As I wallowed in my pregnancy sickness during the first trimester, my baby was growing normally (as far as I knew) and parasitically in my womb. Yet, I couldn't see beyond the fog.
Until two wonderful things happened.
Panda and I went for our second trimester ultrasound and were able to see all of our baby's wonderful body parts. We also learned the gender - it's a boy! Seeing him larger than a lentil, well-developed, and very active relieved me like nothing else could.
I was able to attach personality to him. Calling the baby "him" instead of as "it" or "baby" was the first best change. Additionally, we could talk about names more specifically. I could start planning his room and books for his bookshelf!
The ultrasound changed me in many ways, but it was also a mommy friend (sadly, long-distance) who gave me perspective that allowed me to start to really enjoy and savor this pregnancy. She wrote to ask if I was experiencing second trimester euphoria yet?
I was still sick and starting to feel more uncomfortable at night, losing the ability to sleep in my favorite position, on my back. So, I asked her what this imaginary euphoria was?
She replied: I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but enjoy the pregnancy. I know you are tired as it is, and I don't mean to scare you, but the first six months after the baby are born are really hard!
Coupled with my good feelings post-ultrasound, I let her words sink into me. I realized that this was the last time ever in my life that I would be simply me. From now until my last breath, I will be a mother, a title that brings both joy and fear, expectation and doubt, responsibility and gravity.
After baby I would have to share Panda's attention with that of our child, too.
While I was ready for this change, and even more convinced that we would be a good family, I needed to enjoy this time. The me time, the two of us time, the before time.