I am harboring a little engine that could. He or she hides in my belly from the outside world, but on the inside is all flips and twists and turns and bumps. I don’t love the feeling of bone against bone as baby lodges a foot in my right ribcage–nor do I enjoy urgent races to the bathroom because my bladder has become a trampoline, but I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit to loving the feeling of our little one in all of his or her livelihood on a daily…no, hourly, basis.
I first felt baby move at a mere 13 weeks along–a teeny, tiny flutter that I doubted, then clung to with great joy as life became so tangible in a very short period of time. By 16 weeks, I was insistent that Jason try to feel the baby himself, even though movement was still too subtle and soft for him to detect. And at 18 weeks, right after Thanksgiving, we watched together as baby kicked and visibly said “hello” to the world for the first time. Since then, I have marveled at the little one’s persistence and growth and energy–certainly a zest for life that he or she probably doesn’t understand right now, and one that I can’t get enough of as “mom.”
31 weeks + on down the line, and baby is as mobile and persistent as ever; my belly moves and bends and reshapes at his or her every whim. Feet and elbows and head and bottom all make themselves obvious from morning to night, and as one friend reflected when I first announced I was pregnant, “Pregnancy is wonderful. When you’re pregnant, you are never, ever lonely.” How true it is!
There are days at this point when I feel ready to be finished toting the babe around on the inside–moments when I just want to meet the peanut and have my stomach back as I remember it from not all that long ago. But with every kick and jab and roll, I am more and more motivated to wait it out, too. I know there’s nothing I can do about God’s timing or the gestation period of a baby or when the little one will grace us and our lives. Still, it’s remarkably comforting to feel peaceful even when I’m outgrowing tops and requiring far more room in small spaces than I once used to.
Baby has been great motivation in so many ways, and I am convinced that this is part of God’s grand plan as people become parents. In a nine-ish month span of time, we’re motivated to want to do more, become more, grow more, mature more, love more. We’re naturally inclined to organize and prepare, plan and hope, clean and conquer. While we’ll never “arrive” before babies do, or before they challenge us in completely new ways, the process is beautiful and humbling and sacred.
Today is March 1st, and the start of a new month, and the last of the 60’s in the countdown to baby. And I am motivated beyond measure to embrace the days that remain. Spring is around the corner. There is a slight freshness on the air. And there is a constant nudging from the inside reminding me that what is greatest and most pleasing and most wonderful is yet to come.
playing chauffeur for eight and half(ish) more weeks,