38 weeks and 4 days. Last week, I had to check myself out of social media because I was simply overwhelmed, overstimulated, and oversensitive to everything on my apps – particularly Facebook and Instagram. Though the majority of my pregnancy has left me feeling somewhat antisocial, these last few weeks I literally have no desire to socialize, and am happiest when left to my own devices, in my house, wearing a big billowy garment with no underthings, free to bake, or watch Law & Order: SVU for a shameful number of hours on end.
I’m normally a really social person. I love going out, connecting with friends, engaging in activities, chatting with strangers (okay, not all strangers)… but something has shifted and I literally just want to curl up in my bear den (how I imagine my house), shut the curtains, and shut out the world.
For a while I felt really guilty about this, like I was maybe just responding to my own insecurities about growing as big as a house (hello, goodbye Instagram) or just having weird FOMO that I reacted to by wanting to ignore everyone else’s fun on Facebook. I can’t seem to return calls from even some of my closes friends (hi guys, sorry if you’re reading this – thanks for understanding) and I just don’t get it – why am I hiding away from life?
So since I shut off my apps about six days ago, I’ve been meditating more, practicing conscious relaxation, letting myself bake, clean, nest, and snuggle on the couch, and I’ve realized something: Much like a wild animal who chooses solitude during the later stages of gestation, I’m securing my nest for the birth of my child. The outside world is dangerous, and I am so very vulnerable at this time. Aside from my little walks, in the safety of my neighborhood, and necessary excursions, like visits to the midwife, I am happiest just hunkering down and creating a space where I can REST.
Have you ever seen a cat or dog who is about to go into labor? They tend to pace, seem a bit restless, but then when the time draws near for their litter to come, they disappear entirely. Maybe you’ll find them beneath the house, in the back of a closet, or curled up somewhere dark, remote, and safe.
That’s what I’m doing. I’m dragging metaphorical blankets to a dark corner beneath an imaginary house, where I can lay down and birth this baby without anyone bothering me. And I’m okay with that.
To all my pregnant friends – if you find yourself feeling reclusive, antisocial, or like a feral cat who wants to hiss and snarl at anyone who gets to close… don’t sweat it. You’re doing great, just the way you are. Let the world know that you’re taking a hiatus, and come back when you’re ready. Everyone and everything can get by without you – except the little love who has everything they need within you.