Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

28 Down, 12 to Go


As of Sunday, I’m now 28 weeks pregnant, which means I’m officially in my third trimester. And what a difference so far between this and my second trimester! Up until I left for my Midwest vacation less than three weeks ago, I was working out at the gym 3-4 times a week, going for long walks, and doing a pretty good job keeping up with an active social life. Now, I get winded walking more than two blocks and a flight of stairs has become scarier than a tall man in a dark alley wielding a french press and a waffle iron (think about it). I’m not sure if this is a general symptom of third trimester pregnancy or if I’m still on the mend after landing myself in the hospital for four days, but at any rate, I’ve become very intimate with my couch in the last few days.

Where I used to forget I was pregnant for a couple hours at a time, I’m always hyper aware now of this baby I’m carrying. He moves around with such strength and such frequency, he won’t let me forget. And with every kick and every punch and every roll of his tiny body, I feel more connected to him. As excited as I am to finally meet him and hold him in my arms, though, I wonder if there won’t be a part of me that will miss sharing this space and time with him. He feels like mine now, but when he’s born he’ll be his own person, separate from me, and I already feel bittersweet at the idea of watching him grow up.

In less than three months, I’ll be a mom. I count back three months ago and remember what I was doing then. I was in London, about to leave for Paris where I ate bread and cheese along the Seine and listened to accordion music through my open hotel window late at night and fantasized about staying there forever. I could still forget for several hours at a time that I was pregnant — that my whole life was about to change — that as old as I am and as much as I’ve experienced, I’m still in a very distinct “before” period. Because I know the day this baby’s born there will be a deep line drawn in my life, separating who I was and what I knew before and who I will be and what I will know after.

There’s a little bit of mourning that comes along with all this. Does every mom-to-be feel this way? I’ll miss how things have been — the flexible schedule I’ve kept, the sleep, the painless travel, the free time to daydream endlessly. But I’ve been missing a lot already. At every age, I miss my younger self a little more, and in this year I turn 35, it’s only more intense with impending motherhood. I miss myself at 22, and 27, and 31. I miss myself and the lives I’ve lived, but I’m always happier with each passing year, and I can only imagine the happiness this year will be tenfold.

I’m ready. I’m ready for that deep line and the life that comes after.

59 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Jenny August 3, 2011, 11:10 am

    Beautifully said, Wendy. I do think all moms-to-be feel that way. It’s an extremely happy time, but it’s also very scary.

    I wrote in when you announced your pregnancy, and said my husband and I began dating right around the same time you and Drew did, and also got married around the same time you and Drew did…and now I just found out I’m about 6 weeks pregnant. I can only hope pregnancy will suit me as much as it does you…you look stunning! 🙂 Congratulations and best of luck to you, Drew, and baby <3

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy August 3, 2011, 11:15 am

      Congratulations and best wishes! Hope you have a smooth pregnancy and are blessed, like I was, with no morning sickness in your first trimester!

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        Jenny August 3, 2011, 4:34 pm

        Thank you!! So far I’ve felt great 🙂

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    Fairhaired child August 3, 2011, 11:10 am

    That is so beautiful Wendy! I can feel how much emotion you have and love for your baby! You also look so beautiful in that picture. 🙂

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    hammerdan August 3, 2011, 11:14 am

    You look beautiful. You and the flower in the background have allot in common.

    You will be fine.

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  • Heather

    Heather August 3, 2011, 11:14 am

    You make a wonderful pregnant lady! It’s so awesome that you’ve updated the DW community through it all, thank you. Best of wishes 🙂

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    MissDre August 3, 2011, 11:19 am

    Damn, I sure do hope I look as good as you do when I’m pregnant! You look wonderful! Congratulations!

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    SpaceySteph August 3, 2011, 11:23 am

    Getting winded is pretty normal… babies kinda take up some of the room your lungs want to use. And some of the room your bladder wants to use. Those little space invaders!
    Also agree with those above… you look lovely. Congrats!

