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05 July 2012 @ 08:22 pm
Maternity Musings: Preparation.  
Week 29 Status Check:
Baby is resting comfortably with his back against Tummy Left (like Stage Left, but in utero), his head down and arms and legs located on Tummy Right. His little feet occasionally like to test the elasticity of my belly by stretching out alllll the wayyyy, jostling whatever I had for dinner/lunch/breakfast before retracting and/or wriggling around like he's pedaling a bicycle. I fear at some point my skin will not retract with his feet. There's just too much kiddie calisthenics going on in there.

Also, TheBump.com says he's the size of an acorn squash. I don't know what that means, considering he feels like an enormous, huge, and also large bowling ball-type thing.

That mated at some point with a halibut.

An evolved halibut with feet.

I've been told the last trimester is supposed to get you out of the whole "gee, this pregnancy thing is weird and cool" phase, through the "this is getting pretty darn uncomfortable now" phase, and into the "I'm ready to get this baby out of my poor, exhausted, irritated self" phase. That way, when you're in the midst of the worst pain of your life, you've at least had some time to contemplate the disastrous bodily consequences of carrying your baby into his/her adulthood. I'm willing to believe it.

So, childbirth classes and birth coaching methods aside, there's already a kind of preparation happening. More than breathing and positions and visualization techniques, I think it all amounts to this: I have less than 3 months to learn to let go.

Below, the shortlist of things I have given up:

1. The desire to get up out of bed instead of rolling off the side.
2. The ability to control the volume of a sneeze.
3. My favorite fashion-forward shoes. (High heels are for pregnant ladies looking for a major injury.)
4. My high-speed New York walk.
5. My love of warm breezes.
6. Sleep. (Not completely, yet, but it's only a matter of time before the rest goes.)
7. My tolerance for childbirth horror stories.
8. Prioritizing my job over my family.
9. Motivation. (To get another glass of water. To get up and manually turn on anything that has a remote. To walk up the escalators. You get the picture.)
10. The fight to stop people from rubbing my belly.

It isn't that I feel deprived. I just think that the hidden task of getting through your third trimester is coming to the realization that your body, your routines, your choices, and your LIFE are not your own anymore and will never be that way again. Even marriage offers a degree of personal space, but pregnancy, and ultimately, parenthood involves relinquishing your hold on everything you think is yours. Even your breathing - the thing people love to say is the one thing in this life you can control - is temporarily threatened by this growing, kicking creature who probably feels a little cramped as well and has no idea that you are trading lung capacity for their increased comfort.

So once you've let go of [nearly] everything, who reaps the benefits of your former assets? Well, there are a number of beneficiaries:
1. The stranger/coworker who feels like they've connected with something extraordinary by rubbing your belly.
2. Your spouse who is drawing emotionally closer to you and your child with every additional meal he prepares, chore he performs, and compliment he pays to your ever expanding body.
3. Your family members and friends who are better able to forget past losses, grief, and inconveniences with the excitement of your baby's imminent arrival.
4. Your baby, who is cross-training for the real world at the same time as he/she is teaching you how to be a superhero.

And of course,

5. Yourself. Because even your loose joints and stretch marks cannot quite dull the long-lasting, transformative impact of being one with creation through the intermediary of your kicky, squirmy, little guru.

As of right now, baby and I are closer together than we will ever be again after September (fingers crossed), and I'm trying my best to remember to enjoy it while it lasts. Because when he's born, the "others" will descend and want to hold him and coo at him, and they will forget all about me and the nine months I spent alone with him - getting to know him and falling hopelessly in love with him. And I will have to, once again, find the strength to let go.
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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on July 6th, 2012 12:40 am (UTC)
Venessamudblood428 on July 6th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
*hugs* Thanks. :)
Margie: Butterfly and Dasiecauldroncakebkr on July 6th, 2012 12:48 am (UTC)
I could read your words all day long.

It seems that you have learned something my grasshopper. The hardest job you will ever love is about to happen to you. Motherhood. And with it you will have lessons in letting go in so many varying degrees. You are going to do just fine with all of them.

And fear not. The belly rubbing stops as soon as you become a mother.
Venessamudblood428 on July 6th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
"Motherhood. And with it you will have lessons in letting go in so many varying degrees. You are going to do just fine with all of them."

Oh, Margie, I hope so. I have nightmares about those "varying degrees" all the time. I can't say how much I appreciate your encouragement, especially knowing the wonderful mom you are to your boys. I think motherhood is just going to be one of those things I'm going to have to wing. (And I'm never quite comfortable at winging things these days...)

