You'd think that I would have realized that by now, but I think just over the last week I've become aware that this kid has got to come out. At first with that realization, I experienced a little panic but that is subsiding to allow me to prepare myself emotionally, mentally and of course, physically for this baby. Pregnancy is really an emotional roller coaster and is utterly confusing and somewhat stressful. You lose your attention span, control of your emotions and body, and eventually metamorphisize into a mother all over again. I don't think people who have never gone through that really ever understand or appreciate it because so much of it seems to be internal. Insensitivity from other people makes it more difficult.
It's much like getting a new computer at work. You have to sort through all your files and delete things you don't need, save what you do need and get it all backed up on the network. It's a time consuming process and you end up revisiting a lot of files that can be painful, amusing, astonishing or just plain old dreadful. It's something that has to be done and is usually required when you already have way too much to do anyway. Eventually, you have to reorganize all that information on to your new workstation and let the old one go for re-formatting. As you work through this process, you strive to make your new computer more organized, comprehensive and efficient. In the end, in most cases, you succeed but you still forget files that you kick yourself for deleting, usually are distracted by those "hidden" files and eventually you move on to other things. You adapt to your new system.
I've spent the last few months sorting those files and revisiting a lot of things that are particularily painful. Slowly, I am allowing myself to get over them all over again with the hopes of letting them go forever. I am trying to identify my ghosts and let them go to make room for the new things to come in the future. I have no room in my life for this old baggage and I've found it to be surprising that I am just now doing this. I am chalking it up to the fact that I am in a place emotionally where I am ready to accept the new hand I have been given and learn to play a new game I don't know.
I told Mike a few days ago that I think I have just come to the realization that I am no longer a "single" parent and I no longer need to live my life in the survival mode I have lived in my whole life--we've been married more than two years now. The success of our lives is no longer solely dependant on me and I have to learn to work in a new partnership with Mike. I have to take on a new role and responsibility and that changes my priorities from my career to my family. He came from a family with a good model of what that should be and I come from a broken one. Now I have to learn to live and enjoy life. We need to build a home and we all have to pitch in with laying the foundation. I can tell you that I am venturing in to the virtual unknown, entering with some hesitation due to fear of the unknown, yet with a feeling in my heart that this is what needs to be done and things will be better because of it.
This posting is very personal in nature and a little intimidating to me that so many people I know and don't know are reading this. I am so buried now with the mental preparation of the birth of this child that I am now starting to burrow into books, soaking up anything I can get my hands on to learn new things and discover my feelings and expectations on things. I'm re-evaluating my priorities and trying to stir up positive changes within our household. It's really become my mission, because this is a big change for all of us. Our house is being redefined from Mom, Mike, Ashlynn and Alec to Mom, Dad, big sister and big brother to a new little person and all four of us have a new role to prepare for. The divisions need to dissolve and a new unity and understanding needs to be birthed with this child--this is my hope and dream. We are all going to HAVE a baby--not just me.