I am a huge Doctor Who fan and I often think of time in the Doctor’s description as “a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.” Time is not linear. Sometimes it is slow…sometimes fast…sometimes swirling…. Pregnancy and the 40 (plus or minus) weeks of it, reveals time in many forms.
The first part of my pregnancy was slow…anxiety provoking. My husband and I suffered a miscarriage three years ago that marked us, deep into our cores. Like a scar, you heal, but it never goes away. I wear it like a scarlet letter at times, feeling damaged or that something is missing from our lives. But most of the time, in brutal honesty, it is a beautiful, positive part of our lives because of how much it transformed us – made us grow, made us better people, made us want to live a better life for our child who didn’t get the chance. We had to make that choice – die with her, or live for her. I needed to find purpose in the loss, and I feel so fortunate that I was able to do just that.
In the beginning of my pregnancy I feared the same thing would happen again. As the weeks progressed and I approached the 11-week mark, the point where I suffered the miscarriage in my first pregnancy, I was filled with emotion and irrational, palpable fear. Even though this pregnancy was completely different, I still could not help worry that in an instant, it would be over. Time dragged on and seemed like the longest months of my life.
Once I hit my second trimester it was like time was on cruise control! Speeding down the highway, no traffic, we sailed through the next months. The end was still far enough away that it wasn’t a constant thought. We didn’t have much to do to prepare and everything seemed like it could wait. I plugged away with work and felt I could be pregnant for another year!
A few weeks into our third trimester, time started to slow again. The end was in sight but still seemed so far away. The excitement washed away the fear. We still had a lot to do to get ready, but I remember thinking around 32 weeks “this past week was so painfully slow, and we have eight more to go!” It just seemed like the last trimester would move at a snail’s pace. And it did, for a couple more weeks…
Then we hit 35/36 weeks and the reality that in a month (plus or minus), we would be parents started to move time ahead. The last few weeks have been flying by and now it just seems like she is going to be here in no time. I am checking off the items on my list to prepare for her arrival. Our birth plan is moving forward perfectly and our midwife and doula appointments are reassuring that we have every chance of the birth being exactly as we hope. It is finally ‘real’ and the excitement can be overwhelming. I can’t believe I will be 38 weeks tomorrow!
I feel like everything is in order, except for work. Trying to get the last-minute things done before my departure are a challenge. I have moments of minor panic thinking that I just need a few more weeks, just a few more weeks…it seems like time has swallowed me and I am just rotating in a giant circle never getting anywhere. I am happy to have the distraction though. Just sitting around waiting for her to come would not be productive. I plan to work until I go into labor, and am very supported by my providers on this front. I have been making plans past my due date, since statistically I will be late.
Time is currently wibbly, wobbly. It will change when she arrives. Our daughter will have no sense of time, and I will be up when she is up, and hope to sleep when she sleeps. Days will be slow. Years will be fast. I will try to live in the moment, but will surely wish away parts, and then long for others to hold still.
For now…I will hold on and let time take me.