Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is Past is Prologue, Part IV


(week 36)

I start thinking about the women of the 19th century, and I begin to understand why they spent their last month of pregnancy in confinement. It wasn't for health, it was to avoid the well meaning but ill-conceived comments of passerbys. While out walking early this month, a man asks me how much longer I have to go. When I tell him about a month, he looks deeply suspicious and asks if I'm sure. A guy in a plumbing van yells to me as he drives by, "Almost there".

(week 39)

I fashion a new rule, that no one is allowed to comment on how pregnant I am unless it's part of a larger plan to help me out. Like, oh man, you look like you're ready to pop. Let me buy you a slurpiee on this warm summer day. Or, are you sure it's not twins? Just in case, let me carry you these last few blocks.

(week 40)

In all honesty, I do start thinking of the the women of the past. About how their preparation differed so much from my own. About how, though I have a list of things to do, absent from that list is to prepare for the possibility of not making it through childbirth. I think of the research I did for a paper on motherhood in the 19th century, about a quote from a women in a letter to her sister. That the month of confinement was a time to order your life, to prepare for the possibility of death. I think of this as my due date comes and goes, and I am poised at the edge of the unknown.

(October 1, 2011)

It is finished. And I am a mother.


  1. Congratulations!! What a happy time for you. :)

  2. this was awesome.
    you made a human. and she's beautiful. and i can't wait to meet her.

  3. You are so mod ;) I'm glad you're still around and smiling. Happy baby! You won an official LOL on the twins comment.

  4. While I was having Bruce I thought about pioneer women a lot. We have no idea what that was like. I gained a new respect and love for them.

    Happy trails Val.

  5. She is a real keeper...pretty and asleep.
    Just finished reading a book about a pioneer woman and she had a baby in the book and it was gross. Then later she had to deliver a baby and that was gross too. The Lord knew I couldn't be a pioneer.

  6. Lovely. You, your baby, and the whole dang process.

  7. Beautiful--both of you! I don't understand why people feel the need to comment on a pregnant woman's body--and often touch the belly. Ugh.

  8. The way I see it, you give your body to this tiny fetus whom you've never met. You might as well invite passersby whose faces you've at least seen. I mean, what's an occasional belly rub vs. someone sucking all the best nutrients you've got?

  9. Your last words are beautiful,"It is finished. And I am a mother". But you and your baby are even more beautiful! I wish I could be with you as your begin this new journey of motherhood. Congratulations! I miss you, I miss you!!