In pregnancy, I’m finding, everything changes.
I don’t mean just the obvious things like my belly or my breasts. It’s more like everything that I’ve come to take for granted about my body, my preferences, my reactions to things, can no longer be assumed. This is true for my current self versus my pre-pregnancy self, but it’s also true for my current self versus my self of a week or a month or a half-year ago. Just now I was taking a shower with a new bar of soap, one with little flecks of oatmeal in it, and I ran it over my skin and was surprised at how lovely it felt to have this very mild stimulation against my flesh and especially my firmly stretched belly. At other points in this journey I would have found it irritating, abrasive, but today it was the opposite.
It can be inconvenient, at times, to not know what I like anymore, but there’s also a freshness to it that I appreciate deeply. It reminds me of traveling. Time slows down when everything is new. There is a sense of wonder to even the most basic observations, an astonishment that things can be so different from what we’ve come to know. The imagination expands as it grasps these possibilities. Haven’t you ever wanted, maybe just for an hour or for a day, to live life as someone else — just to know what it would feel like? I feel like that’s happening to me now. There is so much discomfort and fatigue going along with it, but in the moments in between, I marvel at the way this process is allowing me to re-experience being: not as a different person, but as a different version of myself.
myself at five and a half months old
Some aspects of being, for this altered self:
Sleep feels so good. Activity can feel good too, but I’m grateful now for rest as I have never been before. I have an amazing new capacity for being still and doing nothing. It actually feels wonderful.
I have lost all interest in salmon, that unctuous creature. Chicken doesn’t taste as good anymore either, nor do the bitter-ish vegetables like brussels sprouts that I used to adore.
On the other hand, I really like nuts. The almond butter I had this afternoon spoke to my tongue as if in its own language. It was a whole world on my plate.
enjoying a fresh young coconut, last week
The filters between inputs and my emotions have largely fallen away. I have the capacity to be infinitely moved by almost anything. My artist self sees this as an awesomely high form of sensitivity and insight: an asset, in other words, rather than a source of embarrassment.
I walk slowly, taking in the world at a different pace.
spotted on our walk just yesterday, around the corner from where we live