I don’t know about for you, but for me, that saying, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans,” has been too true. Even when I want to stop and enjoy or be present in the moment, I find a way to be distracted. Then there are the times when everything comes into focus, and I’m not even trying. For me, they seem not to occur as extended time periods. They’re more like flashes. My most recent flash, that the baby is really coming, took place this morning in the midst of being busy doing what I consider nesting.
Over the last week, I have been working my butt off to get the garden finished. The trajectory of the house work and “nesting” is: 1) Finish garden before I get too big to lift myself up and down repeatedly in any sort of easy or comfortable way. 2) Get the bedrooms painted. 3) Get the living room walls smoothed out because right now they look like a bad piece of modern art. 4) Get the living room painted and shelf unit built so that we can move the stuff that is in boxes in the baby’s room out. 5) Prepare baby’s room.
I’m hoping J and I can do this all in the next two months so that the last month I can work on the finer details of things. The shortness of time (12 more weeks!) is like a whip pushing a horse to gallop more quickly. It shocks me into action every morning. And like a horse, thankfully, I enjoy the work I’m doing.
Given all this work, I have had a hard time slowing down to recognize that there is really going to be a squirming, crying, pooping and sleeping little being in my arms sometime in the next three months. My flash came after I received a set of baby cubes for the baby food I plan on making from a relative. My realization was that the baby isn’t going to just change the way the baby’s room or our bedroom is used, but also the kitchen! “Of course she’ll change the kitchen,” is what I would be thinking if I were you. While the fact that the kitchen will be changed might not seem like much of a revelation to you or an Aha Moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This baby is coming, and she’s going to change everything, bedrooms and kitchen and beyond.
To be honest, I think that I have been in a state of some sort of denial until now. The baby has been a concept, labor and delivery a far off idea. It’s like being on a trip to a place you’ve never been to before. The journey always feels like it takes so long because all you can do is anticipate what it’s like in that place. Everything on the road there is new, and you have to take it in and absorb it. The revelation about the kitchen was like starting to see the outline of the place I’m going to.
This reminds me of the first time I went to Burning Man. The trip from Los Angeles to Black Rock City, the name of the town that gets erected and taken down in the space of a month for the huge event, took us something like 15 hours but felt so much longer, even though I had driven much of the road before. Burning Man was nothing more than dust storms, funky art, rave music and a big party in my mind. At 3 in the morning, as we came around one of the bends on the dark and very rural desert road into Black Rock City, I spotted what looked like a city. I didn’t think there was another city in this area, so I asked what the towering buildings, the distinctive neon lights, and well structured area was.
When I learned that it was indeed Black Rock City, I saw that Burning Man was not just a group of people partying in the desert, but something so much more sophisticated. This was a key moment for me in my perception of the place and the experience. And though it did not compare to what I lived when I passed through the entry gates and saw the city in action, it is one of the most lasting memories for me about my first time there.
This is where I am in my pregnancy. I have rounded the corner and spotted what it looks like to have a baby. The image of my destination has become clearer. I realize that I still have no idea what it’s really like to go through labor and hold the baby in my arms; no matter how much I hear from my friends, the Bradley method teacher, my doula, or the doctors, I will not understand the experience until I’m there.
For now, it’s back to trying to experience the moment and enjoy the process. So it’s back to the garden for me!