For the last many months, I have been looking forward to “getting past” two big events: the national election and our annual fall town meeting. Both caused me to feel anxious; both caused me to feel hopeful–sort of like pregnancy.
Recent Pregnancy #1:
For me, the national election was, in one stark way, like my pregnancies in that I never had an ultrasound to tell me whether I’d be having a boy or a girl. Although I had a “gut feeling” about the gender of each my children, I was only right three of the four occasions.
Last week, in the early hours of Wednesday after the election, I was as surprised to learn “boy” (not girl) as I was when Abram was born, i.e., “boy” (not girl). But now we knew: the waiting was finally over. For the last week, I’ve been in a post-partum/post-election brain haze where I oscillate between “why couldn’t it have been a girl” and “I hope I know what to do with this boy.” (Side note: I will make no suggestions on how to raise this child as this post is reflective and not predictive.)
Recent Pregnancy #2:
Last night, hundreds of my fellow townspeople came out to participate in town meeting. In this instance, it felt like the culmination of a very long, very public, and very complicated pregnancy–not the sort that winds up on the Hallmark Channel, more the sort featured in an episode of ER where you’re not really sure whether the mother is going to make it.
Well she did.
The “birth” was over six hours long with some instances of good behavior (parallel to coaching a grateful mother through a particularly long and painful contraction) and not so good behavior (parallel to the overly exhausted mother snapping at at the father for getting her pregnant to begin with and suggesting that the next time around he have the baby.)
But like a pregnancy, it had to eventually end.
Everything that needed to happen did, that is, every warrant article got addressed (parallel to the baby came out, Apgar scores got recorded, and the requisite photo of the new family was taken). However not everything that should have happened did, that is, some matters were not comprehensively addressed and questions remained for some (parallel to the mother not being allowed to light the special scented birth candle, and she forgot to play the mixed CD she’d made for the occasion.)
Ultimately she ended up with a healthy baby, but she thinks the experience could have gone better.
For the next little while, I am comforted by the reality that there is no baby waiting to greet the world. No pregnancies are quietly gestating with me wondering what life will be like leading up to the birth/election/town meeting.
While I know there will be more babies, I have some time to recover from these back-to-back babies. In fact, I think I have time to write a novel. If I remember correctly, newborns sleep a lot.