one to go

feeling very round today

“I think I might be pregnant.”

It seems like forever ago that I was somewhat nervously saying those words to Mike. And some days it feels like just yesterday. But here we are, with only one month to go until my due date, this incredible ride nearly behind us, and a whole new life just ahead.

This pregnancy has been pretty much the exact opposite of what I was expecting at the start. I hate to say that it has been easy because there have definitely been some challenges along the way, but by and large it has been calm, steady, uneventful… completely and utterly normal, which is everything I could have hoped for.

After years of living with this dysfunctional body, I was expecting to have a much harder time of things, particularly since I had no time to prepare it for the task of growing another human being. I was worried about my age, my health, about those holiday cocktails I indulged in before we even knew there might be a reason not to – I worried about everything, really. But instead of watching my fears become reality, as the months have unfolded and each successive prenatal visit continued to reveal a healthy, growing, thriving little being, I began to relax and enjoy, watching this little boy and the belly he’s inhabiting grow and grow.

I get why people call this whole process a miracle. And I can’t really express how incredibly lucky I feel.

But try as I might to avoid it, the fear and worry are creeping back, as our final countdown begins in earnest.

I wonder sometimes if the price for my easy pregnancy will be a difficult delivery, or complications, or worse.

(Why does there have to be a price? Because there always is, it seems. I’ve gotten so used to things going pear-shaped after anything good happens that I almost expect it now. And I hate that feeling.)

We weren’t at all prepared for this. In many ways, the timing could not have been more wrong.

But here we are. Joyful. Excited. As ready as we can possibly be.

I have gotten a bit better over these last eight months at living in the moment, at realizing that there are things that are just plain beyond my control, at taking a breath and saying “okay, X happened, we’re fine, now where do we go from here?” or “we’ll get through this; we always do.”

Because we always do.

I can accept and even embrace the fact that while I have an idea about how I’d like the birth of our son to play out (full-term, no drugs, non-surgical delivery, healthy baby, we all go home and live happily ever after), there are no guarantees, and you can’t ever truly expect that all will go according to your plans or hopes or wishes. Life doesn’t work that way.

I’m not afraid of pain. I’ve lived with it, daily, for the last 10+ years of my life. I’m not even particularly afraid of the unknown anymore – so much has happened that we didn’t see coming, good and bad, and Mike and I have gotten through it all together, with the love and support of so many friends and family.

But there is still this anxiety, this fear of something creeping into my psyche at night, keeping me awake and unsettled, pushing the calm away. Even as our son bobs around, stretching, rolling, turning toward his daddy’s voice or pushing back at the cats’ paws as they poke curiously at my belly, I worry.

I worry.

When we learned we were going to have a baby, I thought I’d write a lot more about the whole experience, record all my feelings and memories from this time. I have a little journal I bought for our boy that has just one entry in it, one short letter to him rather than the series of entries I had planned to write, telling him about this time in our lives. I’ve had so many words for him, but something has kept me from writing them down, or saying them aloud. It all feels so fragile, like speaking or writing about it all would somehow bring bad luck, like the slightest shift in the wind would burst this shiny bubble and make it all disappear.

I worry.

And as we count down the last weeks and days of this time, I don’t want to worry. I don’t want the end of this wonderful ride to be marred by frayed nerves and anxious thoughts.

I just want to remember the beauty of it all.

About Jennifer Hess

7 thoughts on “one to go

  1. This is such an exciting time for you both. I have to tell you, though, that the worry is so very normal. For me, it got worse after delivery – when the new baby was finally here, just ready for me to screw up in some way.

    You’ll do great. At times you’ll feel utterly clueless, but you’ll figure things out. You’ll be a fantastic mom.

    ps – Say yes to the drugs during labor.

  2. I had that worry, too. And honestly, I still do – but I’ve come to learn that it’s a good kind of worry. It’s a this-is-my-child-and-I-will-do-anything-in-my-power-to-protect-him worry. I think that there is a beauty in the worry, too, in the sense that gradually over 10 months your entire life shifts to focus on this one tiny human about to make its appearance. Then they arrive and the world is brand new and all you want is for everything to align to make that life the best experience possible. And that beauty – it’s in your worry and the fact that your child will look at you with eyes filled with innocence and trust and absolute love. The worry will remain by the joy overwhelms it.

  3. You look so beautiful and happy — may these dwindling few weeks until you get to meet your son fill you and Mike with the promise and hope and profound joy you deserve.

  4. I totally know what you mean, I had the same exact feelings of its been so good so far (not what I expected) something has to go wrong sometime. Granted I didnt have as many wishes as you for delivery, just for nothing to go wrong during delivery that would jeapordize either of our lives. All was good though, both of us healthy. 🙂 I agree with Merry Jennifer that now the worry goes to what is going to happen to my child, will he get some horrible sickness or will I do something to hurt him accidentally. I just assume now that the worry never goes away! Anyways good luck with the delivery!!! I hope all your wishes come true and both you and your little boy are healthy. You are braver than I (with the no drugs)!

  5. I am sure that the worrying is normal, but that doesn’t make it less stressful. Must be any minute now…

    I for one, and nothing less than thrilled for you. Also you are stunning, and I am so jealous of your hair! Pretty lady.

    Best wishes!

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