Almost 22 weeks.
I feel bigger every day. And the top of my belly is starting to get more round and full. The fetal movements are consistent and sometimes distracting. It's very exciting and although kicks feel strong and significant for me (because they radiate from within when I catch them with my hand on the outside) Chris still hasn't been able to discern between movement from breathing and the fetus. I'm sure as the fetus grows it will be easier to feel (and become less novel to me... or maybe not? It is a fascinating and surreal experience that I tried to imagine in the weeks leading up to "the quickening").
I've been thinking a lot about motherhood and feminism lately. Growing up, one of the videotapes my siblings and I watched obsessively was "Muppet Treasures," which is a collection of skits from the Muppet Show. And this week I've found myself humming Loretta Lynn's rendition of Shel Silverstein's clever anthem for multiple-time, stay-at-home, mothers-to-be, "One's on the Way." Although I am not going to stay at home and will return to work full time when my leave is over, I do think the song highlights enduring socio-economic and cultural differences that alienate and divide mothers, even four decades later.
In the history of feminism, we have needed women to speak out against biological essentialism that reduces us to some sexist and idealized notion of inherent maternalism. But in that process of undoing, the resilient mechanisms of patriarchy found another method through which to pit types of women against other types of women and types of mothers against other types of mothers. Contemporary feminism encompasses many forms but because being pregnant is all still new to me, I am navigating unfamiliar terrain. And sometimes it is frustrating to acknowledge how divisions endure and how systemic mechanisms serve to further alienate women from each other. This is part of why "One's on the Way" looms large in my current consciousness.
Of course, the song's witty intra- and inter-gender politics didn't occur to me as a kiddo. But it's something I've been contemplating frequently, in the wake of article
about whether women can "have it all," or perhaps more relevant, whether "having it all" is even on the menu
for contemporary, middle-and working-class mothering. It's a lot to chew on! Anyway, you can see the skit from the Muppets here
or Lynn singing the anthem solo, here
Old Navy Maternity Maxi Dress: buy it here
(fyi this is sized generously. I am wearing a small with room to grow).