Last night my brother-in-law told me a sickly hilarious story about abortion and I was so grateful that he’s the kind of person that doesn’t hesitate to tell a pregnant lady a story about abortion and that I get to have him in my life. I’m guessing there’s more than a few who wouldn’t even say the word in front of me and it was a rush of relief and fresh air to not be treated like this delicate vase, this sacred cow, and just like me who happens to have a baby inside of her. I have a theory that a friend of mine has been out of touch because I know she’s really freaked out about ebola right now and I’m guessing that she doesn’t want to bring it up with me. I could be wrong, but we’ve known each other a long time. And I love this lady, and I love how thoughtful and traditional and right in her ways she is, but it was also really really wonderful to be laughing at this sick story last night.
There is a subtle thing that happens, and in my circles it is pretty subtle, that has my worth and value changing, being defined by this new being inside of me. The existence of the baby making me more precious, more holy, more…everything. As I read somewhere, a pregnant woman should only gaze upon lovely things, hear lovely sounds, breath sweetly scented air. And on the one hand, yes. I’m into that. In those first weeks, I wanted to be hailed as a goddess of creativity. I wanted rose petals and gentle touch and gentle everything. I wanted the world to stop asking things of me, to allow me to pause and devote all of myself to this fertile business of growing.
But my value increasing because of this baby can also very quietly become this baby’s value supplanting my own. I saw it around Week 8 when B. and my friend looked at me, “You’re still riding your bike?”.
I love this new being. I love carrying it tucked safely inside of me as I move around the world. I will fight for this critter and protect this critter, yes, absolutely. But I am not going to give myself over to it. I am still me. We are joined right now, linked, but we are not one and the same, this baby and I, and the value of neither of us is determined by the other. And here’s the thing that there is such a taboo against saying it’s hard to write: should the unthinkable happen, and something happen to this life I love so fiercely (and I know I can’t imagine how that wound would feel, except to be sure that it would be deep and lasting) I would nevertheless continue, my life would continue, and so would pleasure and pain and joy and adventure.
Right now, in this moment, I will give everything to this babe I can, without giving it everything. Without giving it me.