Friday, October 14, 2011

Week Eighteen

one hears a lot about "Mommy Milestones" when reading parenting or pregnancy material, and many of them have to do with the obvious: hearing/seeing a heartbeat, feeling your baby kick, finding out the gender, etc. while these are all indeed momentous, i think mine are quieter but no less significant:
* finding myself saying "when the baby is born" more often than "if the baby is born"
* being complimented on the cuteness of my "maternity top" by a female stranger
* noticing the way my husband's hand now almost automatically goes to rub my swelling belly when we're sitting on the couch or lying in bed together
* just having the aforementioned no-longer-hideable swelling belly
* having another pregnant woman ask me for advice
* finding that sleepless nights because of a baby are now more about hormones/bulky body/extra blood volume/etc. than about grief or fear

i've written before, especially using my lake metaphor, about how pregnancy after loss is a very different experience, and the farther we progress, the more certain i am of this. i am more comfortable with the co-existence of hope and anxiety as they stay more in balance, for which i am alternately astounded and relieved. there were many times i did not believe that a healthy pregnancy/live birth was possible for me, let alone a healthy pregnancy in which i was not paralyzed constantly by terror, or worse, fatalism.
to discover the depth of healing and growth that has happened -- and is still happening -- is a mommy milestone in and of itself.