As I walked in the door of my OB's office last week, I realized I could no longer hide my big belly, announcing to other women in the waiting room why I'm there. So much has changed during these past months.
The size and shape of my body.
My comfort level with being 40 and pregnant.
My acceptance of it all.
The last 35 weeks have lasted forever, and yet they have gone by in a flash.
"It's hard to believe we're almost at the end of our gestation, isn't it?" my midwife asked as she walked in the room. She is expecting her own baby just two weeks after my due date. "It seems like just yesterday you were here on your 40th birthday, starting this whole journey."
She summed up my thoughts perfectly.
For more than 30 weeks, she and I have walked down a common path. I'm sure she has seen dozens of other women in the office each month. But we feel strangely united because our due dates and our stage in life are so close.
We share similar stories each month: A little nauseous. Leg cramps. Feeling good. Still have energy. Headaches. Congested. Aching back. Stretching joints.
They are a common denominator for any woman who has ever been pregnant. Rich or poor. Educated or not. Old or young. As long as all goes as planned, this process will last 40 weeks, give or take a few.
Strange as it sounds, it's been making me think about the universe. The solar system. The seasons. We have 24 hours in a day. A year lasts 365 days.
We are studying astronomy this year, and we learned that a year on Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, is only 88 days. A day is nearly as long as a year at 59 Earth days.
On Venus, a day is longer than a year. The planet hustles around the sun in only 225 Earth days. But it takes 243 Earth days to make its rotation through a day and night. And it's the only planet that travels in the opposite direction from all the others, with the sun rising in the west and setting in the east.
How easy it is to take it all for granted.
What if some days were two hours long and others were 48? What if one year lasted 225 days and the next year stretched on for 600?
What if some babies reached full gestation after three months and others took a year?
What if we didn't know what to expect?
Thankfully, that's not the case. God created the universe with order, structure, a schedule and a plan. He thought of every detail, right down to the length of time it should take each planet to revolve around the sun to keep them all in line.
And he perfectly designed each and every child who is born on this planet to grow from a tiny seed to a full-sized baby in 40 weeks.
I only have four more visits to my OB before the big day. They are all scheduled and written on the calendar. It's been an amazing journey.
Thirty-five weeks down. Five to go. They have lasted a wink and forever, all at once.
Just as planned.
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