We're in the home stretch here.
Physically, I am ready for this pregnancy to be over. Physically it has been harder for me than either of my other pregnancies. I know I complain about my back a lot, because when I grimace or groan now, Kathleen looks at me and says "Back." Yes, my back hurts. My legs are tight. I've felt like I was struggling to breathe since the earliest weeks. More and more foods seem to bother me. This is mostly new for me.
With Henry, I felt great. I walked, did yoga, swam. I glowed.
With Kathleen, I walked and meditated and meant to start swimming. And probably the fear and anxiety and grieving kept me from noticing much about the physical.
Emotionally, I'm in a much better place than last time, but physically, I'm done. But . . .
I'm so aware of these last weeks. This baby seems to move so much more than Henry and Kathleen did. I remember being in the pool during the last week before Henry was born, floating in the water while he floated in me. I remember a sudden awareness that soon he come out, that the quiet closeness we had, just him and me would end, would change into something very different. I'm aware now that these few weeks will likely be the last time I feel a baby move within me. Given my age and the fact that after this birth I'll have been cut open four times, I just don't see another pregnancy in my future. So this is it. The last time I feel the strange, amazing sensation of another life moving within me.
I try to pay attention, to really feel it, so I'll remember it. I probably won't. But right now, I'm aware.
I'm aware too of my little girl of the here and now running around asking why. I'm aware this is the end of our time of just us. I don't remember being an only child, don't remember my sister being born, and likely Kathleen won't either. She doesn't know how her world is about to change, but I am. I'm aware of this time with her.
When she says, "Seat!" or "Rockee!" and points to my chair, I'm more likely to sit at least for a few minutes, through one book, even if I'm in the middle of getting dinner ready, even if it's early morning and I'm chilly without a sweater. I sit and feel the warmth of her body, notice how tall she's gotten, how long her hair is. I am aware of how quickly she is taking things, learning, changing, growing. I look at pictures from earlier this year and wonder if it is the same little girl.
I know that what we have will not be lost by bringing other baby into our home and hearts and family, but our routines will change. Love may expand, but time does not. It will be different. I don't think that is bad; I'm simply aware of and cherishing what we have right now.
In a few weeks, things will change. Right now, I'm ready for what is to come but not rushing to get there, just here enjoying what is.