What the crap? Am I really almost 32 weeks pregnant? The weeks are really starting to bump into each other now, and it’s hitting home that this baby could be here as soon as 6 or 7 weeks from now (though, if that happened, he would still be pretty early…so I’m not counting on that). I don’t want to say I’m “scared” anymore, because I’ve pretty much come to terms with my fear. It’s just that I don’t really have any way to relate to the person I’m about to become…I’m just going to wake up one day (or night) and become her. But I take heart in the fact that I believe wholeheartedly that she will be better than I’ve ever been.
Last week was also when I had some maternity pictures taken at the lakehouse, which was a pretty interesting experience. For one thing, it was a ton of fun and I can’t express my thanks enough to my friend and photographer, Kristen. And though I could upload tons of the pics (and probably will later on this weekend when I have more time), I felt like the above pic captured so much of what I’ve felt transforming within myself these past (almost) 8 months. In it, I see this person I haven’t always felt like. I see someone who is strong. I see a woman who is preparing for the greatest task she will ever take on. I see a person who has grown into herself – her mind, her heart, her sense of humor, her opinions, and her doubts. There’s something that expecting this little guy has brought about in me that I didn’t really see coming – the culmination of these opposing senses of strength and vulnerability. I want to be a strong role model for my son – I HAVE to be strong for him…but at the same time, I’ve never been quite so humbled by how much I need the amazing people in my life.
So, this picture kind of says it all, I think. Kristen nailed it. And I really think it’s a picture I’ll treasure as I get older.
Something else that I’m finding more and more interesting is how much more I appreciate my own body these days than I did a few years ago. I pretty much spent the last 15+ years of my life hating on myself (“Fat,” “ugly,” “useless,” “untalented,” you name the insult, I’ve hurled it at myself at least once or twice). I don’t find myself doing that much these days. Maybe it’s just a nice perk to being hugely knocked up and not having to care about it anymore, or maybe it’s a newfound clarity that will stick around after Russ arrives. I know that my body is going to go through some major, huge, ridiculous changes pretty soon here (changes potentially bigger than the ones it has already endured), but I feel like my perspective has changed. It was already changing before I got pregnant (thank goodness), but I definitely just feel more at peace with things these days than I ever did before.
Still, I do miss running, but for reasons I didn’t realize before. I couldn’t care less these days what running does for my ass (though it does help, I’ll admit)…but I miss the feeling of being this intense, powerful being that can power through exhaustion and find a place that pushes me to make it to my destination. Nobody bothers you when you’re midway through mile 4, sweaty and clearly focused on the mess inside your head…it’s just the best mental form of “housekeeping.” I know I’m going to need some of that, when the time comes after Russ is born.
But for now, I’m just feeling very peaceful and like I’ve fallen into those last 10 weeks – when everything is starting to become very real, but there’s no use in questioning it all. You just have to let go and trust that you’ll find your way. After all, I am most definitely not the first woman who has done this.