Thoughts on a First Trimester
Dearest Baby Star:
I wear a reminder of you around my neck. A necklace given me by your Aunt Teresa, who has shared every intimate path of this journey with your mother so far. We have nicknamed you thusly because we had a bit of a scare around 5 weeks when I decided dancing at a holiday party was a good idea. If I danced as a normal person, things would have been fine, but I rigorously bounced you around until you decided to let me know you didn't like it. After a weekend of bed-rest to restabilize you, I began to muse about how you were not unlike the gas balls in the night sky I pondered, atoms forming in their ostentatious "something from nothing" way. Auntie me some Bowie lyrics, "Look out your window, I can see his light. If we can sparkle, he may land tonight," and as I pondered you as a star looking down upon me and safely waiting to descend, it comforted me endlessly. We've called you this ever since. I think of your essence, your spirit and soul forming in that safe, vast, expanse inside me.
We've spent 3 months together already, and I can hardly fathom it. I hoped the weeks would pass quickly, as each meant you were statistically safer and safer. These first weeks of pregnancy have been very hard, much of what I hung my identity upon was stripped from me in the name of nausea, fatigue, and paralyzing introversion. Much of how I imagined finding out I was pregnant and telling people was so entirely different from what transpired, and within this truism I stumbled upon the first lesson of motherhood. You will find that your mother loves to prepare herself as much as possible, but life is anything but predictable and we must allow ourselves the reality of now, its true pleasures and pains, instead of insisting on shoulds and would-haves. I believe you will continue to be the teacher in this regard, and I humbly accept and anticipate any lessons the universe bequeaths me through you.
However, much like you are apparently swimming somersaults inside of me, I am also beginning to awaken and uncover excitement at the prospect of meeting you! Instead of praying for the time to pass, instead of hoping to survive each day without nausea or a migraine, instead of the relational anxiety and attention involved in being pregnant, instead of the dread of birth and parental fears, I have brain power to now consider the important things - such as the soundtrack of your development. Your father will be instrumental in that. I am able to apply more thought to healthy eating instead of just what will stay with me, and trying to establish a way for me to move more so that labor is easier for us both. I've begun to think about my birth expectations and plan, already realizing that many people have opinions about such things. I've been learning to self-assert, to assure myself and others that the only thing good for you is what Joel and I decide upon.
I've taken to examining my body for any signs of growth, but still - despite small changes, you remain hidden. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to suck in my stomach and I am rapidly outgrowing my shamefully large denim collection. I now steal your father's big sweaters and wander around the house ensconced in his smell, his comfort, and his goodness - which you will marvel at for all of your years. We are so lucky, you and I.
I've refused to give up my nightly ritual of baths (as Western doctors suggest), but am careful to take my temperature before and after; I hope you are enjoying them also. I am forever snacking during these bathings. Last week it was a bean and cheese burrito. In the beginning, it was either saltines or sourdough toast with butter and my homemade raspberry jam. Sometimes I swear my belly pokes the water's surface, but I feel I must be imagining things. I still get a bit fatigued standing in the shower and must sit for several minutes as the drops pour down my back. I meditate on the nature of water and wonder if you will inherit my soul's longing for the ocean or your father's love affair with forested mountain peaks. Where on this beautiful planet will you feel your eternal nature speak to you? For precious borrowed time, I will whisper it in your ear until you can discover it yourself, in solitude, in your father's science and music, and in the words of your mother's poets, and in David Bowie.
Be at peace, Baby Star.