and it’s wonderful and annoying.
When you’re pregnant, you’re never alone, ever. The baby is there, present, and at a certain point, listening to you.
This means I no longer talk to just myself. I’m also talking to the baby, in a way. Isn’t that weird?
When I wake up in the morning, I look down and there is baby. When I go to tie my shoes, I struggle around baby. When someone erupts in laughter, baby jumps. We react together and separately, but we are always together.
I know that this is preparing me for motherhood when privacy and alone time diminish. If you know me very well, you know I like my alone time. I can sit by myself at a restaurant or a movie without any issue. I didn’t even realize this bothered other people until someone told me. I don’t “get” not wanting to be alone. It’s great!
I’m also surrounded by people all day, every day. I manage and interact with classrooms full of people every day. This might be why I like alone time, but I think I always have. Even when I was little, I liked to sit and read. I always had lots of friends and was very social, but I also needed time to decompress. I’m right on the line between introvert and extrovert, which is why pregnancy both delights and annoys me. Sometimes I want to detach myself from baby. I want to go running! And not worry about my heart rate. I want to drink a caramel latte and not look up the amount of caffeine. I want to say “motherfucker” without any guilt (well, I probably do).
But I also love the baby’s presence. We went to a Colin Meloy concert a few weeks ago, and the baby responded along with the audience’s applause. It was kind of amazing. I like just sitting in my office, writing, the sun coming through the windows and whispering “I love you, baby” amongst the chaos of a Monday. I love my belly’s roundness and watching the baby’s growth. I’m in awe of it all, as well as terrified.
I guess what I’m saying is: I am already beginning to understand the contradictions and conflicts of motherhood. I both love having my child with me all the time and miss my freedom. I both delight in my roundness and want to wear skinny jeans again. I both can’t wait to hold my baby and want more time to prepare.