Today, we danced together in the shower. My hands around the place you’ve occupied for almost 8 moons, a swollen moon herself. I swayed and rocked and sang “Angel Eyes” and I thought about our first gaze…that powerful moment where Mother now has two swirling universes called eyes and where Baby has the same. And together we travel them and get lost and come back around to one another.
And I stood and marveled at a body within a body; little nesting dolls we are. The beaded water sitting on the slope of my belly, the way I can’t see my feet unless I lean forward, the sore ligaments of my lower uterus easing up with every drop of hot water against my skin.
This, body and heart connected as one, for the last time ever. You, our little strong caboose, the last bud to bloom on our tree of life. I am cognizant of the fact that, try as I may, I will never quite be able to recall exactly what it was like to grow you. I’ll remember these words, and the photos, and how my heart seemed to beat in time with yours the very first time I heard yours echo “whoosha whoosha whoosha”. Perhaps I will remember how, every morning, you switch positions depending on the side I am lying on. Or how you kick Daddy in the back as I snuggle against him. Or how your movements are so powerful at times they cause me to grunt and moan. Daily, I give thanks for the honor of this journey and for the primal way it connects me to every one of my female ancestors. I am grateful for the Braxton Hicks and how, when I breathe down deep into them, I am practicing for your Earth Birth Day.
Together, we’ve managed to put 40 lbs. on this mama frame of mine (I think my face houses at least 5 of those lbs). Every muscle and cell and inch of my skin has given way to you; like the rolling out of the red carpet. This body, a temple we have built together, week by week.
There has been ice cream and herb salads with apples, lounging in bed and mowing the lawn, an inhale of desert air that burns and an exhale of cool winter chill. You’ve been inundated with the squeals and screams and songs of your siblings and lots of Christmas music. I’ve cleaned the living room while sitting down, mopped the floors in boots, and perfected a modified “Cat-Cow” position while unloading laundry from the front-loader washing machines (so much more work – when pregnant – than top loading machines).
And now is the time when my nesting gets serious. And getting serious with four other people in the house feels like trying to unravel the tightest of strings. The work is never done, and even for the moments it feels done there is the impending knowledge that the undoing will begin in moments. I can tidy the house up into a neat little pinata and you betcha the kids will quickly beat it until its guts spill out on the floor again. That’s just the way it goes. This life cannot be contained.
But still, I am working to re-engineer the laundry process and have my birth kit organized and at the ready. My calendar is filling up with little scribbles, signs of a busy yet mellow life. I am donating toys and grown-out-of clothing and trying to mop the floors more often. I will be scheduling my pre-baby haircut and eyebrow wax (my tradition) and am working on my
“What You Can Do to Help” List that I’ll post on my fridge. The birth tub will be delivered after Christmas and I am getting ready to drop off fabrics (gifted to me by dear friends) to a seamstress who will craft me a silky robe for my postpartum babymoon. Newborn clothes and towels for the birth have been freshly laundered and folded for months and my Moby wrap is at the ready to snuggle baby close to my heart.
I have so many love-infused tokens gifted to me by my tribe that I have collected on a shelf in my closet; these are being carefully arranged on my birth altar, framed in thrifted frames, and placed in just the right spots. I don’t have a nursery to decorate or a crib to put together but you betcha I’m on the hunt for the perfect sheet set that will grace our bed the day you are born…the sheets we will slide into together, my belly still distended and jiggly and some of our limbs likely dotted in your birth blood. Already I have tucked “Chux” pads and some newborn diapers into my night stand.
A few nights ago, as I lay on my side in bed and cradled my belly and felt you moving, I was hit with the realization that soon we will both be in very similar position. Except you will nuzzle beneath my armpit and nurse the night away; a milky elixir in your belly. But YOU. You will be beside me, curled around me, your sweet sighs and coos and grunts my nighttime symphony. Your brother likely on my other side, kicking off the covers as he always does. And I will know that “it was always you”.
And this, for you, in true Stephen Sondheim style. From “Merrily We Roll Along”:
“Something is stirring,
It’s just begun.
Edges are blurring
And yesterday is done.
Feel the flow,
Hear what’s happening:
We’re what’s happening.
Don’t you know?
We’re the movers and we’re the shapers.
We’re the names in tomorrow’s papers.
Up to us now to show ‘em…
It’s our time, breathe it in:
Worlds to change and worlds to win.
Our turn coming through,
Me and you, pal,
Me and you!
On the brink
Makes you think
There’s so much stuff to sing
We’ll be singing it like the birds
Me with music and you the words
Tell ’em things they don’t know”
PS The Christmas tree is up. It will stay up until after you are born, until you are another little light on our tree.