightfully be classified as an accident, more like a much wanted result that we weren't specifically working towards at the time. Still, dealing with the initial emotional abundance took a while. Can we afford this? Is this the best time? (Is there such thing as a “best” time?) Should we move? What will happen to my career? Throughout my pregnancy I have probably felt every emotion there is to feel; excitement, fear, worry, pain, euphoria, anxiety…you name it, really.
As of late—as I slowly (and sleeplessly) waddle through the final month—I have been guilty of letting the stress of the preparations and the many unknowns of my pending labour and first month of motherhood get the better of me. Welcoming a cute, little ball of love and needs into the world is obviously a most desired end goal, but this is the only time I’ll be pregnant with my first child, and arguably one of only three (or four?) times I will get to experience the many sensations—good and bad—of pregnancy. I want to appreciate it, to truly experience it as the time of new life, of possibility, and of bonding that it is. I won’t miss the constant dull ache in my back, the many trips to the bathroom, or lonely sleepless nights as my husband continues his stay in the spare room to escape my restlessness (and snoring!), but I believe I will miss being pregnant as a whole and so I want to treasure it while I still have time.
Here are the promises I make to my pregnant self (and, as an extension, to my unborn child):
- I promise to be proud of my body now and in the future because it has done the most important biological job of creating a new life.
- I promise to take a minute every single day to really cherish the feeling of you wiggling inside my belly (or one of your many bouts of hiccoughs).
- I promise to focus on the process and the reward rather than the obstacles. The swollen feet won't last forever, but the memories of this time should be preserved.
- I promise to be thankful to my husband for all of the support he is giving me (including pulling those darned compression socks up over my whale ankles) instead of focusing on the fact that I'm the only one who has to feel these aches and pains.
Knowing that any day now could be D-day (or L-day, as it were) brings with it a special set of anxieties, so it's especially important to take a step back to reflect on this exact point in time. I encourage everyone - no matter where you are in your motherhood journey - to take a minute this weekend to really appreciate it.