A Grain of Bebe

It is indeed a strange day when I wake thoroughly rested and with few scary thoughts in my head. I’m not complaining, and the Beebs greatly appreciates my relative lack of stress, evidenced by her fervent free-for-all kicking. She’s a swimmer.

A note on her kicking that I’ve been meaning to bring up for awhile:

A couple weeks ago it made me angry. There’s something about expressing anger about a baby kicking inside me. It’s a sentiment that I felt very uncomfortable with and was embarrassed to complain to B about because I thought it would make him think I’m not going to be a very patient parent. How can you be angry at the little person you wanted so badly, who is clearly thriving within you? Well, it’s tied up a lot in exhaustion. Case in point: the other day I couldn’t even watch five minutes of Ugly Betty without getting royally annoyed by her normally charmingly awkward self and having to shut it off. Just get your dang braces off, Betty. Seriously. I was too tired for it. Same with Bebe. Sometimes the exhaustion just turns me into host witch mommy. I think know I’m allowed that.

A couple of weeks ago when I was dancing on the verge of insanity, I wasn’t all that aware of her movements. It could have been that she simply wasn’t moving much because I was passing on my stress to her, and she coped by just laying low and sleeping. It could have also been that I wasn’t paying any attention to her, so what movements she did exert I wasn’t focusing on. It’s probably a little bit of both. I’ve always been poor at diagnosing what’s going on in me and I can’t imagine this would be any exception.

However, we’re turning a corner in the pregnancy as in life. Bebe is a big girl now and thusly so is Mommy. As my and my baby’s body (bodies? hmmm) grow, I’m realizing *again* that most of the things I worry about are inconsequential, as they pretty much always have been. While having a baby inside you tends to force you to take everything much more seriously, it can just as easily make you take everything with a proverbial grain of salt. I’m in the grain of salt camp right now and it’s working out quite well because the baby clearly isn’t as stressed as she was.

She’s kicking moving splashing swimming and I’m taking a lot of joy from it. I’m resting a lot better too. Something tells me they’re connected.

I suppose it’s easy to think happy thoughts when things are going well, which they are. The job in Memphis is looking very promising. I’ve heard back from the headmaster and I’m interviewing for the position in February when I’m in town for the baby shower. I feel very confident about it, and that gives a pleasant shade to my world. I could just as easily not get the job, but we’d work it out. This is Our Life, after all.

One thing my mom always said to me when I was growing up that rings true is that everything is temporary. She usually said this to encourage me when I was going through some adolescent unpleasantness, but it’s true for everything, I think. Time is transient and before I know it Miss Bebe will no longer be inhabiting my uterus; she’ll be out in the world being her own little (and then big) person. We won’t live in Fayetteville anymore, and as unpleasant as I now feel it is to be living here, we’ll remember good things about it and wonder that we always complained about it. I already feel like Chicago seems so far away. It had a lot of permanence to it when I lived there, but now it’s just a chapter in my book.

The constants that I do have in my life are good ones: B and the baby. That gives me an incredible amount of confidence and happiness, more than I ever could get from a job or a place.

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22 comments

  1. It was always kind of freaky for me to feel my kids kicking inside my wife. I can only imagine what it must actually feel like.

    1. My husband definitely scored some points with me last week when he felt her kicking like mad while we were watching a movie in bed and he said, “Well, NOW I understand why you’re having a hard time sleeping!” And then he said, “Calm down, little one!” It’s good to know our men empathize :)

      1. Or is that sympathize? I can never get that one straight.

  2. Time is indeed very transient. It is hard to keep that in mind and try to embrace the beauty of where you are even when where you are is uncomfortable or unpleasant. My two pregnancies went by way too fast (Cody born at 26 weeks and Carter at almost 32) and I am sad I did not get to “enjoy” the being really pregnant stage that everyone complains about. Be grumpy, be angry – just be and remember it – the good and the bad because it will all too soon be the past.
    Wow – I didn’t mean to soapbox it up there. Sorry if this comes across as to “ranty”. :-)

    1. You don’t sound ranty at all! I think you put it beautifully! Every little moment is to be cherished – and I hope that didn’t come off sounding too Hallmark-ish :)

  3. My second and third pregnancies were interesting toward the end. Both times, the baby was lying on top of a nerve, and every time they would squirm, my leg would go out from under me. It’s hard to get a boss to take you seriously when you’re lying on the floor. It’s not just you. Sometimes it’s not fun.

