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The Wonder of this Wonderful Time

21w1d – Oddly, nowhere within the numerous pregnancy newsletters I’m emailed each week does anyone reveal that typical symptoms right now—aside from “Welcome back, acne!” and “Your waddle isn’t so pronounced yet”—might also include not being able to concentrate worth a damn and/or hankering to squander hours perusing fitted crib sheet patterns on obscure international retail sites.

I can’t tell if it’s pre-holiday ennui or the beginning of that nesting thing that everyone speaks saccharinely about, but I’m just a waste these days. I feel awesome, more sturdy and energetic than I have in months. I want to walk for miles and miles in my so-tight down coat and boots that have seemingly lost their arch support over the course of a month. (Spreading feet? What spreading feet?) I want to stroll through town and see families huddled together making last-minute purchases, or hike through the woods to watch the fallen log formations in the ravines that run along our side of the mountain. I want to stare from our dock into the grey-blue of the frozen lake we live on, listening to all 60 acres of it groan and hiss under the weight of the ice fishermen who drive their four-wheelers across to reach the perfect drilling spot. Hell, I want to chat up those Coors-drinking fishermen perched on their overturned buckets: “Do you have any kids? Were any of them due in May? What was that like?”

I am unmotivated to write—unfortunate, as that’s my job—but could lounge for days reading in the swaths of winter sun that set my living room ablaze every morning. I decided to gift myself permission to indulge in some normal-pregnancy books this week, putting aside the stack of poignant, resonant pregnancy-after-loss titles that I’d let pile next to my bed the last five months. I’m a sucker for stories, you see, but this week I just want to wrap only the positive pregnancy ones around me: warm, safe, comforting tales of babies born healthily at term to healthy, happy moms. I devoured the first-person birth accounts in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth for most of yesterday, promising myself One more, and then you have to start working. Of course, then it was lunchtime, and I let myself read over lunch, so I picked up the book again, and, well … 

Motivation. It’s all I want for Christmas.

Sometimes I worry that when this baby does arrive—oh, how I hope beyond hope that that happens—I might literally spend our days prone, me just staring at him or her. You breathe! You eat! You poo! You sleep! Is that time of marvel fleeting? Because I can envision being in dumbstruck awe of this tiny, triumphant being for months.

A friend turned me on to Mila’s Daydreams, the incredible photo blog (and forthcoming book) that a crafty Finnish mom made of her daughter during naptimes, creating gorgeous daydream scenarios around her. I wanted to hug Adele Enersen in appreciation of her too-pretty work that perfectly captures, for me, that wonder of What are you thinking, little thing? Who are you? Who will you become?

(And this, friends, is only my second trimester. 19 more weeks of mush to come!)

The happiest Christmas to you all and to those you wonder most about.