Found myself in a university building – the kind where students either kill time between classes or schedule group meetings with people they don’t know very well. Everyone looks tired and a bit bored, but also vibrant because they’re twenty years old and all evened out – equal opportunity available to everyone, theoretically.
I’ve come from an appointment at the community health practice where I’m going to get a new family doctor. For me and my baby. I’ve never selected a doctor as an adult – I’m impressed with how they handled it, thoroughly informative and professional.
Campus feels like a funny and appropriate place for me to be – after all I’m preparing for a big exam called childbirth. It’s one where I finally understand the risk of over preparation. Over-preparation was never my problem at school. Preparing for childbirth is also teaching me the value of unlearning – unlearning society’s ideas on childbirth so that I can be free to have my own experience. Empowered. I give a different answer on my plans depending on who asks – I feel I’m observing myself interacting on the topic, like I’m not really there. Like I have this set of answers that I toss in the air and then whichever one lands in my fist, I say out loud. Why do I feel there is so little room for sharing authentically? Because I’m afraid of people judging me? Afraid of putting a stake in the ground and then backing off later, changing plans? And then they could all say, ya, of course. That was a dumb idea. We knew it wouldn’t work.
I think this is just the beginning of parenting choices. Choices that matter more than any other choices made to date. Choices that affect other people more than any others to date. This feeling – that birth plans are personal – perhaps it is legitimate. Really, what is more personal?
Here, at the world’s quietest Second Cup in this remote university building, I think about the staff. Probably University Staff, not Second Cup Staff. Cushy job. Or boring. Different sides of the same coin perhaps? These students are pulling out their homemade lunches, saving their dollars. Good for them. I’ve been inspired lately to do the same. Even as we contemplate increasing our housing budget by 15 percent. Because the market continues to be prompt us. And because, actually, we can afford it. Opportunities are not equally available to everyone, for better or worse.
Adult choices. Good thing I went to the doctor intake appointment, to remind myself I’m a grown up because someone was good enough to treat me like one. And good thing I can feel this baby moving inside me, reassuring me regularly that it’s doing well. “A sign of well-being” is what my midwife said. A comforting thought. This baby is on its way – and then the ultimate adulthood begins. I’ll make the best decisions I can on its behalf, sometimes involving more or less candor, because that’s an acceptable approach to choices that matter.