When people ask, "how are you? How's the baby?" I can only say, "I'm fine and the baby is healthy", which is a very, very simplified version of how I'm actually feeling. The thing is, I'm not exactly sure about how I'm "actually" feeling, so it makes it awkward for me to answer people's questions. And trust me, people have a lot of questions. People haven't been this interested in my life since that time I wrote that scathing article about white privilege and suddenly it was as if the KKK had me on their hit-list *ahem*, but I digress.
In all honesty, being pregnant is an experience that truly is unlike anything I've experienced before, which is why it's so difficult to describe how I'm feeling, because I don't yet understand the half of it. The changes in my body are simultaneously mind-blowing and terror-inducing. Each week, I notice my belly getting increasingly larger and my boobs are constantly sore and sensitive. My skin is awful and my hair is frizzy and, in general, I look like a fucking mess. I know that these are all the small price I pay in order to produce a mini-me but, my god, I feel so out of control of my body and so disconnected from what I know it to be. I don't hate it, but I don't like it either. Where the hell is my pregnancy glow? When do I start to look like a fucking glowy pregnant angel or whatever?!
Just a few weeks ago, Chris and I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time and I got to see its little fingers and toes wriggle around in my womb and it was the craziest feeling to know that my body is creating another human being who will have its own opinions and its own voice and its own life. This body of mine that has been the source of some of my biggest fears and anxieties is doing something so amazingly beautiful and incomprehensible to me that just the thought of it makes me want to cry, and though those tears are often happy tears, the beauty of it all reminds me that there comes a lot of fear with creating life and being a mother that I never really thought about prior to this. When I would think about the future, the future always looked so different from what it looks like now. I imagined having kids slightly older, slightly more prepared, slightly more everything. I don't question my decision to keep this child, because I was very clear to myself in making that decision, but I do question my abilities now and whether or not all my strengths are strong enough. What if I'm simply not enough? And that's terrifying.
Whether or not they are sincere, people seem to have a lot of faith in me and my abilities, and I often wonder why, because I am all too aware of my weaknesses, now more than ever. That's the really frustrating thing about being pregnant, I think. Prior to having a munchkin demon in my belly, I had a certain level of faith in myself that seems to have slowly disappeared and has been replaced with self-doubt and uncertainty. Where did all my confidence go? Why do I feel so small and insecure? Maybe it's just pregnancy hormones, I really can't tell anymore. Most days I can't tell left from right, and my only relief is that I have a partner who is incredibly patient and astoundingly caring, even on those days where I am completely useless and unable to pick myself up off the couch to go to the bathroom. And I have to go to the bathroom a lot, because #impregnant.
I'm sure any parent would tell me that what I'm feeling right now is totally normal, because what soon-to-be parent wouldn't be shitting their pants from time to time, right? I'm not sure of many things right now, but what I do know is that, despite my fears, I'm unbelievably excited to finally be able to meet this tiny human and to watch as Chris and I trip up over ourselves trying to be the best damn parents we can be with all the love we are able to give. And I suppose that makes everything okay in the end. So, yeah, I guess I am fine. Funny that.