Every night after I tucked my 2 and 1-year old daughters into bed, I'd sneak back downstairs.
I'd arm myself with the ice cream scoop, grab a tub of Blue Bunny and plop my big-bellied self down on the couch.
I'd spent the whole day waddling around the pitter-pattering feet of my toddlers, but now it was time for me to focus on that miracle growing inside my belly.
With my feet kicked up for the night, the creamy, chilled scoops of ice cream were well-earned relaxation from a carton. Each spoonful was sweet enough to get her rolling, punching and somersaulting.
I'd count her kicks and log 'em on my phone -- usually 10 within 10-minutes. And then I'd watch her tumble across my belly until she'd nestle in and get comfy for the night.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss moments like this from my pregnancy.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss tossing and turning each night; the moments where it seemed like she and I were the only two awake in the world.
I wish I had known how much I'd yearn for her jabs to the bladder and ribs; her gentle and sometimes not-so-subtle reminders she's still there, and she's okay.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss taking selfies in the bathroom mirror; how much I'd long for the days of watching my husband's old t-shirts progressively shrink into tight-fitting crop tops, barely covering the front of my growing belly.
And how much I'd miss driving to the doctor's office with my toddlers in tow for monthly and weekly appointments; how much I'd miss the anticipation of the nurse calling my name in the waiting room and whisking me back to hear the thump-thumps of her heartbeat or watch her little arms wiggle and legs flutter across the ultrasound screen.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss the justification to eat heaps of shredded pork, gas station donuts and Hot Tamales. Oh, those Hot Tamales...
I wish I had known how much I'd miss her big sisters eagerly stretching their arms across my belly to feel her kicks and resting their heads on their new squishy pillow while talking to their baby sister about this big, beautiful world she was about to see.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss the anticipation of her birth -- her beautiful, grand entrance into the world. How much I'd miss watching her take her first breath, whimper out her first cry and take her first glimpse into her Mommy and Daddy's eyes.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss those moments; the quiet moments of just me and her; the moments where I was the only person she knew, where I was enough and all she needed; where the bond we shared was something only we knew and understood.
While I'm incredibly grateful she's here, I wish I had known how truly fast my nine months with her would go.
I wish I had known how much I'd miss being pregnant.
Read more about Shelley's journey through infertility, adoption and pregnancy at ShelleySkuster.com.
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