Friday, July 25, 2014

On Pregnancy and Reading Limbo

I'm in that uncomfortable state of pregnancy where I'm uncomfortable more than I'm not. I'm 38 weeks pregnant tomorrow, which is so very close to the end, but even with a daily nap and a good, long, overnight sleep (almost) every day, the days are long and tiring. Although there are still two weeks until the nomadbaby is due, and he could easily come as much as a week late, he could also legitimately come at any time. I've taken to calling these last few days and weeks as pregnancy limbo--because who knows how much longer I'll be pregnant? With pregnancy limbo comes reading limbo.

I'm well aware life as I know it is about to change dramatically, and as reading is one of the most important things to me, I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to prioritize my reading while pregnant and after the nomadbaby arrives. Pregnancy has been grueling for me, and I've found a way to relax and simply spend as much time reading as I can, while reading whatever it is I'm in the mood to read. Often, mysteries and nonfiction have been more appealing to me than my typical literary fiction, but I also think that trend is temporary. This low-key reading plan has worked beautifully, as I've read seventy-seven books so far this year (a huge number for me, especially considering I read ninety-four books in all of 2013.

As the nomadbaby's birth approaches, however, I find myself distracted by picking books SO. VERY. CAREFULLY. Because what if that's the book I'm reading when I go into labor? I will forever remember the book I spent my last child-free minutes reading, right? Or what if it's a book I never manage to quite finish because I lose all brain power in the days following his birth and end up putting it down for weeks or months?

All of my reading limbo is connected to the fact that it feels like the only thing I have control of in my life right now. My body does not feel like my own, which makes basic tasks like getting off the couch and working all day pretty challenging. When I'm reading, I can get lost in a book and still feel like myself. When I'm reading, I'm happy. I'm lucky to still be sleeping well for the most part. It's the rest of my waking hours that are uncomfortable. But when I finish a book, I spend far too much time deciding what to read next. And as excited as I am for the nomadbaby to arrive, I'm also curious how many more books I can squeeze in before he does. Now if only I can decide which book to start next.

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  1. I started Harry Potter 4 when I went into labor. I brought the book to the hospital and everyone laughed, telling me I'd have no time to read. It is almost 11 years later and the bookmark is still in the same place.

    1. I don't think I ever finished Harry Potter 4 (or was it 5?) either, so maybe it's the book.
      My only hope for reading in labor is the combination of epidural and arriving at the hospital during a time I'd normally be awake. We shall see:-)

  2. Oh, I remember that stage of pregnancy and it was so miserable. It doesn't feel like it now, but it will be over soon. Giles was 11 days overdue, I was going out of my mind by the time I actually went into labour!

    I'm actually managing to read quite a bit now that he is here. Not as much as before, of course, but during the times when he is asleep but I can't put him down (he has a sixth sense for when he isn't being cuddled), I'm getting through quite a few books on my kindle. So there is hope :)

  3. I've got 2 words for you: audio books. Great while you're labouring, great after the baby is born. No more limbo. Good luck!

  4. I love 52booksorbust's recommendation, I never thought of listening to audiobooks while you're in labor!!!


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