For the first time in my adult life I am not being defined by my reproductive system. I am not pregnant. I am not breastfeeding. I am not actively trying to conceive. I don’t really know how to handle myself.
Since 1997 my life has been dominated by counting. For eleven years I counted cycle days, praying on the way up that the numbers wouldn’t come back to 1, and often crying when they did. Then I counted gestational weeks, at first praying they would keep climbing toward 40 (and crying when one didn’t) and then praying they would just end. In between I counted hours until the next feeding, hours of sleep, growth in days, then weeks, then months. Always counting, but not any more.
In some ways my identity has shifted from my reproductive system to the products of it. Between potty training, speech and physical therapy, cooking, cleaning, laundry and general troubleshooting/fire stomping, I’ve got my hands full enough that I’m glad I’m not counting too.
But today I looked at a calendar to determine the date of a future event, and realized that all days were essentially equal. In that realization, I suddenly wondered, “Oh. Is this how other people live their lives?” I may be calling on some of you for tools in navigating this new approach to life.