I’m rounding the bend. Now officially in my third trimester, I’m in the golden era of preggotime–lasting all of a week I’d expect–where I don’t feel so tired, and I’m not yet giant. Giant is coming quickly I know: I’m getting offered seats on crowded BART trains, and thankfully taking them. More importantly, I’m starting to see how having a baby could be not only possible, but possibly beautiful.

I guess I’m Learnin’. Something I really hate doing, ’cause I like to be good at everything instantly. Rather than having spent the last six months blundering around in a confused haze, I’d prefer to have been fully evolved, balanced, and happy the whole time. Wouldn’t you?  But alas. That ain’t how Learnin’ works.

When I first learned I was pregnant, I pictured being handed a squalling newborn baby. Having had one before, I know what it takes. In this image, the poor defenseless crying babe was handed to me, a woman teetering on the edge: a full-time working mom with a toddler and a husband who travels. My carefully constructed pyramid of a survival-led life and schedule was already crumbling. The pieces were sloppily glued together, requiring superhuman feats of both myself and my amazing husband. We’ve both been acting as Man and Woman, Worker and House-person, giving it 135% each. We’ve got an incredibly lucky/lovely home life. Just no time to enjoy it. A baby?? I thought. You’ve got to be kidding.

I never felt integrated after having Alejandro. It was as if I was granted him–this incredibly bright small human–and I’d simply added him onto my life as a praise-lapping workaholic who was writing a novel on the side. I was a mom by fact, but I wasn’t really comfortable with it. Perhaps because I never felt very good at it. Now I’m seeing that the state of mom-ness I can’t quite articulate–the patience and nurturing and play and laughter I’d assumed would come naturally to me–has to happen in the scant hours and minutes allotted to such folly. Work and commuting to be done! Grocery shopping, meals made, toys picked up, floors swept, the Boy dressed and undressed and bathed and cajoled into the car yet again! For God’s sake, who the fuck has time to relax and play?

As I said though, I’m comin’ around. This baby is an amazing opportunity to look at this situation, my fragile pyramid, and to rebuild. I want to be here for both of my kids. I want to be a momma. I want to invest in them, in this precious baby-time. Despite the formidable mortgage and my crappy budgeting skills, I will not go back to work after 3 months off, as I did with Alejandro. I will not accept this gift of a life as the straw to break my back, but as an opportunity to create a rich and sustainable life for all of us.

I don’t know how it will all pan out. I don’t know what my career will look like when I return to work, as I inevitably will. But I know it will be different. I’ll have to go back to something better, a scenario more in support of an integrated me.

I think it’s called Learnin’. Ain’t that right?

Meanwhile I’m thankful for all of the support, wisdom, and good advice I have in my life–including from you, my amazing co-workers, friends, and family.  I’m a lucky lady. I’d love to eventually have more to give back to all of you. In time, I think it’s gonna happen.

What resonates?