Tuesday, February 27, 2018

waterworks on aisle 5

There are plenty of things that come with pregnancy to complain about: the first fourteen weeks that brought me nauseous, vomitous misery ("morning sickness" is a misnomer--it was all day and all night); the searing round ligament pain that punishes me if I change positions in bed too abruptly; the ache in my hips and lower back after a long day; the weight of my expanding uterus that pushes on my bladder, making my daily run no longer possible, and punctuating the long walks that replaced it with three to five bathroom stops.

And then there's the fact that, lately, I can't seem to stop crying.

These aren't depressed tears (though depression during pregnancy is a very real and serious thing), nor do I feel particularly sad. Rather, I find myself moved at least half a dozen times a day, thanks to the hormones coursing through my body during this time of extreme change. Everything from particularly emotional commercials, to songs I've heard a million times but which now seem to take on deeper meaning, to the gentle Southwest employee who saw my belly and immediately offered me pre-boarding and help with my extremely light garment bag (I sobbed with gratitude from the moment he scanned my upgraded ticket, through taxiing and takeoff) can bring on the waterworks. But they're often provoked by nothing more than a fleeting thought about how lucky I feel, how great my husband is, or how excited I am to meet my daughter.

And yeah, the crying can be a little inconvenient, distracting me as I try to work or cook dinner or grocery shop (thanks again for checking in, gravely concerned lady in the Whole Foods produce department), but in a funny way, I also kind of like it. I have always been a sensitive person, but as I've gotten older, I've found my ability to feel intense emotion has dulled a bit. Maybe it's an effect of social media over-saturation, or the fact that nearly every day there's devastating news in the world, and feeling it all, all the time, is overwhelming and so I've learned not to let it all in. But this renewed connection to my tear ducts has been surprisingly invigorating. I feel more connected to myself and to the world around me, even when I'm only weeping because avocados are on sale.

I have a lot of hopes for the fast-approaching early days of parenting just ahead, but most of all, I hope I'm able to retain the presentness that the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy has provided me. I hope I'm able to stay dropped in and connected, so as to be as completely, utterly available to my child's needs while she eats, sleeps, learns, grows, and, of course, cries.

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