I feel myself blossoming into a mother more now. The crazy protective instincts and constant worry about doing everything perfectly for my growing child while pregnant have been there for a while, but the spiritual shift from individual to mother has been more slow to come. But, as difficult as it is for a stubborn, independent
girl woman to let go of the reigns and allow this tiny little being to guide my every move and totally reshape my life before I ever meet him/her…I feel myself finally surrendering. Prior to getting pregnant, I found it totally natural to give myself to children, to jump into their world and forget myself almost entirely. But, this is completely different. There are no breaks or days off (from pregnancy or motherhood) like there were when I was taking care of other people's children. And at the moment, there is no more alone time to recharge, because I am never alone….the bean always makes its presence known. One of my very first moments of "oh my god, I'm really pregnant, I'm really going to be a mother" was when I was only 2 weeks pregnant. I was in a house full of loud people so I decided to go upstairs to be alone….which is when it occurred to me that (technically) I wasn't alone. That continues to feel strange, always having a little passenger with me everywhere I go, but it feels more magical at this point.
I think it's the fact that I naturally want to give children everything I can that has made me resist this great transition, and feel anxious about my future as a mother. Of course, like most mothers, I plan to strive for a balance between nurturing my child and nurturing myself….but, historically I haven't been so great at finding balance. My passion has always caused me to dive into what's in front of me with abandon until I'm burnt out. So, that will be my struggle in motherhood I'm sure.
Being pregnant has clouded my former ease with giving myself to a child, because it has been more difficult for me to conceptualize what, or more appropriately who, I am making all these sacrifices for for the past 17 weeks (really, for much longer than that given all the changes I made while trying to conceive and then before that, when preparing my body for "trying to conceive"). It's been hard to surrender fully to the fact that I haven't slept through the night for 17 weeks and won't for some time, that I have grown to hate all my favorite foods, that I can't hop on a plane and travel whenever I choose because my pregnant body is suffering from X, Y or Z, that I don't have the energy to paint or work on my photography business….that I haven't been "me" for the past 17 weeks (and when will I be again?).
Magically though, I have begun to feel more at peace with all those sacrifices. Maybe it was the nerve-wracking (but false alarm) pregnancy scare I had last week, or the hour I spent watching birthing videos with an uplifting friend, or the crazy Kanye West life-affirming moment I experienced during a car ride….whatever it was, I'm beginning to feel more like a mother….I'm beginning to see everything I do as something I'm doing for my precious child rather than something that is making my life difficult or less enjoyable (for no reason at all). I know that thought has been in my head this whole time intellectually, but it's taken a while for it to really make sense. Perhaps it's as simple as the mother-child bond that is growing in me day by day, and the indescribable feeling that I am beginning to know who this little person is even though we have yet to meet.
I guess I took this at the wrong time of day, because the bump is looking small here. It's insane how my belly changes shape and size throughout the day.