That’s what life is like right now; a whole bunch of “hurry up and get here” and “wait and let her grow until she’s ready.” It’s the feeling that every woman knows intimately in the third trimester. A feeling of inertia. My body is slowing down against my will and forcing more couch time and naps. My list of things to do and preparations to make in anticipation of little baby’s arrival is long and detailed, and yet my body knows exactly what it will allow and won’t. Thankfully, during these last few time-standing-still moments of inertia, my boys are old enough that they play together happily most of the day, needing only reminders not to throw hockey pucks or each other in the house. I’m reminded with gentle nudges from Baby to slow down or more forceful ones from an aching back or feet if I try to just do one more thing. So, I listen, and I slow down, and I wait.
I sit with my long lists, and my planners, and I think and daydream about what life will be like soon. I stalk Pinterest and pin vacation plans, and gardening tips, meals to get back into shape, and activities to do this summer as a new family of five. I find myself spending my time in the future more than the present. I can’t imagine this is any different from other tired and anxious moms preparing for a labor; the urging of our minds to look past the hard, sometimes scary work that must happen to get our miracle and instead focus on the after. Perhaps it’s some coping skill that pregnant women have been doing unconsciously since the beginning, or maybe it’s a form of denial that I’ve perfected? Who knows, but I’m comfortable here.
When I was pregnant with James, I was more preoccupied with caring for Jackson, who was only a baby himself at just over a year old. I think only having the experience of one child didn’t allow me to picture as completely what life could be like with more. When my thoughts had time to wander, they were focused more on dreaded mommy guilt and wondering if I was ruining him forever for allowing that second (third?) episode of Blue’s Clues so that I could sit down in peace for a minute and rest. I have vivid memories of piling all the toys in the house on the floor and lying down next to him to catch a rest while he played. I did daydream and ponder what life would be like with a new baby, but not knowing firsthand yet how beautiful it would be watch the two of them grow up with each other hindered my imagination. I was focused more on the “how to get through now” instead of “what will it be like then.” And I guess that’s exactly where I needed to be with my thoughts at that time, too.
Motherhood, this beautiful, hard, sometimes crazy and stressful, always rewarding club that we women belong to, seems to give us what we can handle at the moment. What were your last months of pregnancy like? Do you remember feeling like time was standing still, or were you so caught up in current mommy-ing that you stayed in the present?