*hugs*
Margie: Butterfly and Dasiecauldroncakebkr on July 6th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC)
Honey, We are all winging it. But that is how we learn to fly.
I was called Sunshine the other day, made me happy: Childhood Ron and Ginnypenny_sieve on July 6th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
This is beautiful, thanks for sharing with us!
Venessamudblood428 on July 6th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, Penny. I'm looking forward to sharing these entries with my wee one when he's not so wee anymore - you guys are awesome beta readers. ;)
i am a trick questionkilted on July 6th, 2012 01:08 am (UTC)
I love your writing :)
Julie: Rubber Duckieaggiebell90 on July 6th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
I just think that the hidden task of getting through your third trimester is coming to the realization that your body, your routines, your choices, and your LIFE are not your own anymore and will never be that way again. Even marriage offers a degree of personal space, but pregnancy, and ultimately, parenthood involves relinquishing your hold on everything you think is yours.

I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right. And I think you're WAY more prepared for this than I ever was, because you've figured it out before your baby was born. I love that you're writing out your thoughts like this, but what I love most of all is how easy it is to see how very much you love your husband and your son. He is a lucky little boy to have you for his mother. (And while I'm absolutely certain that there are going to be times that you think you're the worst mom ever--because every mother I've ever spoken to feels that way at least once--I'm here to tell you not to listen to that voice. It doesn't know what it's talking about, and the evidence is right here in your journal.)
Nate the Great: Moviesmajor_dallas on July 6th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
7. My tolerance for childbirth horror stories.

My mother to this day hates me for my being 3 weeks late and having wide shoulders...true story. She apparently in her advance years recalls the "joy" that was my birth and when talking with my younger sisters, when they were expecting their first child. The point, my family is littered with Drama Queens[/end humorous and embarrassing story]
The Elephant in the Room: Shunapennswoods on July 6th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
I like how you've found the strength and positives in the changes you encounter through your pregnancy. I'm so excited for you V. By reading your tales, I can sort of imagine what this must feel like on some level.
Mistress of Squicktripperfunster on July 6th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Everyone warned me that having kids would change my life. usually, they would say it in a way that was negative, as in; You'll never have a whole phone conversation again. You'll never watch an entire t.v. show again, etc.

Nobody warned me that You'll never have so much fun in your life! You'll never love something so much and You'll never be so damn amused and enthralled with anything ever again.

Babies are damn cool, and worth every laboured breath, stretch mark and missed hour of sleep.
elka78elka78 on July 6th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
yeah, sometimes I wish we all had a good manual, and a college-level class on the subject before we attempted parenthood. but winging is the right strategy - you'll do just fine
argh, how I hate the people that touch! it's like, dude, what about my boobs, wanna touch them as well? ewww
[hugs]
and the truth is that while you relinquish your privacy, you will regain some of what you describe - and rather quickly.
Amber AKA the Crochet Fiend....hp5freak on July 6th, 2012 06:41 am (UTC)
V--

Your words never fail to astound me...

just...yeah...

*hugs and love*
Why be normal?: baby -  toys for babylunalovepotter on July 6th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
Also, TheBump.com says he's the size of an acorn squash. I don't know what that means, considering he feels like an enormous, huge, and also large bowling ball-type thing.

That mated at some point with a halibut.

An evolved halibut with feet.



Oh my goodness, how much do I love your maternal musings. Well, your words in general - always so honest and eloquent. You are going to be one amazing mama. Hope you and baby are faring the hot weather all right! ♥
lunamorgainelunamorgaine on July 6th, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
You are truly blessed, not only to be having a precious baby, but to be so at one with yourself that you realize these things that most mothers don't for years after the birth. :)
rickey_a: flowerrickey_a on July 7th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
Best wishes for wonderful rest of pregnancy and a healthy babe and mom! Sounds like you're well immersed in the experience.

As for letting go after he's born... let other people hold your baby as much as possible. You'll still be the 'primary', but take advantage of those first weeks when visitors are plentiful. :)
mrsquizzical: motherhoodmrsquizzical on July 7th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC)
the letting go thing is a long and layered process. they start close and stay that while for a while. you have no way of knowing how you're going to feel or react to any of it before you meet face to face, so just let that unfolding and learning as you go thing set the pace. <333

(as for friends/family holding and whatever - go with your heart there, too.

i had one kid i didn't want anyone else to hold and i think i was picking up that he was very private and not really wanting to be 'handed around'. my first couldn't get enough of other people. still can't!

go with what feels right. don't let other people tell you what 'must' happen. *nods* your bond is primary. but they are their own people. but that unfolds over time. and no matter the pressure, other people are not 'owed' a cuddle.)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )