Round about August the past two years I have started to notice all the hugely pregnant women there are. This continues through mid September and is exacerbated by the Minnesota State Fair, where every tenth woman seems to have journeyed for the specific purpose of jump-starting labor.
That's what I was going to do.
It's a complicated thing, my reaction to full term pregnant women and women who have delivered healthy full-term babies. (If they have also had care free pregnancies and seem to lead uttey charmed lives, the reaction is much less complicated.)
On the one hand, it is marvelous that these families and babies do not have the ordeal of extended hospitalization and uncertainty. I do not wish that on anyone. On the other, there's a mix of jealousy and loss.
I cannot change things, and we have a frankly fabulous son who is thriving, but still I wonder what it would have been like to be that big and to feel all that movement. I think about a birth experience that did only involved the regular amount of fear and trepidation. I dream about being able to hold my baby when he was born and bring him home with me when I left the hospital.
Not every day, not all year. But it's there, and it probably always will, even as I mentally thank all the nurses and doctors who made it possible for me to have the amazing daily experiences I have with our healthy, growing boy.