The axel jump

In figure skating there is a jump called axel jump, which is considered one of the hardests jumps to land. Why? Because the jump defies the laws of physics. You skate backwards, doing leg crossovers, while circling in one direction, just to turn swiftly and rotate in the air in the opposite direction.

Strangely, this is the only jump I can land beautifully, althought I never felt that I did it. My coach, a few years ago, scratched his head puzzled and said, "I don't understand how you can land an axel, when your spins are so off." "Was that an axel?" was all I could say, puzzled as well.

He brought in a camera to record my performing it and I remember saying, as we watched it, "I can't believe my body can do this!" "Neither can I," he joked. I almost couldn't believe that person who jumped so high and landed so perfectly after a tight, air lifted spin was me, if it wasn't for my big, bubbly ass.

It's close to midnight now and this is the last night I will be by myself, without a child. Tomorrow my doctor will induce labor because the baby is getting too big (mini Neanderthal, right?), and I can't stop crying.

I am so scared.

A friend asked me to recall all the times my body surprised me, and the axel jump, followed by the positive pregnancy test were too of the biggest surprises I've had. She keeps telling me to hold on to that, since the fear I have is because I can't believe my body can do this.

Sounds good and dandy, but today, as my mom and I food shopped for the next few days since she will be alone at my house while i will be at the hospital, about four random strangers asked when I was due. Every single one of them (including a friendly black male that greeted me with, "dang, girl! you are about to pop! Now don't go getting into labor in my store!") said I wouldn't make it until tomorrow.

That's how big I have become. Everyone and everything stares at me; even dogs.

The cashier at the food store asks, "why is the doctor inducing you?" I explain to her that the baby is estimated to be eight pounds already and that I am too small. She says. "Girl, that baby in your belly is no eight pound baby; that's a nine pounder! I've had five kids. I know a big baby when I see one!"

So now I am crying, picturing him getting stuck, picturing my going through pain, panic, picturing the baby getting hurt because I am too clumsy to hold him.

A normal person spends the pregnancy preparing for the child.

A person like me spends it worrying about cellulitis and laughing at the whole thing while being miserable and only truly realizes the weight of it all the day before the birth.

It almost makes me feel naive and childish.

I will keep thinking about that axel jump, in between meltdowns, and maybe in forty eight hours I can say that my body was able to do this,

For now I will cry in the dark of the living room.

1 comment:

  1. a few points:

    1. Your belly is an optical illusion because your so little. I bet if you held a Chihuahua it would look like a great dane in your arms, okay maybe a skinny golden retriever. when i look down at my belly it does not seem that big, but when i look in pictures, i am like, common, it's not that big...b/c it's an optical illusion.
    2. "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
    Mark Twain and "Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone."
    -Robert Allen.
    3. I am sure that when you were doing your Axel jump you were probably afraid of so many things-but you went in with determination and a mind set to conquer you were able to accomplish something truly amazing-even if it didn't feel like you were doing anything at all. (it's amazing to me, i always picture myself busting my teeth every time i let go of the wall) Sometimes we have to challenge our mindset and make the decision that we will conquer it rather than it conquer us. This is how I had to deal with training for a half marathon and most recently the passing of my mom. I thought for sure I was going to miscarry with all the added stress, pain and discomfort I was having....but all i needed to was to change my mindset (not easy by any means) and the pregnancy changed-the cramping subsided. I know a lot of people felt i was "strong", I can tell you this I never ever once felt strong, i felt determined only because i had the choice to make and that is the one that was going to get me through. Not easy, never easy, looking back I have no idea how my mind and body got me through, but like your axel, i just did it and i can't believe that was me.
    4. Never listen to anyone else's birth story, I learned this from my best friend early on in my pregnancy. She said, "whatever you do, just drowned them out", she said, "i dont know why everyone feels the need to tell you their horror story when you clearly are about to give birth, every story is different and after being so afraid, mine turned out wonderful". So, dont listen to the forceps stories, the pump, the numerous hours or pushes....your story will be different and how it will turn out until the very end. Just keep your eye on the prize ;) Baby Matthew.
    5. "no matter how long you wait or plan, you'll never be ready"-family and everyone I know. That being said you can apply that to having children, pregnancy, or child birth itself. You have enjoyed this pregnancy looking through new eyes on life, laughter, the simple joys and pains of pregnancy and most importantly learning and making new friends. You've been so positive through this whole experience even if it may not seem that way. You've made me laugh and wonder if you're looking inside my house. :) "I always feel like, somebody's watching meeeee"

    I'm sending you strength, encouragement, and positive thoughts your way. I am sure my labor meltdown is around the corner and I know you'll be right there waiting to tell me it will be worth it.


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