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?