I fell asleep last night with my hands on my belly; one next to my left hip bone and the other on my right side, near the bottom of my ribs. I peacefully drifted to sleep to the feeling of my daughter’s hiccups. Her entire tiny little body jumping, making either side of my belly quickly expand and then retreat. I then woke this morning to way too many alarms and that little girl’s father cuddling me, prodding me to leave our warm bed. And as I woke up, so did our baby; her tiny movements becoming bigger kicks, reminding me that I have to pee (yet again) and that a pregnant woman’s bladder waits for no man.
So out of bed we got, mercilessly greeted by the cold tile of the bathroom floor, and the warm retreat of my first world white lady slippers in Soccer Mom Grey. My belly starts to grumble causing my daughter to kick up a storm; all to remind me that I am no longer “not a breakfast eater”. My whole life I could never eat in the morning; it made me sick, as it was just too much too early. Now? I wake up ravenous.
So I write this to you, hunched over my kitchen counter, as I munch on these mini cinnamon Eggo waffles that I’m obsessed with (along with thousands of elementary school children across the globe). And as I eat my blood sugar rises, causing this little bundle of life in me to fully wake up and start kicking even more. See, what I eat, she eats. What I feel, she feels. When I become really stressed out or something scares me I now have her kicking feet to match the beat of my accelerated heart. When I’m hungry and my stomach grumbles, those same little limbs flail around reminding me that I can’t put off the next meal because she needs it, as well as me. And once I’ve eaten and she’s returned to bouncing happily in her warm home inside my being, I write short pieces about how this connection with her warrants me writing said pieces before I’ve even opened both eyes.
It’s the most incredible gift I’ve ever been given. She’s the most incredible gift I’ve ever been given. To be so tied to someone, their life intertwined with yours, their body dependent on yours, their movements to be felt in the core of your being, that is magic. This is the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be. And I have been tasked with the great honor of raising her, loving her, bringing up to be like the best women I know so that maybe when I die, I’ve left the world a slightly better place and her an incredible part of it.
And so it’s morning like these, when I’m up too early and the air’s too cold, when I’m too hungry and I’m running behind, when she’s jumping around like a kid in a kick boxing class, that I am reminded that I am so incredibly blessed. That I’ve been given something I never thought I would have, that many women would die to have a chance at. And I’ll never forget those women, because I was once one of them. The broken and pained who believe (or who know) that they can’t have children. I never expected to be carrying this little bundle of life in the center of my being. But now that I am? I will love, protect, and cherish her with everything that I have. Because that is the gift I’ve been given. To have this little person who depends on me so much, who I will always put first, slowly growing inside my being, just waiting to escape to the outside world. Someday soon. ❤️
by Ashley Hebner
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