Saturday was my due date, the day I started thinking crazy thoughts.
My mom arrived in Atlanta a week ago and now we have a routine. We wake up, make raspberry leaf tea and eat breakfast while we write in our journals and study a bit. Then she does a Jillian Michaels video in the bedroom and I do a prenatal yoga video in the living room. We shower. We leave.
My mom and I go to museums, antique shops, bookstores and bakeries. We take an afternoon walk at a park or trail somewhere in the city. We come home. We eat dinner with Trent. We play cards. We plan. We sleep. And then it starts again.
The routine has been protecting me from thinking too much about my achy body, about looming changes, about passing time. I’ve been too preoccupied to fret over how wrong I was—in my heart of hearts, I thought this baby would come early. Everyone said she wouldn’t, but my heart of hearts believed.
On Saturday, we broke from the routine. Trent was home. Our plans were different. The protective shield of habit was down. On Saturday, I started thinking crazy thoughts. I started listening to the mildly insensitive things people say to pregnant women. I’ve been trying to funnel the energy of those interactions into learning and not hurting. But on Saturday, I started hurting. I started believing, against all reason, that it was my fault that I wasn’t going into labor when everyone seemed to want me to. I started accepting blame for this baby not being ready to be born. My mom assures me over and over again that there’s nowhere else she’d rather be. And yet, I feel guilt for needlessly taking her away from her life and responsibilities back home. Sometimes, when I slip into dark mental spaces, I start taking guilt from everywhere and trying it on for size.
In the middle of the day on Saturday, Trent saw me drifting. He’s seen it before. He knows what to look for. He interrupted my thoughts with his arms, wrapping them around me so surely that the hurting lost its edge.
“Sam, you’re good enough,” he whispered.
And for a second, I really felt that I was.
Listening to: Cat Stevens, “Wild World”