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My New Identity: the Parent-to-be.
a blog by joy, Dec. 28, 2009
Two people in the last week have asked me if I’m excited about having a baby. And it wasn’t “Aren’t you excited?” It was more like “Aren’t you excited?!" The first friend to ask told me that I never sound excited when I talk about having a baby. I told her that when you’ve been through what I’ve been through, you sort wait for that other shoe to drop. She told me to “get over it.” This conversation really bothered me, so I decided to talk to other friends about it. Another friend said she “could see how someone might think that” about me.
Holy crap. People think I’m not excited? Am I excited? The truth is, not all the time.
What can I say? Here I am, 37 weeks pregnant and it still feels unreal sometimes. There is a disconnect between the person who could not get pregnant and this new identity of mine: the parent-to-be. I’m not so familiar with this person. Plus, I cannot deny that a large part of my one-track mind was about acquiring something I once thought impossible. Now I have to put my money where my uterus is.
I am told this is normal. It’s basically cold feet. But I really do feel messed up from everything we went through. When Jim assembled the crib I almost lost it. I am so superstitious. What right do I have to be happy? What if the fickle finger of fate turns on me? Up until last week, I stored all baby related things in the basement. There’s a Jewish superstition about setting up the nursery before the baby arrives. But when Jim was officially unable to walk from one side of the basement to the other without tripping over another generously donated bag of onesies, I knew it was time to bring the goods upstairs. Ever since then I’ve been waiting for the sky to open up and make me pay for breaking some divine law.
And just yesterday, I was playing fetch in the house with Willy (it was pouring rain, okay?). I whipped his blue ropey toy across the dining room, decapitating one of my plants and knocking my little bunny figurine to the floor. When I went over to assess the damage, I saw that one of his ceramic ears had broken off! I lost it. I literally began bawling. Aren’t rabbits some kind of fertility symbol? What did this mean?! Is it a sign?
I went into the bathroom and gave myself a close, hard look. Time to get over it, Joy. Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it. But in light of my recurring bouts of hysteria, I’m willing to try. I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to be happy. I’m assuming this means the sky won’t fall on my head. I’m not even going to look up.