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      SweetChild August 3, 2011, 11:39 am

      Space invader babies! Mental image of 2D pixel babies gobbling up other pixels! Pixel babies, hahaha! 😀

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    MonMon August 3, 2011, 11:26 am

    Hello Wendy,

    You look beautiful with your green baby bump 🙂

    I think it’s completely normal to miss “the lives” you had before. I found myself doing this even at a very young age. I remember crying when I turned 13 and thinking that since I was now a teenager, I’ll never be just a child anymore. I remember at 16 thinking it was the perfect age and I didn’t want to get any older. I eventually realized that time does not stop– and if it did, it would mean that life stopped too :/ — so I’ve come to look at birthdays and new life changes as “the next chapter” in life, and although it can be so very bittersweet, there are so many amazing things to look forward to!

    You are so lucky and blessed to have experienced those Parisian evenings; this is still a dream for me, as I’m sure it is for many of us. But I don’t have to tell you how blessed you are, you know that already! Now you can think about re-experiencing those favorite times of yours as a family; maybe one day your son will be curious about Europe and you’ll be the one to introduce him to your favorite cities and landmarks.

    I think that these new changes also help you to appreciate everything you had and were able to do “before” (the flexible schedule, etc). You’ll have that back again (15-20 years down the road!) and you’ll probably appreciate it even more on top of all the pride you’ll have from having raised what I am sure will be a heck of a kid (or kids?).

    I wish you all the best in your final trimester and look forward to all of your updates. Also, I appreciate all of your advice on the site; keep up the awesome work Wendy!

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    Eljay August 3, 2011, 11:38 am

    How beautiful you are! You have such a wonderful glow about you, you radiate happiness. Enjoy these times, they go by so quickly!

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    Lexington August 3, 2011, 11:39 am

    Wow you look tiny! Anyways, change is always scary but it sounds like you’re well prepared for this one and I know it’s going to be amazing. 😀

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    Katie August 3, 2011, 11:47 am

    I carried all three of my pregnancies 44 weeks…. just sayin. Normal due dates used to be set at 42 weeks. Now day’s people think they are late if they are even at 41 weeks. Baby will come when baby’s done cookin 🙂

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy August 3, 2011, 12:14 pm

      Yeah, I should have titled this “12-ISH” weeks to go, but I do have a gut feeling this baby is going to be a few days early (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking…).

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        Katie August 3, 2011, 12:21 pm

        yeah I did too! But who knows maybe the baby will be early? 🙂 I was due December 22nd with my 1st and I had even bought Christmas presents for her. She decided to make her grand entrance January 21st!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy August 3, 2011, 12:33 pm

        OMG. That must have been brutal!

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        Katie August 3, 2011, 2:00 pm

        once you are holding the baby on your arms you completely forget how many weeks the pregnancy was or how long the labor was all you think about is that little person looking back up at you.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 3, 2011, 8:37 pm

      Mine were both a little early. My son five days and my daughter nine days early. I had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions before each was born and both times labor went rapidly. You never know when it will happen until the real contractions begin.

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      ape_escape August 4, 2011, 7:50 am

      my good friend had her baby very recently – 6 weeks early! but baby and momma are just fine. he will stay in nicu for a little bit but he is a very mature-looking just over 4 lbs baby, with big open eyes…like you said, baby’s done cookin! ha!

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    Amber August 3, 2011, 11:47 am

    My friend who just had a baby and I were just talking about the missing certain times in our life. Babies, pets, husbands, and jobs all make doing the things we used to when we were younger harder. Like you said the flexible schedule and being able to drop everything to just for say a girls weekend don’t happen as much anymore. We all love the lives we have now but you do miss the spontaneity and the carefreeness of things before.

    Don’t worry though my friend said she forgets all of those things as soon as her baby does something adorable 🙂 And we’ve learned that skype and a bottle of wine (for the non breast feeding people ;)) while watching the baby do crazy adorable things can be just as much fun as girls weekends!

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  • landygirl

    Landygirl August 3, 2011, 11:57 am

    Congratulations! I hope your son brings you years of joy. You barely look a day over your second trimester.

