Well, here I am at twenty-one weeks (a teensie bit more than halfway there!) and I can hardly believe the state of my belly. For some reason, it's still so hard for me to comprehend that I'm actually pregnant. This is really happening! (And, with just one glance at my belly, it's easy to see I'm well on my way to motherhood.)
It's kind of like after I got married (the emotional journey, not my belly). After the wedding I moved in with Jay and it was the oddest thing to stop throughout the day and realize that yes, indeed, I was married. Married. It was one of those things I'd wondered about my entire life and once it had happened it all just seemed so normal and happy and simple. Not sure what I was expecting, exactly, but the normalcy of it all threw me. It wasn't a bad thing…it was more of a good thing. I guess that it surprised me because it wasn't some electric, sparkly thing that I had always thought it would be. It was just…life. Comfortable. Happy.
It's the same way with pregnancy. I've fantasized about pregnancy since I was a wee one myself. I always wondered what it would feel like, what I would look like, what activities would fill my time. As I got older, I think that the line between reality and fantasy became incredibly blurred with movies like Father of the Bride II and TV shows like A Baby Story. Honestly.
I'm sorry, but my reality does not include spending thousands of dollars on designing a nursery, sending my husband out to pick up whatever will satisfy my late-night hunger cravings, lounging on the couch for hours while reading books on childbirth, and taking prenatal yoga classes. The surprising thing (or not so surprising thing) is that the rest of life hasn't been put on hold just because I'm incredibly tired, slightly crabby and can't stop wondering how one is supposed to prepare for their life to change in every way possible within the span of just nine months. My reality involves a 60 mile round-trip commute five days a week, sneaking an extra granola bar into my purse for a mid-day snack, trying my darnedest to keep in touch with everyone around me (and failing miserably most days), replacing exercise with extra sleep and hours spent sinking deeper and deeper into the couch, desperately holding onto any bit of sanity I can muster during my (selfishly relaxing) weekends, and wondering when we'll get around to rearranging our one-bedroom duplex in order to add another human being to this living space.
I shake my fist at you, George and Nina Banks. I shake my fist.
And although I know I sound like a complete downer, that hasn't been my main emotion throughout this whole experience. Although pregnancy hasn't been the way I thought it would be when I was a little girl, it's still been incredibly remarkable and thrilling. It's what keeps me sane these days, to be completely honest. There are many moments where I feel like I'm doing nothing right, like I'm completely out of steam, like I'm not doing half of what I'm capable of, like I'm a complete and utter mess. But then I'll feel a little nudge within me (literally) and it makes me remember that no matter what is happening on the outside, on the inside I am creating a brand new life. A tiny person who will someday be in my arms. A new addition to the family I already love to bits and pieces.
It helps keep things in perspective, really. Although life refuses to slow down on account of this new adventure, the light at the end of the tunnel is that I get to be a mother in four months. And that makes my heart swell and my head spin all at once.