I can’t deny it: I’m a lucky girl. After all, I have the sort of job that allows me to take a whole fistful of time off for maternity leave while still allowing me to set my hours when I do return to work, and since my leave officially began last week, I’ve been plenty busy, but in all sorts of different ways.
Our apartment is beginning, at last, to look unpacked (goodbye, boxes in the hallway!); the baby clothes we’ve received so far are folded neatly in a laundry basket, ready for the wash; the crib is assembled, the car seat very nearly installed and the long, open days of my week are neatly filled by a variety of domestic tasks.
But that, my friends, is not all. Though I made myself a list of Things to Work on After Work, I was determined to include items like nap, and knit, and take lots of walks at rather high-ranking spots on the list. Attending yoga classes. Writing in my notebook for the baby. Rereading The Lord of the Rings. In these little ways I’m determined to enjoy this last little bit of first-pregnancy, no matter that I’m big enough now to warrant obnoxious comments from strangers, or to fill out that new orange maternity shirt in a way that looks alarmingly pumpkin-esque. I may grunt as I shuffle down the hall or wake up three times (on a good night) to pee or say “Heave ho!” as I pull myself off the couch and mean it only half-jokingly – I am, as I said, determined to enjoy this.
After all, should I be pregnant for a second time, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that I won’t have the luxury of long naps and stretches of uninterrupted time in which to enjoy the baby’s subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) presence while still appreciating all the little freedoms I have now. I have no idea what’s in store for us, what parenting will be like, or who this tiny child is, but I know that this is the end of something just as much as it is a beginning; I don’t want to miss the last few minutes of this because I’m rushing on toward the first few minutes of that.