Five years ago with our daughter Lydia, we celebrated life by adding up the firsts—first positive pregnancy test, first ultrasound, first kick. Now with our son, we’re celebrating by counting down our lasts—last morning sickness, last glucose test, last bottle of Tums. And tonight is my last night to be pregnant.
I have been excited about this so far. Then a week ago I realized I had just finished my last prenatal appointment. Once again, my first instinct was to rejoice, but as I walked into my doctor’s waiting room, I remembered the checkup I had between my second child’s birth and my third’s conception. I remembered sitting in those soft, purple chairs, looking at all the young, pregnant mommies and feeling left out. My memory became very hazy and selective and suddenly all I could recall was the joy of bringing a new life into the world.
This whole pregnancy, I have felt confident that this child would happily be my last, and while this boy will definitely be my final child, I wonder if I will continue to be just as happy about it. I wonder how I'll feel in six weeks at my doctor’s office looking at all the round bellies.
Will I remember the pain, insomnia, and nausea of pregnancy? Will I just remember the joy of having a new life inside me? Will I someday ache to touch tiny toes in a way I don't understand? Or will my heart graduate to more mature delights as my children grow? Will soccer cleats replace tiny socks in making my heart weepy? Will braided hair become as adorable as bald baby heads?
Tonight is the last night I am going to bed pregnant. Tomorrow is my first day as a mom of three. It's time to close the chapter on a five year journey that has brought me from being a young woman dreaming of the perfect family to a grown woman who realizes that can never be achieved. Now it's time to make some new dreams. Hopefully dreams that involve fewer elastic waistbands.