Part 2: Sabbatical, Motherhood, and a Writer’s Life

We’re still on #babywatch. Our boy child could arrive any day now, though his due date is designated as this coming Sunday, October 13th.

This is my first pregnancy, and I feel pretty darn good for having a 7-8 pound baby pulling at my midsection and another excess 30 or so pounds drooping along my hips and thighs, in places that used to be toned and strong.

So many women look at me like I’m crazy when they ask me how I feel. I say “I feel great.” Folded within that statement are so many sentiments–I feel physically better than I anticipated that I would at 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant; I feel so lucky that everything has gone smoothly for the past 40 weeks; I feel so fortunate for the opportunity to be a mother at age 37; I am so thankful for my wonderful partner, for my supportive family, for having a job that allows me to be away for four months, for my health, and for all the beautiful things that life can offer up–they are not lost on me right now. My life feels like it is in some sort of strange and beautiful alignment. That’s how I’ve felt lately, since I’ve had the chance to work on my own writing, to study the personal essay form for the past eight weeks, to connect with other writers through my Advanced Personal Essay class at Lighthouse, to see another essay of mine in print, and even to receive three rejection letters in one week. Time to think and reflect and try toward personal goals is such a gift, especially in the months leading up to giving birth for the first time and knowing that my entire life will shift / has already begun to shift.

Everything is ready in a physical sense for the baby. There’s nothing more that we need to buy (and proudly, we purchased just about everything from consignment or got it on hand-me-down from friends). The nursery is set up. My mom and step-dad are in town. The hospital bag is packed. The golden retriever has a place to go for a few days while we are gone to the hospital. My partner has a long-term sub on call to teach her high school English classes while she is on maternity leave for two weeks. And with the logistics in place, all there is to do is keep reading, writing, eating well, sleeping, spending time with friends and family, and waiting for our baby to make his grand entrance.

I’ve continued to post some “Essays of the Day” and other writerly things on Twitter. Go check out @npiasecki if you need some recommendations for short reads that you might enjoy. I’m in the process of reading my hot-off-the-press copy of The Best American Essays 2013, now. It’s edited by the amazing Cheryl Strayed (Author of Tiny Beautiful Things and Wild).

Yesterday, the EOD I posted was by Alice Munro, and today, I found out that she was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature for short story–a cooincidence but one that makes me feel like I’m reading in the right zone at the right moments. I also found that a gal with whom I went to high school in the tiny town of Chelsea, Michigan is anthologized in this Best American Essay 2013 collection–small world. I didn’t even realize that she was a teacher and writer until the book arrived. Ironically, her essay was about being a new mother to a little boy child and her challenges of the first months of motherhood. It’s a great, short essay called “Channel B,” originally published on the Rumpus.

Best wishes to all of you out there on the World Wide Interweb.

About npiasecki

Instructor of Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado Denver, specializing in 21st century skills, research, and creative nonfiction. Director of the Denver Writing Project, a local site of the National Writing Project's professional network for K through College educators.
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