I remember saying to my husband on the night before Sully was born, how weird it would be to not be pregnant anymore. To have spent 10 months growing and nurturing this little being inside of me, already so in love with him despite never having met him yet. How is that even possible, I wondered, still wonder, some days? From that moment you find out your pregnant, to watching your belly expand at sometimes alarming rates, worried that your skin cannot possibly stretch any further, to all the little elbow and knee jabs, punches and kicks that would take my breath away, not from pain, but from complete awe that a tiny little person was not only growing inside of me, but making sure I knew it! How can you love someone so unconditionally when you haven't even met them yet?
My pregnancy wasn't a total walk in the park. There was a lot of hip and joint pain, especially near the end. And the shortness of breath that never let up, was difficult at the best of times, to say the least, but overall, I really enjoyed being pregnant. And not just for the reasons I mentioned above. I loved that for once, I wasn't self-conscious about wearing tight clothing because flaunting a belly bump is way more fun than flaunting a cheeseburger induced one. I loved how, at my job, when I would visit elderly clients, they would delight in the fact that I was pregnant, regardless of how well they knew me. Perfect strangers seemed friendlier, smiling at me, nodding hello, silently acknowledging that my being pregnant brought a sense of happiness to them and that the promise of new life was an exciting time. I engaged people when they wanted to know how far along I was, did I know if it was a boy or a girl, was it my first child. It was my pregnancy, my aches and pains, my joyful journey, but I let other people be a part of it which only enriched the entire experience for me.
When we first found out I was pregnant, we set out to take a picture once a week to document my ever-expanding belly, and while that seems like an easy task, it wasn't. We missed a few weeks here and there, for one reason or another. Usually because my hair wasn't done that day, but mostly because we would get lazy. It wasn't as easy as just snapping one picture. My poor husband had to put up with my numerous requests to re-take the same photo over and over until I was happy with it. The lighting was never the same and the camera we used often did wonky things, but I'm glad we captured the bump regardless of the imperfect pictures we have. Photographers we are not, but it's the memories, in the end, that matter.