I was once born, it turns out. On a cold February night in 1982.
Sometimes this is shocking to me because it means OTHER PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BORN. I have been successfully birthed. And raised, for that matter. My mom and dad are still around to tell the tales. I was born simply and on my due date, like the overly-punctual person I continue to be.
My sister on the other hand... over a week late and more than 24 hours of labor...
Anyway, the point is: people are born every day.
I find myself needing to be reminded of this regularly. I'm now five months pregnant. Into my twenty-third week of incubation. I haven't even hit the hard stuff yet, and I've got four months left to go.
I have no idea what I'm doing.
Last night, while in the middle of the final episode of The Handmaid's Tale, which is reason enough for a meltdown, I had a meltdown.
Am I a bad person because I'm not enjoying pregnancy? Am I going to be a bad mother because of it? If I am impatient with other peoples' kids, will I fail as a mom? Why aren't I glowing with the wonder of a beautiful, perfect pregnant woman? Why don't I feel that? If I struggled to adapt to a new life with a stepchild, am I inherently bad at being a mom? How the hell do I use a breast pump? I miss running so much. I don't recognize my body. When this is over and my body is a used-up sack, will I still be loved? Will I ever feel beautiful? What if my baby knows that all of these things scared me?
Why is it the woman who has to face all of this? We lose our bodies, our sense of self, our hobbies, our sleep, our comfort, our emotions, and our normal. I will also lose my dignity as my body finds fun, new ways to be gross. It's not a man's fault, but it's difficult.
I don't want to feel judged, and mommy wars are real. I don't want to feel compared, and my husband has been through this before. I don't want to feel doubted. I don't want to doubt. I want to feel like I'm doing a good job and like I'm going to do a good job because I am his mama and he is my child.
I am doing my best to keep him safe while he prepares to enter the world. I want him to know that part, too. Not just the part about how I cried because I was scared of messing up.
I love to feel this tiny baby kick. I love to think about him and what kind of little person he will be. I love to know he will be mine, and I will be his. I love that he made us a whole family.
I just wish, as with most things, that I were better at this part. I want to be better at embracing all of the physical changes and discomfort. All of the unknown things.
I said last night that sometimes I wish I had been more prepared. That perhaps instead of a surprise, we had fully prepared our minds and our plans for this adventure. But seriously, does that even make a difference? How prepared can you really be for your first pregnancy?
Truthfully, I think being a little in the dark is best. I HAVE LEARNED THINGS and it's too late to turn back now.
But people do this every day. People I love have done this over and over. I bet when my mom was just 21 years old, about to have her second baby, she had NO IDEA what she was doing. But she did a good job.
I want to do a good job, too.
He has a cute nose, and he deserves a super mom. I will do my best. He also deserves a top notch Pack N Play. Just ask the baby registry.
You're welcome, baby. I love you already and forever. It'll just be way more fun when you're outside of my body. I promise.