The Final Days of Pregnancy: A Portal Like No Other
Well here we are, we’ve made it, we are less than a month away from baby boy’s due date. WOW! But to be honest I have such a strong feeling he is coming early, it feels like an “any day now” or realistically “any week now” type of situation. & let me tell you guys, the final days and weeks of pregnancy have a life and an ethos of their own. It’s a full blown personality, the final days of pregnancy. If I could put a name to it, it would be “the in-between.”
It’s a distinct place in-between this stage and the next. Between the life you’ve always known and the life that’s about to be yours. Especially if you’re a first time mama like me. I have been feeling this extremely overwhelming sense of both anxiety and excitement, a mix between shock that this whole thing has been REAL and that there is truly a baby coming, and pure gratitude for the ride. Also a mix between being so extremely uncomfortable and in pain in my body, full of nerves about the unknown, so excited & ready to meet my baby, the list goes on.
And it’s wild because I have been feeling all of this so deeply, and a few nights ago my dear friend’s mom sent me this article called The Last Days of Pregnancy. It described this ethereal time so epically well, I wanted to share it with you guys. And she calls it the in-between too!!! Nothing has ever resonated more in my life. If you are pregnant too, or hoping to be pregnant soon, or have ever been pregnant… I hope it will resonate with you too.
So let me try to set the scene for the final days & weeks of pregnancy over here in the Younger Albrecht household. Picture this: I go from euphoric bursts of energy where I’m leaping around the house cleaning out cabinets and drawers, decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the Menorah, baking banana muffins & filming TikToks to my hearts’ content to… laying in bed sobbing & my heart racing with anxiety because Jonathan hung a photo in the nursery too close to the door. I kid you not… this happened. Two nights ago. 😂
But the sobs and the anxiety come from a much deeper place, I know this. In fact, I know they have nothing to do with the photo fitting into the frame correctly or being too close to the door. They come from this deep place of, “Holy shit, I am about to be a MOM and have a baby and be responsible for a little life – and how will I ever make sure I am doing it right if I already know I have decided to live my life so different from society’s standards? And I can’t really do that with my baby?! And there is still XYZ to be done and holy shit if he is born tomorrow what if I don’t know how to put him in his carseat?! What if I still want to interview a bunch more pediatricians and there just. isn’t. tiiiiime!!!”
To put it simply, I don’t do a lot of the human stuff. I weasel my way out of most appointments, I don’t take phone calls, I literally don’t do Zoom meetings, I fly by the seat of my pants, I created my own career on the internet! I know I am capable of doing all of those things if I had to but many years ago I made a conscious decision to live life very different than the status quo and, it really works for me. Suddenly there is going to be a little mini me in the picture, and I wonder what’s going to work for him. I am excited to see what works for him, and also a bit terrified! I am sure that’s normal, but that is a lot of what runs through my mind on the daily. This Reflector nocturnal alien gal is going to have to do some normal human stuff here for a while. I am sure it will be great… but different. Very.
At the same time as all of this, I have always wanted to be a mom. For as long as I can remember. When I was only six years old, my oldest sister had a baby boy and I became a very young Auntie Jojo for the first time. I loved my nephew Theo so fiercely (still do) and never wanted to leave his side. I vividly remember crying my eyes out and telling my parents, “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM!!!” And… it’s true. I felt a primal need inside of me to be near him. To sing to him. To rock him to sleep. I even remember making up a lullaby that I sang the whole way home from a camping trip to him, very quietly in the backseat, for literal hours with custom lyrics all about him. 😂 When we pulled up to my house I wouldn’t get out because I wanted to dream up the perfect lyrics to finish the song.
I was always thrilled for the day to come that I would get to have my own baby. Then, with my Lyme diagnosis, things became very scary and very real because I didn’t know for a while if or when I would ever be healthy enough for that day to arrive. I knew I would fight until it was possible. And when I tell you every ounce of fight within me to heal from Lyme disease was fueled by the motivation of becoming a mother, that is the complete and utter truth. Without the strength of knowing that my future babies were on their way, I really don’t know if I could have done it. Five years of extreme healing, pain, otherness, dead to the world exhaustion, bone numbing fatigue, mental fog and confusion, surgeries and experimental healing treatments… it was all worth it because I knew one day I would heal and this day would be here.
So now, in the final days of pregnancy, a journey that has been so beautifully intricate and incredible, and also LONG (did you know pregnancy is really 10 months, not 9?! Basically a whole year of prep for this baby to come) I am caught in the in-between of wanting to cherish every ounce of this time, and feeling so ready for my baby to be here.
The other thing about wanting to soak in this time is that I am so madly in love with Jonathan, and I love the life we have together. I love our beach days and our long evening walks and our lazy Sundays and our adventurous trips around the world and everything in between. I just love our life. I love our freedom! So yes, I am so so wanting to soak in this time just me and him. (And Huddy, of course. Our trio is unbreakable!!). But also, I find that when you get really stuck on wanting to “soak in time” and “make it count” that feeling can turn maniacal pretty quickly. Or at least it can for me. Because a lot of moments simply are mundane, and then you feel guilty that they’re mundane, or that you’re wasting a millisecond of these final weeks arguing about something as trivial as nursery wall artwork. But it happens!
