I have found that having a baby changes everything– and she’s not even here yet.
For one thing, morning has been redefined. No matter how I try, I cannot bring myself to alertness during “normal” morning hours. Waking up shortly before noon has become routine, and when the clock chimes 1:00, I am mentally still in morning mode. But how can I help it when my baby is up ALL night long, twisting around and stretching my abdomen in ways I never thought possible? Maybe she is practicing what she knows is the typical baby sleep schedule. Although in my opinion, she has it pretty down-pat.
For the few collective hours I do actually sleep, I hardly find it restful. Even rolling over in the middle of the night has become a chore. I can’t just unconsciously turn into a new and more comfortable position. Now, I must leave dreamland to reposition my multitude of surrounding pillows as well as this mountainous body. If this waking happens around 3 or 4 AM, I find that I am hungry, but have already used up all of my energy in relocating this huge mass that I now carry all the time, with no reserve to get up to feed myself. I truly have found the meaning of “sleeping like a baby:” waking up hungry every few hours of the night.
The house’s appearance has also changed. Open space has been replaced with baby toys, a crib, bassinet, playpen, clothes and other miscellaneous baby items waiting to be put to use. We are still attempting to “baby-proof” the house, but I keep imagining new and infinite ways our little one could get into something and hurt herself. Of course, being a first-time mom, I suppose I will have endless worries about just about everything, and I will have to face the fact that I cannot protect her from everything. But I do not have to think about that just yet; she is safe inside me– for now.
Please don’t get the wrong impression: I have loved being pregnant so far. I have to admit, I cried when I first found out that I was pregnant, but only because I am so young and I felt as though my new husband and I were still adjusting to each other and to married life, when suddenly parenting was thrown into the mix much sooner than we had planned. But once I pushed those fears into the background, I found myself daydreaming about what our new baby would be like. Would she be tall like her dad? Would she have talents in music, art, or sports? Would she be intelligent? Whatever she might become, she will always be our daughter. Our child. What a privilege to have been hand-selected by God himself to support and guide this little person and teach her all about the world we live in and the one yet to come. Yes, I have felt ill, tired, stretched, and in pain for the past 8 months, but these annoyances are only temporary and will be forgotten once I see those big, round eyes and pudgy fingers reaching for mine. My discomfort now only makes me more aware of our fast-approaching meeting and increases my anticipation.
The biggest change of all is that we are already in love with this little baby, and she’s not even here yet.