The Center of the Known Universe

November 23, 2009

My husband's arm is heavy against my ribs as he cuddles me in bed. I stroke his face and we touch noses. My long-haired Siamese, Ling, sensing that I'm awake and cuddling without her, jumps onto the bed and stands at my shoulder. My husband's orange tabby, Abby, not to be left out, leaps onto my legs and stares at me pitifully with a face full of longing. And then baby William awakes within my womb and begins to flail his tiny arms and legs against my belly.

Suddenly, a feeling overwhelms me...the feeling that everyone is vying for my attention, competing for what little I have to give...a feeling I thought was weeks away. And it terrifies me. I freak out and elbow away the cats.

Where am I in all of this? My body is not my own. I have desires, but not the energy to carry them out. I look at the hair piling up on the bathroom floor and think, "I should sweep that," and then I don't. I want my job back; I want to work on my Master's degree...not to be known merely as "the incubator." I want to feel useful, liberated. But I'm stuck, trapped in place by others' needs.

Please, dear readers, take my confession with a grain of salt. I love my baby, and being needed by others is rewarding in its own way. This is just one of the many emotions that I face as motherhood draws near. It's a complicated time. I will go to school and work again, but those prospects are months away. In the meantime, I must put my life on hold and hope that my dreams don't slip away in the process. It's not an easy thing to do.

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