The Captain went to bed early tonight because he hasn’t been feeling well, and Pumpkin was asleep by a bit after 8:00. I had to stay up to let the dogs out one last time; sweet though she may be, Cody has no qualms about peeing on the carpet if the urge is too overwhelming. So, we like to let her out as late as possible, otherwise she starts the pee-pee dance before 6:00 am.
The house is quiet and even though I’m exhausted, I enjoy the peace, the solitude, and the time to just be Jenny; not wife, not mommy, just me.
Then I realized, I’m not actually alone right now. One of the special and probably seldom-acknowledged things about pregnancy is that you are never alone while you are pregnant. It is something I realized when I was pregnant with Pumpkin, and it re-occurred to me as I sat here at the computer in our dimly lit office, seemingly by myself, editing some new photos I’d taken today. Around 9:00, Peanut started her nightly puttering around, thumping and moving and stretching, right on time, as usual. I enjoy my “alone” time with her. The way she moves now is slow, deliberate, and dreamy; not at all like the sharp kicks and prods I got from her older sister. Will they be so different?
Most couples who are expecting speak in terms of “when the baby gets here”, as if the growing baby is indeed in some stork-tended storage facility far away. By the third trimester, the baby is not only already here (as they have been the entire pregnancy), but he or she is literally inches away from being accessible, touchable, visible. When I hold Pumpkin across my lap and chest, she is body-to-body, heartbeat-to-heartbeat with her little sister, a thin layer of my own body the only barrier between them. I wish Pumpkin was old enough to understand that when I tell her there is a baby in my belly, that there is another person inside of me, waiting to meet her and be met by her, who will share the larger portion of her life with her; more enduring even than her relationship with her daddy and I. For now when I tell her “there’s a baby in there”, she lifts her own shirt, pats her sweet little tummy, and says “Baby” back to me.
I suppose she will discover the reality soon enough.
For now, Peanut gets to be only mine. I don’t have to share her yet for another few months, and I know how much I will miss her presence inside of me once she is “really” here.