on 16 May 2008

I have been mulling over some of these things for the past week or so, but this experience (and subsequent blog post) of the Husband's galvanized the whole thing for me...

I did a lot of rambling to him last night while he was productively writing.

Pregnancy is hard. I don't say that to be whiny or ungrateful in any way. The Husband and I planned this. We chose this. We want the boy. He's ours in all his goofy, flawed glory. And if we're being sappy--and I'm pregnant and hormonal so I am--then I can admit that we love him. (We also really hope he's cool when we get to know him, because between the two of us there is enough dorkdom in Burnstopia to last a looooong time.)

But pregnancy is still hard. Physically, it's the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm not a pansy. I played soccer for years, I ran for years, I've done yoga and walking and hiking and climbing and swimming and camping. I'm a pretty tough girl. And yet. This is still the hardest thing I've ever done. My body is not my own. I've been exhausted for the past 8 months. I've been in pain more or less for the past 8 months. I can't bend and twist and lift and move the way that I'm accustomed to and it drives me crazy. I take orders from my uterus. I can't sit normally, I can't sleep normally. I don't live normally.

But in all honesty, the physicality of pregnancy is balanced with the psychology of it. I've said before how pregnancy has messed with my head, but I've never been able to accurately describe it. I went for a walk yesterday and found clarity on South Street.

It was overcast and breezy and the air was heavy as if rain were creeping in on us. The route that I walk during my lunch breaks is entirely brick sidewalks and I have to be careful of how I step or I will topple over. So I mostly look at the ground and think while I walk.

And I realized something yesterday. I've spent most of my life and all of my adult life dealing with insubstantial things. Words words words and the theories behind those words and ethereal things...fiction and art and literature. My life has been guided and directed by my head. My world has been constructed of ideas rather than concrete things that can be touched and handled and broken.

The pregnant version of the Wife is herself much more concrete than she's ever been. I feel bound more tightly by gravity, closer to the earth, I feel heavier-- and not just because of the child, I feel emotionally heavier as well. I have become very aware of myself in my own body and what it feels like. I have never been more aware of how alive I am. I have become uncomfortably aware of my own mortality.

In the early days of pregnancy I tried not to think about all the things that can go wrong. And so I read. I read read read--all of Harry Potter, all of Lord of the Rings, Wives and Daughters, Sense and Sensibility, Bleak House, 4 by Chaim Potok, A Christmas Carol and other Christmas Tales by Dickens and book on Victorian London.

And then we had the ultrasound and the doctors told me that our Boy was perfection. And I let go of this huge breath of air that I had been holding for 17 weeks. One hurdle passed. On to the next.

Now, I find myself reading reading reading about labor and childbirth. Statistics and complications and history. History is not kind to pregnant women. It is a dangerous thing, the delivery of a child into this world. And I have, probably, an irrational fear of those complications and that history. I have, in short, become greedy. It isn't enough for me any more to bring the Boy here. I want to take care of him, I want to watch him grow and develop and learn. I want to live with him and the Husband. I want our little family.

And so, I hold my breath. Waiting to clear the next hurdle. Faintly believing, like the little engine that could, that I think I can I think I can I think I can. And all the while praying that I actually CAN. And WILL. That the two of us will make it through the pain and blood and fear to the other side.


Katrina said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! Can I link to it? I'd like to share it.

Kristin said...

That was one of the greatest explanations of pregnancy that I have ever read. Truly! I found myself very close to tears reading it and I can attest that it wasn't because of the hormones.