Away from the Table

I was sitting at the kitchen table last night doing some work on my laptop. Our table happens to be round. I also happen to be round. I felt very far away. But what other option does one have when one has a laptop computer and a rapidly shrinking lap?

I definitely don’t feel small anymore. I’m sure my belly’s bumping into things all the time and often I just don’t notice, though sometimes I do. But I still feel good because everyone keeps telling me how small I look for how far along I am. I plan to enjoy that compliment as much as possible because I know that any subsequent pregnancies I put my body through will appear larger than this first one. That’s just how bodies are, less and less elastic as time goes on. So thanks to everyone who says how small I look, because even if I don’t feel small anymore, I have to admit to loving that compliment.

There is so much I want to remember about this pregnancy, and it’s already almost over. Not that I won’t enjoy every minute of being a mom, but this time is just so precious to me. Every time I feel a kick or a hiccup, I still marvel that there is new life inside me, growing and changing every day as we wait to meet face to face. I love how active this child is at night as I’m falling asleep. I love it so much that I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to fall asleep when my body is empty again.

The baby is big enough now that I get the occasional kick in the rib. It doesn’t hurt, and it’s not even really uncomfortable, but I do find myself feeling bad that it’s getting so cramped in there that my ribs are starting to get in the way. So I try to sit up a little straighter and provide a slightly roomier environment in which to swim. It might not be much, but moms always try to do what they can to make their babies more comfortable, right?

Another new development in this pregnant body of mine is that I can’t seem to tell when I’m hungry anymore. I think I may have had a hint of this phenomenon at the last non-stress test, when I could hear my stomach rumble through the monitor that was listening to the baby’s heartbeat. I wasn’t hungry enough to feel it, though. The last several days, I’ve been feeling something like what I can only assume must be indigestion or reflux. The thing is, I feel that way long after I have eaten anything. And eating eases that particular discomfort. So I guess that’s my new hunger signal, because my stomach doesn’t really feels empty like it used to. This is something I never really read about in a book, but it’s quite fascinating.

In fact, I’m fascinated by most things my body’s been doing for the last several months, even when it makes me ache or feel ill. I’m half counting on this fascination of mine to help me navigate the whole birth thing, since I think that if I remain fascinated throughout the relaxation I’m practicing, the word “pain” might not exactly apply. But, honestly, that’s how I deal with a lot of injuries through my life in general. I sliced my finger pretty bad making tacos awhile back, and it bled a lot. Now, I didn’t like looking at the blood at all, but when I actually cut myself, I just sort of held up my finger for a minute, watching it quizzically, and waited to see what the feeling would be like. I didn’t cry or make a scene, I just rinsed the area and asked my husband for a Band-Aid. Pain is such a varying sensation, and even in everyday life, it can be hard to define, at least for me, which I think is a good thing.

So I’m not afraid of birth. I’m not afraid of labor pains. I don’t know if fear was ever the right word to say how I was looking at the birth event itself. I’m really just curious about it more than anything else. Because I don’t know exactly how it will feel. I already know that my body is capable of so much, so there is no doubt in my mind that it can do this. And I’m looking forward to going through it, to experiencing all the sensations that will eventually send me home with a brand new person to show the world, “hey, look what I did!”

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