Yesterday was our first breath of spring.
Everywhere I looked, drivers had their windows down in the sunshine with pale arms extended. The mountains of craggy snow were melting, revealing litter and broken tree branches . . . but no one seemed to mind. When I went out at lunchtime, I immediately shucked off my jacket and walked around with the first warm breeze of the season on my face. It felt glorious.
In the last few weeks or so, I feel like I’ve gone from “Er, maybe she’s pregnant” to “WOW, that lady is REALLY PREGNANT.” Out running errands on Sunday, I had my first chat about my due date with a perfect stranger. “How’s that baby?” she asked kindly, and I smiled.
No one outside of my family, friends or coworker group has dared to inquire . . . fearing, I’m sure, that incredibly awkward moment of asking about baby that does not exist. For the record, that has happened to me — an old acquaintance brazenly asking about my “bun in the oven” years ago, back when there was certainly no pregnancy and I was already having an off day.
I’m sure he never made that mistake again.
But now? Well, I feel our guy moving around all the time — especially at night. Sometimes I can lay on my side with an arm across my stomach, taking in the rippling and shifting with a mixture of shock and wonderment. Though Baby J gets a little shy when his dad reaches over to say hello, Spencer has felt kicks and even seen the shaking from the outside.
Now that is crazy.
I’ll be 28 weeks along on Friday, meaning I’m almost in the third trimester. I’ve created an epic Baby To-Do List because I can’t grasp how quickly time is flying — and though I feel we’re prepared in some ways, we’re not really ready. But is anyone ever ready? Can you be ready? I don’t know.
For the most part, I feel awesome. With the exception of losing an hour of sleep to the time change over the weekend, I’m pretty perky and alert and productive. Work hasn’t been an issue. I’ve started getting those fun leg cramps when sitting too long, but that’s nothing I can’t handle. With the help of the mighty Snoogle, I’m resting (mostly) comfortably. All is well.
I feel lucky. In those sick, hazy, rough early weeks, I worried I would spend my pregnancy in a flu-like daze — and that hasn’t been the case at all. Aside from the obvious discomforts of just, you know, getting bigger and my clothes feeling weird at times, I feel like myself. Maybe better than my normal self? Certainly more grounded and aware. Less caffeinated, but I’ve adjusted to that.
Putting on weight has been hard, honestly, but I made peace with this being a happy season in my life . . . and I don’t want to spend my pregnancy obsessed with necessary, normal weight gain. There will be time and opportunity to get back in shape later.
I’m already a little nostalgic for this period. Is that strange? We need a word for the feeling of missing a fleeting moment before it’s even passed. Once we come up with that, I can apply it to basically every era of my life — childhood, high school, college, the early post-college years. To falling in love and out of love and finding my true love. To this strange, wonderful sensation of getting to know a little boy we haven’t yet met, and daydreaming about all that’s to come.
It’s a strange, heady feeling — almost mystical. Now that spring is peeking in at us and the trees will bloom again, I’m feeling emotional in a new way. One I didn’t necessarily expect. I can’t believe that this season — pregnancy, before Baby J is here — is already winding to a close . . . and that soon, God willing, we’ll be holding our son in our arms.
Our son. Though I know he is on his way, I still struggle to comprehend it. Even as he shifts and snoozes and pokes at me while I type.
Behind the scenes, we’ve started handling logistics. Spence and I have a childbirth class in two weeks; I’ve contacted HR to begin my FMLA paperwork; I’m researching child care and pediatricians and breast pumps and insurance issues. I’m working ahead for the time I’ll be off at the newspaper, prepping my summer sections months before I’d normally give them a thought.
There’s so much more than just painting the nursery (though, er, we need to do that, too). It’s a little overwhelming, but I keep consoling myself with the knowledge that women have done this since . . . well, since the beginning of mankind. That I have a wonderful, loving husband who can’t wait to be a father. That we have the support of our families and friends, and a great work environment that will help us all thrive.
I mean, it’s still scary — but it’s a scary wrapped in joy.
I think I can handle that.