Last night Tom was putting some things away in the kitchen and noticed we had tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta, hummus, and pita. He said, “We should have a Greek night for dinner this week.”
I looked up from my book and said, “If you would like to participate in family meal planning, you’re welcome to do so on Saturday when I am planning meals. Not Wednesday.” Then I went back to reading.
At this point in pregnancy, I’m fine. I’m gigantic and exhausted and my days are all about carbs and sitting down. But Tom? It wouldn’t hurt for you to check in on Tom. Send flowers or a six pack. He likes IPAs.
I chose this picture because it depicts how I feel a lot more accurately than a bumpie — taken from-the-side with my hand propped on my hip.
This is how I feel AND how I look from my kids’ perspective. Yet they still think the reason I’m crawling around on my hands and knees picking up Cheerios is because I’m hoping to give someone a horsie ride.
This past week has been a hard-fought week because we’ve all been sick. It hit Thomas worst and he ran a fever for five straight days. Aside from the fever, his main symptom was that he grew suctions cups on all of his limbs and adhered himself to my body. There is no OTC remedy for “barnacle.” I’ve checked.
At this stage of pregnancy, anytime my kids demand 100 percent of my attention I start to feel anxious about having another baby. How on earth would I hold sick, coughing Thomas and also nurse a newborn? I’ve tried shouting, “KIDS! MAMA’S ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY! TIME TO TIGHTEN UP!” But it doesn’t work.
I’ve done it before, right? I’m an old hand at this stuff, right? I remember when Mary Virginia was born, in the middle of the night I’d often nurse her, put her down, and then go check on not-yet-two-year-old David, who was screaming in his crib because his blanket was askew.
And after Thomas was born, I distinctly remember thinking that the newborn was the easy one. It was easy to meet his needs, he was immobile, and he didn’t scream when I suggested seasonably appropriate clothes (REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, THOMAS!?)
I try to remember that I’ve done it before. I’m old hand at this, right? It’s been a struggle, sure, but we’ve been fine. The truth is that I’m never completely everything for all my kids all the time. But I suppose, in the face of such a giant and important change, it’s impossible to not feel a little overwhelmed.
Even though my due date still FEELS really far away, even I can admit that this pregnancy will be over in no time. Unless God has a HUGE surprise in store for our family, this will be my last pregnancy. I always thought — or hoped — that knowing it was my last pregnancy would make me enjoy it differently; that I wouldn’t wish it away, or count down the days. That I’d savor this incredible, unique time. But, you guys, I don’t feel that way at all. I know that can be a controversial thing to say, because I do acknowledge that being pregnant (and having very, very easy, complication-free pregnancies) is a blessing. I am very aware that I have perhaps the best possible situation — I’ve gotten pregnant very easily, I have good health, supportive friends and family, access to amazing healthcare, and a husband that USUALLY lets me have 3/4 of the bed. I am not walking five miles for obstetrical care, or having to return to my physically demanding job soon after childbirth. QUIT COMPLAINING AMANDA. I get it.
Maybe I feel that way because my situation has been so complication-free, and so I short-sightedly focus on the discomfort instead of the blessings. The ability to complain can be a privilege, I get that.
But I’m also just being honest. I don’t love pregnancy. I’m tired of the awkwardness, the fatigue, the maternity jeans, not really being able to exercise. The not being myself.
The newborn phase is all-consuming, I know, but I actually enjoy it more.
I’m already looking forward to five years from now when I’ll finally fit in my jeans again (and by then the style will have changed and I’ll have to buy new jeans anyway but OH WELL).
Maybe then I’ll feel nostalgic about pregnancy. I’ll miss the kicks, watching my belly grow. I’ll remember fondly this intimate time with mama and baby, the anticipation, and participating in the incredible, amazing feat of bringing life into the world.
When that day comes you can direct me to this post and I’ll read it with you and we’ll roll our eyes together and shout at the computer screen, GET OVER YOURSELF, WOMAN!!