Thursday, April 12, 2012

Physical discomfort and cognitive dissonance

Discomfort is the umbra of my existence: leaning forward, walking, sleeping, digesting a meal, even my thought processes -- all are impacted by the entity occupying my womb.

I admit there are times when I feel occupied rather than, oh, I don't know, pregnant. My body is no longer wholly my own. Sometimes that bothers me on a deep, barely conscious level. I think it has something to do with the fact that gestation and motherhood just aren't part of my identity. They never had been. Yes, I am a nurturer, but I am not a mommy. The whole mommy-identity is foreign to me, and still uncomfortable. I know that when the time comes I'll step into that role, and that in being a mother, I will become one. I know this, and I'm not worried. I'm just uncomfortably aware that a disconnect is still there, and I'm doing my best to be okay with that.

The part of me that never wanted to be a parent wants validation, I think. This surprising miracle pregnancy has changed everything, and that part of me doesn't welcome the changes. There. I've admitted it.

I never wanted to be a mother and I'm not 100% certain I want to be a mother, but I'm carrying this baby and a larger part of me wants to experience this whole new realm that I never thought would be open to me. I've been rapidly playing catch-up, emotionally, mentally. Most females are indoctrinated to see baby-making as part of their identity, a prerequisite for being a "real" woman. They dress baby-dolls and pick out names and fantasize about weddings and nurseries. They evaluate the males in their lives as prospective providers and fathers. They ask themselves, "Would I want to make a baby with this man?" Many, if not most, women do this, I know. But not me.

I love being an auntie. I love solitude and serenity. I love the solitary pursuits of writing and voice-over recording. I love sleeping in and dining out and haring off on crazy adventures. I like riding motorcycles a little too fast and making love a little too slow. Someday... Someday I hope I'll say "I love being a mom." Even though I won't love waking up all hours of the night, even though I won't enjoy cleaning up vomit and poo. I hope I'll be saying that I love being a mom even after I've had to cancel much-anticipated plans because the baby is sick or the sitter fell through for the nth time.  I think I will.

I'm an all-in kind of person, and when M and I decided to proceed with this pregnancy, I committed myself to doing whatever it takes, to being whoever I need to be, in order to fulfill the imperatives of our child-to-be. Including being a mother.

I am grateful that the baby's father and I have such a strong connection. M and I have been each other's closest friends for years. Becoming lovers seemed natural, if accidental. Love flows this way, sometimes. I'm hoping we'll succeed at being parents together, succeed in building a family life together. He, at least, has always wanted a family, and in this, I'll follow his lead.

Soon. The baby is coming soon. I'm looking forward to the day he arrives. Even if he isn't being delivered by stork.

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