Sometimes I have this somewhat strange movie-going experience. It usually happens in the theater. I’ll be watching a movie and it won’t go in the direction I expected – for better or for worse. As a result, the movie never really peaks for me and goes by at a strange pace and by the time it’s nearly over, I’m surprised because I’ve been waiting so long for it to begin.
I don’t know why that happens sometimes.
Likewise, that’s how I feel about this winter. It’s not going anywhere fast, but it’s already more than halfway through January into February! February can be brutal, but it’s short. Then it’s March. And in March, it’s really still winter but even that first mild day sends the local college girls sunbathing in tank tops on campus lawns. Every March sends me sundress shopping on ebay. This time will be no different. I will ROCK those maternity sundresses. That is my spring resolution.
I guess it’s the lack of much snow. Not that I’m complaining. We depend on a snowplow these days so each snowstorm costs us. Even last week’s somewhat small debacle has left our porch and driveway a sheet of ice. I had to get to a doctor’s appointment desperately that morning and I had to carry Scarlet across the ice field to the warming up car, but she insisted on carrying her stuffed monkey. I realized that if I fell, I was taking down my unborn baby, my toddler, a stuffed monkey and myself. It felt like the weight of the world. I do love snow in some sort of childhood fantasy/memory way but it’s like a conversation I once had with my old boss, a San Francisco native rather than transplant. (Natives are more rare)
Me: “How do you live your whole life like this? Waiting, wondering, about the BIG earthquake?”
Him: “How do you live your whole life not waiting, not wondering, but experiencing often the completely fatal snow and ice that Northereasterners choose to live with and drive on. And die on.”
He was right.
I feel like I’m manipulating time lately. Mostly, people around my age want time to slow down. Late twenties/early thirties – marriage and babies type people. Who wants to sail through that swiftly? Lately, I have wanted time to speed up, and it has! The last 17 weeks have flown by. I’m so glad. I remember laying in bed miserably at seven weeks, thinking I’d never even make it to 12 weeks. And I did. And now we’re on a fast track to 18 weeks, and so on and so on.
I felt sick this time. “They” told me I’d magically feel better one day, somewhere in the realm of between 12-20 weeks, if at all. They told me it would be like a light switch. They were right! At 14 1/2 weeks, I felt magically better. Like a light switch.
“They” told me I would start to feel light baby movement around 16 or 17 weeks. At 16 1/2 weeks on the dot, I think, I felt that first approving flutter. Now it’s more common but still not as consistent as it will be. It’s so strange living in a world of time in which things change dramatically from one week to the next, and in which things are so timely as to be predicted nearly to the day. Fascinating stuff.
On a deeply personal (almost too personal) note, I had a few heart to hearts today about how my initial fear of having a son, which was MUCH worse with Scarlet than now, might be linked to my father dying so young. I’ve definitely heard of people who have been abused or left by a parent, even if left accidentally (a four-year-old doesn’t know the difference!), they often want a child of the opposite sex of that parent. I think I equated boys with weakness or loss. I do feel better talking about it. I’m not saying that I’m having a boy or even that I intuitively think I am, but I’m learning to believe that it’s about biology. It isn’t magic to me. I won’t be given a boy (by God or fate or whatnot) so that I can learn to conquer the fear. I won’t be given another girl to escape this fear. I don’t believe in that. Know what I do believe in? Ultrasounds and my own intuition about my own body. And I believe in my overwhelming capacity to love this child, and that much else doesn’t matter.
It’s hard to wait to find out, but I can wait. All things happen in good time.