With Wildflower having turned 8 this past Christmas Eve and her little brother, born on Boxing Day, now 1, (talk about timing), Christmas feels like being pregnant to me. For three out of the last 8 Christmases, I have been with child, and two of those babies were ushered into the world amidst the traditional, seasonal flourish. So it seems fair to say that this time of year leaves me feeling a bit nostalgic about the babes and their time ‘in the oven’, so to speak.
Pregnancy has never been an easy journey for me. Of course, there are many women who are willing to boast about the beauty of their experiences, how ‘great’ they felt, and all that jazz, but I can openly admit that I didn’t feel that way. The photos encapsulated in this post are merely a blip of the most wonderful, carefully selected moments, and are not at all reflective of the actual experience. There it is…my disclaimer.
Not long after those two little lines turn pink, I begin to feel nauseous, unable to tolerate most smells including, but not limited to shampoos and body washes, coffee (for realz), cast iron pans, and food of any sort. Also, there’s the extreme exhaustion. That combined with the 24/7 sickness and the broken blood vessels in my face from being so violently ill, often lead to mounting anxiety. I start to wonder if there could be something wrong. After all, if it was this difficult for everyone, why would people go through with it more than once?
Oh yes. That’s why.
So, after the stretching skin, the itchiness, the avoidance of small spaces with lack of moving air for fear of fainting, comes the point where my pubic bone is in so much pain that I can’t lift one leg to put my pants on without sitting. By the 8th month, my face is so puffy that I barely recognize myself, and all of this happens before I’ve even pushed the baby from my body. Naturally, you’d think I wouldn’t be up for doing this more than once, yet after 3 planned pregnancies and births, here I am, 1 year postpartum, and I can’t help but yearn for those days when nothing else mattered. Those days when I had completed all things Christmas, weeks before, and in my snowflake sweats, I climbed into my bed at 3pm on a Tuesday to have a nap because I had very important work ahead of me.
Most of all, I miss the feeling of growing a small human inside of me, and I hear that this is a feeling I should get used to. To give a new person a name feels like the greatest honour. To give birth is the greatest high I’ve ever experienced. Perhaps that’s just it. I’ve met my addiction and now, with the coming and going of Christmas, I’m handling the side effects of withdrawal. Speaking with women who have witnessed the passing of their baby-making days helps me to understand that I’ll probably always feel this way. I’ll probably always melt when I feel a warm little body close to my chest, and a kiss on the top of a little baby brow will ignite my senses and my ovaries. I think I’m just always going to feel this want…