I reach down instinctively and touch my side,
Waiting for a kick that will never happen.
I place you on my stomach and feel your hiccups from the outside
And it’s almost as if you were inside again.
–Henry James, The Wings of the Dove(1902)
I miss it.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.
There are so many parts of pregnancy that I love.
So many parts that I’ll miss.
So many things that I’m sad will never happen to me again.
But for the first time in my life, I can honestly say, “I’m done”.
This is it.
You are the last one.
I’m older, achier.
I am tired and exhausted.
My body has been through a lot in the past six years.
The recovery is slower this time.
Despite how well you sleep and how many naps I take,
the underlying exhaustion just won’t dissipate.
But I’m finding that even in the middle of the night,
when I am tired and would rather be in my bed sound asleep…
I’m savoring it more this time.
(There’s that word again…)
Long after you’ve finished your midnight snack and have drifted off to sleep,
I hold you in quietness and gaze at your face.
I let the hormone-riddled emotions wash over me,
And you don’t even seem to notice when my tears drop onto your tiny little face.
Your lips are perfection.
Your thick hair feels like heaven to touch.
You look like a real, live baby doll.
(Asa thinks you are a real, live baby doll.)
Your fingers are long and slender.
Maybe you’ll play piano.
Your feet are small and thin with delicate little toes.
I imagine that we’ll be shopping for narrow shoes for the rest of your life.
Your eyes, when you let us peek at them,
Are small, but expressive.
(My Mama Jo would have lovingly called them little beady eyes.)
I want to bottle this moment and keep it forever.
But I also can’t wait for what’s to come.