In February of this year, I turned to the big three-O. Thirty is one of those birthdays that seems to mark a big milestone. It is the point where you go from almost old to officially an adult. There is no hiding from it.
In many respects, I realized this week that hitting 30 weeks pregnant has felt a little bit like turning thirty all over again.
Some people dread their thirtieth birthday and cling to their twenties with feelings of nostalgia for their younger years and wilder days. Maybe I was just more comfortable with this milestone, or maybe it’s because I’m a non-drinker. Either way, I started telling people I was “almost 30″ long before February actually rolled around.
I realized recently that I was approaching my pregnancy the same way. Starting around 28 weeks when people would ask how far along I am, I would find myself answering “almost 30 weeks along!” What is it about 30 in both age and pregnancies that feels like such a turning point?
In life, I know that for me turning 30 meant the start of the year I would grow my family. I made a lot of life changes in my twenties – I stopped drinking, became a vegetarian, started running marathons, got married, and graduated from culinary school. All of those changes and decisions sort of culminated into me becoming an adult. A thirty year old. Someone who can be a wife, a writer, and mother.
In pregnancy, I spent the first 20 or so weeks scared and anxious that something would go wrong and this gift would never actually become a real person. The twenties then brought a lot of changes – my belly grew quickly, we made a lot of progress on the nursery, and I started to feel more prepared for the journey that lies ahead. There is something about hitting week 30 that feels like a light at the end of the tunnel is suddenly right in front of me and getting closer by the minute.
Thirty feels like a good fit for me. I feel more confident and prepared than I did in my twenties, in both my life and my pregnancy. And just as I looked forward to my thirtieth birthday with excitement and hope, I am entering my 30th week of pregnancy feeling ready for the future. Soon enough I will end one journey and begin another. And before I know it there will be another birthday upon us, except this time it will be the birth of our little boy.
Someday he will turn thirty, and I can only hope is first thirty years are as exciting, sometimes scary, and truly wonderful as mine.