Archive for September 3rd, 2010

September 3, 2010

It’s the Final Countdown

Twelve days until my due date and I understand what it means to be ready to have a baby. Two other girls who were expecting within the past week or so have both had their babies—both girls—and I pretty much can’t wait to join their club.

But what about the pain, you might say. And the end to eating and sleeping on my own schedule?

At this point, neither of these things is anything new. I’ve learned that pregnancy is really another way to say “motherhood boot camp”; I imagine every change I’ve made over the past nine months as a kind of training camp for what’s to come.  I’m sure there are still plenty of huge changes to be made ahead, but pregnancy has proven to be just as much about preparing me to act as a mother as it is about preparing a child for life outside of the womb.

People say your whole life changes when you have a child, but really, most of those changes start in pregnancy.  I don’t really feel like I’ll be starting something new in the new few days or weeks.  Rather, I feel like giving birth, meeting this child, and caring for it will be the next steps in a bigger change I’ve already begun.

There are still some loose ends to tie up at work; there are still things I haven’t quite finished at home.  But these things are fading more and more into the background as I imagine the moment we know whether our little one is a boy or a girl and which name we’ll give it.  (Don’t even think about it, friends.  Those names are staying under wraps until the baby’s born.)

All of a sudden, in the last week, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. I’ve experienced the gamut of thoughts and emotions linked to pregnancy. In the first few months, I was nervous about the changes that would come with having a child. By the second trimester, I was incredibly comfortable being pregnant, and at times couldn’t imagine not being pregnant.  The shock of childbirth class threw me for a bit of a loop last month.  But now, here we are. When people ask how far along I am, I say nine months.  When they ask when the baby’s coming, I say any day now.

I’m grateful to have quickly realized the sense of calm anticipation I have for the most part now (except sometimes while waiting for a train in a much-too-hot subway station) is the same one I had when John and I got married last year, and the same feeling I had when I left Berlin after my semester abroad.  It’s a feeling of having experienced something amazing, and knowing that despite the potentially scary change ahead, something even more incredible is coming next. It’s a feeling of preparedness, a feeling I know only as a result of prayer and God’s grace.  Again I’m reminded of St. Therese of Lisieux: I trust that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

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