I'm grateful that I didn't mentally rush to the end of my pregnancy. I hear many mothers wishing away their pregnancy and, though I don't think less of them and I can see where they are coming from, I'm grateful that I didn't do that. Contrary to many things in my life, pregnancy has been something I've never tried to rush.
With most things, I'm looking for the most efficient way possible to get it over with and overall not doing a very good job of "stopping to smell the roses." My reasons for not being that way with pregnancy haven't always been positive.
With my first pregnancy I was in no hurry to get it over with because everything was new and exciting- but also mainly I was too scared of birth to want it to arrive any faster than necessary.
The second time fear played a much less dominant role and I tried to savor the time... and I'm glad I did. Especially now.
Once a little one is born, many wonderful and new things are there to experience, but the pregnancy part is over (until pregnant again.) I've been blessed with wonderfully boring, healthy pregnancies both times, and while each trimester brings different challenges, there's not a part I'd be willing to skip. Now that I've experienced natural childbirth, birth is not a part I'm willing to skip either.
I have a theory that memories rarely stay true to strict reality, but morph- dependent on the reality of our present circumstances. However, memories are not only changed by the present, but the present is changed by those memories. The two are tied together and constantly changing each other. Sometimes this means enriching each other, like Elias's birth did for me. The memory of the birth is special to me. He is the special product of that birth that is always in my present. These two facts, though he is always changing and moving forward into the future, play off of each other and each make the other more special.
I think that how this works with regret depends on how we respond. Memory of lessons learned is a good thing if we let it be that: learned. It can push us to do better things or it can drag us down into self-destructive, vicious cycles.
It's wonderful to me how Elias and his birth have not only helped me bond with him, but have given me a new dimension of appreciation for Talia as well. His little milestones help me remember hers with greater clarity. Her awed, careful responses to him just makes all of it so much sweeter when combined with all of the ways I've been blessed to watch her grow and mature. She puts perspective to how little he really is and he reminds me how far, really, she has come from infancy.
Birth is life changing, no matter how you experience it. I'm glad I get to view it from this perspective.