Becoming Parents
9:43 p.m. - 2005-08-19

I've been spending some time each day trying to connect with the little person inside me. Sometimes it's as simple as just sitting still for a while, thinking about what life might be like once she arrives. Other times I talk or read to her, though it's never about anything particular or even child appropriate. Since I'm by myself for so much of the day, I worry that she doesn't get to hear my voice as often as she should. Every once in a while I'll shine a light on my belly while I'm lying in bed, and that's nearly guaranteed to get her moving.

I can't seem to keep my own hands off my belly these days. Mostly because I love feeling the kicks from both sides, but I think it also has to do with the fact that it's so strange to have it there. I don't know how people with beer guts manage every day, because I've become pretty dependent on Alan for things that require bending. Tonight he painted my toenails. He's helped me shave my legs and (ahem) keep things...groomed. Picking stuff up off the floor requires a lot of bending, twisting, and grunting, so any gracefulness that I might have had before has gone completely out of the window.

I'll be 31 weeks this Wednesday, and that seems almost unbelievable to me. We've done so much in preparation for this baby, and I'm so, so ready to meet her, but there's still a part of me that just can't believe we're about to have a child.

We've both grown up a lot in the last seven and a half months, I think. We don't argue nearly as much or as badly, and we seem to be more focused on becoming better people in general. Our spending habits have been brought under close scrutiny, and we've cut out most of our extraneous expenses. Bills are getting paid on time these days, though I can't take credit for that. Nights are quiet times, usually just the two of us and the dogs relaxing with each other. I've been experimenting with recipes, and usually cook a well balanced supper five or six nights a week.

I've noticed myself becoming quieter and more contemplative, which is really a drastic change. Even Alan has commented that I've become more focused on listening than being heard. My temper doesn't flare nearly as often as it used to, and even when I get angry, I'm much more controlled than I used to be. I still worry enough to freak myself out on a weekly basis, but I'm working on that. I'm making an effort to be more mindful of other people's feelings, and I'm trying hard to just relax about the things that don't really matter--especially the ones that I'm never going to be able to change.

Alan's revealing a much more responsible side of himself, and I'm constantly being amazed by him. He's been doing so much around here in the evenings after he gets home; either working in the yard for a few hours, or on one of the many ongoing projects inside. On the days that I feel bad and don't get as much done as I should, he'll make dinner and straighten the kitchen--sometimes even without being asked.

We're nowhere near perfect, and we still make bad decisions and screw up from time to time. But despite all our flaws, I think we're going to be great parents.

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I am: so very many things. A mother, a wife, a dreamer, a lover of animals and babies, a friend. I've been called a bitch, but if that's what you call someone who stands up for what they believe in and refuses to settle, then I guess the title fits.

loves: my family, horses, a full night's sleep, puppy breath, my daughter's laughter, thunderstorms, bubble baths, makeup, soft sheets, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, wine, massages, the written word, and sour straws.

dislikes: closed minds, depression, pimples, extreme heat, math, panic attacks, black licorice, doing laundry, white chocolate, gin, Bush.