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Boys don't cry...and some of them, frankly, don't age very well.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

I will be 30 weeks pregnant this week. It seems like this day happened so long ago - that chasms of time have rolled by since - and at the same time, cliched as it sounds, it feels like yesterday.

In the past, one of the biggest apprehensions I had about having children was the idea that I would lose myself, that I would have this new focus that would always eclipse everything else. People say things like it's the best thing that will ever happen to you! and your life will have a whole new meaning! and I felt like that meant the inevitability of tossing aside the me I've always known, and changing into an entirely different person. I hated how people presented it as such an easy choice, no, such an obvious choice. Bring more meaning to your life, procreate today!

Without even having met the tiny person preparing to make his grand entrance into the world, I can say that yes, I am not the same person I was 30 weeks ago. For instance, I am absolutely, completely, boringly obsessed with my pregnancy; I'm tuned 24/7 to the same fucking head-channel. I mean, maybe you've noticed I talk about it sort of a lot, here? Believe me, I am HOLDING BACK.

While I struggle to stay on top of basic day to day operations like completing work tasks, drinking plenty of water, and remembering which peddle is the ignition and which is the brake, my brain is consumed with the All Baby All The Time hit parade. I've got topics like labor, Riley's health, sleep deprivation, daycare, and the grodiness of the umbilical stump all sitting around in my head jostling for attention, not to mention the attention-getting hourly Fetus Revue where my belly suddenly erupts into a flurry of stretched-skin movements as the baby attempts to wedge his entire body under my ribcage. Pregnancy is distracting - even if I didn't have a thousand and one worries taking up valuable neuron space that previously belonged to my ability to perform long division, I'd still be reminded of the topic on hand each time I struggled out of a chair with a Wild Kingdom-esque grunt, or caught sight of my profile in the mirror, or begged JB to re-park the truck with more room on my side because hello, I can't get out over here.

All in all, it's hard not to navel-gaze when your belly button is protruding a good three feet in front of you.

Life has changed, and yet we haven't even seen our baby take his first breath, or kissed his starfish hands, or held him in our arms. Life will change again in September, and in October, and in all the months after that, but here's the thing: it would have anyway. Yes, I am a different person today than I was, and I'll be a little different tomorrow, and that would have been true no matter what.

I don't know why I was so fearful that I'd lose track of myself, when in reality the "me I've always known" is constantly changing; always growing older, if not wiser. The life I live today is vastly different than my life ten years ago, five years ago, even one year ago, and it doesn't mean I've left myself behind like some abandoned pet; I'm always along for the ride, I'm always adapting and finding new things to love and failing at other things. Whatever you do in your life, you're always adding to yourself, good or bad - never taking things away, because you can't. In the coming months and years, my child may come first in life, but that doesn't mean I will be erased in the process.

I believe Riley will be the sun in our solar system, that his importance in our lives will be without measure, but I also believe my universe has infinite capacity, and if things seem off-kilter at times (see also: pregnancy, obsession) that balance will eventually come. I feel blessed and happy and excited these days, and I'm sure I will have days where I feel scared and ineffectual and exhausted, and life will keep moving forward. Just like it always has.


13 weeks

16 weeks

19 weeks

22 weeks

25 weeks

29 weeks

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