Simultaneously, some days seemed to simply fly by in excitement. There was a nursery to decorate, there were baby showers to plan, there were cute clothes to buy. There were lots and lots of doctor’s visits, and copious amounts of food to cook for myself. The dichotomy between time sped up and time slowed down was dizzying, and when coupled with the massive changes inside my body and out it was quite the experience. It’s no wonder pregnant women are moody.
Pregnancy, like no other time in our lives, is the perfect time for processing. After all, what is the mother’s body doing for those 9 months other than processing? A baby comes from a brief, lovely experience, and then becomes no more than a thought for a few months. The action begins with the first kick inside and culminates with the tumultuous arrival of a new life in the world. And then everything changes again.
Once I entered back into the world as a new mother, there was no time for processing anything for next several years. Life became a whirlwind of activity with a new focus and a new priority, leaving little time to think about anything other than what was on tomorrow’s schedule.
Looking back, I wish I had then the skills I learned later about pausing, slowing down, being in the moment. I wish I had spent more time present each day, instead of hurrying on to the next thing. I do remember that precious sweet baby smell and slowing down to inhale it. I remember the pleasure of nursing and holding a sleeping child in my arms.
Remembering that time in my life again now, over 30 years later, is interesting. Much of the day to day that seemed so important has faded with time. Emotions I processed about young motherhood in my forties surface differently in my 60s. The wisdom gained in life makes all that seemed like a crisis then so much more manageable now. I think I finally understand the knowing smiles the older women in my life gave me back then when they told me to stop worrying. If only I’d known how.