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Trundling onward.

Nothing particularly funny or sad to report. My belly is kind of funny feeling, especially my lower abdominal muscles. I assume this is because of stretching. I finally ventured back to yoga yesterday with my favorite teacher and it was good. She gave me modifications for my injury and did a special stretch for it. Very nice.

I’ve had a lot of headaches, I think mostly from eye strain. I’m having to be religious about wearing my glasses and about trying not to squint. Pregnancy can apparently cause temporary vision changes. The nausea still comes and goes, but as long as I eat pretty frequently it’s only really annoying in the evenings. Eating is no joke. I start to feel a little sick, and then I start to feel, well, just freaky. This is the sign that I need to eat NOW or suffer unspeakable yuck. So my purse is a repository of granola bars, breakfast bars, and other easily packaged snacks. I’m still not hot on cooking. I’m sick to death of food as it is, the idea of preparing it, eating it, and then cleaning it up is singularly unappealing. But if anyone would like to come over and cook for me….

I’ve been thinking about why I have an aversion to the hysteria that is pregnancy and birth “culture”, such as it is. There’s so much dogma about how to be, how to feel and how to prepare for every aspect of the process. The amount of stuff you’re supposed to accumulate is insane. All of this seems to leave out one essential fact. From the doll-like clothing and decorations, to the cultish schools of breastfeeding and child-rearing, where is there room for the fact that this being you’re bringing into the world is an actual individual person? Not a doll, and not living play-doh to be molded and shaped into something that fulfills your own needs. It’s a person. And my awesome and intimidating responsibility is to get to know this person as fully as possible (while bringing as little of my own baggage into it as I can), so I can help them figure out who they are and who they want to be. I’m pretty sure this process starts at birth, and I need to be prepared to jettison any expectations I have as things unfold.

I’m not saying I don’t love cute kid clothes, or I’m not going to show off or brag on my child (or take TWELVE THOUSAND photos with my fancy camera). But the big message here is IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. And that’s why it’s so scary, and so intimidating, and so important that I don’t start putting my own expectations on this child before he or she is ever born. And all the crazy ideas and stuff that go with this process in our culture seem to be about helping us ignore the scary and intimidating bits and focus on the stuff we think we can control. And it’s not about the stuff.

I’m not a fan of ambiguity, but it seems insane to expect anything less when I haven’t actually met this kid yet. So I’m all about not knowing how birth and feeding and sleeping and development is going to go. I’m reading some stuff, and learning about child mental and physical development so I have a general idea –  not a course of action that doesn’t allow for deviation. Is not knowing what is going to happen stressful? Yes. Is it realistic? Very yes. Because there’s no way to know if this kid is going to like to be swaddled, or is going to take to breastfeeding, or is going to sleep easily or not. We’re just going to try to take it as it comes, and try and maintain our sanity as much as we can.

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