on growing a baby

Last year I wrote this post, about being childless on Mother's Day. And this year, I'm 20 weeks pregnant. Halfway there. Typing those words brings tears to my eyes, because it's something I've wanted for as long as I can remember, and I am so grateful to be growing this child inside of me. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and I keep thinking about all of the women all over the world who do this alone, or who do this even though they don't have enough food to eat, or who do this because they don't have the choice not to, and my heart breaks for them. I feel connected to every mother who has come before me and every one who will come after. 

My entire life I have wondered what it would feel like to grow a baby. At first it was crippling nausea and exhaustion, and no motivation. Now it's much better. Some days I don't even feel pregnant, I just feel bloated. But it definitely doesn't feel like an alien has invaded my body, which is what I imagined as a child. It's still my body, and the human growing inside (now the length of a banana) is an extension of me. It is part of my body, and I think I will always feel that way. 

I have felt the baby move a few times, always like a little butterfly fluttering its wings. I look forward to the kicks becoming more regular. Sometimes I sit and try to will it to move, and it doesn't. It's just another lesson on this path to motherhood, that I have no more control over this than anyone else. 

This pregnancy has had a calming effect on me. I have never felt this relaxed or at peace in my life and I am really happy. The gratitude overpowers any negative thoughts that creep in. It's shocking how much my body has changed in such a short amount of time, and when I look in the mirror I try to replace any critical thoughts with gratitude for what my body is capable of. I am in awe.