The Childbearing Year is So … Short

So 9 months is a long time, right? It really is. And then add on the 40 days of newbornness. 40 days can even feel like forever. But these days, I’m left feeling that the whole childbearing year is just a blink of the eye. Babies born not all that long ago start to look more like babies and less like newborns – edging into toddlerhood really. Feeling a mama’s pregnant belly today, I remembered how it was really not that long ago – just the barest passage of time, really – when I had felt her belly and hardly felt anything. Today, I felt legs and small bits and a clear back. And I could tell which end was the head and which end was the bum, very clearly. But not too long ago, I could just feel that the fetus was vertex, and nothing else. This attests both to my growing skill in palpation as well as her growing progeny.

We read sections from a book about developmental milestones with lifesize pictures of the growing fetus throughout pregnancy (and unfortunately I can’t remember the name!) to our clients. One of the tidbits we read to our clients goes something like this:  if a newborn baby continued to grow at the same rate it grew during the third trimester of pregnancy, it would weigh 200 lbs at age 2. I believe it! Everything seems to be flying by me. Not only is pregnancy such a short time, it’s hardly any time at all before those infants grow into human beings with their own undeniable personalities.

Add to that the deep affection and respect I feel for the families that we serve. I know they come into my life for just a short time, but in that time I see so much of their lives, get to witness one of their most intimate moments. I feel so humbled and honored and blessed to be a part of this. I’m beginning to see that I will need to continue to cultivate within me the ability to love deeply and then to let go with ease when it is time for families to move into their own space. I know I will be able to do this when the time comes, but for now I am content to be in love with each of these families for a short short time.

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