changing our tune

Well, I’m pretty sure everyone who reads my blog already knows this, but in case you didn’t – I’m pregnant!

And today is Mother’s Day. It’s the first Mother’s Day since I got married that I really felt like celebrating. When the first one rolled around, we had started trying to have a baby and it had been a few months and nothing had happened, and I didn’t feel like anything was necessarily wrong, but I was starting to wonder why it wasn’t just *happening* for me like it does for some people.

Anyway, here I am just starting my third trimester, and today had me stopping and thinking about everything this means to me.

We just went on our babymoon – we chose Newport, RI (gorgeous!) – and while we were there, relaxing by the beautiful coast and enjoying each other’s company, I remembered that when we booked it, months ago, we actually waited as long as possible to do so, because we felt so uncertain about being able to keep the baby full term. It feels so surreal to finally be pregnant and, at this point, to be able to sense the life within at almost every moment of every day. It is magical.

I know that people might say I haven’t gotten to the truly miserable “hard part” yet (and that may be true – we’ll see), but I love being pregnant. I have loved almost everything about it. Even now, when I look down at my ever-so-slightly swollen feet and it’s hard to keep cool, I still think, “Yes, but I’m pregnant!” I’ve waited so long for this (long being a relative term) – who cares if it’s uncomfortable sometimes?

Something I wish people would say in books and stuff: when you first get pregnant, before you get the adorable bump, you just feel fat. Everything is thickening. Clothes don’t fit, or don’t fit right, but you really just look like you’re gaining weight in kind of unattractive places (which you are), and you feel like a blob. No one tells these things. But finally! Finally. The bump starts to come in and everything is so much cuter. Maternity clothes stop looking like sacks and get filled out properly. It is so much fun!

Really, the whole weight gain thing has been a tricky mind game for me. It has been so hard to not feel and see the comparisons between my sisters and myself (I think this is common for sisters in general). To wonder why our pregnancies don’t look more similar than they do – don’t we come from the same exact gene pool?! To try not to feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m carrying bigger, wider, or just differently from them.

To compound this issue, it seems that everyone in the world finds it appropriate to comment on your body size when you’re pregnant. Why is this? In what other circumstance is it ok to talk to someone, especially a stranger, on the smallness or largeness of their body?! I can’t think of any! But my goodness, do people ever stick their feet squarely into their mouths on this one – all the time. I had a cashier who, after learning that yes, this is my first baby and no, I’m not carrying twins, told me a sweet little story about a previous customer who came in carrying twins, due in two weeks, who was just about my size (I was 20 weeks). How lovely. What am I supposed to do with that information? Pregnancy is not a disease – why do people’s brains turn off when they talk to pregnant people? As my sister, who is now pregnant with her fourth, likes to say, there is only one right thing to say to a pregnant woman regarding how she looks: YOU LOOK GREAT. Full stop. Period.

These things – you just have to let them roll. Water off a duck’s back.

It may sound arrogant, but I am super confident about parenthood. I think I’ll be a great mom, but that’s not so much about me, but about the fact that I have had years to watch and learn from great moms around me (plus, of course, I have had the example of my stellar mom for years and years and years now). Joshua and I have house- and baby-sat for two of my siblings while they went on vacations, getting a chance to play dad and mom to their kids while they were away. It’s not the same, but it was good practice! Plus, we’re reading all these great child raising and parenting books while we wait for this little guy to finish cooking. I feel very prepared.

When we got back from our babymoon this past week, it was bittersweet, because we know it’s the last real trip we’ll be taking for the foreseeable future. We have so enjoyed being world travelers for over four years now; it’s been our thing. But now we’re ready to put away the suitcases and flip the switch and become full-time stay-at-home parents (so to speak). What a blessing to have had so many years to travel! We both agree that because of that, we don’t feel the compulsion to travel as soon as possible again. I really don’t think I’m going to miss it. The years can go by. We’ve turned a page, and we are finally, finally at the next chapter in our lives. We are going to be parents.

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