So I’m really, really pregnant. I guess I was just as pregnant the day the ept stick revealed a faint blue plus sign, but now I LOOK really pregnant. Actually, who am I kidding? I’ve looked really pregnant for a while now. Or as one super helpful stranger commented to me, during a book event no less, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but you’re carrying REALLY, REALLY big.”
So yes. I have the classic “there is a fully inflated basketball underneath my shirt” look, and I’m carrying high, which I think is typical if you’re carrying a boy, which I am. It’s all really weird and cool at the same time. Coolest is when he stretches or kicks against me and I can *see* the shape of whatever body part he’s using: a knee, an elbow, a spine! It’s kind of like a tactile version of the children’s game 20 Questions. (He is not bigger than a bread box.)
The baby is due in eight weeks, though Lord knows he could come early or late. Pregnancy, I am finding, is a long lesson in letting go of expectations, and I suppose that crescendos in the delivery room. The advice I’ve been given again and again, by wise women who have gone through it before, is to let go of all expectations. Be curious about the experience, have wishes for how it might go, prepare as best you can, but don’t lock onto any one way your baby must come into the world. As long as you and he are healthy at the end of the delivery, it’s all good. And even if there are complications, it’s okay.
In non-baby news: The paper book of A Place at the Table launches on March 4 of this year, almost one month (exactly!) before the baby is due. It seems I have a way of cramming major life events into short amounts of time. It was only last May 21 that Sam and I got married, and then the hardcover of A Place at the Table was published that June 4. I got knocked up that July, and now we’re entering another cycle of Very Big Events Happening All At Once.
Thinking about all of this it occurs to me that the same advice that women have given me about childbirth could be applied to the publication of one’s book. You do all you can to prepare in advance, and you certainly have hopes and anticipations, but really, you have no control over how the book lands in the world, or how many readers are willing to catch it. And the more you can accept that fact, the more sane you’ll be around the launch. Which is, of course, easier said than done.