31 Jul 41 weeks
I never imagined I’d be pregnant at 42. mother to a newborn at 43.
when I first missed my period, I thought little of it, I’d been a few days late before, I’d even skipped whole cycles once or twice. As a month rolled around, I assumed it was my first cycle of menopause.
then, my stomach started rebelling against certain things. I thought perhaps it was our tap water (we had recently moved to a new town,) so we switched to local reverse osmosis water.
when things still wouldn’t settle right, I thought I was developing a gluten intolerance. (this was a totally reasonable assumption, I’d had a billion allergies as a child, and new allergies can develop as we age…)
then, I started feeling queasy in the mornings.
then, I threw up while brushing my teeth.
then, I threw up my morning coffee.
I was 6 weeks late. there were too many “symptoms.” it was time to pee on a stick.
4am. December 15, 2015. I already knew what it was going to say, but I kept telling myself there was no way. I’m 42. it’s menopause. it’s gluten.
I fed the cats. and washed the dishes.
then went back to bed. stared at the ceiling. spoke out loud to my fella the words we were both expecting at this point, but in major disbelief over…
and then I laughed.
and then I cried.
I texted my mother, my sister, and my eldest niece.
I went to work.
I told two of my closest friends.
a few weeks later we had a scare. a co-worker drove me to the ER. I called my sweetheart and told him to come to the hospital. I held my breath and waited for the doctors to give me news. they took me in for an ultrasound.
and there it was… a heartbeat. Strong. Steady.
and I cried again.
I called my son. “you’re going to be a big brother.”
over the next several months I slowly told a few more people. many of my dearest friends weren’t told until a few weeks before our due date. I was still in shock. it was so surreal. pregnant.
even as my son grew, my belly stretched from soccer ball, to basketball, to beach ball, and flutters turned to flips and kicks in the style of a martial arts master, I was still in mild disbelief.
each week I documented my pregnancy, (thank you camera-phone!) and sent the belly pictures to my family. on July 13, I took my week 40 photo. My official due date the next day. My induction scheduled for the 18th. then, at 11pm on the 14th, my contractions close together, and other signs of labor showing, we headed to the hospital to meet our son.
July 15, 2016… My midwife lifted my son to my chest. Over the amazing sound of his newborn cries, I heard my nurse say, “time of birth, 9:38am…”
He’s here. squirming. crying. cooing. a plethora of sweet newborn sounds and scents.
I am completely head-over-heels in love. smitten. swooning over this tiny human who spent the last nine months growing in my womb, pummeling my insides with his tiny limbs, bouncing on my bladder like an acrobat on a trampoline, slowly taking up all the space within me, shifting my bones, ligaments and organs in an attempt to make his apartment seem a bit less like a studio.
the weekly belly pictures have turned into daily baby pictures. and at five days postpartum I snapped a tired selfie of me and my boy to send to my mother, sister and nieces. week 41. 5 days old.