I never thought that I’d see the day that I’d sit up in my room late at night crying over the loss of my baby bump. I’d spent countless hours obsessing over life with my baby on the outside, that I forgot to enjoy the moments he was spending with me on the inside.
Less than a month before having Thai, I spoke with my friend, and fellow Mom as she dropped off her curb side shower gift. I told her how over being pregnant I was. She smiled as she remembered her own pregnancy, and she looked over at her almost one year old. She then told me how much she missed being pregnant, and feeling her baby inside of her. I knew that her and her husband had tried very hard to get pregnant, so I assumed that maybe she had a little more gratitude for the pregnancy than I did. I remember thinking “Ew. I can’t wait to not be pregnant.”
For months of my pregnancy, I mourned the loss of my body. I wanted my athletic body back. I didn’t feel like my confident self anymore. I wasn’t able to do things the way I used to prior to being pregnant. My hormones changed, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and gestational diabetes. My energy levels plummeted, and no matter what outfit I put on, I felt disgusting.
The world changed on March 19th. My baby left my belly, and was placed onto my chest where his Daddy and I stared at him for over an hour. He was everything I dreamed of, and more. My heart was content, and overflowing with love, and gratitude. Nothing else was on my mind except how much I loved this tiny little human that was looking around the room and into my soul. I basked in every minute of that time right after birth. I knew that Scott and I had both fallen in love with our baby in an instant.
As the days passed, I continued to float on cloud nine. It didn’t matter how tired I was, or how sore I felt from giving birth. Having our baby was the best thing that has happened to me since I had my first son almost thirteen years ago. Nothing beats meeting your baby for the first time, and beginning a life with them. But as the days rolled on, and cloud nine wore off, I started to go to bed at night and feel the emptiness in my stomach.
Throughout my pregnancy, I would rub my belly, and enjoy the movements I felt. The movements started at around 18 weeks, and each week they got stronger. I looked forward to those movements. In the end, I felt elbows, shoulders, knees, feet and hands. I even felt his head moving side to side. Sometimes he would startle me with a kick, and other times he would push so hard, I’d have to push his body parts back in. Everyday, I would wait for him to move, and if he didn’t move for a few hours, I’d be poking him to make sure he was still in there.
I had afternoons where I would lay on the couch in silence and I would just take in every movement. Sometimes I would go lay downstairs with the dogs and let them lay with my stomach. I swear they knew he was in there. I’d ask them “Where’s the baby!?” And Penny would lay right beside my stomach.
I had so many hopes and dreams as he grew in my belly. My favourite thing to think about was how we would go for runs together once he was here. I imagined running through the park on mild summer mornings, and sharing the fresh breeze, and vitamin D with him in the stroller. I want him to be an outdoorsman. I imagined going on family hikes with his Daddy, Landon, and the dogs. I would plan his first birthday in my mind, and think about all of the exciting milestones we’d all get to share together as a family.
After many comments like “I hope he comes sooner than later” or “I think he will be here two weeks early”, he shocked us all by coming four weeks early. He was no longer attached to my body once that chord was cut, but became his own little person. A tiny human. I had no idea that this would make me feel so sad.
I look back on the silent pregnant moments. The moments where it’s just you and your baby, and you feel that strong connection without ever meeting this little person. Those silent pregnant moments are the ones to be cherished. Those moments you eat a handful of chocolate covered almonds, and minutes later, your baby is doing somersaults. Those moments where you lay in bed at night and feel every little movement, and get this surge of excitement to be feeling life inside of you. Those moments where you play your favourite music because you know you’re baby is listening.
There are so many moments that I will cherish. So many moments that I didn’t know would stand out in my mind now that my bump is gone. Those moments I will never relive with Thai again. It’s actually heartbreaking that I spent so much time being impatient, and wanting to fast forward time. I wish I had known how much those moments would mean to me now that he’s here.
I look at our baby everyday, and I feel blessed. He is healthy, he is beautiful, and he lit up our world the moment he entered it. We couldn’t be happier to have him here with us. We are so lucky to have a preemie who is as healthy as he is. We always say, “He’s a newborn in a preemie’s body.”
I just want to clarify one thing to all of the pregnant moms reading this. You will miss your bump. You will mourn the loss of it. You will feel empty when your baby is no longer inside of you. At first, I was taken back by the feeling because I spent eight months wishing he was here. How could I turn around and say I miss him inside of me when I spent so much time complaining about the horrors of pregnancy? Well... It is what it is.