I wrote this post last week and then I had a hard time hitting publish. Weird, because I don’t struggle with that toooo much any more. Megan from Velveteen Mind wrote this and I thought it was fabulous and it gave me a little shot of courage to post on the same topic from a different perspective.
Go and get your rotten eggs and tomatoes. I’ll wait.
The last two months of pregnancy are almost pure joy for me. (Ouch, underhand throws, please.)
Most people I meet these days open conversations with commiseration. You’re almost there. You must be so uncomfortable. I hated the end, couldn’t wait for it to be over.
I nod. Of course, I can nod, I can identify. It’s harder to sleep, I always have to pee, a weird pain shoots down my inner thigh and causes my leg to collapse a little every time the baby moves its head.
There’s a certain level of bonding that goes on around the difficulty of pregnancy. It’s not hard to write about that. Feeling uncomfortable, hating the changes in your body, disconnecting with your partner, nervousness or worry, downright terror. What if I don’t love as much? What if something goes wrong and I get sent plunging down that crashing waterfall of grief into the churning, life-changing, drowning waters at the bottom. We all understandably flock to these admissions to comfort and support, to provide the strength of solidarity.
Often, the joy is gently mocked. As in, I could choke that rosy, gently-glowing, perfectly pregnant bitch. Or, anyone who says they love this is lying.
I love the end of pregnancy. (Was that a rotten tomato?) The first three months are pure hell, but the last two months are my favorite time. I love how I feel. I love how I look. (Ducking!) I have so much energy and I am so happy and easy and purposeful, so full of life, mentally and literally.
I’m not all that uncomfortable. It’s straight up genetics and luck, but there it is, I don’t gain a lot of weight. My long torso allows the baby to grow without squashing my lungs overly much. I sleep, for the most part, when I’m not stressing over something ridiculous, which is honestly common for me, pregnant or not. I adore the way my body fills out my maternity shirts at the end, how they all fit tightly over my full moon figure.
People make sympathetic faces and cluck about the heat and being so large in the summer. I am never hot. Nothing makes me happier than when our unairconditioned upstairs is 77 degrees and all the windows are open and the ceiling fans are on and I take a cool shower just before bed so that my drying hair will cool me as I lay there, barely dressed and uncovered. Those are my favorite nights.
Matt and I giggle. He likes my body this way. We have fun. A lot of fun. Too circumspect? (Close your eyes, Dad, turn away, Uncle Ryan.) It’s the best damn sex I’ve ever had and we make like rabbits the last two months. If that is actually true about rabbits? We’ll go with it here for example purposes. I think it’s nature’s compensation because by thirty-eight weeks I usually have a soft, ripe cervix and a couple of centimeters dilation, which, they say (although they are probably all male) can be a side effect of sex.
It makes me blush and duck my head (not the sex, loving pregnancy) because in my late twenties and early thirties I was THAT one. The one that never wanted kids. The one that couldn’t do that to my body, wouldn’t give up my freedom and my career and my choices.
What can I say? And why can’t I say it? Part of me is embarrassed by my personal about face, part of me doesn’t want to hurt someone else, unknowingly, ever. I don’t want someone to visit here interested in adoption, or transracial families, or who just had a miscarriage, or had a terrifying pregnancy that consisted of bed rest and prayers and think that I caused them pain.
I know it can be hard. I know it can be frightening. I know it can be the furthest thing in the world from fun.
For me, in the final countdown, it is joyful anticipation. I want to say that aloud. I want this baby and my other babies to know how I felt, how I rejoiced in them in me. I am sad only to know that this is the final time. It is. I realize we have contributed adequately to the world’s explosive population and I can not, under any circumstances, move up to a full conversion van. I have my pride and no sex is that good.
I think that ought to be all right to say; it shouldn’t belittle or lessen the words or experiences of anyone who struggles in this time or faces grief. There is room for many stories in this world and I think that people can identify with all of the various threads in this common experience.
So, the truth is, if I didn’t want to meet this little love so badly, I might wish to go full term just to prolong the happiness and live it a little longer.
(It’s all right, I’m done gushing, you can all stop gagging now.)
Hold on, as long as I’m being all gushy. You’re funny, mom.