Tuesday, October 13, 2015

On the Anniversary of My Due Date: A Letter to the Mama in Waiting

Dear Mama,

You're done. I know. You're exhausted and swollen and your skin is so stretched out, you feel like you belong in a horror movie. Like, you should be able to see the baby from the outside of your belly by this point. I know.

Why isn't she here yet? You've been able to hear the clock ticking for the last month (or two), and today it stopped. And still no baby. Oh wait, there she is--kicking your bladder to remind you you're indeed still pregnant (and you also need to pee). Even after that weird day of preterm/false/whatever type of labor that was at 34 weeks. Six weeks ago you were praying she'd stay in for just three more weeks, and she decided she'd do you one better. Or three. And counting.

I've got news for you, Mama. She'll be here in six-ish days, and her birthday will be the most magical day of your life. 

But there will be days after that--her birth isn't the end of this story. There will be lots of days, and many of them will be incredibly hard and you won't know if you can do it. Others will be so beautiful you will feel like your heart will burst. Many will be both.

And then the leaves will start falling again, and you'll be anticipating her first birthday on this side of your womb. You'll feel it coming and you'll want to both celebrate and avoid it altogether, because you've made it a whole year! But your baby isn't a baby anymore.

So don't rush this. Your due date is just another day you get to carry your baby close without sharing her with the rest of the world. Put your feet up and your hands on your belly. The sooner she comes, the sooner her first birthday will be here. The sooner you hold her, the sooner she'll wiggle away from you because she wants to conquer something on her own, the sooner she'll correct you when you call her a baby.

Don't wish this time away, because the rest of time follows. She'll join you when she's ready.

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