There are few things more daunting than attempting to write a post after nearly 12 months of unexplained absence. Oh who am I kidding? There are a LOT of things more daunting. Climbing Everest, learning Mandarin, hosting a dinner party for your in-laws. All way more daunting.
So now that we’ve established that writing a blog post after a big chunk of silence is clearly NBD, I’d just like to say Hi Hi Hi!! I’m back! I’ve missed you guys!
Where the hell have I been, you ask? Valid question. Well, if it’s any indication from the title of this post– I’ve been having several adventures not limited to: getting pregnant, having a baby, and becoming a pole dance instructor (not necessarily in that order). Truly, the magnitude of each one of these events register on a galactic scale for me, so feel me when I say the resistance against placing ten exclamation points after each one is real.
First things first. I got pregnant. FINALLY. Yes, after 4 and a half years of trying, it happened and it happened naturally and it happened in perfect timing that of course I was unable to see until I was in it. Did this conception coincide with my hiatus from writing? You bet your hindquarters it did. All of the sudden I had the most miraculous and intense creative project inside my body, and honestly I just didn’t have enough juice to write without it feeling like work. And that’s not why I write. Writing is a salve to my soul. When it’s not, then I don’t write. Simple. Sorry not sorry.
The incredible thing about this baby-making business is that it happened as soon as I made the decision to become a dance instructor. This had become a dream of mine– a way to reach and empower a group of women, a way to learn how to teach, a way to use my voice and lead others. It’s no coincidence that as soon as I allowed myself to step up in that area of my life– BAM. Preggers.
As you can imagine, dance training while pregnant had its challenges, however – I had waited so long for both of these things to happen that my soul was buoyant and the dancing fed all the new curvaceous parts of me. Kind of brilliant how it all played out really. Funny how the Universe provides. You’ve got to act in the direction of your desires first. That first step’s on you (and it’s the hardest). Then the Universe kicks in with the killer follow-through.
There will be more to say regarding pole dancing. Don't you worry. For now let's move along.
I will now proclaim something that will chafe all the pregnant ladies out there who are having a less-than-ideal go of it– My pregnancy was flipping amazing. No morning sickness, no swollen ankles, no weird cravings. All butterflies and goodness and light. Seriously. It was crazy good. And I loved the attention from strangers on the street and in the subway. Good times. I danced all the way up until my ninth month, and I relished every moment.
And then, more amazingness. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy– sans drugs, after three brief and intensely primal hours of labor, in our home. (Yes, the home part was planned.) It was miraculous and beautiful (oh don't get me wrong, it definitely hurt. Drug free, yes. Pain free, no.) and the butterflies goodness ’n light just got bigger and brighter. It was as if all of the sudden my heart had sprouted arms and legs and now existed outside of my body in the form of a tiny helpless creature completely new to the world and altogether immensely wise.
And then… And then… the poop hit the fan.* Our sweet Wyatt struggled to breastfeed, became severely jaundiced, and we all landed in the hospital. (We’re good now, Thank you God. NICU nurses are a special kind of angel.) No one tells you how hard it is– those first weeks with a newborn. It’s all survival tactics. Your hormones are raging, you are still healing, and the sleep deprivation is crippling. It is nearly impossible, and you’re swimming in guilt and fear and gratitude and boundless joy all at once. It is by far the scariest and most thrilling adventure I’ve ever known. And you question everything. Most of all your sanity. I do not exaggerate here. I consider myself to be an extremely grounded individual and this experience had me uprooted and floating in some loopy transcendent time-space continuum wherein crying was random and abundant. And no one really talks about that. No one says, oh yeah, breastfeeding is really f’ing hard and your tender bits are going to be traumatized beyond recognition, and yeah, when the baby goes down for a nap (IF he goes down for a nap) you’ll have to choose between whether you’re going to A) shower B) go to the bathroom C) eat, or D) sleep. More often than not your final choice will have to be E) none of the above.
I understand why we don’t talk about how hard it is. Because somehow, slowly but surely, it does get better. And more than this– new parents feel like ungrateful a-holes for complaining about being divinely blessed with an actual real live angel. How can you gripe about something so tiny, innocent, and perfect that you’ve wanted for so damn long? You can’t. I mean, you can, but you don’t. Because, even with all the insanity that you’re going through as a new parent, you are still a new parent. And that is absolutely a freaking miracle to be certain.
They say that having a baby changes everything. I see now just how true that is. My heart has become exposed– raw and easily pierced– yet somehow stronger, capable of love on a scale I never thought possible. As we enter Wyatt’s fourth month of life, I clearly see how one beaming smile from his luminous angel face swiftly clears the slate of any hardships that may have come before. And truly I am grateful for all of it– even the exhaustion and the stress of not knowing how to fix every little thing. These moments too shall pass, as they all do, and I can already see how I will come to miss them.
I could go on and on. It’s foolish to think I can catch y’all up to speed on every big adventure I’ve had in the past twelve months in one post, but I do hope I’ve at least given a taste of the bounty I’ve been storing up over the year and am now ready to supply forthwith.
More to come. Always more to come. As Robert Earl Keen so eloquently points out, “The road goes on forever and the party never ends.” That is certain. There is always a next adventure. The lesson to keep in mind is to truly live (and love) the adventure you’re in. Even when it involves pole dancing and pregnancy all in the same sentence. Trust it'll all play out exactly how it's supposed to. The Universe knows what She's doing. Take a breath and dive right in.
* This can literally happen when you have a newborn child. Actual poop hitting an actual fan.