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    Darlin' August 3, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Hi Wendy!
    You look wonderful! It’s completely normal to be winded and a tad nostalgic at this stage while preparing for baby to come. I have 3 children now and I’m still amazed sometimes that society has let me be responsible for actual people. I feel a lot younger than my 30 years and sometimes miss my younger self. Every child is a transition and, while all my children are equally loved, there is always a mourning period before entering the next stage. It’s equally exciting and terrifying, but always worth it.
    Thanks for posting the pics, it’s great to be able to keep up with your progress! 🙂

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    redessa August 3, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Wow you look great!

    And yes, very normal. Also the part about missing the connection of being pregnant after the baby is born. For me, it was most profound with my first. For a few days there, your belly kind of jiggles (like a deflated balloon) and I remember thinking how odd that felt and how much I missed feeling the baby move inside of me. Try to remember that feeling (of being connected to life growing within you) when you’re closing in on your due date and would do anything to get that thing out!

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      Yammy August 3, 2011, 3:38 pm

      Yes! I remember my belly felt so empty right after I had my son. But it still looked chubbers for quite some time. Deflated is the perfect word for it.

      And I also mourned the loss of my old life, I think it’s normal, at least I hope it’s normal! Now he’s 13 months and is becoming more of a toddler and less of a baby and it kind of makes me sad sometimes.

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      • JK

        JK August 3, 2011, 8:26 pm

        My midwife recommended high waisted seamless underwear after giving birth, I used them after my first and was back in shape in no time, after my 2nd I didn’t (the ones i bought were too small and uncomfortable), and my tummy is taking a lot longer to get back in shape, it’s been 3 months and it’s still a bit flabby!

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 3, 2011, 8:39 pm

      For the last month before my son was born I couldn’t bend over at the waist because of the way he was laying and couldn’t reach my feet to tie my shoes. I was just so glad after he was born that I could bend again.

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  • becboo84

    BecBoo84 August 3, 2011, 12:12 pm

    You look phenomenal!!!

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    MiMi August 3, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Adorable!

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    Skybird August 3, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Oh, the third trimester fatigue. I slept and napped a LOT. Your body’s just storing up the energy it’s going to need for labor and delivery. Get the rest now, while you can! Continue walking however much you can, but BE KIND TO YOURSELF! The baby’s taking up a lot of your energy forming those final things that need to be formed.

    I absolutely loved that time where I could feel my little guy moving around so much, and it seemed when I was at rest was when he was most active. I would even start laughing every now and then because it was like he was tickling me from the inside. Such an amazing time, feeling so absolutely connected, knowing that though your body was giving you life, it seemed like your baby was fueling your life. I really just loved the feeling of having him all to myself. He was truly and only mine when he was growing inside me. I really had to remind myself to not say, “I can’t wait until . . .” because I COULD wait. I so very much wanted time to slow down.

    Enjoy yourself and your little man!

    PS – you look FANTASTIC!

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  • JK

    JK August 3, 2011, 12:46 pm

    I know what you’re saying Wendy (i have a 3 1/2 y.o and a 3 month old, both beautiful girls), with my 1st pregnancy which was absolutely amazing I kind of freaked out at the end, my 2nd pregnancy was more complicated so I just wanted it over with. I think the worst thing is the unknown, I was scared about giving birth, then thinking about the huge responsibility that comes with being a mum.
    Luckily both my labours were quick (4 1/2 hours each), and even though my babies were pretty big over 9 lb (I live in a metric country, so don’t ask me to do the math! For the record 4.150 kg and 4.100kg) it wasn’t that painful. I found a really good birthing class helped, I loved my midwife (the same for both), so that was a big help.
    Also, I found that our lives didn’t change that drastically with either baby, we never had a hugely busy social life, but the things we do we just tke the girls along, most of our outings are with friends who all have kids around the same ages. It helps that we’re extremely flexible about schedules!
    Good luck with everything, and I promise that once you have your baby everything is totally worth it!!! (and if you’re lucky he’ll be like my 2nd who is already sleeping 10-12 hours straight every night!!!)

