Attuned

Attune: 1. To bring into harmony. 2. To make aware or responsive.

I think pregnancy is nature’s way of making a mother understand how it is to be a baby.

My life has become surprisingly focused on very simple things: sleeping, eating, peeing. My tolerance for delay when my body demands one of these is reduced to almost nil. Thanks to the hormones driving this whole internal process, I am forced to respond to my physical needs quickly. If I don’t eat when I get hungry, my stomach will get queasy and hurt. And I get hungry more often and I get too full more quickly. If I don’t get sleep when I’m tired, I can’t concentrate and I want to cry. I have to pee more often, and just plain more, and while I was always good at holding it before, now I just have to find the nearest bathroom. And here’s the latest one: when I am too busy and doing too many things at once, I get panicky, like an adrenaline rush or too much coffee, and have a hard time calming myself down. How like a baby I am!

I wonder at those people who think babies are exhibiting bad behavior or failing to learn “discipline” (what the hell? babies are not monks, athletes, college students) when they respond to these same physical demands – but with far less resources for coping than I have! I can reach for my tub of dried fruit when I am hungry (that’s right, I feed on demand) and I can pee whenever I need to, and I can find some soft music and close my office door when I’m running to hard and overstimulated, and I can fall asleep if I need a nap (god love the weekends when I take advantage of being able to sleep and wake as I please, without concern for “office hours”). My baby will face all the same physical demands when he or she is outside of me for the first time. Knowing how limited my own tolerance is right now, and practicing compassion for myself, is preparing me for being compassionate to my baby when he or she cries over an empty tummy, or a full one, or for sleep or for peace.

“Oh, wee one, Mommy knows.”

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