There are periods, things, events in life that overwhelm me with their significance to the point that I find myself utterly lost for words, unable to distill the sheer immensity, depth, complexity into a finite collection of letters. Our wedding was such an event. The past seven months of pregnancy have been such a time. Now in my eighth month, I can feel this time drawing to a close and I know I will kick myself in the future if I don’t attempt to give it even the most fleeting description here. So forgive this vain attempt, this rambling yet also inadequate pass at something resembling an account.
Though I am a trained doula, and though I have educated myself ad nauseam on the subjects of pregnancy and birth, there are pieces that can only be truly understood when they occur in ones own body. I couldn’t have imagined the feeling of this little being turning, pressing, kicking and rolling within me. It is at once magical, alien, familiar, painful, and joyous. I couldn’t have prepared for how it would feel to carry such a large belly (and how difficult it now is to breathe), or how my body has changed. It is at once surreal, occasionally horrifying, awe-inspiring, and empowering. I am amazed by the complete, devotional love and tenderness Jacob already has for our child. It is humbling, moving, vindicating, and makes me so, so grateful for this wonderful man who shares my life and who is now the father of my child. I will never forget the feeling of having a secret all of my own, of never being alone, of familiarity with this person I have never met because we are one.
Less than eight short weeks from our due date now. I know they will fly by, but that the discomforts of late pregnancy (good god, the heartburn, the suffocation, the sleeplessness, the overheating, the feeling and sight of my entire body swelling up like a puffer fish, the rollercoaster of hormones…the list goes on) will make it seem an eternity as well. I’ve been keeping a journal since about week 10, jotting down notes on my emotional state, physical changes, swirling thoughts, and somehow inadvertently logging the changes in my garden. In the past, I’ve always felt too hampered by the responsibility of journaling to keep it up for long, but now I’ve allowed myself to write as the desire or need strikes. Reading back over my entries, it is interesting to see the ups and downs of pregnancy plotted out like the ebb and flow of a tidal chart. I can say that on the whole, the experience of growing a new life inside of me has been one of joy and positivity. Certainly there have been physical challenges, and times of emotional strain, but I know these will fade away in memory, dissolving into the warm waters of remembered happiness.
I can’t wait to meet this tiny human, to discover who they are, to suffuse myself in their smell, to press their soft skin to my face. Soon little baby, soon.
Image: Detail from The Three Ages of Woman by Gustav Klimt, 1905