Friday, July 18, 2008

Looking back on pregnancy

Now that I'm nearly a month removed from it (yeah, a month...can you believe it? Jacob's four weeks old today, and a month on Sunday!), I've been thinking about the whole pregnancy thing a lot. My daily intake of baby-related reality TV has had a hand in that as well, I guess.

I know that I was lucky to have had a really great pregnancy. No complications, nearly eight months of working out, a cute little belly and a butt that stayed in check, and one less week of suffering in the crazy heat near the end. Jacob was never in the right position to kick me in the ribs, and I really wasn't that uncomfortable until the last month or so. I had minimal swelling and even got my wish of a nice, private water-breaking. I was truly blessed.

Do I miss pregnancy? Not especially, because I know it had its less fun moments, but there were parts of it that were cool. Watching your body change like that was really amazing and often entertaining, and although I'm not one for attention, it was interesting to see people's reaction to my big belly. Pregnancy doesn't last that long in the grand scheme of things, and all those pictures I have of me pregnant (though I don't have as many as I'd like, nor did I ever get one of my bare belly...darn.) are extra precious because I won't be like that again for a while...and next time it may not be as cute!

Although my summer maternity clothes were limited, I'm probably in worse shape now because so few of my old clothes fit. It's getting better because my belly continues to shrink, and I think my hips are finally shrinking a bit as well, but the nursing-enhanced chest still leaves most of my shirts too short to look nice. I don't miss having to go out and buy maternity clothes, but shopping for normal clothes really isn't an option at this point either because my body will continue to change.

I'm not sure if I miss work yet or not. I suppose I miss having intelligent adult conversation on a day to day basis, but I've been so busy at home that I haven't really had a chance to miss work. Despite being home all day every day, I feel productive if I get one or two things done that aren't directly related to Jacob. I can't believe I only have two more weeks left.

This may be bad to say, but I miss having a direct link to Jacob without having to be on call 24/7. It's obviously amazing to have him here, but it was nice to feel him move in my belly and not have to worry that it would be immediately followed by a cry and a half-hour feeding. It's not like we didn't sign up for this, but his needs are almost constant and that can get exhausting, particularly when you're already sleep-deprived or he's been extra fussy all day.

As much as I tried to savor pregnancy, I wish I would have done it even more. Losing that last week and a half probably prevented me from getting a few final pictures or preparing quite as much as I would have liked. It's a lot like when I said goodbye to my old car. While I knew the end was coming eventually and I was excited about it, the way it happened so suddenly (the accident that totaled my car compared to my fluid leaking a week and a half early) made the change happen much differently than I had anticipated. The final farewell was sad just because the mental preparation wasn't exactly how I had expected it to be. In the end, though, everything turned out for the better, in both cases.

It still amazes me to look back and think about carrying around that baby, how he fit in there and how awesome it is that babies form so perfectly with very little intervention from the outside world. Sometimes I still can't believe my pregnancy is over and Jacob's been around for almost a month. On the bright side, it's nice to sleep on my stomach again, wear some of my old clothes that I had been missing, eat and drink mostly what I want (still trying to cut down on the dairy...missing milk and cereal a LOT--but enjoying more things with artificial sweeteners and getting my fill of cold cuts!), and have my bladder back under my domain! And, once our house isn't so hot and we have a little more alone time on our hands, it will be nice to fit on the couch with Craig again! This whole thing has definitely been an adventure. Labor wasn't fun (I'm hoping to post more about that sometime soon, just to document it all for posterity, if nothing else), but based on my pregnancy, I'm able to look forward to doing it all again in a few years... :)

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