November 3, 2012

Family Planning

As Chris and I prepare for the impending arrival of our little one, I also find myself relishing these final weeks and moments of pregnancy. We are literally on the precipice of HUGE change, that will be both wonderful and terrifying. I dream absurd and vivid things about birth. I lay awake and wonder about life with a child. I wonder also about how it will feel to no longer be pregnant. Will I miss feeling her move from the inside? Will I miss my large, hard belly? Will I miss the positive if unsolicited attention from strangers and acquaintances?

Sure, there are some physical discomforts that seem to grow as my body does and those I will not miss. I've grown a bit tired of being the default designated driver on nights when I still have the stamina to go out. I admit that I would love to have more than just sips of wine or any other alcoholic beverage. It would be nice to eat charcuterie and pate without guilt. And I already have raw oyster and sushi plans in the works.

But I imagine (as a consummate sap), that I will look back on these final days with deep fondness, nostalgia, and perhaps even a bit of envy for the time when things were so simple. When our plans and planning were still entirely within our control. When our sleep patterns were dictated largely by our whims. When it was easy to keep the house relatively clean and in order. When "we" meant just us two. I hope it isn't wrong to admit that in anticipating even the most exciting and positive change, it can be hard not to cling instinctively to what was already "known."

Chris and I have built such a happy life together and in my perpetual state of "too many feelings" I sometimes can't believe my good fortune in having him as my partner. Of course he's not perfect (and neither am I!) but we really suit each other. It feels fitting and poignant to share this with him. When I allow myself to dwell on it, my mind is blown by the notion that we've made what will become our new family member.*

Above you see us on our second wedding anniversary, wearing one of our wedding gifts. We kept meaning to wear these matching air brushed t-shirts to Kennywood (since wearing matching outfits is a grand Kennywood tradition that we've never actually shared) but it also made sense to debut them on our "cotton" anniversary. Although we weren't able to get photos in the same spot we did the last two years, we made the most of the day. It wasn't lost on me that it was our final wedding anniversary as just us two.

Our family planning brought us here. And I am both excited and nervous about what the future brings.

*My mind is also often blown by (mostly male) politicians playing political football with reproductive rights, especially when I reflect upon all the things the pregnant body has to do and all the discomforts that women can experience throughout this process. Rather than making me question my belief in reproductive rights, pregnancy has galvanized it. That some can flippantly suggest women carry unwanted, unplanned pregnancies to term with no say in the decision has become more baffling to me than ever.

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