It took me three tries to remember my password to get in here; has it been that long? I suppose I have just spent all my time being pregnant and teaching and not being reflective. I think this year has been the least reflective year of my life. I don’t go to coffee shops anymore, journal or book in hand, to struggle over some philosophical tidbit. Somewhere in there I lowered my standards immensely and got practical, and folding laundry while watching 30 Rock began to sound like a great night. It’s hard to sit still now and I no longer identify with Mary. Martha, though, I totally get and I am a little disgruntled about the whole story when I think about it.
However, school got out today and now I don’t have to think about my little children for such a long time! That is a terrible mindset. I read all these sentimental teachers and I just can’t identify. I love my students, yes, but I was truly bitter and resentful when they gave me the flu last week and I’m so tired of their well-intentioned but oh-so-constant questioning and touching. I am as happy as a clam to hand them over to my maternity leave sub, and it is the most delicious feeling to think I can concentrate on my baby now. Lack of sleep, etc, notwithstanding, I can be a hermit for three whole months with someone who can’t talk!
Being pregnant is utterly fascinating and I wish I had kept some sort of journal during this time. To sum up 40 weeks of not blogging, my pregnancy has gone like this:
Montha 1-2: Utter excitement over that little postive line. Manic research into nutrition, fitness, birth options, etc.
Months 3-4: Blew the food budget and grand nutritional plans and ate lots of humble pie as nausea laid me low. I was no match for it. Lowest point: throwing up into a bag in my car at a stop light next to a truck full of construction workers.
Months 5-8: Felt fantastic. Got back into yoga and eating right and finally started to feel connected to the baby with his kicks and movements.
I am in month 9 of course, and still am blessed to feel so good. Now I am just a manic lady who spends a lot of time cleaning and “setting up,” and still not much time reflecting, unless incessant chatter about birth and pregnancy counts. The last three days I’ve had so many contractions I think labor is starting every time, which had finally made me more reflective, at least about the indimidating process through which babies leave their mother’s bodies. Waiting for birth is very interesting. It is not like getting proposed to or asked out by the man you love (with the uncertainty of “Will it ever happen?”) or waiting for a wedding (which has a certain date). Birth will come; but there is an enormous window for timing and how it will proceed, and I find it’s a bit of work to just wait and relax until it comes.
I hope I will have time–or rather take the time– to write about motherhood when it is still new for me. The adjustment started way back with marriage, when I gave up my own life for an “ours.” I have a sense of it now, in that for months my choices have affected my baby and any autonomony I still retained in marriage is now gone. Someone will be completely dependent on me and it will be an even deeper experience of my life not being my own.
I think birth control has changed our view of children. I think recently people view children as commodities, and that we have them because they are cute, or protect us from loneliness, or can amuse us. If we have too many, too soon, too close together, then people wonder why we weren’t better planners, and aren’t exactly sympathetic. Children are more often than not planned these days, which can be a huge blessing, but sometimes I think it makes it hard to remember that they are the natural fruit of marriage (and in fact “planning” could be more accurately termed “stopping it from happening every 18 months or so”). God puts most of us in marriages, and he gives most of us children, and both are central ways through which we serve him for most of our lives. I read somewhere that having a baby–bringing new life into the world– is an act of hope and great faith, because to do so you must trust that God is restoring and saving a chaotic and seemingly increasingly evil world. Sometimes I am afraid if I complain about nausea or eventually colic or diapers that people might say, “Well, you asked for this.”
Remembering that having children is an actual direction from God for most people helps me think through what is coming any day now. We are literally about to receive a gift from God, and it will be a little eternal soul on whom his blessing already rests, and for whom he has great plans. This week in an attempt to jumpstart labor, I have been walking, taking vitamins, scrubbing floors on my hands and knees– anything that will get labor started so I can take advantage of my Christmas break and be home with him longer. I think I need to include having a quiet soul on that list, and becoming a mother who knows from whom her child comes.