Once you become a mother it's easy to forget how special your pregnancy was. You get so caught up in the everyday business of motherhood: changing diapers, feeding your baby, and generally being exhausted and excited all at once. It's inevitable and normal. Some of us come up with baby books or photo albums or other mementos to remember our journey through pregnancy. I'm not oner of those people, but there are more than a few pregnancy moments I never want to forget.
My son is about to turn 3 years old and, as a result, it feels like being pregnant with him is nothing more than a very distant memory. There are definitely some moments that are seared into my brain, but they aren't all moments that I actually want to remember. For example, when I found out at 22 weeks that my cervix was shortening and had to have an emergency procedure done in order to maintain the pregnancy. While it is important for me to remember this moment, it isn't exactly something that I really want to remember all the time, especially over some of the other special moments that weren't, you know, terrifying.
In this list, I've gathered the pregnancy moments that filled me with the most joy. Those moments that I know I will eventually share with my son when he is older, and especially if he should ever decide to have children of his own.
The Moment I First Suspected I Was Pregnant
I was working as an editor for a magazine and I recall feeling extremely tired. It was the most exhausted I'd ever felt, but there didn't seem to be any real reason for it. It was then that I decided I needed to run to the pharmacy and pick up a pregnancy test (as I was about a week late).
The Moment I Took The Test
I remember my heart racing as I sped down the highway to my neighborhood pharmacy. My entire body was shaking and my stomach doing flip-flops. I ran inside and made a bee-line for the family planning section, picked up a 2-pack of pregnancy tests, paid at the register, and decided I could not wait until I got home. I went to the back of the store and into the restroom and took the test right there. It didn't even take more than 30 seconds for the line to show up and solidify what I already knew was true: I was pregnant.
The Moment I Told My Partner
My experience might be a bit different from that of others in that I lost my first child to preterm labor and premature birth. When I got home from the pharmacy that day, my partner was already there. I was somewhat terrified to tell him the truth about what was happening inside my body. I still didn't know if I wanted to keep the pregnancy and I didn't know what his reaction would be, as we had only lost our daughter roughly eight months prior. I pulled out the test from my bag and showed it to him. He was just as floored and confused and happy and scared as I was.
The Moment I Decided For Sure I Wanted To Keep It
It took a few days for me to decide that I really did want to go through with another pregnancy. It was terrifying because there were no guarantees that this baby would make it to 40 weeks. Still, I recall sitting in my apartment and feeling a calm that I had not felt since before we lost our daughter. That was when I knew what I had to do.
The Moment I Found A Great OB-GYN
I've been through my fair share of OB-GYNs, many of which have disappointed me. In fact, when I was pregnant with my son I visited two different doctors before I was able to find the right one for me. When I finally found her, though, I was so relieved to finally have proper care.
The Moment I Had My First Ultrasound
My first ultrasound was actually with a different doctor and not the one that I stuck with. It was with the first doctor I visited, who suspected I might have an ectopic pregnancy. He sent me to the technician, who performed the ultrasound on me. When I finally saw what would eventually become my baby, my heart skipped a beat.
The Moment I First Heard A Heartbeat
I finally got to hear the heartbeat at the new doctor's office. She took out a doppler and placed it on my belly. My husband and I were so excited to hear that little heartbeat. It definitely changed our lives.
The Moment My Morning Sickness Finally Subsided
I had morning sickness, which is more like all-day sickness, for the entirety of my first trimester. It was pretty awful. I could not so much as smell anything without wanting to throw up. But one day I went to work, and I recall walking into the lunchroom (which I normally avoided) and realized that I no longer wanted to throw up all over the place.
The Moment I Found Out The Sex
Finding out the sex of my baby was very complicated. Because we had lost a daughter, some part of me had my heart set on having another baby girl. Even though I know that gender is a social construct and that even biological sex is something of a social construct, I still could not shake the desire to have another daughter.
When we found out we were having a little boy, or rather that our child had a penis, I felt a tinge of disappointment. It was a difficult time as I was still recovering from our loss. It took a few weeks, but eventually I realized how unimportant sex and gender are in the grand scheme of things. Eventually, I embraced the chance to have a son.
The Moment I Felt Those First Kicks
I felt my son kick much earlier than I did my daughter. They say that's pretty standard when you have a second child. We were sitting in our living room and I remember feeling something stirring in my belly and I had the biggest smile as I told my husband, “He's kicking!”
The Moment Of My Baby Shower
I've never been the sort to enjoy baby showers. I hadn't even wanted to plan one for my first pregnancy, but when it came time to figure out whether or not I wanted to have a baby shower for my rainbow pregnancy, it was a no-brainer. My mother and my sister-in-law helped planned the entire thing and it remains, in my heart, one of the most special moments of my entire life.
The Moment I Passed The 37 Week Mark
Because I had to have an emergency cerclage placed at 22 weeks, I basically held my breath until my son and I reach the 37 week mark. Although I was excited by the time I reach 30 weeks, and then 35 weeks, it was at 37 weeks that the cerclage would be removed.
While the procedure was possibly one of the worst things I've ever experienced in my entire life, it was also a joyous occasion to know that all danger of my son being born premature was no more.
The Moment Of That Last Ultrasound
The last ultrasound I had was on the same day as the day my cerclage was removed. It was a long day at the hospital, but I was so happy to see my baby so fully grown and swimming around in my belly on the screen. I knew then that the next time I would get to see his face, he would be in my arms.
The Night Before I Gave Birth
I had been having contractions on and off for about two days once I hit the 40 week mark. I was trying to induce labor by using my breast pump but he didn't seem to want to come. I remember taking photos of my belly and posting them to Instagram and Facebook and feeling so much excitement and so nervous.
The Moment I Gave Birth
While the story of my son's birth did not go quite the way I planned, the point is that he was born. The point is that he was born and that he was not premature. The point is that I now have an almost 3-year-old boy and I am so thankful every single day. So while I don't always like revisiting the memory of my traumatic labor and delivery experience, it's also one that I never want to forget because that is when I got to meet my son.