Thursday, October 11, 2007

a modified state

Last night was wonderful. At our school board meeting, I was able to tell many of our volunteers that I'm expecting. One of my favorite volunteers took me aside on the way out of the meeting, and told me that he thought that was just lovely. Telling older folks that you're expecting a baby is one of the greatest joys so far of pregnancy. He described to me how his oldest daughter is now pregnant with his first grandbaby, and how his other daughter is studying to be a doula. Then he reminisced about when his wife first got pregnant, and they were living in Italy at the time. He said that the doctor told her something that he has never forgotten - Pregnancy is a modified state of well-being. A simple statement, yes, but he was struck by it and it has stuck with him nearly 30 years later.

Driving home after the meeting, and then later in bed, I realized that I'm having a great time. Yes, I was tossing and turning because I couldn't sleep. And yes, pregnancy certainly has caused me some discomfort. But for the most part, being pregnant has been a completely magical experience. I don't meant that to sound childish or silly, as use of the word magical often does - but it really has been shocking and amazing. Learning about the science of pregnancy, the changes that all of your body systems go through, has been so profound. And to feel like my body is doing something that it was designed to do, to feel connected to all women through time who have ever carried a child, it is soul-shaking, knock-you-backward kind of stuff.

I thought that I would be overly sensitive during pregnancy, not wanting to talk about it, not wanting people to touch me, wishing everyone would just treat me like I'm a normal non-pregnant person. I've found myself doing the opposite, absolutely gushing about pregnancy and birth and all the amazing physiological stuff that's happening. Now that people have begun to notice the little bump under my belt, it feels like people open doors and give up chairs more often than they did, and my guess is that it will only increase as time marches on. I never expected to be so damn sentimental, and to feel this peace and connection with something greater than me. So, while I will most certainly complain endlessly about the aches and pains and discomforts that this modified state of well-being has brought me, I think I can safely say that it is one of the coolest things I can or ever will do.

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