It recently occurred to me that I spend a lot of my time on the blog talking about politics, about loss, and about the unexpected change from NGP to gestational parent. What I haven’t spent enough time writing about, though, are all of the things that I really love about being pregnant with this Rabbit-baby. As we enter the third trimester this week, I can see the light at the end of the pregnancy tunnel. Our son should be here in about thirteen weeks, which, I feel sure now, will fly by (except perhaps those last few weeks). That said, I think I’ll really miss some aspects of being physically pregnant.
Things I dig about being pregnant:
* Feeling Rabbit move inside of me throughout the day and night. It’s an incredible gift to carry this little boy for forty weeks. His kicks, punches, rolls, hiccups, and stretches (while sometimes a bit uncomfortable) always make me feel safe, grateful, and secure in his little presence. I particularly love sharing this with R. Even though we’ve been feeling him move together for nine weeks, R still gives a little gasp of excitement almost every time she feels him. A recent development that I love is that I’ve been spooning R at night with my belly up to her back. This way, she’s able to feel him move even once I’ve fallen asleep. And he is his most active at night. This is a nice way for them to have some alone time for bonding while he’s still on the inside. It’s an incredibly sweet experience.
* Prenatal everything: Massage, midwife care, yoga, chiropractic, birth classes. It’s been a really amazing experience to learn how to navigate pregnancy among an incredible community of women. I have never had the chance to be a part of a community of straight women before. At first, it was incredibly daunting. I felt like a boy in the girl’s locker room. But as time has gone on, I’ve begun to see myself in light of our similarities and not our differences. As such, these spaces have allowed me to embrace myself as a pregnant woman and to honor the ways in which I uniquely fulfill this role.
* Pregnancy has given me a new kind of perspective, though I suspect that this will become even stronger postpartum. This past year has given me so many levels of change. I feel like my body image, my priorities, my fears, my shortcomings, and my relationship to vulnerability have all been overhauled. My new motto, crude as it may be, is “fuck the bullshit.” So much of the stress and worry in my life from before this time has been eradicated effortlessly. And the stuff that matters now really matters. It’s impossible to discern how much of this was the result of our loss and how much of it is the result of this pregnancy. I see them as wholly interconnected events, so it doesn’t really matter. But I do feel like the weight of my past concerns has largely vanished and it has been replaced with a new kind of weight, a good kind of heavy and full. Namely, that of family, commitment, and forward-thinking.
* My relationship to my changing body and the people I encounter in the world. This is probably the most surprising “like” that I’ve found in pregnancy. I think that by getting this in touch with my female body and by opening up to the social experience (good and bad) of being a pregnant woman, I now inhabit a more fluid, authentic sense of self. I by no means think that pregnancy is the way to achieve this, but, for me, I find that my female masculinity is more empowered, more vulnerable, more humble. It stems from a place of expression, not self-protectiveness. And that is a really amazing benefit from what has, at times, been a jarring experience.
So these are just a few of the ways that I think pregnancy has changed me for the better. I hope that I can carry these memories and transformations forward into my parenting.