Last weekend I was getting dressed to go be a grown up out in the world sans my child one evening and I had this realization that oh shit, I’m pregnant. Like for reals.
I know I talk about it here, but up until this point it is mostly something I have to overcome. I have to push through this theoretical state of being called “pregnancy” in order to function in the real world, the world I can see and touch and am held accountable for. But then as I was getting dressed I had this moment of, “Oh my god… I am actually pregnant with a bump and everything. When did this HAPPEN?” And it’s not so much, it’s not so in your face. I can still hide it if I wanted to. But not if I wear form fitted clothing (And NOT form fitted clothing is hard to come by these days), not if I don’t wear a sweater over it or a coat or a puffy vest.
I felt really vulnerable. It did not feel empowering. It felt like everyone could see into my insides and know things about me without me saying them out loud. It made me feel naked.
Pregnancy is not all bad, terrible things. Making another human is magic. I am only partly aware of the process, I am only slightly responsible for the outcome. Mostly I am a bystander, overwhelmingly I am just the vehicle for whatever is happening deep inside. So I control the things I can, I do my best in the places that matter to me, and I wait until my job starts, when that kid pops out and it really is my responsibility to take an active role in that real world, no longer theoretical, human child’s life. Meanwhile I am slowly turning into an egg-shaped human and time continues to move at lightening speeds as my real life of being a mom to a toddler and all of the other Lauren things I am continues to demand attention.
Having a child and having these monthly appointments with the doctor has been interesting. It’s another thing on the to-do list, another complication in the frantic dance of work, home, daycare, play, sleep, repeat. Last month we brought Gabe for the first time, because finding care for him for a 15 minute appointment on our way to work felt dumb. So he got to hear his sibling’s heart beat for the first time. You can hear him think they are “Bubbles” and he was very concerned that whatever was happening to mama be “All done!” as soon as possible.
So yes, I’m for reals pregnant. The kind that stretches you out and makes your feet swell and your appetite balloon. And meanwhile there is a tiny heartbeat fluttering away inside of me, growing and changing without any of my active input, without anyone’s intervention.
Now when Gabe sees my tummy he makes the “wahh wahh wahh wahh” noise of the doppler. And it doesn’t make me feel vulnerable or naked. It makes me feel like we’re both in on a secret neither of us fully understands.