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.

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