On pregnancy, waiting and the malleability of time
March 1, 2015 6:58 PM   Subscribe

"I am waiting for my baby, waiting for summer, waiting for knowledge, but the waiting itself becomes the knowledge and then, even as I am so hungry for transition I am practically clawing out of my skin, I begin to mourn and maybe to fear the fading of this particular consciousness: the Zen state, the acid trip of gestation, and its changed relationship to time."
posted by averysmallcat (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is really different from all the hilarious things I've been reading by new moms lately. I mean, they mostly focus on labor, but it's pretty entertaining in a different way. Also, I like to read cautionary tales that don't make it sound poetic. Keeps me unpregnant, so it's probably good to read that for me and where I need to be in my life.

Hope Jorge didn't pull any of these.
posted by discopolo at 8:55 PM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hope Jorge didn't pull any of these, either. It would be so funny if she had to amend what she wrote about pregnancy with "JORGE WENT TO GET A SANDWICH WHILE THE BABY WAS CROWNING!" (I don't think it would ruin the piece. I think it would make a pretty interesting and fun contrast. Like all that "magic" and waxing poetic just went straight out the window.)
posted by discopolo at 9:04 PM on March 1, 2015

This reminds me of a sort of autoethnography / creative nonfiction that was becoming popular when I was in grad school, but I hadn't read any in a long time--thanks. The site is new to me, and other stuff there looks interesting too.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:10 PM on March 1, 2015

That wooden floor will be a pain to clean breakfast cereal off of.
posted by alasdair at 12:04 AM on March 2, 2015

Interesting. Reads very much like the revelation of introversion to a hard core extrovert. A 'state of porous consciousness' is how my dreamy self feels much of the time, but I can see how pregnancy would intensify it - you've got an entire universe going on down there.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:59 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nice piece. Reminds me of how viscerally I hated being pregnant. It is easy to forget how effortless our living in our bodies is until that body gets taken over (in my case by a baby, but I would imagine disability or diseases feels similar).
posted by lydhre at 3:34 AM on March 2, 2015 [6 favorites]

Pregnancy can really absorb you into yourself, which is surprising given that it's literally the least selfish thing a body can do. Everything that's happening is happening directly to you, and it's always there. I'm prone to chewing on my thoughts and feelings, so I enjoyed the opportunity for introspection and for analyzing the changing growth patterns of my armpit hair.

It's a lot like dreaming. You experience it intensely, and it can be exhilarating, terrifying, or both. And you want to share that experience with others, but it's hard to get across, and many people neither understand nor care. It doesn't mean those people are callous, and it definitely doesn't mean the pregnant person is wrong to be so deeply fascinated by her internal experience. It's just one of those things that's most interesting to the person directly feeling it, and those things hardly ever translate.

On preview, my comment sort of reads as a dig on this piece, which it isn't. I liked it, and it reminded me of my experience - I definitely got that time-warpy feeling. I wonder how I would have reacted to it two years ago.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:19 AM on March 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sounds like someone expecting their first. Perhaps she would be happy to learn that her relationship to time will not be going back to normal. As they say, the days are long but the years are short. 3.75 years in and I am in no way in charge of the pace of hours or days. I'm expecting my third, too, and any time I once spent being introspective and communing with my body is now spent wondering how I'm going to get to my gestational diabetes test this afternoon when my oldest is spending this morning puking everywhere.
posted by that's how you get ants at 6:09 AM on March 2, 2015

Holy moly this is the first piece about pregnancy I've read in which I can see my experience mirrored. Almost two years in I'm still reeling from the idea that everything I knew about time and life was illusory,but now I feel it an amazing liberating way. The panic and visceral horror of nothing making sense anymore dissipates when you a) get to know your kid as a proto-person or b) start getting slightly more reliable sleep. (Whichever comes first. )

Thank you so much for sharing this! It's a gift that has left me feeling much less alone.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 10:05 AM on March 2, 2015

Very nice. Thanks for posting it!

One correction, which may seem trivial but which I don't think really is: Suzuki Roshi's phrase was "things as it is", not "things as they are". The choice of words was, apparently, deliberate.
posted by Lexica at 10:51 AM on March 2, 2015

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