    1. When I was teaching in Korea (WAY before I was even pregnant) I hurt my back one time so badly that I hobbled to work and by the time I got there I was sobbing trying to explain to my boss the ridiculous amount of pain I was in. Indeed, I had to wonder if she took me seriously after that. She made sure I got the care I needed but it was a humbling experience.

  4. You’ve illustrated my current struggle nicely, and my mom and I had the same conversation that you and your mom had just last night. It’s so much easier to see what the meaning of a certain time period was once it’s passed and you understand what it was preparing you for. I too am waiting to hear back about The Job That Would Change Everything, and it’s so hard to be patient and stop wondering what on earth the alternative could be. Especially when I compare my life to other people’s and think “I am SO far behind.” Comparing is NEVER a good idea! Especially because not everyone shares the hard stuff, so I’m guilty of imagining everyone else’s life is shiny in a way mine isn’t.

    I’ll probably never be able to cherish every moment in my life (because let’s face it, we all have days/weeks/months/years that just SUCK) but I’m constantly hoping to have more patience with the low times and savor the good ones. I’ve got my fingers majorly crossed for you on the job! I know you’ll be an awesome mom, so I don’t have to cross anything about that! :)

    1. Thinking of you and The Job That Would Change Everything. You are awesome and it doesn’t take an oblivious person like me to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are so, so suited for it. You have more talent in one little pinky than I do in my whole body (Bebe exempt – the jury’s still out on her level of genius.)

      I love you and know it’s going to get better. These life lessons come hard and strong but at least we know they’ll come to something. Can’t wait to see you next month!

      1. Untrue about the talent thing, Ms. Beautiful-Writer-Who-Always-Chokes-Me-Up. But you are sweet! I really believe everything will work out as it’s intended to. I just need to learn to appreciate my life lessons.

        Only one month away!!

  5. I’m pretty sure once Squatch starts with the kicking, we’ll be all “Don’t make me come in there!” around our house. And like all idle parental threats from here on out, it’ll be ignored by the fetus. But I’d be pretty pissed if someone was going all Jackie Chan on my ribs. Homey don’t play that. For now, since it’s not very big, Karli says it feels like Pop Rocks in her stomach.

    The rest of the post is pretty much in step with us (only maybe a few months ahead). I swear, we’re like *this*. (Okay, you can’t see the motion I’m making, but it’s the two-fingers-pointing-to-my-eyes-then-to-your-eyes, we’re-on-the-same-wavelength motion. Totally doesn’t translate to the internet.)

    1. It’s true! At first her kicking was just so small and adorable because I could only detect it (at most) three times a day. Now she has located the exact position of my bladder and likes to squish it like one of those stress balls. Not so cute. But still, it’s a nice thing to have to complain about.

      Your comments crack me up. I was I was a commenting Jedi like you ;)

  6. I think you’re very brave to write about your dark feelings and moments of self-doubt. You’re human and prone to weakness and mixed emotions, to say the least!
    Good luck and wonderful post.

    1. Thank you for this and all your kind comments! :)

  7. It’s rough being tired. Rough all around. I hope there are naps in your future and the wee bebe lets you catch up! And I hate to even warn you about it but that first 6 weeks after she comes out will test your sanity past any thing you’ve ever experienced before in your life. GET. SOME. SLEEP. NOW. And time goes so fast, especially when you are watching a child grow.

    1. It is indeed. I become such a different person when I’m not rested, although I’ve developed some tactics throughout the pregnancy to cope with it better.

      Congrats again on your pregnancy! You look adorable!

  8. The temporary situation rings so true for so many places that I lived. Like Chicago for you, most of them seemed so permanent, but now so far away. Even India seems like a dream now or like something that happened in a different life.

    1. I bet it does! I mean, almost the instant you left India and returned to the US, you became a parent! That’s got to be a little jarring.

  9. Ah, this too shall pass. You said it well. Your gratitude for what you have is golden. Cheers!

    1. Thank you! That just happens to be another one of my mom’s taglines and it’s ohso true!

  10. When I was pregnant with my daughter, she was up in my ribs. In most positions, that was OK. But when I drove, I was so uncomfortable. I had to drive an hour each way to work, so I had 2 hours of daily discomfort. I would push down to try to shift her or place my hand behind my back in a fist to try to lift my back. When our schedules meshed, my husband would drive me part of the way so that I could recline. Like you, I sometimes felt angry about the thing that had taken over my body. I’m glad that you are in a less stressful place now.

    1. What a sweet husband you have! We’re both blessed to go through pregnancy with supportive and understanding husbands by our sides.

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