Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Life and death and other things on my mind

Right now as I sit here creating my first ever blog (which I know I'm not actually cool enough to do -- but apparently they'll let just about anyone do it) I'm filled with life and consumed by thoughts of death.

Let's chat about the life part first. I'm quite literally filled with it. My little Peanut, who has been quietly and miraculously growing inside me for 29 weeks -- is making his presence known with kicks and jabs as well as gentle rumblies this afternoon. I wonder if this means he'll sleep tonight. It would be nice if one of us made it through the night without waking up.

But actually, the one nice thing about being up in the middle of the night is Peanut. My once able bladder is slowly being rendered quite useless by the pressure of the Peanut, so I'm up a lot. And so is he. I guess my moving wakes him and so when I lay back down he starts squirming -- ready for action. When it's not the kind of low, hard abdominal kicks that, to be honest, freak me out, I love feeling him moving around in the night. I lay on my back in the darkness and put my hands on my stomach, waiting for each new movement. The (sometimes) soft breathing of my beloved laying beside me provides the music for this little in-utero dance recital. And I love every moment of it. Feeling the baby I love and hearing the man I love.

I don't love the man's snoring all that much, but apparently I'm quite adept at nasal trumpeting myself, so I try to keep the complaining down to a minimum. And really, with all I have in my life right now -- blessings too many to count -- a little snoring is nothing at all.

I'm actually really in awe of my blessings these days. Like Maria (The Sound of Music lovers out there should easily catch this reference) I figure I must have done something good to deserve all this, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it is. But I know I have the rest of my life to be thankful -- and to make sure I make the most of these blessings by being the best mother and wife I can.

I still can't quite believe I'm going to be a mother, or that the man I love is going to be a father. But we are -- it's charging at us like a freight train. Yes, that's a scary image, and I just finished saying I'm blessed and thankful for the gift, but it's a scary proposition too. I've never done this before -- been responsible for a little human I made myself. A little human who doesn't come with a manual, or so I've been told. So forgive me if every once in a while I freak out ever so slightly at the prospect of being a parent.

I'm sure all will be well, as the man I love keeps telling me (in a vain attempt to stave off another panic attack and/or hormone-induced crying jag). I'm sure all will be well, but I'm sure there will be more tears and more panic on the horizon. I do actually have to birth this little Peanut, you see. Right now that's scaring me more than raising him, but I actually think that's a good thing. The birthing will last a few hours (God willing) but the raising won't end until I do.

Which brings me to thoughts of death. Maybe they're not actually consuming me (a little dramatic up there, I suppose) but they're certainly surrounding me today. I found out a good friend's Father died on New Year's Eve. He's been hovering near the brink for years really, but it's still a shock when someone takes that last step and moves beyond this world. Here one minute, gone the next.

It's just so weird to be sitting here with a new life inside me while other lives are ending. I know this is the way of life, but I've never felt like such a key part of the process before. It's kind of awesome -- awe-inspiring, I mean. I'm carrying new life while others are preparing themselves for the rituals of saying goodbye to an old one.

Heady thoughts for a cold, snowy January day. But that too, is life. I guess the trick is getting used to the things that inspire awe, but never letting those things cease to amaze you. Another trick is sleeping through the night when you're seven months pregnant, but that's one I'm sure I'll never master.

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