November 25, 2010
I'm Pregnant. Really?
Lately, in that strange and fuzzy limbo between sleeping and waking, I've been forgetting that I'm pregnant.
It's just for a split second, but for that tiny sliver of time, I don't believe it's real. This is followed by another micro-second of wondering if I made the whole thing up and have created a phantom pregnancy, my tummy growing with a pretend baby because I REALLY, REALLY wanted to be pregnant.
It is the strangest sensation. I don't remember having it when I was pregnant with Jack.
As reality seeps in, along with the daylight peeking through the blinds, I know it's not true. I am pregnant. With a real live baby. It's not just 43 boxes of Uncle Toby's cereal swilling around in there. There have been ultrasounds and kicks and a heartbeat loud and clear on my obstetrician's doppler speaker. Cereal does not kick you in the bladder.
As if I can have any doubt, I only have to try moving. Each morning I mentally prepare to hoist myself into an upright position and get my feet onto the floor. Like an Olympic weightlifter, I clench my face into a mask of concentration before attempting a personal best, getting the extra 100 grams that have piled on overnight, off the bed.
My legs, creaking slowly in their hip sockets, feel like the rusty corkscrews of a reformed alcoholic, and just as useless, as I take the first few small robotic steps of the day.
My abdomen is tightly strung and I hold my hands under it's weight as I make my way to the kitchen to get Jack's breakfast. The baby does a lazy roll and a foot or elbow causes an extra bump to appear on the left of my stomach. I know the baby is head down and I imagine it settling into the cradle of my pelvis for the day as I move slowly through my day. Kerthunk.
Before long, my joints loosen and my body settles in to itself. I feel less like a 90 year old arthritis patient and more like a weightier, less fit version of myself. With reflux. And wind.
As the day wears on, I waddle from room to room. I've tried not waddling but it's too much of an effort. Easier to make like a duck.
I nest, I nap, I do a little work. I wander in to the baby's room and find it difficult to believe that I will be carrying a newborn to bed in that room in two weeks, maybe less.
And every day, despite the stiffness and the reflux and the mental trickery and all the other symptoms that growing a human being inflicts upon its mother, there is unbelievable gratitude, utter wonderment and a kind of serenity that allows me to transcend the physical and float towards my child's birth day.
For now, I can ignore the doubts, the fears, the outside world full of petty grievance and trivial domesticity, and, just for a little while, let myself be the cat who got the cream.
Image courtesy of willowtreegifts.net