Twelve days ago I was still sporting a large bump, roaming around a hospital excitedly waiting for my daughter to arrive. During the last month of pregnancy I read a lot about mothers who missed their bump once they were born, back then I thought that was a strange concept. Why would I miss something that was uncomfortable, stretching my skin out daily, kicks to bones playing knock knock that should not be hit from the inside. No, I would not miss being pregnant, I was looking forward to her being out and me having done my job, finally after all this time.
I see what they mean, now I do. There is this strange sense of calmness that only several months of constant movement can give you. It seems strange not to feel the internal moves, wriggles, twists and turns that only a baby can happily provide. Feels odd to be able to bend forward without a basketball shaped blob in front of you, walking seems effortless, breathing does too. During pregnancy the writ slowly accumulates over a long period of time, you don’t really notice it and I think it’s designed that way. Imagine if you went from not pregnant to bawm nine months, you would probably be queueing for A&E worrying you were dying.
Unlike the gradual build up of pregnancy, birth is the opposite one day it’s there and the next day it’s not. Instead you are left with a belly that feels like jelly but is much flatter (if you are lucky) and the amazement of a small baby that at one time fit inside there. If there was one piece of advice I could give myself going back it would be to appreciate those last few weeks, because you’ll never be that close again once that cord is cut you are no longer tethered together.
Instead a whole new chapter begins, bringing its own benefits and constraints and I’m sure once you get through the newborn stage you look back at that with new eyes too.