From Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms
By Kimberly J. Garrow
A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.
The darkness engulfs my bulging figure as I gracelessly flop to the other side. Peaceful sleep has become a thing of the past, since somewhere in these nine-plus months I have metamorphosed into a female Buddha. Tonight's restlessness, however, is not unwelcome. It isn't the heartburn or the frequent need to go to the bathroom that is keeping me awake.
I place my hand on my stomach as you roll over and poke me with a protruding limb. The game of "try to guess the body part" has become a favorite pastime of mine. Soon, however, the mystery will be revealed, and I will be able to see with my own eyes what has been causing all this commotion inside. For such a tiny life, you sure do know how to make your presence well-known. I can hardly believe that, before long, my tiny butterfly will spread his or her wings and emerge from the warm cocoon.
I glance over at your sleeping father, who is oblivious to what is happening. "We won't wake your daddy just yet," I whisper to you in my mind. These private conversations will be deeply missed, as will the now-familiar acrobatics you perform. "No, we'll keep this our little secret for just a little while more." The increasing waves tell me this will be our last night, and I want to hold on to these final moments as mother and unborn child.
The past month I have gone from anxiously counting down to fervently praying for this moment to get here. I already feel like I have been pregnant a lifetime. It's not just my body that has been stretched to the end of its limit. I have gone way beyond the "cute pregnant woman stage" and have entered the "beached whale phase." If I hear one more time, "Are you still pregnant?" or "How far along did you say you were?" I really think I might burst! Don't get me wrong. I have loved carrying you inside me and am utterly amazed that my body has nurtured you and been your safe haven for all these months. These past days, though, I admit, I have been preoccupied with one thought: "Would you get here already?!"
Now that our journey as mother and unborn child is finally coming to an end, however, I am not prepared for this melancholy drifting over me. There is a bit of sadness mingled with my joy about what lies ahead. I long to hold you in my arms, and yet part of me still wants to carry on this special bond we share right now. At that thought, you give me a gigantic kick, as if to remind me, "Hey, Mommy, we will still have a special bond; it will just be different!"
My face lights up with a smile, and I am filled with an overwhelming sense of love and happiness. I am ready for our last night as mother and unborn child to come to an end and for our first day together as mother and newborn to begin. I touch my stomach one last time, caressing the now familiar shape of the unseen you. Then I remove my hand, reaching over to wake up your father. It is time.