Time

Eventually, the weeks start to fly by. You're 17 weeks, and then you're 22. And you're on the verge of entering your sixth month; now, how did that happen?

You may no longer wait, became impatient, think longingly into the distant future and imagine some vague and dreamy notion of a child. Now it's kicking so much that your stomach erupts in little twitches and jabs. The fog starts to lift. A child is abound.

Where before, a week felt like a month ... where before, you would tell people, earnestly, that you were seven weeks and five and a half days, now you have no time to even talk about these things, really. You're registering for items you've never heard of, amazed at the sheer quantity of<em> stuff</em> this kicking baby will require. You spend your time reading Consumer Reports and reviews on Amazon.com and weighing the pros and cons of cosleeping. You are in a hurry now. A race against time. How had nine months actually seemed so long once?

The women on those pregnancy forums--the ones who are in the same month as you--are experts now. So, too, you become an expert. You stop reading your "week-by-week" e-mails, no longer in need of reassurance that this baby inside you is, in fact, really there. Your symptoms are symptoms, no longer mysterious betrayals of the body requiring analysis by other women, consultations with books and nurses. They just are--heartburn, nose bleeds, pelvic pain, discharge, hemorrhoids. No intrigue there.

You left off your pregnancy guide somewhere around month five. What more is there to know? The rest you can navigate yourself  . . . at least until birth. There'll be birthing classes, and a mother's instinct to rely on now.

Some days, you forget your prenatal vitamins. Some days, you may eat a bit of soft cheese, a slice of ham, take a sip of wine with dinner.

Like dreaming in a newly acquired language, once you get far enough along,  in your dreams, you are pregnant.

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