I can’t take it down. It’s been sitting there for months, and I still I can’t do it. Perhaps I need to call in a professional (like my mother) to come in and remove it for me. It’s just that it’s the last vestige of my pregnancy. Well, that and a belly that jiggles like Santa’s when he laughs—at my belly. But, that’s all that’s left of a preggo me. (Oh, right, and a baby. ) I just can’t bring myself to throw away—The List taped to my bathroom mirror. Once I take it down, I will no longer be pregnant—even though I had my baby six weeks ago.
The List served its purpose months ago, reminding me of practical things like taking pajamas to the hospital, remembering my little one’s clothes, and packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And while I do enjoy making lists (grocery lists, goal lists, the Hottest Bounty Hunter in Star Wars lists) this is not why The List still hangs in my bathroom. It remains there because it reminds me that I was once a pregnant lady.
I never felt the proverbial pregnancy “glow.” (Unless we are talking about the flushed, sweaty glow that happened every time I ordered a milkshake.) I found myself in bed a lot watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, exhausted for no other reason than my body was busy making tiny fingers and toes. I was pretty miserable, but I was happy to be pregnant. I was happy to know that I was carrying around a little one that my husband and I had created together.
Even though I don’t miss the achy swollen feet and the waddling, I do miss the baby inside. I miss feeling his tiny movements and singing to him in the shower. I miss feeling like my little one belonged to me and only me. We shared secret hiccups and inside jokes, and sadly he will never remember any of that. When he is old enough I will bore him with stories that begin with, “When I was pregnant with you … ” while he rolls his eyes and responds with phrases that sound a lot like, “Awww, Mom … ” as he shuffles back up to his teenage room. I will be alone in my memories—that are already starting to get fuzzy.
Like Marty McFly in the photograph in Back to the Future, my recollections of being pregnant are fading. Those happy and uncomfortable memories are being wiped away by too many sleepless nights and are being replaced by the real-life baby I hold in my arms. I try to picture what he looked like hanging out inside my stomach, and now all I can see is someone no longer connected to me in the same way he once was—and never will be again.
And that’s why my List still hangs on my mirror. Eventually it will have to come down, and maybe once my hormones settle I will be able to throw it away.
Or 18 years from now my son will enter the bathroom and remark, “Mom, seriously. It’s time to take that thing down.”