I remember loving, loving, loving nearly every moment of my pregnancy with Bonnie. That season of my life was an exceptionally easy one. My work load was easy, with few hours and simple tasks, my plate was empty enough that I had so much time for self-care, and time to prepare in every way for Bonnie’s birth. I spent hours each day walking for exercise, took a couple warm baths every day, napped when I needed to, and embraced being pregnant. I felt amazing physically, and by the time Bonnie got here I knew that, in spite of all that I didn’t know, I was as ready for her as I could be. That season of my life was so, so sweet. It was quiet, and it was nearly perfect. It was the last time I would ever have “to myself,” before having a baby who needed me almost every moment of every day and night.
Now I have a toddler who still needs me almost every moment of every day. Thankfully, I usually don’t hear a peep from her at night. Yesterday was a very off day for her. She went the entire day without napping, in spite of my multiple attempts. By early afternoon she was an absolute bear. I found myself getting so frustrated, counting down the hours until her 7pm bedtime. I even remember wondering at one point what I was getting myself into by having another baby who would turn into another toddler in only a matter of a couple years.
And then when Bonnie’s bedtime finally did roll around last night she was overtired, uncooperative, and unusually difficult to put to bed. Normally I probably would have left her to work things out on her own, knowing that she’d eventually put herself to sleep and would be just fine. But I couldn’t walk away this time. I couldn’t let such a rough day end badly. I laid down next to her, sang, and rubbed her back until she was finally calm. And as I laid there, I thought back to my pregnancy with her, and how special a moment in time it was. As much as I enjoyed it, I took it for granted.
I don’t want to look back on these last couple months with her as my only child and see that I’ve taken them for granted. Even the hard days (which are relatively few and far between) are so precious. This stage of her life will be gone before I can even take her all in. And Nora will be here in no time at all, and our lives will be forever changed. It will never be just Bonnie and me again. Never. And when I let that sink in I cling with all my might to even the hardest of days.
I ended up laying in Bonnie’s bed next to her until she was completely asleep, something I rarely allow myself to do. And it was the perfect, peaceful ending to a long, rough day. I climbed into my own bed last night with a tired body, but with such a grateful, happy heart. Even the hardest days of motherhood (and I know I haven’t even seen any real hard yet,) are amazing. Messy diapers, messy floors, thrown, smashed food, ridiculous, overtired temper tantrums… they all fade away in those tender moments at the end of the day when you realize that you made it another day, and that one day, even these long days will seem like such brief moments in time. So much so that you may long to have them back.
My pregnancy with Nora has not come during a slow season of calm the way that my pregnancy with Bonnie did. It came at a time when both mine and Andrew’s to-do lists have been pages long, and we are both barely keeping up. I haven’t had time to go on long walks, or take warm bubble baths or take mid-day naps. I’ve been substantially more uncomfortable during this pregnancy, a lot bigger, and way more tired (a combination of low iron, perpetual insomnia, and longer than usual to-do lists that never seem done.)
But this pregnancy has been sweet in other ways. I’ve experienced Nora’s movement so much more than I was ever able to experience Bonnie’s (my placenta was anterior with Bonnie, which prevented me from feeling a lot of movement.) I’ve been able to soak in these last months with Bonnie before her little sister arrives. And I’ve been able to start making up for over four years of time lost with family. This means Bonnie has gotten to make up for that lost time as well, and seeing her love my parents the way she does, and watching the way they love her, has made for some beautifully sweet memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.