Archive for July 8th, 2010

like many moms before me, it’s been all kinds of difficult to find the time and headspace to meditate, in a meaningful way, on the present tense reality of my pregnancy. but here i am, approaching 30 weeks along, with a heavy belly full of limbs jutting out at odd angles. i’ve got 16 inches of son balled up in there, and in seven short weeks, it’ll be safe for him to make an exit at home.

aside from the obvious limitations of being a very pregnant person, i often forget i’m pregnant at all. i’m still very engaged at work, and at home my focus is on being a good parent to a spirited toddler, as well as being a present, loving partner. our family life is a steady current, and our son’s immanence is easy to let slip: out of sight, out of mind.

he made himself very known a couple weeks ago, after i did too much cleaning, too much standing around and lifting children, over jude’s birthday weekend. i started having contractions, every fifteen minutes, for two hours straight. they were the start-at-the-back-wrap-around-to-the-belly sort. ie: not just braxton hicks, don’t worry contractions. my midwife put me on two days of bed rest, and told me to slow the fuck down already.

and so i’ve slowed the fuck down already. i am making a concerted effort to be aware of my son with every move i make. you know, is this good for the company baby? conversations with jude about the baby have increased, especially as she asks me to pick her up, to run with her, to dance, and when she attempts to jump on my stomach.

we talk a lot about the baby coming out of my belly soon, very soon, and we paint pictures of breastfeeding, diaper changes, why her brother will cry and how to comfort him, etc.

even as we have these preparatory talks, though, it is so much easier for me to focus on endings than beginnings. these are the final weeks of jude being an only child, after all. i think some grief over that reality is appropriate. but it’s hard for me not to get overwhelmed by it, in a “what have i done to my poor child” sort of way. i’m heartened, however, by families like lagliv, one of his moms, and lesbian dad, whose kiddos have clearly flourished in their new role of Big Sibling.

and so i’m choosing to step back from the ledge of fear; instead, i rest my hands on my belly and consider the life inside me. my son will be joining his family soon. i imagine him having a bald head like his sister, and similar squinty eyes. i will spend the greater part of every day sniffing that head of his, and sighing, you smell like my baby. he will snuggle between h and me in our squishy bed, and he’ll nurse without ceasing. he’ll squawk and coo and fart like an old man. his sister will kiss him and hug him and pretend to eat him. eat. ziggy. mommy, she’ll say, as she puts her fingers in my mouth and giggles.

it’s gonna be so great.
i can’t wait.

i am reminded of a gorgeous song by lucy kaplansky, called “i had something”. i first heard it eight years ago, at a bar in belfast, where she was performing. with green ink, i scrawled these lyrics on a beer napkin: what i lost, returns with love and time.

they were prophetic words then, words that would soon carry me through the estrangement and stark darkness of coming out in christianland. and now? they are simply true. prophecy fulfilled. here we are. everything i’ve ever lost is in my arms and belly.

enjoy the song. drink the lyrics. amen.

I had something
It fell from me
Something strong
Like a pounding drum
Like ringing bells
When I was young
I had something
And it was gone

I had something
Made me walk all night
Made me run from home
Made me fight

I had something
Made me feel alone
Like an orphan
Waiting for a home

Every footstep that I take
Completes the circle my life makes
Every living thing has ties that bind
What I lost returns with love and time

I heard something
It called to me
And it told me
I was saved
Not by God
And not by words
Not by any living thing

It was the voice that I once knew
Of my daughter or my son
Not yet born
And not yet known
Another orphan waiting for a home

Every footstep that I take
Completes the circle my life makes
Every living thing has ties that bind
What I lost returns with love and time

Every living thing has ties that bind
What I lost returns with love and time

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