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To My Past Pregnant Self: Keep Holding On

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Girl. I know. It’s hard.

This baby wants a lot. He’s taking a lot. Your space, mostly. For now. But he’s preparing to take a lot more than that. Your time. Almost all of it. Your brain cells. Your breast milk. Your money. Your patience. Your time. But try to believe that having this baby will be worth it. The odds are it'll be worth it. Everyone keeps telling you it’s worth it. It’s not likely that they're all full of sh*t. Remember this, though: You don’t have to be happy about every little thing, but try to step back and see the miracle unfolding. You are literally growing a person.

I know the shots are hard. Lovenox and heparin, the blood thinners that do their best to keep you alive. I see you every night in the bathroom, holding the long needle above your soft belly for minutes on end, trying to gather your strength. I watch you give up, momentarily, sitting down on the side of the bathtub with your head in your hands. Then I watch you stand back up. I see your hand twitch, and your belly twitch, as you attempt to stab yourself in your gut. I listen to you breathe, deep breaths in and deep breaths out. I see the tears quietly rolling down your cheeks, and occasionally hear you cough out a sob. This isn’t for the faint of heart, my dear. Not this act you must do, and not the act of rearing a child. Take it in stride. Take it in pride. You are preparing.

Courtesy of Kelly Green
Try to be less scared. All the things that are true now will still be true, and then some. You will still have your beautiful dog. She will become like a sister. You will still have your wonderful partner. He will become a dad. You will still live in your sweet little home. It will house a tiny family. The baby won’t come and obliterate your life — he will come and create new life.

But these shots? This aren’t for him — they are for you. To keep you alive. To keep your blood easily flowing. Remember that when you are raging and filled with resentment — these shots were never for baby. These shots are for you. So drawback the solution and press it into your skin. By now, you are a pro at taking care of you. Continue to be so. Continue to do you. Your baby will need you to. You are as valuable as he is, no matter what anyone tells you.

You have given up wine and sushi and cheese and sleep and feeling good and like, a million other things. You have gained an obsession with potatoes, violent cravings for fast-food meat sandwiches, and 25 pounds. But look at your skin, and your belly extending. Look at your hair. Is it possible pregnancy is becoming on you?

What is happening right now is nothing less than amazing. Do not let it pass you by without a sense of wonder.

Try to be less scared. All the things that are true now will still be true, and then some. You will still have your beautiful dog. She will become like a sister. You will still have your wonderful partner. He will become a dad. You will still live in your sweet little home. It will house a tiny family. The baby won’t come and obliterate your life — he will come and create new life. One built on the foundation of the old, with all the old parts and the old players. Don’t worry. You are not losing your life.

Courtesy of Kelly Green

In the meantime, stop worrying about the other mothers. Stop worrying that other mothers will think you are stupid, that they will all be judging your every move. Stop worrying about the women who are more "prepared" for this than you. Look past them to the left. There you will find another group of other mothers. And these mothers will think you are brilliant, and kind, and parenting a kid who will turn out as good as the Pope. Look past these, now, and you will see even more. Give these women what they need. Be a mother not just to your son, but to the other mothers in this world. They need you and you will need them.

Even when it scares you, even when it pains you, even when you are filled with worry and fear — acknowledge what is happening here. You are creating.

Most importantly, don’t try to wish this time away. Even when it scares you, even when it pains you, even when you are filled with worry and fear — acknowledge what is happening here. You are creating. You're creating a person who will come out and live in the bedroom next to you as if he were always there. Who will look like you and sound like you and be like you, either to a microscopic or a detrimental degree. Who will complete you and fulfill you in ways you can't even predict. What is happening right now is nothing less than amazing. Do not let it pass you by without a sense of wonder.

Acknowledge the wonder, sweet girl. Because you are magnificent.