A new identity OR “Is that my life in the corner of the crawl space?”

It seems that I have reached the point where my pregnancy is all consuming. Maybe I bring it on myself because it has been big part of my life for the last 8 months and as the pregnancy progresses it becomes more noticeable. Maybe it is due to the fact that this has been a particularly difficult pregnancy with issues and complications which disrupted my ability to continue my normal day to day routine early in the pregnancy. How was I supposed to keep up with weight lifting when at 9 weeks you are told not to do any heavy lifting for risk of a hemorrhage rupturing?

Last year at this time, I was actively training for 8-10 hours minimum a week to compete at a national level sporting event on the other side of the country. This year, I am actively spending what seems like 8-10 hours a week walking to bathrooms so I don’t pee myself.

Exhaustion from being so big and carrying so much more weight means that I no longer enjoy heading to a farmer’s market to get inspired in the kitchen with my husband. I would rather just eat something quick and easy that takes no time.

We used to watch the food network, get inspired and make our own versions. (It’s how I perfected my bacon-blue cheese guacamole dip). Now we watch the food network while we stare at whatever quick meal is in front of us. Likely picked because of it’s low probability of giving me heart burn or coming back up later.

I used to have discussions about what is happening in the world and kept myself informed. Now I have to put a reminder in my calendar that I have to vote in the Provincial Election this week. (It’s shameful to write this because I have a degree in Political Science but I have barely followed this election in Ontario).

I used to share interesting and thought provoking articles with my husband and talk to him intelligently about many topics — now I send him articles about how to time contractions, or what a baby’s poop looks like as he ages and his diet changes.

I understand that parenthood changes life. But I didn’t expect it so soon.

When I think of not waking up every day and going to work I get panic attacks. I have worked since I was 14 years old. I worked all through high school, held summer jobs, worked close to full time while in University and had a job lined up before I even finished my final exams.

For 14 years I have always worked.

The idea of staying home terrifies me. I know this little person inside of me will need me and I will be able to fill my days but I am terrified about going from a job that challenges my intellect and allows me to constantly learn and develop my skills to worrying about how much the baby has eaten and pooped and whether he is sleeping enough.

It doesn’t help that our society makes it seem like we need to do so much for the new arrival. That more and more of my house is becoming baby-fied. We got rid of an air hockey table to make room for a play pen, we converted our office into a nursery, which meant that the guest room became the guest room/office which meant that my arts and hobbies area of the guest room was disassembled and relegated to bins in our crawl space. My sporting equipment sits forlornly in another corner down there.

I look in my crawl space and see my golf clubs, my weights, my paint brushes and paint, canvases with unfinished paintings, my dragon boat paddle and to me I am not seeing my stuff, I am seeing myself and wonder when I’ll be back enjoying these hobbies?

Everyone says I should be happy and excited about this new chapter of my life, and please don’t get me wrong, I am, but is it so wrong that when I look into that crawl space part of me thinks that is my life in the corner of the crawl space and I wonder when we’ll be able to take it out again?

***** the below was added to the post after a night of reflection****

Perhaps the above was written in a particularly hormonal moment of my pregnancy and I assure you that I am more excited than depressed about this baby coming.

I heard from my Mom that she felt similar feelings when she was having a child. I think perhaps a lot of women go through a fear of losing their identity when a child is on the way and perhaps we don’t talk about it enough.  I hope that others who feel the same way read this and know they are not alone.

My husband assures me that I am not losing my identity to my child but instead adding a new aspect to my already rich and diversified identity.

And that is a good thing.




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