I had this dream a few weeks ago that my babies were born and I put them in the sock drawer. And then I forgot about them, had two more babies, and by the time I found the first two, they had died of starvation.
When I woke up, I felt like a bad mother for a week. What if I absent-mindedly put my babies in a sock drawer and forget about them? And what if there are really four in there, and not just the two?
I'm a bit confounded by pregnancy. We seem to worship "living in the moment" like it's the end-all, be-all of life, and I have to admit that I'm sort of fond of the idea myself. However. It seems that there's only a certain amount of living in the moment that's acceptable during pregnancy. Preparing for the birth of a baby (or two babies), mandates some forward thinking. And forward thinking is all well and good. But it also opens the door for worry. Like, what if I'm the type of mother who forgets her babies in the sock drawer?
And then I find that living in the moment opens the door for worry too. Yesterday, living in the moment meant savoring a general bitterness towards the world, for no particular reason. Are my babies affected by my insane fluctuations in mood? Am I nurturing an environment for sweeping, unpredictable emotions?
Somebody recently told me that the reason humans are pregnant for nine months is because that's how long it takes to prepare for motherhood. And that makes sense to me. But I also have a feeling that at the end of this nine months, I am not going to have a tidy little motherhood plan all worked out. I like to believe that life as a new mother will be serene and beautiful. That I'll waltz through the world in a beautiful silk dress and embody all that is maternal.
I know myself well enough to expect a more realistic vision. Rather than waltz, my dance will be less graceful. But I'll dance. In place of a beautiful silk dress, I'll wear comfortable, cottony things that have holes and spit-up and have faded from too many washings. I'll embody maternal instincts, and a whole hell of a lot more, too. I will probably not brush my hair. Life will probably not be serene. I imagine it will be blissful, and beautiful, and difficult, and messy.
I doubt my ability to wrap my head around all of this that is pregnancy. I'm not sure I'm supposed to be able to fully comprehend it all. Despite the science of it all, there's so much of new life that remains miraculous. In a logical sense, I know exactly how I got to this point of being pregnant with twins. But every other sense that I have tells me that feeling two little bodies move within my own has nothing to do with logic at all.