It’s week 36. I’m 4 days away from FULL TERM. It’s an exciting realization coupled with fear for the unknown, extreme bliss, and anxiety. Mostly because I still don’t feel like we have everything ready. We only started birthing classes 2 weeks ago, and the nursery art isn’t on the wall yet. But yet I’m overcome with a feeling of calm anticipation as Anderson’s Birth Month draws near.
Calm happiness because:
I know I am strong enough and prepared to bond with him immediately through a natural birth.
I am calm because if things take a turn and I do need modern medicine, it’s available.
I have prepared my body through consistent exercise and muscle toning.
I am strong enough to stand up to those who say I can’t do it.
I am patient enough to listen to stories of horrific births from people who think it’s their duty to warn me.
I am respectful to those that tell me having a baby is a medical process because that’s their belief, or vision, or choice.
I am happy because I’ve educated myself and my husband of the blessings of an intervention free birth.
I am beyond stoked to be near the finish line and cannot wait to experience the instant love and joys of parenthood.
A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks. As Anderson has become fully developed and not a lot of changes are occurring with him week by week, I found myself not as interested in making chalkboards and posting about his progress. I do miss the pretty boards, but have instead been experiencing firsthand feelings and the physical changes of my own mind and body and shared in this monument with my husband. It’s crazy how much Trevor has stepped up in the past few weeks as I’ve needed him more than before and as it becomes more and more apparent that Anderson is dependent upon me for survival. I’m falling even more deeply in love with the man I married three and a half years ago and I know this love will continue to deepen and strengthen through birth and early parenthood. He’s an amazing man that has brought me an endless amount of joy and satisfaction. The fact that he will share and model this undeniable love, strength, and quiet confidence with our son overfills me with emotions that are new to me.
Motherhood isn’t yet here, but I can already feel the power she possesses. She has increased my marital bond. She has allowed me to not worry about the friends that only reach out to me when it’s convenient for them. She has given me the strength to build bonds with other mothers that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to otherwise. There must be this secret society of mothers, and I can feel initiation drawing near and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’m slowly starting to realize the changes that happened early on when my friends started having families out of high school and early adulthood. All of a sudden they weren’t around, and they wouldn’t hang out, and they wouldn’t engage in the same types of “fun” we used to have. It wasn’t their fault. It wasn’t them backing away. It was the power of motherhood. It was the lack of wisdom I had to reach out and ask how they are doing. Ask how their lives have changed. Asked how I could still fit into it. Because I didn’t know this back then, friendships were slowly put on a backburner because I didn’t know how to be a part of their new life, and instead of asking, I blamed them.
I have a feeling that this little guy is going to come before 40 weeks. I can’t explain why, I just think he will. I know that over 30% of first births go past 40 weeks, but I think Anderson will bless us early. Of course, if he doesn’t, it just means he wasn’t ready yet and I’m okay with that too. It gives me more time to prepare for his arrival. Every time I think about seeing his face for the first time I smile ear to ear. I imagine him with Trevor’s adorable dimpled cheeks and big dark eyes. I hope he has Trevor’s duck feet too. When I feel his back and bum, he is really big in my hands. He responds to my touch and it’s fun to play with him from inside the womb. Trevor loves putting his head on my belly and listening to the pattern of Anderson’s heartbeat. What a miracle! This is such a wonderful experience and I’m so glad I’ve gotten to enjoy pregnancy.
Reflecting on my pregnancy to date, there are some things I wish I would’ve done differently:
- Drank more water.
- Took a photo the same day every week.
- Took a photo in the same pose and same clothes every week.
- Measure the circumference of my belly every week.
- Wrote in a journal daily. This is probably my biggest regret. In the beginning I started a journal but then it turned into a craft book with photos and progress updates, and I wish I would’ve kept it simple so that I would have continued to write every day. It got overwhelming at times and I really wish I kept it simple.
- Wrote a letter to Anderson once a month.
- Sent thank you cards right away
- Not taken on too many tasks
- Asked for help when needed
- Spent more time with my husband and encouraged him to bond with Anderson sooner.
Knowing how I feel now, the next pregnancy I will make sure to enjoy the simple things more, and put aside all of the things that have caused me any level of stress. I’m still so happy with where I am and how enjoyable the last nine months have been. I legitimately feel lucky in comparison to all of the negative pregnancy experiences that other mothers have endured. I am a firm believer that thoughts have control over what we experience and I’m thankful I’ve been blessed by always finding the good even in every situation.
Anderson, I can’t wait to meet you, and hold you, and feel your warm miraculous body against mine. I can’t wait to see your daddy cradle you in his arms like a football. I can’t wait for your first cry. For your first smile. For the moment you fall in love with us as much as we already love you!