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    • JK

      JK August 3, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Ah, I forgot to add that my daughters were both born at 39 wks, 3 days (naturally)

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 3, 2011, 8:42 pm

      I think that those who are flexible usually do better with children because they don’t have such set routines and don’t feel like they are missing out. You just go with the flow and do what works at the time and enjoy it! We’ve also done lots of things with other couples with children. It gives us all someone to socialize with at the same time and no one feels that they gave up anything for the others.

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      • JK

        JK August 4, 2011, 8:24 am

        Totally. Some friends of ours since their son was born had him on a really strict schedule for sleep and feeding, now he’s nearly 18 months and he still wakes up at night for bottles, and can’t sleep anywhere but his bed! My eldest adapts really easily, and hopefully my baby will be the same!

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    Jess August 3, 2011, 1:18 pm

    this was lovely

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    LTC039 August 3, 2011, 1:05 pm

    I’m not a mom, but I sympathize with the “mourning of your younger self.” I remember when I was 10, freaking out because I was almost a teenager & I didn’t wanna grow up. Now I’m about to turn 24 & I’m not exactly jumping for joy. I keep thinking “one year closer to 30, then 40,…then 80!” It’s awful, I hate myself for thinking like that, I’m trying to find ways to change my outlook. If you figure it out, please share!!
    Anyway, I hope whenever I have my first baby, I can look half as great as you do! I’m sure once you hold him for first time everything will “click”, at least that’s what they tell me 🙂

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    • JK

      JK August 3, 2011, 1:23 pm

      I freaked out when I turned 20, I really don’t know why, the end of adolescence I guess, I always thought that by 30 I’d have my life more resolved, and luckily it’s that way so far (I’m 32 now)

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        LTC039 August 3, 2011, 1:37 pm

        At 21 I was like “yeah! perfect age, I wanna stay 21 forever!” The my 22nd birthday rolled around & I realized that wasn’t happening. A part of me is afraid of “putting my life in order” because that means I’m a full fledged adult. I procrastinated in school & I d DO NOT recommend it but I realized a while ago it’s because I didn’t want to accept I was “getting older” Most of my friends have graduated & I freaked out for them… It’s a bit crazy, I know, but I really am trying to get my thoughts in a new light : /

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      • JK

        JK August 3, 2011, 1:43 pm

        I guess a lot of it has to do with what I was saying above, most people fear the unknown/unfamiliar, when in reality every new thing in life (or stage) has great things. Now my body isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago, but I wouldn’t change my lovely little family for anything!!! My group of friends is smaller than it was 10 years ago, but they’re all people I truly care about and know will be there for me through everything, and vice versa, and so on.

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      • JK

        JK August 3, 2011, 7:58 pm

        I think someone on here doesn’t like me :o( I always get thumbs down, in most cases unwarranted

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        sesl August 3, 2011, 8:19 pm

        I gave a couple thumbs up to balance it out! I don’t understand what someone could have possibly been opposed to in your comments…

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      • JK

        JK August 3, 2011, 8:23 pm

        Thanks, I really don’t know either!!!! Oh well…

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        LTC039 August 3, 2011, 8:07 pm

        Same here… oh well not gonna stop me from commenting 🙂

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    • katie

      katie August 3, 2011, 9:11 pm

      i almost cried on my 20th birthday. i totally agree.

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        LTC039 August 3, 2011, 9:20 pm

        My 22nd & 23rd birthday were pretty depressing. I made the best out of it, but now I’m approaching my 24th…I’m already panicking lol. It shouldn’t be this way! Ugh I’m trying to stay positive & plan a super great bash.

