39 Weeks Pregnant 👶
For the duration of my pregnancy, I’ve thought many times about writing a letter to my baby. I’ve thought about sitting down and meditating on the moment, appreciating my body, feeling the energy around me, and so on and so forth.
Then, life got in the way as it often does, and I blinked. Then I was here, 39 weeks pregnant today, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby. Everyone told me that these last weeks would be the longest, and man, they were right. Every day is a mind game. Wondering if I felt a kick, or a contraction. Questioning my sanity. Feeling impatient and then getting annoyed at myself for feeling that way. Ommmmmm. Trying to be zen about the biggest change of my life that could possibly occur at any given second.
I sat down this morning and figured I may as well write the damn letter, since it seems like this baby is taking his/her sweet time. Hey, who could blame ‘em? I am pretty cozy after all :)
While writing my letter, I realized how crazy it is to bring life into this world. How our expectations seep into the baby before we’ve even met them. How our own fears, disappointments, ideas and dreams about parenthood bubble to the surface immediately, calling out at us loudly, questioning our capabilities. Memories that have long been asleep in the depths of our brains come to our frontal lobe, reminding us of all that we are afraid of. For me, the root always comes back to one question: “am I good enough?”
This is the question that keeps me up at night, usually disguised as something else. A concern about my job, a fear about my finances, a reminder of an argument with my mom. It all stems from the same desire for me. To be “it all” and to “have it all” and “succeed at everything” when of course, I understand it’s not really possible. In theory, I get that no one is perfect, but in practice, the voice of the perfectionist berates me constantly, tapping my shoulder, whispering that I should do more. Shouldn’t I be working? Don’t I have an article to write? An exercise class to go to? A closet to organize? A grandmother to call?
All this to say, 39 weeks in, I am coming to realize that the voice may only get louder with the addition of a baby, and it will be my challenge to learn to quiet it, and to be happy with myself, mistakes and all. I am recognizing that as with most transitions in life, I don’t really have control over the outcome. I would like to think that I do… to believe that every extra thing I accomplish will make me a better entrepreneur, wife, mother, friend. However, in truth, I am recognizing that it’s not up to me at the end of the day. I can control my attitude, my vision, my outlook, and my actions, but I can’t control who my baby is. Or how my career transpires, or how I will feel about life a year from today. Will I feel differently about my identity? Will my job matter more to me, or shockingly… less? Will my constitution take a different form after I’ve released a piece of me and Brandon into the world?
When I really stop to think about this, I wonder, isn’t it always like this? We believe that we are these big, important, decision makers. We are convinced that every single motion we make will affect the outcome of our lives. A butterfly flapping its wings in Argentina can cause a Tsunami in Thailand. When you take a step back, when you go for a long walk through the woods, or look at the sheer size of a mountain, or even when you are met with a totally unexpected situation, you momentarily remember that you are not God, the universe, or whatever it is way out there. We are tiny in the grand scheme of it all, and we must remind ourselves of this.
Perhaps William Blake said it best:
So today, at 39 weeks pregnant, I try to prepare myself for the avalanche of change and emotion that will be set off once our baby arrives. I cannot determine who my child will be, or what their personality will be like, as much as I cannot control the color of their eyes or the sound of their laugh. All I can do is wait, hope and pray to love them as they are, and that they too will love me as I am. Imperfections and all.