I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve only taken 2 belly pictures of myself this pregnancy. I can’t really pinpoint why we haven’t done it, and I’m beginning to feel like it’s going to be something that I really regret not doing, especially if this ends up being my only pregnancy. Obviously I see myself in the mirror several times a day, and I’m usually pretty surprised by how big I’m getting, but I guess I always felt like I was kind of on the smaller side of normal. People generally seem surprised when I tell them how far along I am, or when I’m due, saying that I look much smaller than they’d expect. In fact, just the other night at book club a woman asked me and another friend who is due about 7 weeks after me which one of us was due first, and without waiting for an answer said “I’m guessing you” and nodded in my friend’s direction. To be fair, she’s having her second baby, and she’s super tiny to begin with, so her belly is more noticeable on her smaller frame, but I would have never thought that I looked “less pregnant” than her.

So it came as a shock to me when my dad posted photos of our local family Christmas celebration on Facebook the other day and I saw just how big I actually am. I am really, truly, definitely, unmistakably pregnant. I know, I know. I sound like a broken record. But it’s really something that I still can’t wrap my mind completely around. It’s something that people around me just accept for what it is, but for me, it seems like I’m constantly having reality checks and no matter how many times I get the same result (yup, I’m still pregnant) I still can’t quite believe it. I always wanted to believe that I would be pregnant eventually, but I’m not sure that I ever actually truly felt it would happen for us. I did my best to convince myself that it would happen, you know, the power of positive thinking, but it just seemed like such a long shot. Something for other people to experience, not me.

And in some ways, I think my inability to functionally come to terms with the fact that this is reality has made the entire thing more meaningful for me. Every time I feel her kick or change positions, every time I glimpse myself in a reflective surface, every time I have a contraction I feel a sense of excitement like I did when I saw two pink lines on my pregnancy test. I am simultaneously reminded of and surprised by how lucky I am and for that I will be eternally grateful.