Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For the Last Time

Usually we don't know when we are doing something for the last time. Then, we look back with nostalgia or regret, wishing we had enjoyed the moment.

From the minute I learned I was pregnant, I appreciated this time as a gift to enjoy for the last time.

I love being pregnant. From the beginning until the end.
I love the concept that, as co-creators with God, we share in a miracle--the beginning and growth of life.
I love that first positive pregnancy test--two pink lines that will change my thinking and approach to the next nine months.
I love the first ultrasound, where I can see that little Gummy Bear moving and swimming.
I love the queasy feelings of early pregnancy, which remind me that this is really happening, not just something in my imagination. (I've only thrown up twice with eight pregnancies, so I'm really lucky this way. Most, I know, don't enjoy this stage at all.)
I love having a doctor that will listen to my concerns and address them for as long as I need him to. In return, I have to allow for hours in his office while he extends that same courtesy to all his patients.
I love when my stomach starts to swell, revealing my secret to the world, not just those I choose to tell.
I especially love feeling the baby move for the first time, then anxiously waiting for the next, and the next, and the next. I never tire of this feeling, even when Baby is big and its movements interrupt my sleep or my comfort. It's like our own private world, Baby extending love to Mom.
I love watching my kids' faces when they can feel the baby move, stock-still and aglow with anticipation.
I love having a husband that truly appreciates the miracle inside me, rubbing my belly or my legs or feet. Or even bellowing good-naturedly into my stomach, "Come out, Baby!"
I love watching the water run down my stomach in the shower, earliest baths for this sweet new spirit. Then, rubbing lotion and oil all over my itchy stomach, trying to relieve the stretching and changing of my skin.
I love most of the attention pregnancy draws. Most comments and gestures from strangers are so kind and excited (not so much the guy at Paradise Bakery who asked me if I was smuggling food out of the restaurant). There's something about this miracle that even draws the looks and appreciation of small children.
I love the anticipation of labor and guessing when the blessed event will come. I don't love how much false labor I have to endure (usually 3-4 contractions every hour from 35 weeks on), but I try to keep it in perspective that my body is preparing, just as I've prepared my mind and my life.
I love pondering what this new life will look like--a carbon copy of all the rest (bald head and dark eyes), or will those recessive genes finally triumph after eight tries?
I love talking about names with my kids and getting their input into this change in our family. Not that we really ever agree, but the discussions do get lively!
In all honesty, I can say that I love labor and delivery. It is a difficult, painful process, but one that has made me feel closer to God than any other. I love feeling that I am powerful and capable and strong. Even when I'm weak and cry and threaten to give up, I know that, deep down inside, I can do this hard thing. And that translates over to other hard things that have come our way.
I love the moment that the new baby is placed in my arms, knowing that I have just received another miracle into my care, not only for life but for eternity.
Epiphany #99--And I love knowing that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me enough to share this blessing with me, one last time.

11 comments:

  1. And I love hearing your feelings about it!

    Thanks.

    =)

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  2. Jen- Truly a beautiful post. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to share this "last" one with you. Praying with & for you and Gummy Bear, until God places GB in your arms.
    ((hugs))
    Jackie

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  3. Loved this post. All the things I have felt but not often put into words. Can't wait to meet your gummy bear!

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  4. Awwwwww! I love this post, it expresses all my thoughts on the topic so well. We truly are so blessed and lucky to be given the opportunity to carry a child and then to birth and raise them. It makes me want to go through it one more time for sure, and to cherish every moment of it. Thanks for a great post!

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  5. Beautiful, I am so glad you are able to savor and enjoy "the last time."

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  6. What a wonderful post. You are a great writer. I feel the same way about pregnancy and givng birth. It was hard to know that last time was my last time but it did make me slow down a little and appreciate all of the moments.

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  7. I love this. Thanks for writing it. I have always felt the same, specially with tr feeling like the last. I am so excited for you and your family!

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