It starts with the little things.
An uncomfortable ache here, an elbow jab there; then there’s the sleepless nights, the swollen everything, the comments, “You have how much longer left?!”
You want to be grateful, you really do. You realize motherhood is a gift, a chance that some women long for and others never get to see, but at the same time, you are also human.
You get tired and cranky and drained just like the rest of us mere mortals. You may be mom, but you don’t always feel like a superhero.
The truth is, these days, I am feeling less like a graceful and exuberant mama-to-be and more like a grumpy, exasperated mom.
My six-year-old says helpful things like, “Wow, mom, you’re kind of like a cow because you will feed a baby with bags that hang down!” and I can’t help but shake my head, because, well, she’s kind of right, isn’t she?
I’ve reached that point of my pregnancy where I’m so far in that I don’t remember life not being pregnant but I have so much more to go that I wonder if I will be pregnant forever.
I count down the days and the weeks, hoping and praying this pregnancy will fly by somehow magically faster.
But then, of course, I know that this is, by comparison, the easy part. The baby inside of me demands so little but some extra food (I’m happy to comply), an attempt at rest at night, and the ever-present demand to be noticed with a kindly kick.
I am anxious to move on to the next stage, when I don’t feel like a whale and I can fit shoes on without the tops of my feet spilling over, a poor, swollen mess, but I am trying–so very hard–to take this stage of pregnancy for what it is.
A lesson in the sacrifice of motherhood.
In the wisdom of waiting.
And the quiet preparation for the days when I will hold my baby in my arms and she will never know the days and weeks I counted down her arrival.
Because that’s what mothers do.
We keep going.
Even when we feel like we can’t.