I went for my annual OBGYN exam yesterday (as if giving birth this calendar year wouldn’t have somehow cancelled that out) and it was a reminder that this is a year of closing chapters. For one thing we have decided Amelia is our grand finale baby. And yes, I realize that making this public knowledge is setting us up for a third “surprise.” I’m on the downhill stretch toward 40, however, and both Alan and I agree our all girl review is plenty to handle.
As I took the familiar crosswalk to the doctor’s building I thought about the many times I shuffled my burgeoning belly in and out of the parking garage for appointments over the last four years. My doctor told me that he delivered his last baby a week ago. He’s still practicing gynecology, but his baby delivering days are over. He’s also changed offices this summer, which only further reminds me that I’m entering a new post-childbirth phase. I glanced around the waiting room looking for a magazine to read and saw the new “Conceive” magazine (yes, it is a magazine focusing entirely on the art of conception). Won’t be picking that one up, I thought to myself. I actually read a fashion magazine first and then picked up a parenting magazine, completely bypassing the glossy pregnancy magazines with the fashionable pregnant mamas and their perfectly small baby “bumps” on the covers.
I felt a little bit wistful and sentimental. I thought of the many appointments in which Alan accompanied me and the excitement of hearing Caitlin and Amelia’s heartbeats and the doppler tracking their acrobatic flips; the pregnancy tests I took multiple times; the maternity clothes and tiny newborn onesies I’ve given away; the excitment of knowing I had a tiny creature developing inside me, a little person that Alan and I created, and all the wonderful unknowns that went along with being pregnant; the free pregnancy magazines and the childbirth classes and the prenatal vitamins I took dilligently. Back then our girls were unnamed, but loved, unseen, but felt, in my growing belly with their hiccups and kicks. Caitlin and Amelia are our girls. They are healthy. They are beautiful. They are our family.
p.s. Before you think I’ve gone too sentimental, I’ve actually found myself calculating how old Alan and I will be when both girls turn 18.