Friday, October 11, 2013

Oh, hey! I'm pregnant.


If you've been to one of my classes in the last week, you've noticed that something's a little different.

Yes, that.

Oh, hey! I'm pregnant.

Surprise!

Today's National Coming Out Day, and I'll admit that in coming back to the studio this week, I've felt a definite sense of coming out of the closet. We've known about this Big! New! Project! for months, of course, but very deliberately kept the news to ourselves as long as possible. It felt sacred and sweet that way, you know? Like a little private treasure box of sorts.

We'd planned all along to keep Bebe quiet until after returning from our honeymoon, at which point I'd likely be sporting an excellent bump, and sure enough, by the time last Monday rolled around, there would be no more hiding things.

I'm a little over 5 months along. The little mister will arrive sometime late February/early March.

Did you catch that? It's a BOY.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we've already glimpsed a few most-rad 3-D ultrasound images, and not only does he appear to have his dad's cute nose, but he's even smiling. By all accounts, he's a contented, strong, healthy little monkey, swimming around in there, forward-folds and lotus-legs all over the place, all fingers and toes and elbows and knees.

Little man is already a yoga ninja, wiggling up a storm first thing in the morning and late at night. I'm loving the fact that he's been able to hear us chanting for the past few weeks, now that his ears have developed.

(You realize you're all singing to him now, yes? That Guru Brahma chant has taken on a whole new meaning for me in these last several months. Talk about a teacher. Little man's kicking my butt with new lessons and humbling revelations. Like, for instance, oh hey, after 12 years of intense daily practices, no more twists or core or handstands or backbends. Say goodbye to mega-heated rooms, which don't feel so cozy when you've already got a hot-cross-bun in the oven. Even Warrior 1 feels strange and not-necessarily-healthy anymore. And I've been skipping Utkasana — with unbridled joy — since about June. And, feeling woozy? Sit down and listen, sister. Be still, rest, sleep, slow down, says Teach. I've never ceded my power — or my asana attachment — so willingly, or with such great love.)

We spent the summer months so full with work and wedding planning that we've been reserving our bebe reading for these slower, wet, dark, autumnal days, other than some big fatty tomes from the Point Reyes bookstore and a couple of week-by-week pregnancy podcasts that have alternately inspired me, comforted me, informed me, and made me want to chew my hand off in "mommy-culture" irritation. (More on that below. There are moments when I am convinced I am a dude in a woman's body. Except for, well, all the stuff.)

The Mister has been amazing about picking out some smart books for us, so I packed a few along for beach reading in Kauai. I dove headfirst into Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions (she the patron saint of keepin' it real), a stellar, hilarious, heart-rending memoir of her son's first year, while we were lounging around on the lanai. It made me laugh out loud. Touched me deeply. And inspired me to get with it on keeping a journal, even if no one ever sees it.

Needless to say, there are a zillion and one blog posts that could be written about this whole experience. Most of them have been written, and written very well, by other people. I've had a surprising inclination toward silence these last several months. People have said, "Wow, you'll have so much to write about!" and I've thought to myself: "Yes, sure, but not right now."

Right now wants listening and reading and paying attention, noticing, being in it, in the day-to-day. Without dropping into clich├ęs, there are a shit-ton of miraculous and mind-blowing things going down on the regular. Most of them are hard to capture without feeling like just one more Gushing Mommy Blogger.

I've never been a fan of "mommy culture."  In fact, I rather hope the little man decides to call me "Ma" like some Jersey Shore prolonged-adolescent ("Hey MA, didja do my laundry yet er what?! I need that leather shirt to wear tonight at the casino") rather than "Mommy," which still sounds toothless and suburban and waaaaaay too domesticated for my tastes.

So it's been with some cultural and intellectual reticence and a great sense of clarity that I've been steadfastly making my way into this new terrain. It helps wonderfully to have several badass, sexy, brilliant friends who also happen to be fantastic mothers, and who remind me in countless ways that mothering doesn't have to mean getting lost in pastels and diaper talk. After 20 weeks spent squeezing my gonzo prego-boobs into yoga tops that have finally just gotten too tight, yesterday I finally broke down and hit up the maternity motherlode. Bebe's growing wonderfully well, and I trust that he'll continue to thrive until I'm nice and round come late February. Which means I should have a few clothes that fit, eh, even though I'm still avoiding the scary stretch-waist mommy-jeans in favor of cute dresses and forgiving leggings.

We're wrapping up the Festival of the Goddess right now in the Hindu calendar, which feels particularly appropriate given all this. The women in my family are fertile as farm stock and we tend to have an easy time of this popping-babies-out thing, and I am ever-grateful for health and good food and strong genes. Nothing has made me appreciate that more than discovering the wonders and terrors of genetic counselors, blood tests, prenatal diagnostics and the like.

Little Man doesn't know what he's in for. He's got the absolute best, most thoughtful, most kind, most gentle, most beefy, most wise, most patient Dad out there, ready to coach him in baseball and teach him sweet-ass dance moves and patiently classify the entire Grateful Dead oeuvre with him.

And I myself am stoked for a little boy. I realized at some point that I studied gender and feminist theory all those years not necessarily because I really dug being a chick; it was, in actuality, because there were so many aspects of being female that I really hated, that felt messed-up and boring and creativity-stunting and life-denying. And that, under all of that, I was more of a dude than anything else. My best friends were men, and they laughed, and cracked dirty jokes, and lived well in their bodies, and didn't apologize for being human.

I wanted more of that in my own life, balanced out with the sweetness and spice and lacy socks and fluffy skirts and love poems and sappy music and all that other stuff that came easily with growing up as a girl in this culture for umpteen years.

I am looking forward to teaching this little mister what it means to be at once curious and strong and fierce and gentle and compassionate and intelligent and embodied and light and earnest and adventurous and faithful and laughing and spirited and loving.

There is a terrific amount of work ahead, and a mind-blowing array of gifts before us.

In the meantime: lots of cozy autumn evenings meant for sitting in front of the fire, wrapping my belly in a dusty blue cotton throw, eating more cookies than I've consumed in the last decade, and reading everything I possibly can about this business of birthing a living being.

Wish us luck.

7 comments:

Ang said...

I really need to know where you happened upon appropriate yoga tops that freed those gonzo prego-boobs. Mine are suffocating. Love the comments on mommy culture. Trying to navigate this pregnancy thing as a butch-ish lesbian is quite interesting/aggravating. I could write an entire comedy sketch on the daily alerts I get from the What to Expect pregnancy app. And don't get me started on how in the heck I am supposed to dress appropriately for work without wearing some tummy hugging floral frock. Perhaps a second career is in order.

Kim G said...

Congratulations! The world will be a better place once there is a man raised by you in it.

Emily said...

Congrats again, Rachel! :)

Kayla said...

Congratulations! That is wonderful news, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing about your journey into motherhood! I have no doubt that you and your dude will make stellar parents. :)

Unknown said...

it was lovely seeing your beaming face the other day and hearing about the wonderful news. I too look forward to rising a little dude on how to be happy and kind without the dogmatic gender constructs to weigh him down from creatively expressing who he needs to be. By lululemon has wonderful tops that have accommodated both heaving boobs and expanding thighs all at once. sending all three of you warm thoughts.

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