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      • katie

        katie August 3, 2011, 10:20 pm

        lol. yes, i hated that birthday because I was no longer a teenager, and so i was now “old”. i hate telling people my age now and im 22!! lol people tell me all the time that im way to young to be thinking that, and now at my new job a lot of people make jokes about how i probably wasn’t even born then, and things like that. that definitely helps, working with “older” people. a lot of people i work with have kids my age who also have kids lol.

        i think you just gotta accept that its gonna keep comin, and there is nothing you can do about it! lol so you might as well make the best of it. happy party planning! i love parties!! haha. you could totally, jokingly, get those over the hill plates and napkins and such. that would be funny

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        LTC039 August 3, 2011, 10:27 pm

        Def. helps!! I am the youngest one in my office. Every time my co-workers talk about the 70s & 80s they say “you weren’t even born yet..” or “you were only a yr old.” It’s a joke in my office too haha. Thanks! I like your idea it is pretty funny. I’m gonna look into that! 🙂

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    melikeycheesecake August 3, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Beautiful! You look just Beautiful!

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    Stilgar666 August 3, 2011, 3:55 pm

    Foxy momma!

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    Kim August 3, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I’m 4 weeks behind you, and I’m already getting winded when I walk anywhere… I’ve always had minor asthma/chest infections, and I’m still trying to walk 3-4x per week, but it’s getting harder and harder. A lot of what you are feeling is pretty similar to what I’ve been feeling as well. It’s an odd mixture of excitement and being terrified. As much as I know we are as ready as we ever would be, I stlil have panicky moments where I wonder how we ever thought we could be ready for this. I can feel her swimming around there so much more, and she’s gotten strong enough to startle me when she kicks. It does feel special that I’m the ONLY one who really gets this experience with her. (sorry there was a lack of organization, this turned into a list of random thoughts)…

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    Steph August 3, 2011, 5:11 pm

    Wow! Congrats! I hope you continue to feel better!

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    Quakergirl August 3, 2011, 5:21 pm

    Wendy you look beautiful!!

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    • katie

      katie August 3, 2011, 9:13 pm

      seriously- she is totally one of those effortless, yes i am pregnant but i just look more beautiful for it people. we can all only hope to be like her!! lol my basketball coach in high school was like this, and i told her, and she seriously got offended by it.

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    spark August 3, 2011, 6:47 pm

    This was a really beautiful post, Wendy! I haven’t experienced it yet, but I can see where you’re coming from, and I think you captured the sentiment so perfectly.

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  • katie

    katie August 3, 2011, 7:48 pm

    babies are so exciting! i have a friend who is due in november, and a friend’s wife who is due in february, and you in oct/november area (right? lol i had to look where 12 weeks from now lands)

    i am getting both of my friends photo albums for them to create for their little ones.. i am a huge scrapbooker, and i am going to make custom things for them, like names and things… i hope that you will also have a great album to look back on one day at all the exciting times of having a baby!!

    yay!

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 3, 2011, 8:49 pm

    I’m so glad the pregnancy is going well for you and hope the rest slides by uneventfully. You look great!

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    Erica August 4, 2011, 1:16 am

    Congratulations! You look fantastic and perfectly healthy! Don’t worry, you’ll be able to breathe better when the baby drops (then he won’t be pushing up on your lungs–he’ll sit on your bladder instead). Thank God there are ways to shift them to where you can be a bit more comfortable. 🙂
    Its completely normal to mourn the life you’re giving up, but there are so many exciting things to look forward to. Just take it one day at a time!

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    Jen August 4, 2011, 1:23 pm

    I’m actually glad you said the last part. I’m 26 weeks and beginning to feel a little bit like I miss “pre-pregnancy” me and getting worried about how I’m going to share my personal time with junior when he comes. I’ve been feeling tremendously guilty about worrying about that stuff. It makes me feel so much better that I”m not alone with those thoughts.

    I think it’s natural we all feel a little bit concerned about the great “unknown” of what it will be like when you’re a mom. I know we’ll work something out that works for both of us but I’m excited but also cautiously apprehensive.

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    Miss Lynn August 9, 2011, 11:45 am

    Good luck to you Wendy! I’m sure you will be a wonderful and compassionate mother. You look healthy and beautiful!

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