Looks like I made it as far as Tuesday before pooping out…Ooof. I’m tired tonight. Feeling especially large. Sick of waking up three or four times a night to the sensation that my bladder is in a vice. I caught myself waddling in the reflection of a store window today; it’s as if my sore hips are preemptively protesting the fact that they’ll soon have to pass an 8-pound baby between them. I tried to correct my gait, to straighten my back and move with more grace, but this took too much effort and so I went back to my belly-out pregnant shuffle, weight clumsily shifting from side to side. I dramatically flopped down on the couch when I got home this evening, propped up my swollen feet, and wondered to myself how on earth I’ll make it through the next few weeks. How quickly my pregnant glow has waned… This isn’t how I wanted the final stretch to play out.
The thing is, I don’t know when or if I’ll get to do this again. I certainly hope we’ll have a second (or maybe even third?!) shot at pregnancy, but only God knows if that’s in the cards for us. And even if another little Schnell does someday find a home in my uterus, I’ll never feel this particular baby’s kicks again. It will never be new like this again, I’ll never have this quiet, child-free space to focus on the life growing inside me. My mom has told me to rest, to let the unimportant stuff take a back seat for now; I’ve responded to this advice with an uh-huh while carrying another load of laundry down the stairs. But perhaps mother knows best. So I slowed it down tonight, asked Shane to take care of dinner, cancelled my plans to hit the gym for a swim. Instead I’m being still, reveling in the alien-like ripples of my belly as the baby wiggles and squirms and lets me know that all is well in-utero. I’m taking a few minutes to rock in the glider of our nearly-complete nursery and dream about what it will be like to see our child in that empty crib. And when I feel a foot kicking at my ribs, I’m ever so gently pushing back, telling our little one to hang tight for awhile longer, because mama really, truly loves having you in there.