The first 2 trimesters were pure bliss; filled with excitement, baby clothes, a list of names on the fridge and watching and documenting my belly growth.
The last trimester has been anything but. I don't want to say it has been hell, it hasn't been, but this certainly isn't where I thought I would be this holiday season. I have a closet full of maternity clothes and dresses I am not wearing and a nursery at home that doesn't contain one piece of furniture and is littered with bags and boxes of unopened, unorganized baby gifts.
Most girls dream of spending the last trimester dressing their big bellies as fashionably as possible, enjoying no more morning sickness and best of all, planning and decorating a nursery. I always dreamed about the nursery.
And yet, I am not home, my nursery is non-existent and I don't think I've taken a belly shot in over a month. I wear sweatpants or leggings every day and I consider it a big deal if I put on mascara. My hands and arms are covered in scabs and bruises from IV's and blood draws that never seem to end and my stomach is red and irritated from the constant gelling and wiping and monitoring we do. I try to be patient with the lazy nurses who don't bother to read my chart before they come into my room and then proceed to make me explain who I am, why I'm here and what they need to do as if I am the expert and not them. I say thank you and give away the treats I get to the good nurses who do bother and I spend a lot of time dreaming about going on a date with my husband again someday.
Despite everything I complain about and hate, the best part about every day is still baby. We know each other so well by now. I know her typical sleep/wake patterns, resting heart rate, and can read her NST's with no problem. In my mind she is very much a little person already, complete with a name and a story. I can't spend this long consumed by someone and not know her name. So I keep it a secret and whisper it to her in the dark after everyone has left and she kicks me in response and I know this will all be worth it.
Someday I'll tell her this story. Someday I'll tell her how much she was loved before she even came to earth. I'll tell her that lying in a hospital bed for weeks and weeks was worth every smile and giggle and snuggle she gives me. I'll tell her that I would have done more, done anything, for her. I'll tell her that she made me into a mother, even before I officially was one. She is teaching me about unconditional love and sacrifice, about caring for those around you, no matter what the cost. About being more Christ-like and selfless. This is her gift to me.
She has made me into a mother. This experience has made me into a mother.
And that makes it worth it.
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