Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday meditation

I realized today that I miss being pregnant.

Not that I would, if magically enabled, turn back the clock. There is plenty to appreciate about not being preggers: sleeping on my stomach, getting back into lawn care, no heartburn, BREATHING comfortably, an occasional alcoholic libation, holding and smelling and kissing our son...

When I was in a family way, some women said, "You will miss him moving inside of you." I guess that prediction speaks to what I am trying to describe. I admit, I bristled or balked when I was told I would miss having him inside of me because I assumed it was about needing and desiring that unique, intriguing intimacy. I really don't miss him moving inside of me. That was fun- okay, that was pretty wonderful... I mean, I'm glad I experienced it... but I find the intimacy we as a family are experiencing on the outside much more satisfying and sweet.

So what is it then? What am I trying to say that I miss?

Feeling like "a house" causes some women to lament during pregnancy. Growing large during gestation makes things difficult and tiring. For me, though, "Housing" this fetus/infant was like rekindling a loving relationship with my body. After you've been with someone for a while, you might overlook the little things you were so impressed by at the beginning. In high school and college, you should have seen my body! She was a rock star! I was as enthusiastic about and as attracted to my own physical abilities and sexiness as I was about/to any other bodies that happened to be around me. I wasn't full of myself. I was full of gratitude and experiencing healthy, able-bodied-ness. It's when you feel young and healthy because you are young and healthy (Slightly different from meditating and playing other mind games to keep yourself among the young at heart.)

So it was during most of my pregnancy. Especially at the end of the 3rd trimester, i had all these physical discomforts, but I felt HEALTHY. I felt unconcerned by my aches and pains. The discomfort was disproportionate to the metamorphosis. I was proud of the work my body was doing, of the practically effortless utilization of resources, and the perfect protections my body offered to both the Bean and me. My brain didn't know shit about how to be pregnant. Read all the books you want, you won't even scratch at the surface of what your body knows.

Prior to getting knocked up, I was worried about gaining too much weight, worried about being sick, worried about needing to lie down all the time (and therefore feeling "weak.") But my body kicked some serious ass during this pregnancy. My weight gain was minimal, my energy level relatively high. Every negative symptom was predictable, normal, and tolerable. It was by luck, not because of anything I did or planned, but no one was more surprised than me by what pregnancy did for me. It made me feel strong. It made me feel proud. It made me fall in love with my body again. It made me feel like a house. An old, sturdy, warm, well-built house (with a new roof, updated windows and recently installed central air.)

From the time something the size of a grain of rice caused daily queasiness, to the headaches that let me know some chemical balance had been interrupted and it was time to go get the kid born, my body did everything it was supposed to do. I was able (maybe for the first time in my life) to be gentle with myself, and my body proved to be completely trustworthy.

So now, I'm back to just being me- alone inside my body. And it's a little like coming home from an exotic vacation. When you sleep in your own bed for the first time, the pressure is finally off. Coming home is relaxing and comforting, but it's not as romantic or exciting. You don't feel quite as "alive" ticking through your normal routine as you did when you were out exploring the world.

It's good to be home (with a crying, pooping, peeing, smiling, cooing, snuggling souvenir of the trip. ) But I'm not going to lie, I miss it a little...

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