Pregnancy is amazing. From the tiny first flickers of watching your baby's heartbeat on the sonogram screen to the final push and meeting your slippery, goop covered baby. It's a breathtaking, terrifying and extraordinary process and in all likelihood, this will be my last opportunity to experience it. There's a specific sadness in knowing that once this baby is out of me, I won't experience the thrills of tiny heartbeats within me again.
Looking at Bean now, I'm in awe. She is something we created. She started out as a blip on a screen too, announcing her viability with a fast thump, thump on the monitor (albeit with complications) and now she's running around pretending to be a mermaid and talking to a hairbrush that evidently is playing King Triton's role. We made her. She started out like Hoat Tote, and now, far more quickly than I'd like, she's become this fascinating wonder of a girl.
Watching your children grow is beautiful and bittersweet. Sometimes, you want them to rush through to the next stage and other times, you just want to hold them still and inhale that baby sweetness for as long as possible. I'm thrilled that I'm lucky enough to experience this sheer, unimaginable joy twice, but again, knowing that this is it for me in being a baby-making-machine makes this last uncomfortable and brutal last month of pregnancy that much more poignant.
Last night, I lay in bed and watched my belly shift from side to side; a butt here, a karate kick somewhere under my ribs, some soft little hand jabs on my pelvis. I tried to memorize it. I wanted to keep the physical memory of what's like to have created a life within and to feel that life stretching and hiccoughing right along side me. I lay very still, not wanting to interrupt whatever Hoat Tote was doing (downward facing dog?) and just watched her little body shift within mine. It was beautiful and sweet. There is a human being inside me. I grew her. Her blood, bones and tissues came from my husband and me. This life, that we created, is ours to love and to cherish forever. And we will because like so many other things we experience in life, these moments are fleeting and truly are a gift.