All things considered, I had a great 39 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy. I didn’t hate being pregnant, and I didn’t want Maya out the way many women feel towards the end of their pregnancies. In fact, I would have been content to carry her around a little longer than I did. I never got too huge and was still able to touch my toes the day I delivered, and because I gave birth in December, I never dealt with being very pregnant + hot and sweaty and miserable. My nearly 40 weeks spent pregnant were good ones.
When you’re pregnant, you tend to focus on weeks — wanting to rush ahead to the next week to either get to the “safe zone” (for me — I never felt “safe,” but for many, that’s around the 14/15-week mark). Then, maybe it’s to feel a kick (it was 18 weeks for me) see a real bump (around 20 weeks for me) or to know what size fruit your baby resembles at the moment (kiwi, lemon, papaya, etc). Then as it gets closer to your due date, you’re counting down the weeks til your due date … praying to make it to the 34/36/38 week mark.
It’s all about weeks.
Then baby comes.
In addition to your own body’s dramatic changes and healing (no matter how you deliver, there is healing involved of some sort!) you’re fully responsible for another little life! In between doting on your babe, you’re in an endless sleep-deprived cycle of feedings and changes and laundry … and yet you need to sustain your baby, too. Even with a wonderful and helpful husband on hand, it was a tough first six weeks — especially with nursing. I kept saying, “I’ll try to make it six weeks … eight weeks. Twelve weeks.” All the while, charting baby milestones by the week (first smile, tracking, grabbing for toys, first night baby sleeps through the night, etc.).
It’s all about weeks.
It was weird; time seemed to simultaneously fly and stand still during my maternity leave. I could have seriously laid there with her in my arms all day, but maternity leave isn’t a vacation by any stretch of the imagination. It’s hard, and some days — especially those when L had work + class and I was alone with her all day/night … or when he went on work trips. Tough times for a new mama! And though it got easier as we fell into a rhythm those last six weeks of my leave, that’s when I had to go back to work. Of course.
Now I’ve been back at work over a year, and the weeks are flying by. I literally LIVE for Thursdays because I know the next day I’m working from home and can spend the whole day with Maya.
[She’s at the age where she can busy herself all day — moving from her books to her babies, babbling to anything and everything, walking all around pushing cars and trains and playing with her rings and blocks. Aside from the occasional diaper change and food break, she’s quite self-sufficient! And, the best part — I’m there with her for snuggles].
Anyway, the point of all this is I’m SO focused on “getting to Thursdays” that sometimes I worry I’m missing the beauty of the rest of the week. And every time I rush ahead to Thursday means I’m rushing ahead another week.
Though Maya’s weekly growth and development at this point is mostly going to be in terms of communication/cognition (vs. weight/height/new gross motor skills) over the next few years, I want to be able to savor ALL of the days of the week with her.
Because every four Thursdays, give or take, we end up flipping the calendar to a new month. *Sigh*
We’re leaving for vacation Wednesday morning. We’re going on a tropical jaunt with my whole family and the three of us are so geeked for our trip!! 🙂 We spent last night packing and so I’m going to spend the next few days during our short time together laughing, loving, enjoying … not thinking or rushing ahead to another week.
Because this is one week I especially want to SAVOR. Time with my little family (me, L and Maya) and my bigger family (mom, dad, bro and sis). I know I’ll be super-sad once our 8-mths-in-the-works vacation is over, when we get back on Sunday, my Babble.com piece goes up! (The other goes up 5/18).
So starting now, I am going to work on savoring the present. It is so, so hard for me to do — it’s my biggest downfall, I think. Motherhood has changed me in many ways, but this is something I still truly struggle with. Being fully — wholly and completely — present in the moment. I can have glimmers where I think I’m so there … moments of clarity. But on the whole, I have work to do. Hopefully vacation will help put my mind in a better place. A more peaceful place. A more present place.
How about you? Do you find yourself rushing ahead to the “next” something? Did those feelings change after you had children?