As many of you may have guessed, my due date came and went unceremoniously, leaving me anxious, bummed, and a little frustrated. Judging by how much the baby has been kicking me, I can tell he’s not exactly thrilled by the seating arrangements nowadays either.
Will I give birth to a crispy, burnt baby? Will he look like an overcooked green bean, or a charred piece of toast? Will he emerge from my womb with a full beard? These are the things I think about.
Being late, however, has given me more time to reflect on my pregnancy as a whole. Today it has been almost 8 months since I have known about my baby, and it seems remarkable to think about how far I have come, how many mental blocks I have hurdled. From a sobbing perfectionist in her University-sponsored dorm room to a wife who sings Christmas carols to her belly when no one is home to hear- my pregnancy has changed me in so many ways, but, looking back now, I know I am still the same person as before.
This might seem like a silly conclusion to some of you, but identity is something I have struggled with immensely during my pregnancy. How do you go from being a college kid with a set plan and grad school in the bag to being a wife and mom with no idea what’s coming- all in a matter of months? It is easier to watch someone do it than it is do it on your own. I remember a few nights after I found out I was having a baby, lying in my bed, wondering what creature I would transform into. Stepford Mom? Snookie- Mom? Career-Hound Mom? None of the ‘mom archetypes’ in my head seemed to fit ‘me’, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t live up to being whatever it is that a mom is supposed to be.
I struggled with this until a few weeks ago, when one of my aunts made a comment to me that I am “not defined by my marriage”. Once again, this might be plain as rain to some of you, but it hit me in the face. I didn’t change just because I became a parent or got married. Those things didn’t make me less passionate about my teaching career, or become illiterate, or hate cereal, or become suddenly uniformed about the world, or forget all my favorite movie quotes, or lose interest in playing piano, or stop making my profile pictures on social media sites consist of my dog… I am still Mandy- just the married, mom version. In many ways, I am a more mature version of myself, since I can now work to understand what true love is about, and what it means to sacrifice for another person. Also I eat less pasta. But that’s really another story.
This blog has been a great help in finding myself and keeping track of all the trials and loveliness I have faced during these tough 9 months. If you’ve been there with me, or just taken the time to keep up with thoughts, I want to thank you. I hope that my journey is one that continues to make you think- and hopefully, smile.
Even if the pregnancy part is lasting a bit longer than I’d like.