Okay, I have finally reached awe. I've experienced it in bits and pieces over the course of this pregnancy, but at the same time, pregnancy has been such an immediate experience that I haven't really been able to step back and just think about it all. I've focused on the symptoms, or the things that still need to get done, or learning about what to do with a newborn. But I haven't really stepped back and just let the awe wash over me.
I am in awe that my body has been able to stretch to such unbelievable widths and it all looks quite natural. I don't even have stretch marks, but even if I did, I think I would still be amazed. I mean, it's not like my skin is pulled so taught it's painful. It just grew. (Now let's hope that it knows how to shrink.)
I am kind of in awe that I am able to carry this mass around with me. I was looking in the mirror at Motherhood Maternity today as I tried on nursing bras and I got a full body view of myself. I do have a full length mirror at home, but I guess I haven't really stood there looking for long enough in amazement at what I've become. I have a huge belly now and when I look at it sideways, well, it's no wonder my back hurts! In fact, I'm kind of proud of my back for not hurting more.
I am in awe that there is a real baby living inside of me. All day he's been moving around in there. When I was only about six months along, his sudden jabbing movements made me uncomfortable / surprised, but now at eight months his movements are much smoother and more fluid. Even when he kicks his feet out, it's slower and I can usually feel it coming, as his butt pushes my belly out in the opposite direction. (Well, okay, I don't really know what's moving where, but this is a best guess.)
I am in awe that I am going to give birth. And breastfeed. I mean, these aren't things that you just decide to do - like deciding to go for a run, or to sit down, or to do cartwheels or whatever. They just happen. Somehow my body knows what to do and when to do it (hopefully).
And these are the awe-inspiring things that I can put into words. There's so much more that it's hard to even describe in words. I mean "starting a family" sounds like, I don't know, like graduating from college or deciding to get married or something. But I think that this is so much bigger. This baby will completely depend on us to love him, feed him, help him grow up ... We made the conscious decision to take that on and we're ready to do this, but at the same time, it really blows my mind.
I have no idea why I reached awe tonight rather than any other day.
This morning I woke up early than I wanted to and couldn't go back to sleep, and after watching J sleep for twenty minutes (so cute!) I decided that it wasn't worth trying to find a comfortable position anymore so I might as well just get up. (I really have to take a picture sometime of my ridiculous but essential five-pillows-plus-a-towel body support system I've rigged up.)
I started researching more baby gear online and then armed with all the reviews I'd read, in the afternoon, J and I went out to Babies R Us to look at things like glider chairs and baby carriers and to Motherhood Maternity for nursing bras. (Incidentally, nursing bras have such a cool design. I thought they would just have a hook at the top of the bra cup instead of the usual back or front hook, but actually, there's a whole built-in section to the bra so that when you unhook the cup, there's a piece that still holds everything in place. Very cool. Oh, and for those of you who might be in the market for a nursing bra soon, let me tell you that the nursing bras at Motherhood Maternity, while not cheap, were half as much as the ones at Mimi Maternity. Which also reminds me, and sorry for the giant digression here, but I really have to share this - a nurse at our childbirth class tipped us off to Hackley Healthcare Equipment where you can get a Medela breastpump for $80 less than they cost at Babies R Us or Amazon.)
Uh, what was I talking about? ... Right, shopping. Anyway, it was kind of tiring today. I was stupid and wore my cute flats instead of my supportive running shoes. Overall, I felt big and heavy and like I just wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon in one of those recliner glider chairs (this one is "only" $670 when you buy it together with the ottoman, but I'm telling you, if you sit in it you will want to just live there, reclining like that, forever). But then at Target (where J and I were ogling the giant LCD and plasma tv's, totally off our mission of looking for baby things) I got a nice compliment from a woman passing by me with her friend, who noticed me and said, "You look cute." And there I was in my giant maternity winter coat feeling anything but cute. Until that moment. Wasn't that sweet?
So how all of this led to awe about our baby, I really don't know. But it's there. And it's very nice. I'm not worrying about the birth. I'm not worrying about how the baby is doing in there. At this moment, I'm not really worrying at all. I'm just ... happy and amazed.