The Blooming Season

This weekend is a big one for me.

On Saturday, I’ll be thirty-five years old. (Holy smokes.) And of course, Sunday is Mother’s Day.

Over the past week or so, something has been making me feel slightly odd and touched in the head. There’s been a phantom baby inside me. Not that I have actual pregnancy symptoms (other than exhaustion and fluctuations in appetite, which can be chalked up to the baby outside me). I am definitely not pregnant.

But it’s weird – I feel movements. Convincing ones that make me involuntarily put a hand on my abdomen.

If at this point you want to take me gently aside and explain about my digestive system and gas bubbles, don’t worry. I know most of what I’m feeling is the normal business of the human body. I’ve been thinking to myself, Dilovely, you’re being ridiculous, you haven’t been pregnant for seven months.

And then it occurred to me: I have spent a large fraction of the last five years pregnant. More specifically, I have been pregnant for 4 of the last 5 birthdays and Mother’s Days.

In 2008, one of the years my birthday coincided with Mother’s Day, a cluster of cells the size of a poppyseed was growing in my womb, only to release itself 17 days later.

In 2009, I was rotund, less than a month away from the hardest and most amazing experience of my life to that date: delivering my firstborn son.

In 2011, I was expecting his brother, who would, as you know, arrive five weeks early, and leave us even before we held him.

Last year on Mother’s Day, I was halfway through my pregnancy with Baby AB, having monthly ultrasounds and periodic ECGs, hyper-aware of every signal she provided telling me she was okay. Now, she’s just over seven months old, and as healthy as rosy little piglet. She weighs over four times what Sebastian weighed at birth.

Once I put all this together, I stopped fretting about my phantom baby. No wonder when I sing lullabies to my daughter, I find myself reflexively imagining the sound travelling through my body to envelop a tiny person inside. It kind of makes sense that as my body takes in the thrilling fragrances of the blooming season, it should also remember its own blooming. It’s not a flight of fancy; it’s just a memory.

Baby Sleeping in a Rose by Catt Kyriacou

And why should I be the only one to feel this presence?

This morning, E asked me, seemingly apropos of nothing, “Mama, when is the new baby coming?”

There was an upside-down moment where I was right in step with his question, then a jolt as I reminded myself that it was a strange thing for him to say.

I had to ask him to repeat it, just to be sure I’d heard him right. I know he still wishes for a baby brother (one he can keep). Lovingly, I told him I’m not pregnant; he responded matter-of-factly, “Yes, you are.”

And it’s rational enough. Why shouldn’t I be pregnant every spring, like a mama duck? His memories of my pregnancies may be vague, but they might still inform his inner concept of spring.


My first uninhabited Mother’s Day since Sebastian. There’s something really hard about this.


In truth, I’m glad not to be pregnant. I definitely have my arms full as it is. If I feel emptiness as well… I can manage it. It hurts, but then – there’s so much joy in living with my scrumptious little progeny. This full-empty Mother’s Day is unique to this moment in my life, this golden babyhaving time that’s as tough as it is glorious – and brief.

I’m thankful for all of it.



Visit Yeah Write for some high quality weekend reading…


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27 thoughts on “The Blooming Season

  1. emerge says:

    Oh my gosh. Big hugs.

    What a question from E! He has such a mind…

    Were we talking recently about how I can’t remember which summer it was that I was thinking of, any which baby you were pregnant with? You have been pregnant for a lot of the time I’ve lived with you. You’re like the total pro.

    That is an amazing photo. Especially precious expression on AB. She knows something…

  2. Helen says:

    What a great picture!

    And happy birthday and happy mother’s day!

    In the almost-32 years I’ve known you, I’ve only seen you pregnant for about a week and a half (last summer), so in my mind, you’re never pregnant, and these small children in the picture and in your blog missives just magically appear 🙂

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Thanks, Helen! I kinda love the idea of these children magically appearing – although pregnancy can be lovely, ESPECIALLY in retrospect.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Thank you. And you’re right, it does help. The white bear in the photo was given to my son when his baby brother didn’t come home, and somehow being able to represent that brother in a family photo is comforting.

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Thank you, Daniel! I’m sure they’ll bring me many things, SOME of which are not joy, but hey. I signed up for that.

  3. Mama says:

    Lovely – post and photo (yay, Lou Lou!) and you!

    And yes, of course, Arwen knows something. Babies know everything – haven’t they just arrived from the Infinite and All-knowing? – and then they forget. I think my mom was starting to remember some of what she’d forgotten…

    Bless you and your kids and their dads!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      I love to think of your mom back in the Infinite and All-Knowing.

      I’m pretty sure my kids all just had the one dad… oh you mean MY dad too. Yes, definitely bless him!

  4. Maureen P-H says:

    I always love when I come across your posts in my fb newsfeed. You are such a beautiful writer. It’s such a treat reading your posts. Also, your children are beautiful. What a lovely picture. 🙂 Wishing you all well! Happy belated Mother’s Day!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Maureen, thank you for those kind words. They mean a lot to me. My hope is that someday my kids can hang out with you, at Camp perhaps? Wishing you well too!

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