Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Countdown Is On, But I'm Not Counting

I'm no good with numbers or figures, so I'll just say that somewhere in the span of this week, I made it to the 3rd trimester.

13 weeks to go until we expect our newest arrival.

By this point in my pregnancy with Cohen, I was more than ready to have him in my arms already. I was impatiently pregnant, counting down the weeks, days, hours until I could see his face and kiss his cheeks. With this baby, though? I'm feeling way more patient. In fact, I'm actually a bit bummed that I'm so far into this pregnancy already.

How weird am I?

The thing is, this time around, I know what's coming .. sort of. While there's no way I can anticipate life with the chaos of two children until I'm actually in the thick of it, I do know what to expect with having a newborn in the house -- and all that goes along with it. I have experience with that. And, if I'm honest, that experience is not all fluffy clouds and cotton candy. That experience tucks some anxiety and a bit of depression into the memory folds of newborn sleep squeaks and that sweet smell of new.

I think what caught me most off-guard in the weeks following Cohen's birth was the realization that the pregnancy was actually over. For someone who wished away the majority of those 9 months, I mourned them when they were gone. As much as I loved my new baby, I felt ... an emptiness?... I didn't expect.

And since this is our last planned pregnancy, I'm a little extra sensitive about those particular memories. I really, really don't want to have those same feelings again. I have truly enjoyed this pregnancy. I have savored every kick, every belly rumble, every Cohen/belly interaction -- because I know these moments are fleeting, and I'll never get them back. My biggest fear is finding myself 3 months down the road wishing I had enjoyed this time a little more... feeling that emptiness again.

I was watching A Baby Story a few weeks ago, and the new mother said something that struck me, particularly because I thought she expressed my feelings so completely and eloquently. She said this was her last pregnancy, and she was sad it was over -- not because she didn't want the baby yet, but because she knew it signaled the end of a chapter of her life -- the baby days would soon be over, and she'd never have them again. She said she knew she didn't want to have any more children, that in her head, she knew 3 was way more than she and her husband could handle, but her heart was a bit sad that this time was over.

Travis thought she was crazy. I was sitting dead-center in her Amen corner.  I knew exactly what she means. Do I want more than 2 children? No, I can't say that I do. Do I want to continue having many more years of the baby stage? No, in fact, I'm very excited when I think of my boys growing into kids and doing kid things. But acknowledging that the baby time of my life will soon be over? That does make me sad. It's the end of one part of my life and the beginning of another.

So what will I do? I will take lots of pictures. I will stop the everyday-ness of life to enjoy the little moments. I will make the most out of Cohen's last 3 months of being an only child. I will sniff my newborn whenever I want. I won't worry so much about schedules and routine and getting back to normal as soon as possible. I will remember to appreciate and enjoy Cohen's toddlerhood alongside the baby's infancy.

Because I only get this time once. And moments are fleeting.

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