It has been quite an experience to live my life in a mindful way while one of the biggest shifts I will ever encounter is only weeks out. I am two weeks from my due date, and I find it challenging to not live in relationship to the future birth of my child. At this point, it is on my mind constantly. It is what everyone talks to me about. It is what I dream about. Even the language of "prenatal" suggests this time is just "pre-" or before, the baby's arrival.
As a new mom, there is so much unknown that it is easy to get caught up in perseverating over all the details. Do we have enough diapers? Do we have the right clothing?? What is it going to feel like to have little to no sleep??? What is she supposed to wear home from the hospital???? What the heck are we going to do about child care?????
I have already found myself having conversations with people about child-rearing practices: rules around technology, school, hobbies, etc.. No cell phones until eighth grade! I want her to learn how to swim and play an instrument! I hope she doesn't want to do gymnastics or play the violin (like I did).
Every now and then, someone will gently remind me, "You don't have to worry about that for awhile yet..."
I do believe there are moments to ask the questions, and consider the scenarios, and wonder about the future. Starting to consider how I will be a parent, when I have never done that before, seems like a worthwhile use of my time.
But not all of my time.
These last few weeks are comprised of millions of moments that are valuable and worthy of attention in their own right, regardless of how close they are to my due date. In fact, the pending arrival of our baby only heightens the urgency to experience each of these moments as they exist right now, because I will never have them again in this way. Silent early morning moments when the sun filters in our bedroom, and I get up unhurriedly. Languid couch cuddling with my husband without a baby monitor planted next to us. Leaving the house quickly, with a grab of the keys, off to run some simple, forgotten errand.
Even the time I get to spend connecting to my baby in the womb is special. For only awhile longer, I get to marvel at the fact that there is a tiny human contained inside of me. I get to feel her squirming under my ribs and watch my belly jump with her tiny ferocious kicks. Each week, I get to listen to her heartbeat within my own. Each morning, I get to sit with her, offering us a moment of silence together, sending her health and love and happiness.
All of this is worthy of appreciative attention. All of this is worthy of love.