As this pregnancy winds down, I'm starting to think more and more about the fact that it will likely be my last. We're pretty sure two kids is enough for us, despite our oozing sentimentality about being parents, and we're also pretty sure two childbirths/rounds of nursing is probably all my beleaguered body can be asked to stand. (OK, so I don't know how round two is going to go--it may be easy as pie--but let's face it, both the childbirth and the nursing did a total number on my physical self the first time, leading me to assume that there's only so much one can reasonably expect from a body.) Not least, we can hardly afford to have two babies, let alone more, though if money were no object I'd probably be more inclined to conveniently "forget" the physical concerns, the sleep deprivation, the unrelenting neediness of small children, the endless diapers, the quick exit from one's life of anything even remotely resembling spontaneity, and eventually give in to the above-mentioned sentimentality.
But I digress. I was saying that I've been reflecting on the end of this pregnancy. This means I've been thinking a lot about all the "lasts" I'm experiencing, the things I will really, really miss when I've finished this journey and (probably) put childbearing behind me. (Yikes, just typing that makes me sad, so I'll probably be one of those crazy weepy women who throws caution, lack of money, and good sense to the wind and insists on another baby as soon as her "last" no longer wears onesies.)
I'll really, really miss the look of pregnancy. I said it when I had Julia too--I was truly sad to see my belly go. I love it! Just today at the local coffeeshop a mother I barely know told me I look "fabulous" for being due in 3 weeks, and I say that not to boast (OK, I boast a little), but because it reflects exactly how I feel. I adore being pregnant, I really do. I don't adore the heartburn or insomnia or mind-numbing exhaustion or Braxton-Hicks contractions or how your hip ligaments blaze with pain after a certain point. But I love love love my body when pregnant--it's adorable, and I don't mind saying so, because in our culture of ridiculous female beauty expectations, feeling that way should be everyone's gold standard!
I'll miss that culturally sanctioned air of taking it easy. You know---you don't have to walk fast, carry large packages, stand up for long, suffer the heat. Everyone knows you just can't, and they respectfully give you your due.
I'll miss the ability to ingest vast quantities of food--seriously, people, I don't even believe that whole "you only need 300 extra calories a day during pregnancy" line you always read in the health books, because there is no WAY I've eaten even close to that few calories each day during either of my pregnancies, and I've never gained an inappropriate amount of weight at ALL--without any consequences other than the ones mother nature intended. Oh--luckily, there's always nursing, when I eat even more food than I do while pregnant, and actually LOSE weight the whole time. OK, so admittedly I didn't lose the last 5 lbs. until after I weaned Julia, which meant it took me 18 months to return to my pre-pregnancy weight. But in the meantime I ate like a horse, and it STILL all turned into milk. Fabulous! Dairy Queen, anyone?
You know what I'll miss most of all? It sounds so silly, but nothing--NOTHING--can compare to that moment of seeing the positive result on the pregnancy test stick. I mean, both times it was pure, mind-blowing, can-it-be-true euphoria, comparable to absolutely no other moment in life. It KILLS me to imagine never experiencing that precise moment ever again. It's practically worth it to have another baby strictly for the minute that second pink line, or that blue plus sign, or whatever cryptic heiroglyphic it happens to be, pops up on the little plastic wand. I'm serious, people, I'm a little bit addicted.
No really, two babies are enough for us. I'm pretty sure.