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This (final) Week: Pregnancy My Way!

I’m down to the final week of my pregnancy! The all night pee-a-thons have picked up the pace, and sleeping on my sides continues to be anything but comfortable; I am, in general, quite tired and achy. But, after powering through the nine-month obstacle course that is regular life PLUS pregnancy, I’m finally getting down to business and doing things my way in this home stretch.

In an ideal world (or certain places in Europe), I’d have stopped working a month ago and spent the time doing prenatal yoga and getting pedicures… I’ve gotten a pedicure and I’ve done yoga throughout my pregnancy, but I’ve also continued working. I have friends who started their mat leave a week or two in advance of delivery, but I know how much that week or two will matter to me on the other side, with the kid, so I’ve resisted the urge to follow suit.

I did, however, decide last week that I’d finally hit the wall with the daily commute (literally had to push my way through a wall of high school students who were blocking a subway door while screaming something at a friend still on the platform…). I've been working from home since last Wednesday. It’s… awesome. I’m more productive, for one thing, without distractions, and I’ve also been able to cook and clean a bit more than usual, helping me to feel nested; the work itself has been more calm than usual, too, as we’re all prepared for me to make my temporary exit at any moment. Aaron works from a home office, as well, so it’s been pleasant enjoying a nicely paced workday together, and he’s spoiling me, rubbing my shoulders, preparing snacks for me, and so forth. Mmmm. A girl could get used to this.

Friends and family have been excited for us, and supportive, throughout the pregnancy, but now it’s game time, and things have gotten downright festive. We’ve been going to delicious dinners with friends (we even hosted dinner here this past weekend), and have lunch (and coffee, and Friday Night Lights marathon) dates stacked up throughout the week. It’s a treat to see so much of my friends, especially since it’ll be some time before I figure out how socializing works once the baby’s here. All of the reaching-out that our friends and family are doing, too, makes me feel connected and cared-for, which is exactly how any woman should feel in the days before giving birth.

Despite the pleasant distractions, we do feel like we’re waiting now. And frankly, I’m ready when the baby is-- come on out, little man! So I’m focusing on appreciating all of the above, as well as all of the ways in which I’ve grown throughout this experience. Pregnancy has made me more patient, by default. It’s also forced me to learn how to stay calm in the midst of the scary stuff, and to trust, in a general way, that everything will work out. I think I’ve become more appreciative of, and even comfortable with, my body (what a thing it can do!). And I’ve certainly become more appreciative of the gifts— most importantly the people-- in my life.

What ‘gems’ did you glean from pregnancy? What new insights, wisdom, or characteristics did the experience impart that have stayed with you since? How were you changed? Or, if you’re pregnant now, what are you learning?