And mix in the pregnancy hormones and the power of this time of in-between… and it reallllyyy happens. And that is all just part of the process. I found it so beautiful in the article I shared above when she writes, “To give birth, whether at home in a birth tub with candles and family or in a surgical suite with machines and a neonatal team, a woman must go to the place between this world and the next, to that thin membrane between here and there. To the place where life comes from, to the mystery, in order to reach over to bring forth the child that is hers. This round woman is not going into battle, but she is going to the edge of her being where every resource she has will be called on to assist in this journey.”
This process is not simply biological, it is spiritual. At a primal level, I know in my soul of souls that I am already in the early stages of labor. Very early. Last week alone, my body spoke to me loud and clear with contractions and my cervix dilating to 1cm. I thought I was fully in labor, so we went to the hospital! It turns out it was just my body speaking to me telling me to slow way down — and this felt like the ultimate initiation. My doctor joked to us that at least we got a tour of the hospital. 😂 But seriously, the emotions alone are indicators to me of the early early stages of labor.
As far as how I feel energetically: I feel like I want to shut out from the world and be home, clearing out space and making so much extra room for all of the energy to come. I have been so exceptionally social & “on” during this pregnancy, and it’s been fun and fulfilling, but I feel like that phase is over. It has definitely passed. I feel exhausted and totally not mentally in the space to be around lots of people.
I really resonate with the way that Eastern cultures celebrate pregnancy, and in the third trimester mothers-to-be are not expected to do anything except for rest. There is no work, no expectations to be out and about, no physical labor whatsoever, no pressure at all. This time is regarded as sacred, and her body is treated like a temple. I also feel a massive, primal need to get into nature – to surround myself with the ocean and the trees and the sounds of stillness. My heart LONGS to live in nature, away from the city noises, I feel like this is my baby boy calling me to our new home… 🌿
It’s very different here in the west. I fall prey to it completely, the fast-paced way that we live. Mothers are expected to work until they basically give birth, and oftentimes are given very minimal time off. Because I work for myself, there will be no paid leave, but I will be carving out that time for myself and my baby because nothing to me feels more important. And beyond that, the way pregnant women are poked and prodded and treated like somewhat of a science experiment in many doctor’s offices… versus the freaking miraculous goddess vessels harboring new life that we are, literally blows my mind.
I am in awe of and bow down to the birth doulas, the midwives, the postpartum doulas, the bodyworkers, the healers, acupuncturists, prenatal chiropractors – those that have dedicated their life and their work to ushering life into this world and taking care of said mamas creating life. I am so thankful for our birth doula Patti, who has made this such a spiritual, informed, and beautiful experience so far even though we are also with an OB because of my medical history.
To sum it all up, right now is all about rest. Baby boy could be here any day, or he could surprise me and come way later in December, or even as late as January 1st. I tend to try to control my surroundings a LOT (you know this about me), so this is my ultimate lesson to just sit back and be.
If I could change one thing, I would have started taking time off sooner. This is my very final week of work before I start to really, really chill out and prepare for his arrival — but like, what was I thinking working this late in my pregnancy? My brain isn’t in the game anymore, I am fully wanting to nest and rest. It’s an innate feeling at this point. Not to mention, even with work on the back burner, there’s like ten million things to do to prepare to have a baby in our home so soon. 🙂 (Yes, true, Jonathan is doing 99% of it, but I like to think I am still at the helm of the ship.)
Speaking of Jonathan, he has been a saint for real. Shoutout to the husbands & partners who watch on in awe and in shock as we go through these epic, life altering changes both physical and emotional. Spiritual and mental as well. He has held my hand, given a million foot and arm massages, rubbed out the knots in my low back, carried me to the bathroom when walking was just too hard, wiped my tears, listened patiently as I’ve dished out all my fears and anxieties, kept me calm when I’ve spiraled, driven me to the hospital even when he really did not understand why it was necessary… he has done so much. He always does so much. I am so in love with him and he has totally been a 50/50 team with me in this process, as much as that is possible at least.
Lastly, when my pregnant friends told me that the last few weeks suddenly start to feel really slow and you start to feel REALLY READY… I couldn’t really imagine it until now. NOW I get it. Now, I feel it. I am really ready. In every way.
And this time is a PORTAL above all else… I feel like I am slipping, slipping, diving, swimming into the portal… embracing my alien nature, my oneness with the earth and nature and our creator and all that is, and stepping further and further away from “life” as we normally know it. I am not in the mood to fake it anymore, or to even pretend to not be going through this massive transformation. Hence the innate, deep, palpable desire to be home, to be cozy, to nest. It’s been the greatest portal I have ever known. The spiritual upgrades are phenomenally intense- it’s like diving into a realm I have only been aware of in my dreams, but all day every day.
& I have been meditating like 7x a day, literally. It is the only thing keeping me sane and keeping my heart from leaping out of my chest. Oh, and I officially ditched caffeine because after this weekend I realized it was just making things a lot, lot, lot harder on me anxiety-wise. The medi’s I have been doing are Joe Dispenza meditations, for everyone who’s been asking. 🙂 oh, and I don’t have it in me to respond to text messages / emails on time anymore, so if that is you who has contacted me, please know it is nothing personal!!!! It’s actually been so emotionally freeing.
I have so much more to say, but I hope this gives you a glimpse into how it’s been for us. It’s beautiful, it’s hard, it’s an initiation, that is for sure. And I am so ready to meet our little man. 🤍
More from me soon! Any questions?! What are your birth date predictions for our little one? 🙂 So grateful to take you guys along for this ride. I cannot believe how many milestones we have all been through together but I am sure happy you are here in TBB fam, and cannot wait to bring you along for this next phase in the journey.