Tuesday, February 21, 2012

31 weeks

My father came to visit yesterday. He hasn't seen me since I was about 8 weeks pregnant given he lives in California and was recovering from knee surgery for months and couldn't travel. Needless to say, I look pretty different than I did when he saw me back in September…..different than the little girl he sees in his head when he looks at me. And it was exciting and emotional to share this version of myself with him. 

All the conversations my father and I have had over the past 8 months about 
baby girls, pregnancy, and parenting have bonded us in such a new way. My father can't help but constantly tell stories of holding me in his arms the day I was born or carrying me everywhere he went in the baby sling….and I can't get enough of hearing them. As he anticipates his first grandchild, it is as if he is anticipating the rebirth of the baby that he had to let go of so long ago. And for me, the emotional transition from individual to mama and falling in love with the little one that squirms inside my body, has deepened my appreciation for my father and shifted my perspective on his reluctance to let me go (all my life) from annoyance to understanding. I've yet to hold my own baby girl in my arms, but I can tell you emphatically that I know I will not want to let her go. Ever. I cry at any mention of kids going off to college and my baby hasn't even left the womb. 

There is a quote painted on the bathroom wall at my midwives' office that says: "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." That about sums it up.

It's an interesting experience, becoming a parent in your own parent's presence. I sometimes feel as though I want to simultaneously jump back in time and forward. In fact, that's exactly how I feel right now as I write this, sobbing, thinking about my father….thinking about how hard it is for him to be 3,000 miles away from his children, thinking about how heartbreaking that would be for me if this baby decides one day that she has to give the west coast a whirl too…thinking about how quickly the phase of parenthood/childhood that my father is reliving and telling tales of right now slips past you. But, that is life. Wonderful, beautiful, emotional life. All I can do is hug my father when he's here and try to live one day at a time with my baby girl (when she finally arrives), giving her all the mama love I can while she lives and grows up just down the hall from me. Could I be any more hormonal today?!?! 

On a lighter note, I found one of my pre-pregnancy hippie shirts at the bottom of my drawer today…mysteriously tucked in beneath the heap of large, elastic maternity shirts, wondering where its former, slender, hipper roommates have gone. Before I put it in my someday-I-will-fit-into-these-again storage box, I thought I would see if I could get the sucker on….mostly because I miss my free-spirted old style, but also because I thought it would be funny to see my rotund belly peaking out of the slit down the front that used to be sexy….used to display flat abs and low-slung skinny jeans. My how things have changed...

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