You can come out now. Anytime would be fine. No really: Can you please get out of my body?
I remember when I found out about you – remember how we had just moved into our new house, the painter was over when I peed on the stick and we had just returned from camping in Waterton National Park. Dad was doing laundry and I ran down the steps to show him the plus sign.
“I knew it!” he said. “You were acting crazy all weekend.”
A little lentil in my belly? I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I tried not to let myself believe it – after two miscarriages before your big brother, I knew to batten down the hatches on excitement.
At the 12 week ultrasound, you came into view, a whole person already. When the technician left the room, I sobbed and sobbed.
“What’s wrong?” Dan asked, confused.
How could I explain? That for two and a half months, I had loved you, my lentil, but tried with all my might to pretend I wasn’t attached, for fear you wouldn’t be there. I tried not to allow you into my life even when you were already there.
Thirty weeks scampered by. Your big brother grew from a babbling baby into a little boy speaking in complete sentences, full of opinions. It felt like you would be with us before we knew it.
People said nice things: Oh but you’ve not gained weight anywhere but your belly! It looks like you swallowed a soccer ball ! And later: a basketball!
I ate it all up.
But these final 10 weeks – oh, how they’ve dragged. On and on and on. And on.
Suddenly, the comments changed to: “You’ve GOT to have this baby early! You couldn’t possibly get any bigger.” (this, with six weeks to go.)
And then: “You’re twice as big as [my friend due on the same day]!”
The truth is, my little lentil, that weren’t so little anymore – you started to take up a lot of space in my belly. And while I have delighted in your little feet pushing at my tummy, the fact that you use my bladder as a trampoline I find less amusing. Also all this relaxin is making my butt bones very sore – I feel it flattening like pancake daily… so when you’re bigger and making fun of my mom butt, you can thank yourself.
As 38 weeks approached, I felt giddy. Everyone seemed to believe you’d come early. And somehow I became seduced by this idea. Any day now! I thought as 38 weeks came and went. Then suddenly, as 39 approached, I thought: Any day, in a walking-through-molasses-wearing-heavy-boots kind of way.
Like: Holy shit, it could still be two or three more weeks.
The truth is I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t pregnant. I can’t remember what it’s like to kick back and finish a bottle of wine with your dad after your big brother is asleep. Or have fun in like a holy-shit-I’m-having-SO-MUCH-FUN kind of way! Or not worry that my steak is too rare (even though I’m trying to be so much more relaxed about it all this time around). I want to eat sushi and wheel of triple cream brie – is it too much to ask?
When I walk outside and see all the runners, I watch them longingly as I waddle along. Will I ever sweat and feel fit again? Will I ever feel light on my feet – not like a 90 pound steel weight is jamming into my pelvis with every step? Will I ever (EVER) be able to fit anything besides these two black maternity tank tops? (actually only one of them fits now…)
In the last 48 hours, three women – 3! – told me they were two weeks or 10 days late with their second. It had never occurred to me I’d be pregnant for 2 or 3 more weeks! My god! The thought of it made me shudder.
Sometimes I feel like I’m going a little crazy- I wake up and have twinge of a pinpoint cramp somewhere on my abdomen: Is it starting?! I have a weird pain in my hip – Labor? My cell phone rings: Someone calling me to tell me I’m about to go into labor?
But then my day goes on with no real sign of you arriving into our world. I go for extra long walks (listening to S-Town podcast) on the bluff and through Prince’s Island Park. I get dinner ready before the boys get home.
How strange to keep waking up thinking: This could be just another day. Or I could have a baby. (It’s very difficult to make a grocery list at a time like this.)
Sometimes, I wonder if you will ever come. What if I’m pregnant forever?
I know this on a rational level how absurd it is to consider being pregnant for the rest of my days- but on the other hand, some part of me believes this might actually be a possibility.
At night, I lie awake, trying to find a comfortable position. Lying on my right side, then my left. Stuffing a pillow between my legs. Knowing I need to ‘sleep while I still can!” and knowing I’ll wake because I feel like I have to pee so bad I might explode only to have a few dribbles come out – and I’ll picture myself holding you.
A tiny baby, in my arms. I picture us in our sun-drenched bedroom, staring at each other, or both passed out from the exhaustion of ushering new life into the world.
I know it’s not going to be easy. Hell, I’ve been through it before. I know when you are here I will long for this very moment, when you were a silent mystery within me… yes, I’m sure this will all seem like a luxurious dream someday.
But I want you to feel sunshine. I want to tell you about so many things in the world waiting for you. I want you to feel what it’s like to stretch your limbs. To feel your mama’s skin against yours.
So – if you could just. Come. Please. That would be great.
Your loving mommy,