Monday, November 16, 2015


There comes a point in pregnancy when the only way you can describe it is with the word "full".  I've reached that point this week, and it's a strange sensation.

Physically, my womb is full, as much as it can get. The skin is shiny and tight with the strain of that fullness. It aches with tension. My lungs and stomach are crowded higher in my chest than is normal. Each breath feels unnatural; I feel out of breath and my lungs protest that they can't hold any more. Eating, likewise, is uncomfortable. A few bites and my organs protest the lack of space. My face has a fullness, a strangeness, that it normally lacks.

Fullness is a good word for my emotional state, as well. I find my emotions leak out  regularly in the form of tears, laughter, and temper tantrums. Little things, both good and bad, overwhelm me. A sweet gesture can send me soaring, and a slightly sad news story can make me weep openly. I'm elated and frightened, frustrated and empowered, hopeful and despairing all at once. For someone who is usually pretty in control of her emotions, this chaos is dizzying.

It's nearly time for delivery, and I'm trying to be patient, but this fullness is exhausting and heavy. It's a strangely between state of being, as well. Before my first pregnancy, I would have guessed full to be a state of completion. Now, I recognize that fullness is an incredibly transitional state, and it is a time of waiting and discomfort and nervousness.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Experiences you haven't had yet

We all start out young and dumb. There's really no help for that except time and experience, and maybe opened to the idea that we're young and dumb and don't get it yet.  In many respect, at 36, I'm still young and dumb.  I know this, and I try to keep it in mind.

This morning, on internet message board for pregnant women expecting in November, I ran across a post from a 19 year old second time mother. She was ranting about how people judge her and assume things about her.  On one hand, I felt sympathy for her. I was 23 when my first child was born, and people make a lot of assumptions about my parenting skills and ability to take care of my children.  I also had to laugh at her lack of understanding.  She assumes that older people don't know what we know: life has a funny way of changing you and turning out differently from how you assume they will.

Very gently, I commented that age does matter, and that she won't understand that until she sees another decade or so (and that I didn't understand when someone told me).  We change so much as people between 18 and 30, if we are emotionally and mentally healthy.  Those changes in us, influence our abilities and responses as parents.  We are continuously bringing the entirety of our experience into the present moment. Those experiences shape our understanding, our decision making, our circumstances, and our emotional responses. That's just how life works.

I feel rather old today, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Youth isn't all it seems, and I am at a place in my life where I am not young or old, by general measure, and I get to see life from a perspective of between-ness.  I'm certain the lessons learned here, are the one I will need later in life to navigate those experiences I haven't had yet.