One year ago I was days away from my wedding, giddy with anticipation and in disbelief that the “big day” was drawing near. Today I find myself less than two weeks away from my due date in the same position, awaiting another “big day”… although there’s no telling exactly when it will happen. I’m also equally sleepless… although this time it’s not from nerves and excitement and checklists but from a watermelon sized bump on my belly, pregnancy carpal tunnel, and having to pee every two hours. Fun times.
Countdowns are a funny thing- they can keep us excited and focused or they can serve as a distraction from living fully in the present moment. We’re so accustomed to existing somewhere in between “now” and the future that time tends to always feel as though it is passing too quickly. I notice that this happens most often when we find ourselves waiting… which we do often.
We wait for the workday to be over, wait for our kids to go back to school, wait for our next vacation. We keep calendars and schedules and to-do lists that always keep our minds tuned to what’s coming next instead of what is happening now.
Waiting on big life events like marriage or the birth of your first child are like feeding that tendency to think ahead extra strength steroids. There’s a beauty to the dreaming, the planning stages, the nesting… but all of that focus on what’s to come can definitely take away from experiencing the joys of the in-between moments.
A lot of people have miserable pregnancies and can’t wait for them to be over, or they are so excited to meet their babies that they are constantly counting down the days. I’ve been lucky to have a wonderful pregnancy and have enjoyed 99% of it (minus the carpal tunnel which just showed up a week or two ago- what the heck hands?!?!) and while I am definitely eager to meet our little one I am also trying to soak up the last few days/weeks of being pregnant.
Call me crazy but I will miss having our son so close, miss the days when taking care of him and keeping him safe are as easy as eating well and taking care of myself. I’ll miss feeling his little kicks and rolls and squirms and knowing that he is growing and thriving. I’ll most certainly miss the quietness of him being in the womb – no crying or fussing or tantrums which I know are to come.
So as excited as I am to see his little face and hold him and cuddle him and for all that comes next I am trying to savor every last second of this current state, days or maybe a week or two away from meeting him. I’m trying not to let this time be one of waiting for the “big day” but a time of enjoying every second of each day. I know for a fact that another year will pass, probably quicker than I’d like it to, and that it will be filled with plenty of milestones that I want to be fully present and not just waiting for.