Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously
For a single minute:
You didn’t grow under my heart,
But in it.
—Fleur Conkling Heyliger
Being pregnant with Holden was amazing. It took me some time to look the part, not being able to do maternity clothes justice until well into my sixth month. Up until then I took on the appearance of the butterball, because I was pregnant all over. I experienced many emotions being pregnant. The constant one was awe – from knowing that Mark and I had created this life that grew inside of me. That little life became very active as the months went on. There were times I felt I was hindering the baby’s movement.
My body changed to accommodate and nourish it. I discovered that cravings were real and that they controlled me. I was sure I would die if I didn’t get what I wanted – when I wanted it. I ate red meat (YUK!!) and, oh my stomach heaves thinking of this, an Egg McMuffin (never before or since…). When I was six months along I became convinced that the baby was breech. I would eat and the baby would stretch up into my diaphragm and just about make me pass out from lack of oxygen. I believed it was the head that was exerting so much pressure (and turned out I was right).
The day arrived when I could no longer put on pantyhose, tie my shoes, or shave my legs, so Mark had to help me. My baby stayed breech.
I experienced one of my greatest joys when I heard the baby’s cry shortly after he was pulled out of me. Of course, being Holden, he celebrated his arrival, by peeing all over the surgical team. And I heard Jim, my OB, through his laughter, “Oh, yeah, it’s a boy!”