Sunday, February 20, 2011

Imagination and Experience

I do not sleep very well. And even though I had very little nausea that is more typical of the first trimester, I'm getting a bit of that now--partly because of the fact that there is very little room left for my digestive organs to do their usual job! I am moving slowly, very slowly. I have a pulled muscle in my mid-back---not sure how it happened except that I am 32 weeks pregnant and it is really quite a feat just to roll over in bed. Wow, this is hard work. 

It amazes me the difference between imagination and experience. My imagination did a lot to prepare me for pregnancy. I imagined what it would be like to see my body change, to dream with Mark about our next chapter in life as parents, to feel all of the possible joys and "symptoms" of pregnancy. But it could not prepare me for this final leg of the journey. For a couple days now, I have occasionally felt like crying, and have cried, because I'm not sure how to keep going with my back feeling like this. In my work as an in-home therapist, I am on the go all day long--in and out of people's homes all day, in and out of the car, playing on the floor with infants, sitting down and getting up off of all variety of people's couches. And at least for now, it doesn't feel like an option to stop doing these things. As much as my imagination took me to a certain place in preparing for pregnancy, it did not and it cannot even touch on the reality of the actual experience. If imagination could accurately capture what truly IS, would any of us do ANYthing of real effort, substance, trial? Would I have run all those miles, sometimes so exhilarating, sometimes so full of pain? Would I have embarked on this marriage, sometimes the sweetest nectar, sometimes the most difficult and tedious endeavor? Would I have gotten pregnant, so very mysterious and fascinating and expansive, and yet so very terrifying and downright uncomfortable?

I think I feel a big old metaphor staring me in the face. Slow down. Do less. Let go. It's not about you anymore, Melissa. Have I learned this in my 38 years on this planet yet? Will I learn it as a parent in time to savor Peach's joys, triumphs, and trials of any given moment----all but a moment before she is on to the next step? Slow down. Do less. Let go. It's not about you anymore, Melissa. Can I slow down as this state of pregnancy is asking me to do? Can I do less as this state of pregnancy is asking me to do? Can I let go, as this state of pregnancy is asking me to do? Mark and I are both very happy with the fact that it feels as though our lives are going to shift away from a focus on ourselves to a focus on Peach and on life as a family. Yes, we can do this. Melissa and Mark, it's not about you anymore. Yes, we can do this. 

Peach, 8 weeks feels so soon and it also feels very very far away. We are going to meet face to face. I have the imagination to have countless ideas about what you might be like, what our lives together might be like. But I do not have the experience of it. Imagination and experience. This aching pulled muscle in my back tells me that you and Mark and I are all in for a ride with unexpected twists and turns, that our lives will unfold beyond the capability of my imagination. I have both faith and fear all in one immense swirl of dreams. Faith or fear? Which side of the room do I find myself in---faith or fear? Mostly faith, mostly faith. 

Peach, I adore you. I adore your what-feels-like constant tumblings around in my abdomen. Mark thinks you are playing jumprope with your umbillical cord. I adore singing to you, "You shall come out with joy and be led forth in peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth before you. There'll be shouts of joy and all of the trees of the field, will clap, will clap their hands. And the trees of the field will clap their hands. The trees of the field will clap their hands. The trees of the field will clap their hands. And you'll come out with joy." Mark and I will be teaching this song to Sutay and Lisa, our "Team Peach" labor team so that we can all sing it together when you "come out with joy". 

Peach, Teacup adores you, too. I have no doubt that there is a connection between the two of you already. Teacup has never so consistently wanted to lie with her head pressed up against my belly where you bounce around. If Teacup lives to see your birth, I'm confident that you and she will resonate on an important "somatic experience" level. I will close with a picture of the two of you together.  

Melissa, Peach, and Teacup.

Melissa, Peach, and Teacup.


  1. My favorite photos so far! Gorgeous!


  2. I'm so happy that teacup is able to lay with you and connect with peach. We love you Mel.

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  4. Those pictures melt my heart.

    (it's me, kat. can't figure out how to change my profile to my blogger ID)