Well, well, well, what have we here?
A BABY. A BABY IS WHAT WE HAVE HERE. Ok, well not exactly here, but on the way, because in the beginning of June we will be welcoming a little baby into this world! For those of you good at math – which is not me, since I routinely get confused about how long this gestating thing has been happening/will continue – this means that we are 16 weeks a long with approximately a million to go, which is simultaneously forever and not nearly enough time.
When we found out I was pregnant this fall, it took a long while for it to set in. So many people that we know, that we love, with whom we have wept and prayed, have walked the painful road of miscarriage and infertility, pain and loss. I spent the first weeks just waiting for it to happen, absolutely certain that something would go wrong, that this little soul wouldn’t make it. I lived every day with the phrase running through my head that I had no right to have this baby. That sounds awful to say, but it’s how I felt. I Googled everything that could go wrong until I was finally a tearful stressed-out pile in my doctor’s office and she officially banned me from any research until much later in the pregnancy.
And so in truly uncharacteristic form for me, I backed away from being prepared at being pregnant with everything in me. I stopped researching, stopped planning, stopped stressing and slowly let excitement swell up, timid at first but then rushing and strong. This is happening. This is real. That little heartbeat that sounds like a butterfly brushing against a microphone is alive and strong. I have no right to it, but it’s not about my rights- it’s about a strong life that exists.
This baby was the unspoken force behind so much of this fall. I was smugly convinced that I would be the pregnant woman with zero symptoms who breezed through pregnancy on a steady diet of vegetables and pretense. This lasted approximately 2 weeks, until I got dizzy in the middle of teaching, sprinted to the disgusting public restroom, and passed out on the floor. The next day I woke up and realize that the mere though of consuming a vegetable repulsed me. Broccoli? I hate you. The four cups of spinach I had been sautéing for breakfast? Disgusting. Cooking balanced meals? I would rather die. I started stumbling from bed straight to the cereal and keeping massive amounts of Easy Mac in my desk at work. Yes, I wanted to eat healthy, but SURVIVAL.
But beyond taking vitamins to offset my terrible diet of processed carbs and dutifully showing up to my doctor appointments… I am the worst pregnant woman ever. Have we done any research? No. Have we read any books? No. Do I even have that app that tells me what size of fruit or vegetable corresponds to my baby’s growth? No. Do we have names or plans or any clue how we are going to negotiate childcare? No, no, no. Did I Google “Old Wives tales to predict gender?” Ok, so actually yes to that last one. But I’m pretty sure that the very nature of research is that it is supposed to be the exact opposite.
Instead, we have been car shopping. And dissertation researching. And apartment hunting. And holding hands on the couch and staring at our tiny tree and imagining everything that will change. And doing all those million tiny things of life that become more pressing when you realize that a new little soul will be coming into your world. Because all those things like cars and apartments and dissertations both pale in importance, and take on a new importance.
Because this baby is already pretty important in our lives, as unreal as he or she still seems.
PS: But for real- I should probably read a book sometime, so like, is there some book or something that tells us what we are supposed to be doing? Because the blind are leading the blind over here.