Babies & Their Bellies
I have this thing for pregnant bellies. I love them! For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the wonder of a woman’s belly — how it can be home to a miracle growing inside. Currently, at work, there are two co-workers who are pregnant. Both are carrying boys. I have an army of boys in my family, little soldiers who get into mischief and carve out places in this world with their seeking fingers. I connect with children, even while in their mother’s womb, we bond.
A few weeks back, my co-worker (the one who is due in May) was walking up the hallway toward our front desk and I was heading back from the radiologists’ reading department and we sort of met in the middle. I calmly asked, “May I?” as I pointed to her belly and she smiled as bright as anyone could and almost shouted, “Sure!” I placed my right hand just above her navel and began talking to her little one, granting him blessings straight from my heart. I thanked her and shortly after when we were both settled back into the groove of our positions, she called me to let me know that her little one started to kick as soon as she walked away.
I laughed, then smiled. At the end of my shift, I welcomed a few tears. The beauty of something as monumental as bringing another human being into this world hit me without my knowledge. I said softly to myself, “I wonder if they know that history is beginning in their bellies — they’re carrying the world.” I think of how things would have been had I brought my own little one into this world — if I ever could and a variety of emotions hit me at once, from every angle. I used to think that I was useless, that if I was not giving this world a part of me, that I did not matter. I used to believe that without a child of my own, I was not fit to be called “woman.”
Now, when I see this co-worker, she smiles. I ask her, “How’s the little one?” and she always says, “He’s busy growing. He’s good.” Her belly is shifting from a basketball to a combination of a football and beach-ball. She’s all belly, at a quick glance, nothing else seems to be shifting.
My other co-worker has baby written all over her. The sweet boy growing inside of her is making his presence known. It seems as though the little one is saying, “Get ready, world! I am going to be nothing you expected, but something that you need!” I have not given her belly a talking to, not yet, but I will — if allowed. I look at my own belly, wondering if it is fit to grow a miracle like most women — if it can create change. And, I think it can, it is the completing part of it all that I am told would be problematic. I want to reach out and call to the little soothsayer, sage, or savior nearing what will be my co-worker’s last trimester. I want to tell him to be all that he can be and so much more.
I watch her, my co-worker (her due date is sometime in April), she races about our work-place on a mission. It is hard to catch her in slow motion. She has so much energy and I cannot help but feel like instead of exhaustion and swollen feet and frequent bathroom breaks and odd tastes in food, her little one is far more mature and is simply settled in the womb until he is called away. I have never seen someone still as active for ten straight hours at six months pregnant before. She is nonstop. I feel as though her little boy is saving the best for his debut. He will be a reckoning. He will be a force.
We better get ready.
Both of these women are doing something I have chosen not to, that I, in the grand scheme of things, cannot. To say that I am moved each day that I get a chance to see them would be an understatement. I have an incredible amount of respect for them. After all, they are carrying their own little worlds inside. Each of them preparing for motherhood at their own pace.
Each of them preparing to share with all of us, the gift of life.
Tiger Balm filling the air.
Age is creeping up on me
Fervently devoted to reminding
Me that mortality
And all its counterparts
Are HELL on EARTH.
My dad called last night. We had that talk about me being bisexual. I had wanted to be able to sit with him and discuss things in person, but according to him last night, he had something “weighing on his heart.” He just came out and asked me after prefacing it with how much he loves me and how he’d never stop, also stating that no matter who I am, I am his child first and his love for me will never change.
Him being an Episcopalian preacher has no hierarchy over his love for his child. He also said that he’d known for years but didn’t know how to approach the subject, but he’s glad that I was open with him last night, that I shared myself at my full capacity. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, it was like a casual conversation. I’m grateful for that. I believe, this will open up new doors for us. Expressing how this makes me feel has no words. I don’t think they have even been invented yet.
We all have our skeletons. I am happy mine are out of the closet.