|The neon sign
||[Jul. 23rd, 2007|12:05 am]
I am sitting here, soon to go to bed, with an extremely active baby in my belly. In the last few days s/he has been moving so much more than usual, and in new ways. I was getting used to having small feet pummel my ribs on my right side, as for the last few weeks this seems to have been the position the baby has been settling in. S/he still seems to settle in it now, but in between is doing all kinds of gymnastics and dramatic gestures.
I'm now 28 weeks pregnant, a week into my third trimester. I've been thinking in the last few days about how easy it seems to be here, to be experiencing pregnancy, the growth of our child, the wonder and pleasure of it (and the increasing physical discomfort of it), how things are progressing wonderfully, yet remembering that it was only a short time ago that I was beginning to consider life without a child, after our years of not conceiving. I have seen others go through this, try, then sooner or later succeed, and then become regular passengers on the 'pregnancy and parenthood' train. I don't think anyone who has been through this process really forgets what the trying side of things was like, but it's so very, very easy to let it fade in significance once the end is actually in sight. I still identify so strongly with that person I was when we were trying, and I feel good about that person, and our partnership through that time. The tears and the anguish that we learned to deal with, and keep at bay. The strength we had to dig deep to find to enable us to keep going, but that we found. Trying to conceive was such a big part of our lives for so long, I think part of me will always be living there in some ways. Finding faith and holding on to hope are qualities that I learned the benefit of most in that time, and that I hope I will always retain.
And here I am now, with a child in my belly, a child that, even if born now, would most likely survive. There is no question now that motherhood is imminent for both of us, but the concept of being a mother, although dreamed about for so long, is so huge that I don't know how to take it in. How do I embrace it? The reality that my own identity is actually going to change very soon feels so strange. I'm reminded of where we came from and of what we went through to get here. That journey was tough, really tough a times, but I knew how to do it, how to survive it. Now I'm on the brink of something new, and huge. The word 'mother' is plastered in neon lights over the door of my future, and despite avid reading and several years of relevant work experience the prospect is simply overwhelming.
But it took us years to get here. Years in which we were challenged, we dealt with lost dreams and massive insecurities, we found new dreams and tried not to get attached to them, we worried, and we learned that faith and trust and positive thinking can make a world of difference. I know that no-one could ever be truly prepared for parenthood, but if there ever was to be a crash course in the basic skills of surviving it, maybe the rollercoaster we rode in order to get here wasn't a bad approximation of it.
What a journey this is.