Saturday, January 23, 2010

Am I a mother?
part 1 ?

32 weeks

This time around, being pregnant and anticipating becoming a mother has led me to a lot more existential thinking than the first time when I was 21. It could very well have to do with age, it being 9 years later and all, but I think it has more to do with the community that we've been a part of for most of those 9 years and the understanding I have that God does not just require of us to consider our spiritual existential beliefs, but our existential beliefs in all areas of our lives.

For me to be a good parent, I want to consider the potential reasons behind a decision we make that will affect our child and I want to look to the future and begin to understand now how our relationship with him and with one another will change, prior to the change just happening to us. I want to be an active participant in the changes.

This in no way means I want to control everything or anything crazy like that, I just think there is some wisdom in critically thinking about things. I mean, right? Common sense, no?

One of the things I've considered for a long time is the idea of losing myself when I become a mother, which led me to consider when is the moment I become a mother, as in when exactly does this happen? For some women I think this takes place the moment they find out they're pregnant. I am going to make an argument against this (which I began in a previous post 'deep thoughts, beware'), because it was obvious by my thoughts about 'losing myself' that I did not consider myself someone's mother yet, so I had to ask myself why and when.

1. Is the role of life source the role of a mother?

It is true, I am a life source for my son. I nourish him, I create a healthy environment for him to grow and thrive, I play a huge role in how his development occurs. But is this the role of a mother or not? Personally, I would rather look at this time a little differently.

For me to eat a healthy diet, and to make certain that I am consuming or supplementing the appropriate vitamins etc, may have something to do with growing another human - he needs more of or a different variety to grow - but it should not be the only reason I do this. I should do this for myself, to be a healthy human. But does doing this for his growth now fall under the category of being his mother? Or does it simply fall under the category of being an incubator?

For me this argument can be carried throughout decisions I seem to have made simply because I am pregnant, but they are because I am a life source, not because I am a mother.

Mostly I lean toward this argument because of something I've previously expressed. The bond of parent and child is essential, but the insane need for us all (me, Andy & boy) to be individuals is much greater (or I believe it should be, it is healthier for all parties). If I am not an individual or don't have a healthy self worth than how can I expect my son to? If I am not responsible for my actions or accountable for them because I can blame it on something (example: I'm a mother, I don't have time to take care of myself etc) then how does this teach my son that he is accountable and responsible for his actions?

This all brings me back to the idea that I am not someone's mother yet. There is no learning going on between my actions now and my son, I am not teaching him anything. But when he is born, that's exactly what will be happening. And in return he will help inform me of how to be his mother once he is here and interacting with me. I can think of nothing better than raising a son based on who he is rather than on my expectations of him.

Sure it's possible that one day he'll know (from me) about how his life began and what I did to help him grow, but if this is where I "begin" our relationship then it is purely a selfish act.

Obviously, this is not a closed discussion nor is it over, but I'd love to hear feedback, especially from all my young mother friends, and perhaps even more so from my friends who are not mothers as I think you may be able to lend an opinion from an outside perspective.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How time goes by in just the right amount

30 weeks

31 weeks

As we round the corner to our 32nd week, the comments from people are a derivative of one of the following:
It seems like you've been pregnant forever
It has gone by so fast

I guess that all depends on perspective right?
I feel like it has been just the right amount of time. I'm not anxious either get it over with or to keep it going longer. I'm content where we're at and I have been this entire time. I hope this continues and I'm confident that with the right perspective, it will.

One of the strangest things I've discovered while being pregnant is the amount of statements rather than questions I hear in regards to my pregnancy. For instance, people don't ask how it has felt for me, long, short, just right? They just tell me how it's been for them. I find this peculiar at least.

But it doesn't end with this small area, it ripples throughout any comment I make online, or any person I speak to about the pregnancy. I have to say, some of the best advice I have been given was by another new mother. She said, don't take advice or listen to just one person, hear it all, but decide what's best for you and your baby. This wasn't some kind of epiphany, but it made me realize that this isn't an isolated occurrence, this happens to a lot of pregnant women. I know very well that no one knows me, or my diet, or my habits, or my history like I do, except for maybe Andy, and we all know that no two people are alike, so of course no two pregnancies are going to be alike. So what is this need to give advice when it isn't solicited?
Don't get me wrong, I hear it all, some of it is really helpful, I'm just pondering the reasoning behind it.

The advice I was given may seem like common sense, and typically to the person hearing the unsolicited advice or opinions, this is common sense, but I ponder more why this isn't common sense for the people handing out the advice or opinions. And I ponder even more why people are so quick to offer their advice or opinions about pregnancy when I don't even ask for them. Is this how it will be all during parenthood too? Will people always assume that you don't know what you're doing cause you're 'new at this'? That's kind of annoying.

I have a few ideas, but they're probably offensive, so I'd rather people just tell me why they do it instead of me pissing off everyone.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Opening thoughts

I have contemplated a lot this past year
what kind of wife will I be
what kind of friend will I be
what kind of mother will I be
what kind of wife and friend will I be when I'm a mother?
And such similar things as you may find any woman becoming a mother contemplating.

But today, this morning, I was contemplating what kind of me I will be. The me that has nothing to do with being a wife, friend or mother. It's not the fact that I'm entering a new 'chapter' in life, or a new decade. It's more that everything around me is changing and it's a good time to reflect on who I am, what is important in life, and who I am as a part of it. Age is, after all, just a number.

Obviously I don't have the answers to all these questions. But they're on my mind and forcing my thoughts to be retrospective and projective, which I think is a good thing. All I can say for now is, I seriously doubt this year will be anything but incredible.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A new me in the new year?

This baby thing is taking over my body.

29 weeks
- just barely on New Year's Eve

At 29 weeks I have exactly one more week of being 29. And then 30 weeks will arrive on my 30th, ehem, birthday. It's a sign, of what I don't know, but kind of amazing still.

One man that I haven't mentioned recently is my man. I don't want to bore anyone with all the mushy details, but no one could ever treat me better than he does. The details make him all that much more amazing, but they're mushy and lovey so I'll stop there. Just know, he's better than every other man on the planet. Hands down.

Christmas day in the snow (!) 28 weeks

Last night, New Year's Eve, after working from 8:30am till 8:15pm (with a break) and standing up at a party for hours, my baby belly started to feel big and heavy for the first time. I have tried binding three or four times over the last few weeks, after Marianne so graciously gave me hers to use, and I think it may have to become a more regular piece of my attire. I'm thinking that at least if I'm going to be up and about all day I should wear it to take the strain of my muscles. My only hesitation to wearing it all the time is that I feel like I'm taking away space from Ant and I don't know if that's fair to do to him this early.

In other news, we've officially applied for OHP (Oregon Health Plan) and have been told we will receive it, though the official word comes to us next week so I'm still a bit nervous. OHP will bring with it qualification for WIC, blood tests (including a glucose test for gestational diabetes), more midwife visits, and perhaps another ultrasound.

Which I hope will mean more Ant pictures to come, from the inside, not just the outside, something that makes me smile.