My Pregnancy Journey: Musings On My Life As An Egg With LimbsBy Nikki Igbo
Published: August 25, 2015
I am undeniably with child. At nearly 32 weeks, I have become an egg with limbs. Each day, upon a glance of my reflection in the mirror I am a combination of laughter and perplexed awe. I’m tickled by body’s transformation, my middle section jutting out as if in defiance of the rest of my frame. I wonder how my body is performing this miracle without any direction or orchestration from me whatsoever. I’ve taken on the shape of a globe, a walking talking earth inhabited by one, carefully tended by my hyper vigilant faux farmer of a husband who insists on watering, feeding and protecting me as if an alien attack is all but guaranteed.
Like never before, I can understand any pregnant women’s reluctance to stay home from work. At work, yes there is fatigue and hunger and the gripping alertness to potential dangers wherever they may lurk — all while trying to function in a normal capacity. But there’s also the comfort of maintaining individuality and value beyond being a baby factory. At work, a pregnant woman can still exercise some level of control over her day and destiny. Conversely, at home, her personal thoughts, feelings, desires, needs are secondary to her role as an incubator.
I’m certainly not saying that I’m dying to report to an office every day just to avoid my husband’s 15th daily and unnecessary reminder to use the handrails as I walk down the stairs. However, I would enjoy my husband not telling me that I misplaced my phone for the kajillionth time due to “pregnancy brain.” (I lost my phone regularly long before I got knocked up.) At the office anyone making “pregnancy brain” accusations would have the decency to do so behind my back and not to my face while I inhale an entire medium veggie-lover’s pizza.
As the baby’s mysterious arrival date grows nearer, I’m also dealing with a kaleidoscope of emotions which aren’t so easy to articulate. And mind you, this is an admission of a writer who has made it her profession to articulate the inarticulable.
Hungry and tired and round is easy. How do I describe the heady mix of excitement and terror I feel about becoming a mother? It is insane to want something so much and at once be horrified by the idea of actually getting it. My dear sweet, karate-kicking rascal of an not-yet-born son is on his way. It’s a done deal with absolutely no return policy. Besides the horror of emergency c-section, the dreaded episiotomy, or heaven forbid worse, I torture myself with thoughts of the little guy not latching on or flat out refusing my breastmilk.
Will I hold him correctly and avoid his fontanel? Will I have properly sanitized the house so that his body won’t succumb to some strange undiscovered lint flu? Will I have left just enough germs around for him to build up a healthy tolerance? Will I actually let my husband hold his own child? Will I willingly let anyone else hold my baby without freaking out in silence? I could go on, which is why I have refused to allow myself to Google “potential newborn mishaps.” I don’t want anything else to obsess over. I’m plenty creative enough and have no problem coming up with my own unfounded, irrational fears.
And yet, he’s on his way! Mine and my husband’s exclusive, never-before-seen, brand new human creation. Oh to see and hold and smell his little body. To hear his cry for the first time. To have his little hand grip my finger. To stare into his eyes and feel and know that we belong to each other. I don’t even know how to begin to cope with such a new kind of love. I invite it every bit as much as I fear it. With the low that I felt after experiencing miscarriage, I know I need such a love to feel whole again no matter how much it frightens me.
I think all of these things. No… I wallow in these thoughts. And then I apply a bit of double-consciousness and study myself as I wallow. Once again, I see how laughable and wondrous and pitiful and odd this process is. Like the funny, crazy curve of my new pregnant body. I relax. I eat. I touch my belly and treasure my baby’s movements. And when my husband tosses “pregnancy brain” at me, I gently remind him how terrible he would be at pregnancy and that he should, with all due respect, shove it.
Don’t miss out on Nikki’s pregnancy journey. Check out the previous articles here: Part 1: From 2 Miscarriages to Positivity, Part 2: Pregnancy Worries, Fears and Prenatal Results, Part 3: A Few Notes About My Unborn Son’s Personality, Part 4: Recognizing The Exquisite Gift of New Life, Part 5: Hunger, Fatique and Looming Concerns of Parenting, Part 6: Pregnancy and Dealing with Inescapable Fatigue, Part 7: The Painful Realities of the Miscarriage Experience.
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