Musings of a Mum: 32 Weeks
Time has become stranger and stranger. I feel as though I woke up and was suddenly 7 months pregnant. However, those first 7 months felt like an eternity. Similarly, the remaining 9 weeks feel like forever while simultaneously not containing enough days to get all the preparations ready for your arrival.
You know, I always thought I would be an anxious pregnant person. While I cannot confess to euphoric peace or a general feeling of deep calm, I have really not been too anxious about you and your development. It's been an interesting exercise (and no doubt good preparation for birth) to trust my body to do its natural thing. Speaking of birth, we finished up those birthing classes and just last night took a breastfeeding course at the hospital. This means I am 100% prepared for your arrival and will now know what to do at all times. Of course it does.
The last few weeks have been rough. We lost Denise, we've traveled an insane amount (tomorrow we leave for LA - which will be our fourth trip to CA in 6 weeks), and we've entered the 3rd trimester almost unaware. A new fatigue surrounds my body and slowly drips into my soul. I find myself, like the first trimester, wanting to hide from social obligations and failing in my attempt to conjuring up energy from empty wells. Within this fatigue, I've found more voices of self-judgement and am endlessly confronted with the opportunities to forgive myself and be gentle with these days. I've cried more in the last two weeks than the entire pregnancy. I have felt so lonely and miss my sister, my Red, my inner sanctum of women, yet rarely have the energy to pursue or endure social things. I've had the motivation to work on projects, but my body stubbornly refuses to move. A human being is interesting to encounter when she confronts her own incapacities.
You are moving like a banchie! I can see your limbs kicking and feel you stretching out into my ribs. I am still shocked by it, but also making myself take comfort in its assurances of your well being. I am still taking warm baths nightly, but have also found that swimming at our local pool is nearly the only time I find I am completely comfortable. Your dad has been a saint to me, even if he's not given up whiskey...and I've had to confront my dependence upon him head-on. He's begun to hand me my seat-belt when I get into the car (he's held the door open for me for years now), and I found it so considerate and kind, as it is extremely hard to twist at the waist for such activities. It's not been pleasant to be so dependent, as your mother is a very independent lady. You've been content with my diet so far, as I've not had any huge cravings. Still, fruit of all kinds has been on my radar, as well as soft-serve ice cream, which is uncommonly hard to find in this city.
There is a lot to ponder...a confusing sea of dread, fear, excitement, and curiosity awaits. In atypical fashion, I've found I'm more comfortable skimming the surface of all that is to come. I suppose something wise inside of me knows that there is no way to dive in yet, my fins aren't ready. I've learned that people speak more negatively of newborn-life than positively, and I've learned to not judge them for it. Parents, no humans...are simply not careful enough about what they say to others - as if their experience is the ultimate truth for everyone. "Forget about trying to get her on a feeding schedule..." or "My baby sleeps through the night at 6 weeks!" or my recent favorite analogy, completely unsolicited from a near stranger, "Being pregnant is like waiting in line for a scary roller-coaster. You are anxious as you watch others scream and think about how intense it must be as they all flail about. But then you get on, and it's even more intense then you could have imagined." How is that, IN ANY WAY, supposed to comfort a new mother? It makes me want to steal us all away to figure it out on our own, which we will.
Enclosed above is a California Poppy. While in the state of CA, they are illegal to pick. As a child, I would go with my family to the Poppy reserve close to our house, and we would stare at the fields of orange blowing in the Antelope Valley wind. We will be going there Friday, and I hope you'll sense the magic. Here in WA, poppies grow like weeds. Joel doesn't even care about them! I see them all the time and have never allowed myself to pick one. Today, in our very own yard, I saw one and immediately picked it. It was a sacred moment. It sits here with us as I write to you.