It's the beginning of April, spring is announcing its arrival with a sweet mildness in the daily forecasts and an abundance of allergy-inducing pollen, and I'm thirty-four weeks pregnant. Surprisingly, I don't suffer from the majority of the negative third-trimester symptoms I've read about on the internet, and my pregnancy, other than very normal first-trimester nausea and a vast assortment of stretch marks, has been a fairly smooth ride. I guess I am pretty blessed. My body takes kindly to motherhood, and I will never take that for granted, though I am more than ready for my womb to hand over the task of carrying my daughter to my arms.
Pregnancy has been the best "first" I have ever experienced. There is an addicting joy that comes in watching your unborn offspring frolic within you, rocking your body back and forth and responding with kicks to your voice and touch. Despite the fact that she has grown to the point that her kicks and flips can be painful to me at times, I imagine that I'll miss them. I'll miss carrying her, literally, everywhere I go. I'll miss this fast-fleeting and precious proximity to her. There is nothing so amazing in the world as carrying your baby in your body and feeling her nestle beneath your heart. And I will miss that.
But I can't wait to introduce her to the world and watch her explore it. I can't wait to see her smile for the first time and discover what most prompts her happiness. I can't wait to watch her play outside as a toddler, even if she gets dirt in her mouth and her clothes and persuading her to come inside in the evenings for bath and bedtime is a battle. I can't wait to see her taste ice cream and hear her clamor for it in that irresistible baby accent, even if we have to learn and relearn the no-dessert-until-you-clean-your-plate rule. I can't wait to read her books over and over again, and I hope that she has a voracious appetite for them. I can't wait to see her play with puppies and stand on a chair to help bake cookies and rough-house with her dad on our living room floor. I can't wait to teach her to pray and hear her talk to God for the first time.
Maybe I give the impression of having a rose-tinted perspective of motherhood. I know there will be bruised knees, lots of them, and temper tantrums. I know there will be nights of exhaustion for me and days when my daughter and I aren't getting along. I know that I will change thousands of diapers and that the lacy little outfits we have collected will end up stained with pureed green beans and dirty diapers we didn't catch soon enough. I know I will probably smell like spit-up breast milk for weeks after she is born, that leisure time or a good night's sleep will become a distant memory, and that some of these stretch marks will never go away.
But it will be worth it. The fullness in my heart and my arms will make it more than worth it. Hearing "Mama" from the lips of the tiny person kicking away at my hips and back as I type this, will make it worth it.
These are my thoughts of late. Thankful for pregnancy and what it has given me in the way of happiness, and looking forward to re-learning how to live life, with my little girl.