Tuesday, May 24

give it time

I have really enjoyed my entire pregnancy, and I know I'm going to miss it when it's over.  Other than not drinking and religiously taking vitamins and fish oil and drinking plenty of water, and feeling a little creature flop around in my body all day and all night and not having any core strength whatsoever and having to use a hair tie to keep my pants together, and gasping for air from the effort it takes to bend over and buckle my sandals, and feeling like my pelvis is being held together by a single thread, and having to pee again as soon as I stand up from the toilet..  aside from all that minor stuff I haven't felt that much different from before.. but the last 10 days or so I've crossed the line from feeling a little tired and simultaneously pregnant to feeling reallllllly pregnant.  that's all I am.. just soo pregnant.   everything is starting to feel heavy.  my belly and my boobs and my legs and my under carriage feel like they must have been swapped out with waterlogged lead versions of themselves..  rolling over or getting out of bed or picking my booty up out of a chair hasn't been graceful by any stretch for a few months, but now all of these things are officially actually difficult. It's like when those body builder guys prep to lift something super heavy, and they puff-breathe to a count of 3 before they exert all their strength?  Even though I can't really see myself, I imagine it's hilarious to watch.  My sweet PK still thinks I'm pretty, and I adore him for that.  I've started feeling even more attached to him than before and I crave the smell of his hair and the way his skin feels against my hands, the way my head fits so perfectly against his neck.. like my body pre-emptively knows how much I'll need to hold on to him and breathe him in and rely on him for comfort very soon. I am so overwhelmingly grateful to have him.

it took a long time, around 8 months, to start feeling okay with pregnancy and birth and parenthood..  but it took no time at all, maybe 2 weeks, to shift from "alright, when the time comes I think I'll be ready for this" to "I am ready for this."  I'm ready to take on labor, and I'm ready to meet my babe.  I'm ready for those first few weeks of utter exhaustion.  I'm ready to hobble around in those super sexy mesh panties that go all the way to your belly button, and I'm ready to hold my broken vajayjay in during those first couple potty visits.  Well, as ready as I'll ever be.  I wouldn't trade the confidence I have gained from obsessively talking and thinking and dreaming and reading about all things pregnancy for anything in the world, and my heart breaks for the women who have nothing but dread and fear of the complete unknown that pregnancy and birth, because it just should not be that way.  pregnancy is incredible and birth is straight up magic, and although I still have some fear and a little lingering self-doubt, I am so in awe of the miracle, and so boosted by all the strength of the 300,000 women that are giving birth in every moment, and some of them are going through much more pain than just labor-- perhaps their babies are ill, or they aren't going to be able to keep and hold those babies once they have them, or maybe they or their babies won't make it.. but I wish so badly that every woman could reach some type of peace with pregnancy and I wish we could move away from the stigma that labor is torture, because once you start believing in yourself and that birth is more normal than anything else in the world, nothing seems impossible, and you can truly start to appreciate the wonder that is life.

I knew I was ready when I stopped picturing my baby's birth from the point of view of a fly on the wall, watching a person who looks like me pull a baby up to look at them, to picturing it from my own perspective, looking down over my big belly and pulling him up to me to see his face for the first time.   I've talked to a couple newly pregnant mamas that are still in that state of disbelief and terror and "WHAT IF I CAN'T DO THIS", and although I almost never feel sure enough of anything to offer advice to other people,  I felt so confident in telling them to just give their pregnancy time..it will give you the time you need to gain clarity, and in a couple of months, you'll feel so much better and so much more ready than you do now..  keep visualizing labor and birth, picture yourself being strong and letting your body open and do what it knows how to do, and picture meeting your baby, smelling their little head, and kissing their wrinkly fingers.. and after about 4,180,000 practice scenarios in your head, eventually it all won't seem so scary. keep acknowledging your fears, a hundred times a day, and be gentle with yourself. start telling yourself that IT IS OKAY to be scared! you're going to be just fine anyway!  and believe down to your core that you can do anything.  watch and read calm peaceful birth stories and videos, and start seeing old and new friendships as a sisterhood with other women and learn from their experiences, whether that means taking their advice or acknowledging their experience without believing it will be your own.

one day at a time, one contraction at a time, one breath at a time.  everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

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