It is a strange thing, I think, that I should fall silent when I’m undergoing one of the most radical changes in my life so far – my first pregnancy. Its something I’ve dreamed about, worried over, and even dreaded at times, and now that its here I’m afraid to talk about it. Not really afraid, but maybe just unable to put in words the changes I’m undergoing physically, spiritually, emotionally. By putting it all into words, I’m afraid to find out what I already know – that my feelings are maudlin and pedestrian, because most women who become mothers undergo the same transformation. On the other hand, there is ofcourse comfort in identifying with others, and when anxiety over the future becomes unbearable, I do take comfort from knowing that many others have gone through the same thing, and most get through unscathed. Its a fine tug-of-war game – to want to feel extraordinary and one of a kind by separating my feelings from others, and yet to want to be comforted by knowing that others have walked the same path.
In any case, here I am. I don’t know how regular my posts will be, but I will keep the blog around for whenever the inspiration and the mood strikes.
These days, I am in love with my body. This is a radically new phenomenon for me, someone who’s never felt quite at home within myself, always thinking of myself as too big and wieldy even when I know that objectively, I am not. But now that I am the biggest I’ve ever been in my life, I am in love with what my body is capable of. I marvel at every movement, every kick inside me. I cannot believe that my body is capable of forming flesh on bones and creating nails, eyelashes, fingernails, spinal cord, hands, feet, lips, brain, eyes, heart – where none of it existed a few months ago. Something from nothing. My body is doing this. How can I not love it? It helps that I’ve had no health issues thus far, and I love that my body is functioning as its supposed to. Good health is truly, truly one of the key blessings for which I’ve always forgotten to be grateful. Not these days. I do wonder what my body will look like after the baby is born, and how much damage will be done do it. Lets see how much I love it then.
It is easy for me to understand the bond between a mother and her child. The child is literally her flesh and blood, the most intimate connection there is. Its harder for me to understand the bond between a father and his child. I have to question my husband about why he will love this baby. Ofcourse he looks at me like I’m crazy, and it may be a silly question, especially because growing up I felt closer to my father than to my mother in many ways. But I do legitimately wonder – where does that father/child bond come from? From the 1/2 DNA?
Another change – I find myself doing more remembrance of God (zikr) than I ever did before. I don’t know why, but with my every sigh and moment of physical pain, I reflexively say “there is no God but God” or “God is the greatest.” Before, I used to say oh shit. I’d say that’s an improvement. I don’t know where it comes from. But its not that I’ve become a zen sufi during my pregnancy, because a lot of little things and people in general continue to annoy me. But I’m happier now that I’m remembering Him more.
I am ofcourse anxious about the future. I don’t know how it will be to go from a family of 2 to 3. This weekend is our 6th wedding anniversary, and time is flying by so fast I feel like I dont have enough of it to spend with my husband. I love it when its just me and him and nobody else. I wonder how the dynamic between us will shift with another person around. So far, my husband’s been a blessing during this time, and I marvel at the strength of women who have to birth and raise children on their own. I pray that the little one will be the bond that will truly make us unbreakable (ameen).
Also, no offense to other moms out there, but I also don’t want to become one of those women whose only topic of conversation is their kids. I find other people’s kids cute for about 2 minutes, and basically not at all interesting. I assume people will feel the same about mine. So I hope my main topics of discussion do not involve my kid’s sleeping, eating, or pooping habits. So help me God, I do not want to become uninteresting after having a kid (I flatter myself by thinking I must be semi-interesting right now. Don’t we all?) I allow myself the indulgence of blogging about it for now, because this is all quite new for me at this moment. Once its been a little while after the baby is here, I hope to move on with other concerns. It reminds me of the time when I got married – all I could see and talk about was my husband, and I’m sure that must have been unsufferable for my friends, but I got over that phase soon enough (no offense, baby).
Also, can I just say, I dont ever want to drive a minivan. Please, dear God, no minivans. I’m already trying to convince my husband that suburbia kills a person’s soul so we can’t live there permanently, but being the uncle that he is, he doesn’t see it that way. However, I will put my foot down on the minivan issue.
The other main issue I’m worried about is trying to see how I will balance my job and my child. I am not wired to be a permanent stay-at-home mom. I know I will need adult interaction and intellectual stimulation to remain sane, so I do plan on working, but with a lighter workload. I am already anticipating the guilt I will feel for leaving my child with someone else though – I can already see it coming. One thing’s for sure – this country needs to accommodate working mothers (and yes, fathers too) better – 3 months of maternity leave is not enough. Don’t Canadians get a year? Damn, why don’t I live in Canada already?
The worries about my job and things like the minivan all stem from an overarching concern that I don’t lose too much of what makes me who I am. I want to remain the same woman – a lover of ghazals, daal, and politics, somewhat of a news-junkie and a semi-pseudo-intellectual. I tried to step into what I call the “world of the mommies,” by reading the mommy boards and blogs, and I just cannot see myself being fully immersed in that realm – surely there are bigger concerns than writing ad nauseam about strollers? But my worries in that regard are mollified by my belief that forming new relationships and bonds has never diminished me before – every relationship I have with people I’ve let into my life has made me more fully the person I was meant to be. So it will be with the little one.
Anyway Internets, these are some of the many thoughts I’ve been ruminating over for weeks now. I’m grateful for those of you who are still around, you gluttons for punishment.