One thing that’s been neat about this pregnancy has been connecting with a couple of other pregnant women every month or so via Zoom to talk intentionally about our experiences. One of those conversations took place last night, and we spent time catching up on pregnancy and life in general, and then took time to reflect and write individually. After writing for a few minutes, we came back together to share our thoughts and talk through them.
It was such a cool exercise, and after the fact I realized that mine had kind of come together as a blog post (no real surprise there — that’s the format in which I share my thoughts and feelings). So I thought, why not publish it as one?
So here are some pregnancy thoughts from me this time around, inspired by this writing exercise to dig into how things feel right now and how I can work to be as present as possible:
One thing I’ve learned in my life: The best things in life tend to be the unexpected things. A pandemic pregnancy was not exactly something we’d planned for – we were open to growing our family but didn’t think it would be in this way – but here we are, and it feels exactly right.
I keep thinking about how remarkable pregnancy is – not just the act of growing a baby from a few cells into a fully formed tiny human (which is incredible), but also the chance of having the specific child you give birth to.
I can’t imagine our family without Maggie in it. Not just without a child in it – with THIS child in it in particular. Soon we’ll get to meet another member of our family that I’m sure will also feel just right – and we won’t be able to imagine our world without this specific boy in it.
Any other baby – any other time – and it wouldn’t have been Maggie. Any other baby – any other time – and it wouldn’t have been this exact little guy.
This pregnancy feels both all its own and very familiar, but one of the main differences is the sobering reality that it’s very likely the last time I’ll be pregnant. I don’t necessarily even want to be pregnant again, but I DO want to cherish this pregnancy in its own way, knowing it’s my last one.
It’s also different because now we have Maggie, and so she’s actively involved in the waiting for this baby along with Kevin and me. That makes it both challenging and incredibly special (more special than challenging, especially with the extreme fatigue of the early weeks behind me).
So what are a few things I can do to really be intentional and present about this time and this pregnancy?
- Lean into the isolation. This feels like a strange one, but instead of mourning the fact that COVID-19 has made this pregnancy experience different, what good can come from this time? We have SO much more time together as a family – and I have SO much more one-on-one time with Maggie – which is actually such a gift right now. The slowing down has, in many ways, brought a lot of good and thoughtfulness with it.
- Acknowledge the gravity. This is my last pregnancy. This is the last time I’ll feel a baby move inside my belly. Then, once he’s born, it will be my last time being the parent to a newborn, a toddler, etc. That’s a big deal.
- Don’t overthink – try to feel and be. There are all these layers right now. Maggie isn’t going to be our only child for much longer. This pregnancy seems to be going by so quickly. The world looks really different this time around. Take time to pause, slow down the brain, and just be present with this single moment.
- Revel in the wonder. Yes, parts of pregnancy are uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally, but I will be eternally grateful to have had the experience to grow a child – two children! – in my body and watch them become part of the world. It’s an everyday thing from a big picture standpoint, and yet it’s one of the most sacred experiences of my life.