The Home Stretch

bump progressI am 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant. There are 17 days left until my due date.

I really thought I would update this blog a lot more throughout my pregnancy, but it just hasn’t happened. A lot of things have fallen by the wayside over the last 9 months, and I’ve struggled to come to terms with that.

We have finished all the classes, we’ve installed the car seat, we’ve sort of cobbled together a nursery (at the very least we have a place for the baby to sleep) and so really, all there is to do at this point is wait.

I hate waiting.

There are times–many, many times–where I can’t believe I am about to become a parent. Becoming a parent is so irrevocable. It is forever. So much of my life is about to shift and change. There are days when I still can’t believe I am a person who is married, who jointly files taxes and owns a car. A financially responsible person with a savings account, whose student loan debts are (gradually) getting smaller instead of larger. A person who–on paper for certain, and oftentimes in practice–is an adult. A functioning, contributing member of society. When did that happen?

I can’t believe I am about to give birth to a little girl any day now. And that I’ll be expected to take her home with me and keep her alive and spend the next several decades teaching her how to be a compassionate, responsible person.

The desire to have children was easy for me. It has always been there, and I have always been sure about it. What surprised me, really, was everything that happened after that desire was set in motion. I always believed  that I needed to have a child in order to feel like a complete, whole person. In order to have a happy, full life. As soon as I got pregnant I was slammed with the realization that that line of thought was flawed. There is no complete. There is no whole. I will forever be expanding. We choose different paths, and once we’re on our way we can’t imagine life could ever be otherwise. But now I know there are infinite possibilities in each of us. I could still have had a beautiful, full life if I had chosen differently. More than anything else, pregnancy has given me a magnified sense of self.

I am ready, though, to be done.

I am tired of the physical complications and emotional tumoil of pregnancy. It’s been enlightening, it’s been devastating, it’s been infuriating. It’s been a fucking bitch, and I am done. I am ready to put my shoes on without assistance and roll over in bed without pain. I am  ready to have a glass of wine with my husband and make it through terrible, manipulative commercial breaks without bursting into tears. I’m ready to hold my daughter.

There will be challenges to being a new parent, undoubtedly. But I am just so excited for the challenges to exist OUTSIDE OF MY BODY. I’m so excited for David to hold his daughter. I can’t wait to see them together. I can’t wait for the three of us to be a goofy little family. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to eat solid food so I can give her a lemon to taste for the first time and video it, because videos of babies eating lemons is one of the best gifts the internet has ever given me, and being able to torture my own kid with lemon wedges for my personal amusement is maybe a good 50% of the reason why I got pregnant in the first place.

All of my terror regarding labor and delivery (and “terror” really is the word for it) is still present, but it’s been muted, softened somehow by time, education, and inevitability. I have my plans, my hopes, but am trying very hard to surrender myself to the fact that so very much is going to be out of my control.

There is so much about the next stage of my life that is unknowable. What will she look like? What will she be like? What will I be good at? Where will I fail? What will make our family stronger? I am so thrilled to start discovering who she is, and who she will be. I am so looking forward to seeing my husband grow and change, and I am welcoming the ways in which I’ll change, too. And the ways in which we’ll stay just the same.

In short, Baby, it’s time to come out now. We just can’t wait to meet you.

sophie

 

About Kelly

Kelly grew up in the suburbs of Boston, mere minutes from the Atlantic ocean. For several years she lived in New York City where she found the two loves of her life: Publishing and David. She moved to the Twin Cities for her husband, and eventually managed to pick up the pieces of her career as well. Although she’s learning to appreciate lakes, she misses the ocean ferociously.

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3 Responses to The Home Stretch

  1. CarMar December 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Speaking of hormones, your post made me cry! And totally put into words thoughts that have been kicking around in my head. The irrevocability of parenthood – pregnancy givng me the magnified sense of self – the relief of finally deal with challenges OUTSIDE of my body… I am so excited to meet our baby, but a small part of me wishes I could just feel normal for a few weeks before we are thrust into parenthood.

    • Kelly December 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      Carlee, I know exactly what you mean about wishing for a brief spell of “normal” before the chaos. After all, who knows what “normal” is even going to look like from this point onward.

      I feel so fortunate to have found another person who’s on the same pregnancy timeline as I am. We are so, so close! I hope these final days are kind to you!

  2. Jill Power January 9, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    This is beautiful Kelly. David and you are both going to be wonderful, compassionate and loving parents. You are all so blessed. Can’t wait to meet baby girl Van Sant in the spring.
    Can’t wait to see pics.

    Love to all
    Auntie Jill

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