Writing, become a mother and uncertainty.

My husband has been asking me why I haven't written more during my pregnancy. Writing is practically a part of my DNA–I have stacks and stacks of journals starting from when I was only 5 or 6 years old–and yet I've hardly written about this experience. I think for two reasons.

The first is that I haven't wanted to write my own agenda for my daughter. I haven't wanted to put into the world any preconceived ideas of who I want her to be (other than to live a healthy, happy and long life). It's taken me so long to find myself, to be comfortable in my own skin and simply be okay with who I am and who I am not that I think I have feared writing about my daughter and putting certain expectations on her that simply are irrelevant. I want her to be *her*. That's my biggest prayer for her, perhaps: is to simply be herself. I want her to not only be okay with herself but to love herself and to always stand up for herself. I want her to always know that she is important and worth it, purely because she exists and is who she is. I want her to be kind, to work hard and to be independent. But again, I just want her to be her and be comfortable in who she is.

I think the second reason I haven't written much about my pregnancy is that my pregnancy hasn't been easy and I have a lot of guilt surrounding this. Since it hasn't been easy, I haven't entirely enjoyed being pregnant, and I think this is where a lot of the guilt comes in. It's not that I'm not grateful. I don't resent my daughter and I am so happy that she exists. It's such a blessing that we got pregnant and that I've had a healthy pregnancy. I am so incredibly grateful to God for all of this and I'm humbled by the experience. But it has been hard for me. I haven't written much because I haven't wanted to write about the negative and difficult aspects of this pregnancy. I think also, this pregnancy has been so hard that I haven't even felt enough like myself to even want to write. Who wants to write when you're nauseous and throwing up and hormonal and everything else that comes with pregnancy? I've simply wanted to rest and some days, just endure. 

The second trimester "high" didn't come for me until my third trimester. I'm okay with that, simply in that I'm finally here now (yeah!).  I feel "normal" again... I feel like a functioning human being who can think straight and isn't just trying to get through the day. I enjoy my days again, I feel good, I feel inspired and excited again. I feel so much more comfortable with my third trimester body than my first trimester body. I feel pregnant AF, but I feel like me again (who is also always looking for the nearest restroom because baby has great aim when kicking my bladder).

I question everything now. Why am I wearing makeup? What message will this send to my daughter? So I've stopped wearing makeup most days. I question how much time I should be spending on my phone. I don't want my daughter to ever think of her mother as someone who was always on her phone and so I try and not pick up my phone as much as I can. I read more books, do more activities even if it's simply something like cleaning. I want her to see me doing stuff and being present in the world. I want her to see a mother who works and has dreams (both inside of the house and most definitely outside of the house). I question where I'll feel comfortable sending her to school in a world filled with so much violence. I question how I'll teach her about Jesus when I, myself, have so many questions about God and issues with religion in general and church. I question her entire teenage life and how I will survive as a mother if my daughter is anything like my teenage self was. I suppose this is what parenthood will be like: figuring it out as you go. Not having all of the answers and admitting that to my child.

Mostly, right now, I am happy. And I hope to be the best mother I can possibly be to this magical, super human. 

We bought you a house.

We bought a house for you.

Your room is next to ours.

The gardens are bigger than both of our rooms put together. 

I don't know much of how to raise you, 
but I'll raise you by my side.

We can sit in the garden while the sun beats down.

You will sleep at first and I'll fumble my way through planting, pruning and picking. I'll try the vegetables first and then I'll puree them for you.

Eventually, you'll pick the vegetables, too.

There is a chicken coop. 
We're probably crazy to buy a house, have a baby, pick up gardening, raise chickens, raise you, all at once.

But on the days that we're all much too tired, 
we can sit on the patio and rest.

The patio gets sunshine all day long. It faces south and so we'll see both sunrise and sunset.

Once it's warm enough I'll buy you a kiddie pool and we can sit together in the water to stay cool. 

I imagine you'll love warmth as much as I do. I imagine you'll crave the sun and find the sunny corners of the house, just like I do.

There's a reading nook in the kitchen.
A reading nook in our bedroom.
Both, with sun.
And we'll read. I know we'll read lots.
We'll read until we fall asleep.

When you're older you'll discover the downstairs of the house next to the sliding door where your play room will be. 
In and out, you can run. 
In and out, with the dogs.

Across the yard you'll see your dad's workshop where you can ask him questions and learn how to build. 
You'll learn about metal, wood, micarta, and all sorts of other materials that you can turn into anything you want.

The workshop will be yours just as much as it is his.
Just as our house is really for you.

29 weeks, 6 days.

This morning I felt your back against my hand and the
bump, bump, bump
of your body vibrate as you hiccuped again,
and again,
and again,
and again.
Your father felt you, too.

And then on the other side of my belly, suddenly your foot poked up and I held either side of your tiny foot pressed against my skin.

You're magical.
You give me butterflies.
You make me feel the depths of my soul I had forgotten about–not realized were there.

My fingers tap these keys, writing, and there you are.

Your tiny, little hiccups.