Maternity leave, day 3.

Earlier this evening wearing THE leggings.
Oh hey! Heyyyyyy. What's new? Election coming soon, hm? It's been pretty chilly here in Brooklyn. Oh, what's that? A baby?


Don't get me wrong. It's been nice to catch up on some stuff this week without having work to worry about. Our apartment is very clean. Packages that needed to go to UPS are now mailed. I donated a bag of stuff to Housing Works. I've read two books in the past three days. I finished some cross stitch projects. I've watched everything Oprah has produced since starting her new network. I've cooked dinner every night.

I KNOW what you are going to say.

"Enjoy it while it lasts!" "You'll never have time to take another walk again!" "Your days of reading books/cooking/etc. are soon OVER!"

Yeah. Except. You know how, when you fly to a foreign country, you wake up ready for the day at 3am and you know you should just stay in bed and sleep because you have a big day ahead of you? But there's that pesky thing called jet lag? There's a point in which you are all slept out. You just can't sleep anymore! Even though it would be productive and helpful later on... you know later in the day you're going to crash and wish you'd slept soundly. But that's just not how it works.

I have baby lag.

I mean, I can probably hold out a few more days. I'm saving "go to the movies" for Friday in case I'm still pregnant. I've started some basic notes for a novel I'd like to write and can bang out a few thank-you notes that we owe people for baby gifts.

But it's hard to explain -- I KNOW I'm going to be tired and I KNOW life won't be the same and I'll wish I was back in this week and I'll be crying and sore and missing my old life. But I'd like to record this very distinct feeling for posterity's sake: I just don't care. I've done what I needed to do. I don't regret anything. I'm ready to be a mom, to embrace the whole messiness and ugliness and crankiness of it. I'm geared up for a physical challenge.

The evidence? The joy I feel about one huge pair of leggings. (Read on.)


The cold spell has been inconvenient because, as of Monday, I had no pants that fit. When you're pregnant all summer, you live in dresses and skirts. On Monday I decided I needed to shell out for some giant pants, so I wandered into Ann Taylor Loft (it was the closest shop I felt like walking to) and asked the woman folding sweaters if she could help me find the biggest leggings in the store. 

Ten minutes later I was pulling XL leggings over my sneakers (What? I tie those suckers once a day, as it's nearly impossible to get down there anymore) and asking her to scan the price tag so I could wear them out the store. Do you know how freeing it is to say "bring me your largest pants!"? It is awesome.

So now I take a 2 mile walk in the morning and a 2 mile walk in the evening and I wear the same outfit every day. I wear my old running sneakers and when I catch a glance of myself in a store window, I laugh because I look like someone with a love of charcoal gray dressed me in the dark of a sparse thrift store. 

The best part is that NO ONE CARES. People smile at me while I walk. They grin and sometimes they ask me when I'm due. "Thursday!" I call as I waddle onward and they are delighted. Women in Starbucks tell me I look adorable, other pregnant women tell me they can't believe I'm due this week, people hold doors and give me free cookies. 

New York City, I don't know how other places do it... but you guys are the best. You know how to make an unshowered girl sans make-up (weighing 40 pounds more than normal) feel great about roaming these streets. 


How do babies know when to come? Some scientists say that labor is kicked off by the baby himself when he has enough of a certain chemical that signifies his lungs are ready for the world. Cool.

There's another, more hippy approach, that could hold some water too. Earlier this week I was very thoughtful about any unfinished emotional business I might have that could be interfering with his arrival. I read a couple of serious books (book reviews coming tomorrow) and did some journaling. I got to a healthier mental place about who I am and the relationships in my life. I took some steps that felt productive. 

I don't know if those things were barriers or not, but last night I went to sleep satisfied with my emotional health and looking forward to the challenges that face me in the future. The truth is that I just couldn't have been the same parent to our son five years ago. Biologically I could have had a child, but emotionally and mentally, I'm a thousand years from where I was. I know I'm going to make mistakes with him, but my intentions are right and my head is screwed on straight. It took a while to get here, but here I am. 


Last week the midwife suggested I have a bunch of funny movies and tv shows on-hand. "Laugh," she said "laugh a lot!" It occurs to me that reading the memoir of a widow and one of a mother whose daughter died of cancer earlier this week was... the opposite of that. OOPS.

While writing this post I've been compiling a playlist on Rdio of the most fun songs I can find.  It's already making me feel awesome to hear them. And I wonder if anyone reading this might want to suggest great songs to add to it? Or link me to hilarious YouTube videos? Or the funniest blog posts you've ever read? 

Because maybe, just maybe, this kid is waiting for a dance party. 


Jen said...

Gems so far:



Jessica said...

The peppiest song I know is Mr. Blue Sky by ELO. Dance that baby right out!

Anne said...

Yo. I bought clothes right at the end of both my pregnancies. And I didn't have any good excuse like changing weather. Hang out there. A