Anticipation

Posted on Jan 8, 2011 in Birthing, Featured | 11 comments

I work part-time in a midwifery clinic as the office administrator. In this position, I get to see a lot women, partners and children as they go through the months leading up to the birth of their babies. I welcome them to the clinic, offer tea, tell them about the lending library, show them how to use the scale and the pee test strips. I see the couples as they wait for their appointments to start. I watch them gaze at the wall covered in baby announcements. I hear them giggle as they both try the scale. I listen as they discuss a book choice or show pictures to their toddlers.

There are a lot of reasons I like my work but I must say that it’s such a privilege to be the quiet observer of this third trimester anticipation. Whether it’s a first time mom or a seasoned veteran, as she approaches her due date it seems all these couples/families slip into this otherwise unseen state. It’s a mixture of trepidation and excitement, wonder and worry. And there is nothing like it.

No other life change brings anticipation like this. Not a new job. Not a move. Not even getting married. Welcoming a new (unknown) family member changes your life—for the rest of your life. It’s exciting. It’s scary. There’s no way to prepare for the emotional impact of welcoming a whole new individual permanently into your heart. It’s exciting to meet them for the first time and it’s an adventure to watch their little personalities emerge  over the coming years. But there is also apprehension about how your life will change, how your family will adjust, and about who this little one will be.

To me, that sense of anticipation is the epitome of the magic of pregnancy. Maybe it’s the glow people talk about.

Last year, when I didn’t know if we’d ever have any other kids, I would watch the mamas and envy them. I’d been there twice before so I recognized well that look of joyful expectancy. The funny thing is when I was in the middle of it, living it, I ended up taking that feeling for granted…until it was gone and life went back to normal and then I recognized it for the first time. Now, every time I see a pregnant woman, I see that anticipation just oozing out of them. Even the calmest and most nonchalant of midwifery clients, even the quick glance of a stranger on the street, reveals a woman waiting for a life changing event.

And here I am now, just about 34 weeks pregnant with my last baby, sore and uncomfortable and tired, and full and round and heavy with the weight of all that anticipation. Only this time, I’m aware of it, I’m honouring it, I’m reveling in it because I know there’s nothing else that compares to this and I know that this is my last chance to live it completely.

How about you? Do remember that feeling from your pregnancies?

11 Comments

  1. I remember it. Well – the second time. The first time, giving birth at 34 weeks, I didn’t really feel it completely.

    I am feeling a little envious reading this post, honestly.

    Sigh.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Crafting my Life- The Giveaway =-.
    Twitter: AmberStrocel

    • My daughter was born at 37 weeks so I didn’t really get it as much with her either.

      I remember that envious feeling very well and I’m sorry to have invoked it in you. I wonder if, despite being certain that I’m done having kids, I’ll still be envious of the anticipation when I’m not pregnant. I kind of suspect I will. It’s a pretty special time of life.

  2. this post made me cry. you did a great job of singling out an important emotional aspect of late pregnancy – a magical wonderful part of it. and, since i know we are not having any more kids i felt so sad to realize i will never have it again. the best part of this post was your ability to honor the anticipation in amongst the more difficult parts of your third trimester. nice.

    • Thank you. I feel flattered that you were touched by my post. I’m sure that in a year or so, I’ll have similar pangs when I read it (or see a pregnant woman).

  3. I definitely felt it with both pregnancies. I was surprised to find the second time that I still felt some anxiety about labour and birth. I thought I would feel more confident since I’d been through it once before, but a lot of the same fears popped up the second time as well.

    My downstairs neighbour is at 36 weeks with her first pregnancy and she is totally oozing anticipation… it is kind of contagious! 🙂
    .-= Michelle @ The Parent Vortex´s last blog ..Weekend Links =-.
    Twitter: TheParentVortex

    • Oh gosh, Yes! I’m in the throes of that anxiety right now. I do feel confident but I also feel like my fears are more powerful because it isn’t a fear of the unknown as much as it was the first time.

      As for your neighbour, the anticipation really is so much more outstanding in the first time moms isn’t it??

  4. I remember it well with my second pregnancy. I had a midwife for my second birth and it was wonderful. I wish I hadn’t been so chicken to try midwifery the first time. I love the natural approach, the calm, caring environment and the warm assurances that everything would be ok. I loved being pregnant. Enjoy!

    • Thank you. I loved being pregnant the first two times. This time is quite a bit more physically challenging but because it’s my last time, I’m trying very hard to enjoy it and not wish it over.

  5. Like Robin, I feel some sadness reading this post… knowing that I was somewhat checked-out with during my pregnancy and first year with my second child.

    And it recently seems like I have really been getting in touch with that grief, and healing from it. For me, I know our family is complete, and I’m realizing that my longing for another baby is really way of yearning for what we didn’t have together.

    He recently turned four, and there have been so many times over the last few months where I can just feel that we’re returning to that time, and regaining what we missed: that sweet aliveness of being together, the surprise of new life, the anticipation of getting to know each other.

    So, thank you for giving me some space to share this. And sweet congratulations to you on your pregnancy…

    By the way, I am new-ish to your blog… must have found you via Robin and put you in my reader.

    I love your space here.

    Blessings,
    Stacy

    • Thank you Stacy. I have really appreciated your comments. Thank you for sharing.

      I have wondered often in the last year about the balance between knowing your family is complete and that longing for another baby. This post is kind of a recognition that sometimes we long for the accompanying parts of childbearing, without actually wanting to add to the family. I wonder if I too will long to feel this anticipation again despite knowing that we have completed our family.

  6. I’ve been talking and tweeting about this a lot lately! I remember just wanting Baby out but now I keep thinking back to that last few weeks, especially once I was term and he could come at any moment. I remember the things I smelled and how my heavy belly felt in bed. I miss it!
    Twitter: hollowstar

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