Here I sit.
The blessed maple, currently a pungent shade of salmon, undulates in the wind out front as if it were trying to make it home after an evening of spiked punch. It changes drastically in hue this time of year as if to celebrate our wedding anniversary and Opal's birth, as if it gets all dolled up in streamers and boas and blushes from head to toe in honor of the occasions.
Once early November rolls around, it will decide it's had enough and abruptly shed its adornments and be left standing there so vulnerable and bare-barked like a naked man in a heap of discarded clothes.
But at the current moment, it is still fully clothed and filtering paper-diffused sun through the front window-box, shadows of dancing leaves scattered across the carpet like playing cards.
Today was the official due date in 2009, which means Opal will turn two in 5 short days. Hallelujah.
I decided to look back through some of my old pregnancy writings—of which there are multitudes—and stumbled across this journal written 10 days before the due date. It has inspired me to look back more thoroughly through that 10-month almanac of growing a child, to perhaps edit and compile those pieces in a more cohesive way to share with others.
For now, I will share a brief excerpt from my internal world at 38.5 weeks pregnant:
What to say? I’ve got two animals curled up like cinnamon rolls on their respective chairs. Day three of being home from work and I must admit I am getting used to this. The maple out front is a citrusy shade of blood orange, only a few degrees from its final encore of psychedelic pink. I am feeling pretty weak at the moment and I honestly thought I would’ve had a baby by now!
No intention of rushing things over here, of course. I know this will happen in its perfect time. We are now ten days away from the official due date of October 17th and I have always intuitively felt that she would come early but who knows exactly what that means.Last night was interesting. I became very shaky after dinner and had to lie down in the bed.
At which point I was instantly out of breath—simply from lying there. I melted into the covers, yawning deeply, eyes watering, and sincerely felt as if I was not physically able to get up and change out of my clothes. It was as if every muscle in my body was working intensely on other projects sent from higher management.
At one point, I decided to climb into the tub. My upper back ached and I asked Jesse to pour warm water on it, drape a washcloth over it, as I sat there, breathing audibly. I felt more like animal than human, all body and sensation with very few thoughts and a quiet internal world.
I just continued to breathe and lead my mind to consider Bigger things. The cottony sky of this time of year. The ocean and its rhythmic lapping. The earth and its rotation towards the sun and away again, boundlessly comforting in its predictability. The bulb of Moon that, when full, floats slowly into the darkness of night like a balloon on a string.
I wanted to dissolve into dust on the lens of such majesty. That way, Trust would not even need to be a conscious decision, it would be inherent. Leaves don’t need to decide that falling is the right thing to do. They don’t need to be convinced each year that they will reappear in the spring.
Again, I felt better once morning came. But I suspect one of these mornings very soon, the discomfort wont subside—the animal panting, the groans, the reorganization of organs like furniture in a room—until I am left holding a beautiful baby girl in my arms.