I am sitting on the edge of my couch cushion because I have to lean forward a little bit to reach my laptop on the coffee table. My little one is moving around like a monkey inside of me, and since I am slightly bent over, her bouncy... butt? feet? is nudging into my ribs over and over again.
I couldn't be happier.
Unless I was snuggling and kissing her, of course. Whenever I feel her move around, all I can think about is how badly I want to MEET her and have my little buddy by my side. You always hear pregnant women discussing how painful and irritating it is to have the babe kick them in the ribs. I feel so blessed that it doesn't bother me! It always makes me smile. Maybe it will bother me in the next few weeks, but so far all of her kicks, boxing matches, somersaults, hiccups, and stretches have felt more like nudges from a dainty dancer than tackles from a football player. I have felt for the majority of this pregnancy that she is a little dainty, petite girl. I will laugh if I have to push out a 10-lb screaming baby. Actually... I won't laugh.
I didn't tell many people, but for the first half of my pregnancy I didn't feel like what I expect most other women in my situation felt like. I grew up my entire life wanting to be a mother. I counted down the days until we could start a family, and it happened exactly how I planned - surprisingly enough. So why, when upon finding out I was in fact pregnant, was I not as ecstatic as I expected? Why, when we told our family the good news, did I not feel extreme joy?
I went shopping with my family on the day I told them and the girls of course wanted to go into the Gymboree store. I remember not wanting to go into that store and not wanting to look at baby clothes, but I didn't say anything because I was ashamed for feeling that way. Once in the store, I was overwhelmed, cried, and finally confided in my mother. I was nervous that these disgraceful feelings were foreshadowing some terrible postpartum I would experience. She assured me it was just because all of this was new and didn't seem real yet.
So for the first half of my pregnancy, I'm embarrassed to admit I was not enraptured with the pregnancy. I didn't feel connected to my baby. Matt was extremely connected. As soon as I told him the news, he thought we had a baby. Like, a physical baby in our arms to feed and bathe and change. He has been a dad since day 1, and it warms my heart.
I eventually realized why these feelings of disconnect haunted me for several months. I had so many people close to me struggle with getting pregnant, losing pregnancies, and even losing their babies, prior to us getting pregnant. My heart ached for these people (still does). I think I was embarrassed that we got pregnant so easily, nervous how these wonderful people would feel, and perhaps half-expecting similar things to happen to us. Maybe my subconscious didn't want to make any plans for the future or accept this beautiful, heavenly treasure because it was afraid of losing everything. Or offending anyone.
The reason I am saying all of this incredibly dreary personal history is because today I have realized something.
Every kick to my rib and jab to my bladder... makes me SMILE.
Every time she rolls around and feels like a creepy alien inside my insides... I'm GRATEFUL.
I believe that those same things which caused feelings of detachment during the first half of my pregnancy have caused overwhelming gratitude, humility, and awareness during the second half of pregnancy. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with the ability to easily conceive and carry a child. I'm so humbled that my body is handling pregnancy like a champion and is hosting a healthy, perfect baby. I am supremely aware of the blessings from heaven poured upon our small family and this little one in particular. Every day, I wake up and have these feelings. Every day, I think of the struggles other women are going through. I can't do anything to help their pain except pray for them, and recognize how blessed I am.
I have been too embarrassed to admit how wonderful everything is going, but instead of keeping quiet I want to let other women know that
You have all sacrificed so much -- too much, in my opinion. And I love you with all my heart.
Baby girl -- you are so loved, appreciated, and cherished. We can't wait to meet you.