As Pookie Bear has been getting bigger, I am much more aware of all her movements. I can feel her distinctly when she is turning, rolling, undulating, kicking, wiggling her hands and feet. I can even differentiate now when she is hiccuping vs. actually moving. It is not only adorable, but it always fills me with this inner joy and calm every time I can feel her. So many other women have struggled and are currently struggling to conceive, whether it’s naturally or with fertility treatments, yet somehow I’ve been lucky enough to make it to this stage. Sometimes, I really can’t believe it. I don’t take a moment of this for granted, and every day, morning and night when I am rising or going to sleep, I give thanks for how far we’ve made it together. I’m 31 weeks pregnant now. It’s mind boggling to me that it feels like just yesterday when I was agonizing over the IVF retrieval results, wondering if the embryo transfer would “stick,” praying that for each progressing week after that first positive pregnancy test that I’d still continue to be and stay pregnant.
With her getting bigger and bigger, I can feel her wake up with me throughout the night when I have to urge to go pee. Sometimes, she is already having a party of her own, kicking and squirming and waving her hands down at my bladder when I wake up. And I wonder – why haven’t I been invited to that party? Or am I just a bit of a punching bag, or rather, is my bladder a punching bag for her, which is why in any average night during my third trimester, I’ve had to wake up three to six times to pee? And when I wake up in the morning, she wakes up with me, too, and she kicks and turns and makes her presence known.
I’ve loved every moment of being pregnant (well, minus the sciatica, which, knock on wood, is gone now, and the constant peeing). And despite the increase in weight and the additional cellulite on my thighs and the stretch marks on my hips, I love how my body has changed to accommodate and make room for her. It will be a bittersweet moment when all of this ends, when she is finally ready to come out and be born, as then she will be outside of my body and no longer a physical part of me. We will no longer be attached. She will no longer be physically dependent on me, but will be dependent on me in a different way — for nourishment, cleanliness, love, and support. It’s strange to think that this is all going to come to an end soon and will be a new beginning for the both of us. I hope I will remember these special moments with even her smallest movements, even when she is throwing tantrums or food or toys or even my favorite belongings in the future, because they have been some of my happiest. Soon, we won’t do everything together, but I will always look back at these times before she came into the world with warmth in my heart.