Two Beings, One Body


In the beginning of my pregnancy I was surprised to find myself not at all put out by the idea of sharing my body with another human being. I hear from so many other mamas that are frustrated by the situation, longing for the freedom that their pre-pregnancy bodies afforded. "I just want my body back" is a super common sentiment, one that I think most pregnant ladies can relate to.

My own attitude toward sharing my body is a little different, mostly due to how I view the world (and myself) spiritually. While I certainly do consider my body my domain, I don't think of it as my self. I think of it more like the vessel that carries me through life. Sharing that vessel with someone I love doesn't feel like a burden to me. It feels more like a gift. 

It's a similar feeling to the joy I get out of sharing my home with my loved ones. While I adore calm, quiet, and privacy, I also love the feeling of a full house. The cozy security of sleeping under the same roof with my family just makes me happy. I love going to sleep knowing that my parents or my sisters are just a few yards away, and I enjoy waking up to a kitchen bustling with voices and activity. Shared vacation homes and holiday sleepovers are my piece of cake. When you consider all that, it's easy to see why home full of children is my dream. 

So if my body is my home, I'm delighted to have Babeleo move in. At first, she was little more than the knowledge of her presence, a feeling of fullness and a long list of rules and responsibilities. She was the explanation for symptoms, and the focus of my desperate battle for optimism against less than perefect odds.

Later, after she beat those odds, she started to flutter and spin, tickling me from the inside, and reassuring me that she had every intention of sticking around. How can I put into words how thankful I was for those first little kicks? Suddenly everything was going to be OK.

And now Babeleo is BIG, big enough to finally have a say in what we do with this body we share. She pushes on me looking for more space in her cramped quarters. I react to her movements, and she reacts to mine. If I rub my tummy she rolls over to greet me. If I wiggle my middle she wiggles right back, filling my belly with ticklish vibrations. Sometimes she sticks her limbs into my organs and forces me to move - rolling over, standing up, and leaning back to accomodate her.  

So while part of me is certainly exhausted from the balancing act of keeping my body in the best baby-friendly condition it can be, do I want my body back? Not quite yet. In fact, I sometimes have moments of panic where I worry that I'm somehow missing it. The time I have with my inside-baby is fleeting. It will never come again, and while I know we have a lifetime of even better, more wonderful moments ahead of us, I also feel like our time spent together in this one body is a rare and precious thing.

I'll never be pregnant for the first time again. I'll never be pregnant with THIS baby again. There have been few periods in my life where I felt this present, this aware of the passage of time, and of the life flowing through my body. I spent years of my life searching for the feeling that becoming a mother has plopped right into my lap. It's sort of funny how at one point I actually felt like I had to choose between the path that led to love and family and the path that led to peace and enlightenment. 

It turns out that I chose far more wisely than I knew.

Originally posted on Mary Makes Babies