Sunday, January 30, 2011

Miles to Motherhood

So much to say, Peach.

You are bouncing 'round the womb a lot as I sit at the computer. Having fun I hope!

We are embarking on the third trimester. Lots of folks say that the second trimester is the blissful part of pregnancy and that the third, well, that things just get more and more uncomfortable--for both of us. For me, tying my shoes is getting more and more *interesting*. For you, Peach, I suppose it must be a strange experience to keep growing to the point of not being able to fit in your living quarters. However, I hope it is, as I imagine, warm and safe.

I have been very tired lately. I strongly dislike choosing between sleep and exercise. I want it all. Yet, more than once this week I chose sleep over exercise. And the sleep isn't even all that good. With sleep eluding me, I've had some faltering moments. A moment or two of feeling a little sad, a little overwhelmed. Everyone says that the sleep deprivation of tending a newborn is beyond comprehension. However, I might actually comprehend it, having had pretty severe insomnia at times in the past few years. And now, my poor sleep is not really insomnia in the way I used to know it--but my sleep is just not happening. This big belly seems to pull on me in unusual ways, making for lots of neck and shoulder stiffness. Alas, am I complaining? Jeez, I don't want to complain. Peach, I'm so glad you are here! I don't really mind when what wakes me up is the fact my bladder is getting squished out of the way because of your presence! What to say? I am tired tired tired. But not tired of imagining meeting you, Peach.

As I have felt my way into this recent tiredness and recent neck ache and shoulder ache, I am reminded of my days of being a "miler". It's remarkable to me that I have not run what I would consider fast in years and years now, and yet I am often still buoyed by metaphors and lessons I learned when running was my bread and water. So, I am reminded of this idea that the third quarter of the mile is farther from the finish line than the first. In mathematical terms, this is impossible. But from the psyche of anyone who has run hard, anyone who has lusted after a fast mile time, you know that when you are in the third quarter, the finish line can seem very very far away. If I am remembering right, I might have latched onto this idea from the novel Once a Runner...every miler knows the third quarter of the mile is farther from the finish line than the first....Well, Peach, this is a bit like the third quarter. I had a handful of different mantras, a few different mind-tricks, in those days of runner-hood. One mantra during races was to sing half a line from the James Taylor song Carolina in My Mind. I would just sing over and over "And I feel fine...", never getting to the "..anytime she's around me now..." Just "And I feel fine" over and over. In the middle of races or long runs, or track workouts. And I also remember, especially when racing the mile, telling myself I could do ANYTHING for 2-3 minutes--I could walk on coals for that long if I had to, so surely I can keep running fast for another 2-3 minutes, all the way through to the finish line, however far away. Surely I can keep my wits about me for another 11 weeks...I could do anything for 11 weeks if I had to....surely I will be able to breathe through a 90 second contraction...I could do anything for 90 seconds if I had to.....surely I can keep pushing until you arrive safely in mine and Mark's arms. Surely you are coming, Peach.

Here are a few pictures of Peach's slowly expanding home. 28 weeks and counting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

27 weeks 20 pounds 5 commitments 1 curious human


We are searching for your name. Madeline? Izabella? Grace? Donkey Kong?--just kidding---had to throw this one in for friends David and Kathleen! Harriet? Gloria? We are searching for your name. I have deep faith that your name will come to us with clarity. We are not in a hurry. We have a somewhat-narrowed-down list on lovely purple paper that is taped to the cabinet that holds cups and plates. Harriet? Hazel? Estella? Grab a cup for some juice.... Zora? Put the dishes away from the dishrack.... Margaret? What about Gloria as a middle name so that the bountiful spirit of Glory lives on? Mark's morning coffee...Ella? Maybe we will call you Peach. For now, "Peach" feels so fitting. I like to greet you in the morning with sing-song lightness: "Good morning, Pe-each!" I am committed to sensing my way in to what we shall call you. 

Peach, you move so much now inside my uterus! Friends out there who have been pregnant know how this magical this is. It is beyond my command of words to describe it---not the physical experience, which is certainly strange, but rather the (metaphysical?) experience. There is a tiny human living in my abdomen who seems to enjoy bouncing around! This is absurd! One line of maternity clothing--"Two Hearts"---has capitalized on how uncanny and profound this is---I have "two hearts" inside my body right now! Two hearts are beating inside me. As I type, my fingers waggling away to form these words, Peach, you are bouncing around in there! At this very moment, I feel you particularly in my upper left side "kicking"(that's the term most commonly used though for all I know you could be poking my gut with your nose).  I read somewhere that research suggests that even in the womb, babies seem to appear to "play"! They "climb" on the umbillical cord (Peach, Mark loved hearing that you might be practicing climbing moves already!) and do other acrobatic movements such as "jackknifing", somersaulting and twisting---possibly just because it is fun. Yes, have fun in there, Peach! Live it up! I am committed to continuing to open myself to the magic of this pregnancy and to supporting you having fun in there! These days too shall pass---you only get 40 weeks in there, Peach! When I feel you bouncing, I will cheer you on!

Peach, I am looking forward to labor! Occasionally I'll read something in one of my ba-zillions of pregnancy books that will make me shudder with fear. Yet, honestly, I've always been one to enjoy difficult things and labor is named labor for a reason, or so I hear! So I expect it to be hard. And I expect it to hurt. And, what occurs to me, Peach, is that we will do it together. I know you are working hard there in the uterus to grow yourself up big enough to survive in the open air, yet it will be your first really significant effort to go through labor with me. We will both need to be up for the task, ready, rested, determined, enthusiastic, graceful, committed. And on the other side we will get to meet each other. I am committed to moving in to labor with you, Peach, with grit and with grace. 

My knee hurts, Peach. Someday you will likely learn about the limitations of a physical human existence. I'll tell you why my knee hurts. First, I've gained 20 pounds in 27 weeks. Second, I'm full of "relaxin" (how cool is that?!), a hormone that has my ligaments all loosened up in preparation for my hips to open wide enough for you to join us out here in the open air. Third, I've done a lot of walking on ice and snow in the past fews weeks. The result? A wobbly and painful knee. While this feels like a big bummer, I am finding a lesson in it. And I credit you, Peach, with teaching me this lesson. I could respond to this physical set-back with complaint, with pessimism, with frustration. And that is exactly what I've done in the past. Physical ailments have been particularly hard for me to adjust to, to accept. As a competitive runner in days-gone-by, a physical set-back could send me in to quite a depressed tailspin (Just ask my high school coaches---I was quite a pill!) And now, here I am, waddling around, having been "forced" to shift from hiking and running to going to the pool instead, and yet I feel happy and grateful for the opportunity to be pregnant, feel out the strange physical changes, and trust that I will get the activity that I need to quench my thirst for adrenaline. All will be well. I am trusting that my body can handle this, can handle you, Peach. I am committed to letting this pregnancy take the course that is needed to build you, Peach, into the perfect little human that you already are. 

I am so very curious, Peach, about who you are. Already you are somebody. We have made it a full 27 weeks together, well past the point where medical technology could keep you alive should you decide to be born right now! You only weigh about 1.5 to 2 pounds, but you are a complete little human. Who are you? Will you be blonde like your Papa? Will you like to sing like your Mama? Blue eyes? Quiet? Extroverted? Silly? Serious? Contemplative? Will you sleep through the night? Will you like to laugh? Will you walk "early"? "late"? Will you be scared of monsters under your bed? Will you grow up to be president? I am committed to being curious about who you want to become. I welcome you, Peach. Welcome to Planet Earth and the Lockman-Wiranowski home.