Slow down this pregnancy!

Brittany B. nears her due date and looks back at how time flies

Nine months, 40 weeks, three trimesters — however you describe the length of your pregnancy, one thing is for sure: It is the fastest timeline of your life.

I can’t believe I am already pushing toward my due date, well into my third trimester. It seems like yesterday that my husband and I were just finding out we were pregnant. We were both overjoyed and scared — hearing a heartbeat for the first time and later feeling Baby B. move. It has been a journey — an incredible, emotional, physically trying journey — but we’ve made it to Baby B.’s arrival right around the corner.

The past three months may have been the most challenging.  With the kick counts, finishing up Baby B.’s room, deciding on a birth plan and enduring the summer heat, it was a long (but fast) 12 weeks.

Kick counts

Kick counting started toward the end of the second trimester, but the third trimester was when I felt like I was concentrating hard to ensure Baby B. was getting all of his or her movements (10 times in two hours).

I was so nervous when counting to 10 took longer than the day before, but it never took more than an hour. It seems silly when I think about it now, because Baby B. had two hours to get the job done. I guess we just figured he or she is an overachiever, and those 10 kicks should take only 30 minutes. The worry and the fear from the first trimester never really went away — it just changed.

And then, suddenly we are just weeks away from meeting this little person. There are prenatal classes to attend, a birth plan to finalize, a nursery to finish and oh, yes, we wanted the house to be clean before Baby B.’s arrival.

At five weeks to go, this is where we were — on the cusp of everything and feeling very anxious that there just wasn’t enough time to get it all done. Somehow, though, it all gets done. And once it’s done, it’s time to play “hurry up and wait.”

Hurry up and wait

The waiting is the hardest part, especially in the last few weeks. At that point we were so ready to meet our little miracle, but we knew the longer he or she “bakes,” the better off he or she will be at delivery.

As a first-time mom, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my spouse throughout this 10-month journey.

Inner strength

I am so much stronger than I ever knew. After our miscarriage, I wasn’t certain that I’d be able to go through the worry and fear a second time. I was wrong. The strength I gained from our loss made the second time around a little easier, I think. It made me realize that my body can do anything — even grow a human for 40 weeks.

My rock

My husband is the greatest partner I have ever known. Throughout all of this, he has been a part of every step of my pregnancy. He’s read and learned, comforted and reassured. He’s been the emotional and physical rock through 40 weeks of body changes and emotional changes. He’s never wavered in his commitment to our tiny human or me and has stepped up to help me in ways I never even knew I needed.

Love is all around

There is so much love for Baby B. — more than I ever could have possibly imagined. Not just from my husband and me, but from Baby B.’s grandparents, aunts (by blood and by friendship), family and so many friends. We celebrated with four baby showers — that’s a lot of love.

Still us, but different

Pregnancy changes everything — not just physically, but emotionally. It makes you question all the choices you made leading up to growing your miracle and all the choices you will make after baby is here. You look at yourself differently in the mirror and hope that your spouse still looks at you the same way.

But at the end of the day, I remember that I am still me, and we are still us. Baby B., as much as I will love him or her, is only one part of me. I am still (and can be) a rock star at my job, a best friend to my friends of more than 15 years and a wife to my spouse.

As I moved through the pregnancy journey, I worried about being able to continue to be all those things — especially making the time to continue to be a couple with my husband. Babies change a lot of things about a relationship and it was important to me that even though we might look at each other a little differently, we are still looking at each other.

During this journey, we made a promise — another commitment, if you will, to our marriage. A promise that even with Baby B. and all the love that will surround him or her, we would still be us, or at least as close to “us” as we could be, even after our lives are seemingly taken over by this tiny human.

My best advice

Whenever your life path leads you down your own pregnancy journey, take time to reflect on each step along the way. Each heartbeat you hear, each milestone that baby reaches, each ultrasound and each day present a new opportunity to reflect and appreciate all you’re doing to bring a tiny human into the world.

With all that said, it’s on to a (hopefully) smooth delivery of Baby B. and an introduction very soon.

 


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