Pregnancy is an amazing stage in a woman’s life. A new baby is growing inside and it’s indescribable. The nesting crazes are awesome times to get things done and, I imagine, a crazy time to sign into Pinterest. That’s probably why I’ve never tried Pinterest. I can only imagine what I’d try to attempt with so many ideas at my fingertips. And then, pregnancy brain hits and I forget that I’ve made tea in the microwave until I go an hour later to make tea and find as I put the mug in that there is my old mug still waiting. Sigh.
We’re at 25 weeks now. I always breathe a little easier at this stage in the pregnancy game. We lost Jacob at 23wks. Trooper was born at 24 weeks and 5 days. So while I tend to breathe easier in one respect I’m also getting to that watermelon stage of pregnancy where it seems there’s a huge melon in my midsection that gets in the way of everything–and seems also to attract more stains on the shirt than the average two year old. Almost. I guess scratch “getting.” I’m at that stage.
Watching my family grow around us makes me often think of my parents’ families and my father-in-law’s family, all of whom had 6 or more children. My paternal grandparents were blessed with ten children (40+ grandchildren, and 12-13 great grandchildren if my count is accurate) and of those 10 my dad is #4 down the line. Grandma often tells me–in person or in letter–that she just loved the time of her life when the children were babies. I mentioned this to my dad once, and he said that at one point in time it seemed for most of his young life there was either a new baby coming or a new baby arrived. Grandma and Grandpa loved each other through all their 55 years of marriage (Grandpa died in 2004), and loved babies. Once when I received a letter from Grandma after announcing that our fourth or fifth child was on the way, I was a little nervous about opening the envelope. After three children society generally thinks you’re insane to go on without a reasonable excuse (still trying for opposite gender being the only one apparently), and as she had lived a season of her life with lots of littles in the house–and a hand-cranked washing machine to boot–I hoped she, at least, wouldn’t think I was nuts welcoming yet another baby into the world.
I should have known better. Congratulating us in her lovely cursive handwriting on the impending new addition to the family, I read and reread the line that followed: This is what happens when a husband and wife are in love with each other, just like your Grandpa and I were.
It’s true, and it’s beautiful, and I kept that letter as a token of one sane thought in the morass of nonsense that hits a pregnant woman.
But of course usually as I start having to strategically maneuver differently around the toddlers and have the big kids check under beds for me for missing items, such lofty thoughts are reserved for these quiet moments with my knitting and my tea and my favorite corgi at my feet. The house is quiet and our seven blessings are fast asleep. I just can’t believe how big they are all getting so quickly. I looked at Rascal the other day, watching him make Posey Pie giggle and thought that while my memories will be much like Grandma’s (oh is this time of life just so precious or what?) his early childhood memories will be a lot like my dad’s–“Mom was either pregnant or there was a new baby.” And we’re all pretty fun and a little loud and crazily happy.
This similarity to my dad’s childhood was driven pointedly home to me the other day when Rascal accidentally turned as I was walking behind him down the hall and he collided with the baby bump. After apologizing he looked up at me and said in a matter-of-fact tone, “You know, Mom, I don’t think I can remember when your belly was normal.”
I had to laugh, perhaps a bit ruefully. “At this point, neither can I, son.”