Posted by: alegra22 | May 27, 2009


end of tunnelI enjoy capitalizing on my hormonal craziness as material for punchlines but I actually have a deep respect for the emotional processes of pregnancy. Even when it feels like a form of madness to find myself awake at night rifling through memories as though I have been called to discover a hidden treasure, or when I become inappropriately annoyed because just when I have fallen asleep my husband wakes me up because he is a big man and makes big noises, I don’t believe any of my experiences are simply a nasty side effect of baby-making hormones. With my first pregnancy I began to see very quickly that as my body was changing to make room for this new life my entire sense of self was being transformed as well. When I look back at the last four years of being a mother, I can see distinct patterns of growth with the birth of each of my children, things I needed to learn, things that Sol and Zaviera with their unique personalities are continuing to teach me.

Lately I have been feeling as though the most difficult part of being a parent is the fact that I want to run through the wildflower garden of my children’s world without the responsibility of taming it.  I realize it is a necessary responsibility of parenthood. I know that in order for them to take root and survive in this world, weeds must be pulled, wildness must be encouraged while also pruned and trained so that it gains strength.

I also realize that right now this taming has more to do with myself than it does with them. I have to constantly tend to my own garden because parents provide the first soil for their children’s imagination to take root in. Who I am, my relationship with my husband, how I respond to Sol and Zaviera, how I feel about the world, will be a big part of what my children absorb as ‘life’.  It is a massive responsibility. It is also the most profound opportunity and gift. I understand more and more the concept of being given a second childhood through our children. As an adult and parent I am neck deep in responsibilities that can sometimes make me feel squeezed, tense, but as I watch my children explore the world, to respond to it with joy and passion, I find myself shedding old, restrictive attitudes. I find myself understanding that while the responsibilities will never go away, I can find freedom within them.  Life is full of challenge and work, the difference is that as children we hungered for these things, we found joy in them. I see it in my children daily and remember that place within myself. That hint of heaven at the edges of all things.

I don’t ‘zone-out’ well and so the last month of nausea has been difficult for me. I admire Dan for his ability to phase out the world completely and lose himself in a distraction. Even when I am distracting myself, I am not distracted. Whatever is going on in my life will still be engaged with whatever it is I am using as a mental vacation. If I am watching back to back episodes of BSG or Grey’s Anatomy to escape the nausea, my mind is busy thinking, thinking, thinking. The closest I ever get to freedom from this mental engagement is when I am surfing on the face of a wave. So combine all of this thinking with an inability to do anything but be prone on the couch and throw in the catalyst of hormones making all of my emotions more acute…well, yeah, this first trimester of pregnancy has been quite a journey for me. But as the nausea begins to fade, I have found myself settling in more and more into a new phase, I feel quiet, playful, aware of the world in a way unique to this pregnancy and most likely to the personality of the child growing inside of me. Last night I had my first dream about the baby. It was a boy and he was beautiful. He had a calm presence and spoke in two word combinations that contained the kind of wisdom that can not be translated.

I am not quite at the end of this tunnel just yet, but I am getting close. Close enough to look back over the last five weeks with gratitude rather than the desire to run to the toilet.The baby is the size of a kumquat and officially a fetus. Everything is there, including fingernails. Now, it is all about filling in, strengthening, and growing. The next two trimesters are going to be an adventure.

My goals for this week now that the week is almost over? After I post this I am going to take a nap. And then I plan on reading through at least 2-5 journal articles. By next week? I hope to have written a story to submit to Editor Unleashed and to have finished reading my journal articles with an outlined ‘plan’ for my thesis.



  1. Hey you, well mom will buy me a ticket… but there are a few things I must do. The big one is one I was planning on doing anyway, although easier said then done. I have to quit smoking in order to get a ticket. So wish me luck. I do have the resolve to quit, just god help those around me. So looks like I will be seeing you soon. I was checking flights and it will be something like I leave Aug 25 and come home sept 10 or sept 17, depending on how long I can get someone to cover for me at work and how long you want to have a visitor. BUT before I get too excited, I guess I will have to give up yet another bad habit, you know that only leaves me with one left. OH well, I guess if that is what I have to do, then so be it.
    Talk soon, hugs and love, non

    • Hurrah! But uh…WOW. You know I am rooting for you! You’ll have to find something to take its place, a lesser evil, yes? Come for as long as you are able to get the time off and for as long as you think you won’t go stir crazy. It isn’t often we get you on this side of the planet.

      • OK… we are on. I have checked and I can get both my fights to land on a Thursday. I will let you know when I get the ticket.

  2. I’m glad the nausea is almost over and can I just say WOW! That’s pretty much a perfect parenting analogy. Call me crazy, but when I read your description a picture of Sol popped into my head as a little bonsai tree and Zaviera showed up as a bunch of wild daisies. A calm, wise boy would be a wonderful addition to your garden.

    • I think you used the perfect imagery for the two of them! Whether this next baby is a boy or girl I am beginning to get the sense that his/her personality is going to be a bridge between the extremes of Sol and Zaviera. It is going to be really interesting to see how the rest of this pregnancy continues.
      And yes, I am so, so, so happy to be getting some relief. I kept saying to myself “It will fade around the tenth week, it will fade around the tenth week…”
      and sure enough…not gone but going…

  3. Alegra, this was simply beautiful, beautiful…. Your writing is so wise, poetic and moving, funny and deep. I am in awe of what and how you can express yourself and tune into what is going on for you in such a profound way. Thank you again for sharing your journey & growing seasons with us.

    (Because of my own pregnancy and overwhelm these days, I have not kept up with reading your writing and now I am sorry! I will have to read back through your blogs to catch up with you and your amazing writing…)

  4. You are too amazing for words. I’m always entranced in the way you view and present your world, even when it’s not so pleasant. I’m very happy to hear that the nausea-era is coming to a close and giving way to what sounds like it will be a very interesting era. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Sending you an assorted box of hugsies (the legend is under the top) for any and every occasion.

  5. I love your insight. Makes me excited for parenthood and anticipatory of all the unknowns, ups and downs, growth, and adventure that lies ahead. I want to meet your kids so badly! I want to see what you and Dan have created together! Some day…

  6. I very much like the way you write, your perspective. I will be back. I hope your feeling green-around-the-gils fades soon and that your 2nd trimester is a lovefest with life.

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