There's no doubt about it: I'm ready to pop. The thought of, "Is she really in there?" has completely subsided and has been replaced with the inevitable juxtaposition of, "When the hell is she coming out?"
Within the span of a month, my wife and I have gone to a wedding, a funeral and now, soon, a birth -- our own daughter. The circle of life is captivating and, I might add, a bit discombobulating. Take for instance what happened at the wedding. I thought I'd be nice and grab a glass of wine for my wife so that she could visit with our friends and their six-month-old daughter at our table. Had I realized the looks I'd receive on the walk back to my seat, I might have done it sooner! Mouths dropped open and eyes widened as a nine-month pregnant woman walked across the room from the bar with a heavy pour of white. Note to self: carry a cigarette in the other hand next time. The disapproval rating was higher than Trump's hair in an Aqua Net windstorm.
A very similar occasion occurred the last time I walked up a very steep hill from my office to the OB. Not one, but two different men turned their heads as I walked by them. And when I smiled, they avoided eye contact. It was almost as though they were threatened by my outrageous audacity to maneuver a hill "in my condition." Is a pregnant woman not supposed to walk? "Gee, I'm sorry, I left my personal mule at home for the day. I knew I forgot something!"
But I digress.
Call me crazy, but being pregnant isn't an excuse to be lazy. In fact, if anything it's done more to scoot me into the highest gear possible for preparation. And, for the record, I do understand that every pregnancy is different and every situation is unique in terms of being able to physically handle certain stressors, so let's get that PC bullshit out of the way right now. But for those of us who have been cleared to entertain anything other than sheer bed rest, life doesn't stop the moment you conceive.
I haven't even met my daughter yet, but I am already her biggest fan. She is going to grow up in a world where women can helm their own companies and corporations; can utilize every facet and square inch of their brains to become scientists, engineers, biologists, entrepreneurs, entertainers and heads of state. She can also choose to be a stay-at-home mom, a writer, a fishmonger or any other profession she prefers -- and isn't that the beauty of it all?
Success comes with hard work and sacrifice. That hill I walk up once every week now to see the doctor is getting more steep with each passing day. That short walk I took to get my wife a glass of wine at the wedding might take me twice as long today as it did a few weeks ago. The Running Man dance I pulled off to showcase my desirable talents to friends might actually pop out a kid if I were to do it this morning. And that mule I proverbially left at home, well, there's no way I'd ever be able to mount that thing now, so forget it.
The point is: the biggest limitations we encounter in life are those which we put in front of own selves. By getting out of our own way and attempting to do the impossible, well, it just might actually make the impossible possible. And all the passersby who look and taunt with their concerned eyes that judge, let them. There's nothing to see here. Just a nine-month pregnant woman making her way in the world so that her daughter one day has all the opportunities afforded to every male counterpart she encounters. Call me a feminist; call me optimistic; call me overworked and underpaid, but I know one thing for sure: you will never get up that hill unless you take the first step.