in 10 days, it will be safe for sparky to make her appearance as a home-birthed baby. granted, i am fairly confident she will hold out for another few weeks at least, but still. looking at the ever-shortening countdown to her arrival is…overwhelming.
there is so much that i’ve wanted to write about, to process, but the past couple weeks have found my energy sapped. i think about the things i’m thinking about, consider writing them down, and then promptly fall asleep. it’s hard to believe i’ve been on maternity leave for 4 weeks now. i remember the first week or so pretty well. i did a lot of cleaning. and then i lost my ability to sleep at night. i guess this is practice for what my sleeplife is about to become, but sparky does not let me sleep for more than 4-5 hours at a time at best. my hips burn and ache, and the pain radiates down my legs. tylenol doesn’t do shit for this. i’ve been using rescue sleep spray, which doesn’t help much. and my tolerance for benadryl is simply embarrassing anymore.
i get up with h at 5 every morning, and after seeing her off to school, i try to get some sleep. i fall asleep by 9, and usually wake up about 1. if i am lucky, i will have enough energy to do some dishes or leave the house to run an errand, but mostly i lounge. and then h comes home, we head off to bed ridiculously early, and my turbulent night of hip pain begins again.
so this is why i haven’t been writing, or even remotely processing my feelings about sparky’s imminent birth.
i actually slept not-too-fitfully last night, and so, before i fall asleep again, i want to put some thoughts down. wow, i’m tired.
the other day, we received our copy of the adoption petition from our lawyer. sparky is not yet named on it; she is simply “child to be born june 15”. (petition will be amended once she’s born.) naturally, i am named as the biological mother. and even though it is painfully obvious to anyone with eyes that i am very pregnant, seeing those words on paper was a sobering moment for me.
because i don’t feel like a mother yet. (whatever that is supposed to mean.) even now, as she kicks me vigorously, i’m still in a bit of denial that she is a real person in there. and that she is about to come out. of me. soon. and my life as a solitary individual is over. i am forever a mother. there is no undoing this. i’ve had moments like this all along during my pregnancy. after the initial yayayayayayay when i first saw the double pink lines, a wave of panic washed over me. what did i just do? the moment passed. i’m a procrastinator, after all, and had a good 8 months to put off dealing with thoughts like that.
but here i am now, with a nearly ripe, real baby rolling around inside me. and for the first time, i’m actually considering the hard existential question: can i be a mother and be myself too? will i ever awaken from this zombie state of utter exhaustion and recognize the me i’ve always been?
i know i will learn to adjust. i have always adapted to life-shifts, and kept a sense of who i am in the midst of everything. i’ve just never deliberately chosen something THIS big before, this irreversible. i’ve never brought a new human being into existence before.
when i was 3 or 4, i remember watching the big kids walk to school and thinking, “i’ll never be able to go to kindergarten.” and then i somehow did it. when i was 14, i thought, “i’ll never be able to actually get my drivers license. i’ll never learn how to drive.” and i did it. later, i worried about how i’d go to college, live on my own, etc etc. and the heretofore biggest insurmountable obstacle: i’ll never be able to be openly gay, or be in an actual relationship with a woman. impossible. and yet…
when the time is right for me, i simply push past the paralyzing fear, and do what is needed to be done. at this particular moment in my life, i feel myself on that threshold again. only, this is my ultimate fear: i’ll never be a mother. i’ll never get through childbirth. i’ll never be able to raise an actual child. my daughter is about to prove me wrong again. ready or not, she is coming, unstoppable force that she is. (sometimes, her fiery energy is so strong in my belly, that i nearly step aside and confess that i am just the conduit for her to get here.)
there is so much more emotion and fear and excitement churning around in my brain, but my eyes are heavy. more later. if you have read this far, thank you for bearing with my incoherent ramblings. i had to get out of my own head a bit. maybe i will rest better…