Hours before delivery.

Well guys…here we are…the last post before I cross over to the other side…motherhood that is…not the afterlife.

On this Baby Eve, I’ve been reflecting on one great cosmic joke that has struck me over the past couple months.

And it has to do with SLEEP.

In the past month or so, I have not gotten more than an hour of uninterrupted sleep.  Between trips to the bathroom and attempts to get comfortable with a 25 pound weight in my abdomen, an hour is actually at the higher end of the estimation.

In the past 8 years or so, I have not gotten more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

This is all leading up to, oh, I don’t know, about 60 years of INTERRUPTED SLEEP.  (I base this number on the assumption that I will worry about my daughter until the day I die…ask any parent of adult children and you will find out that whole 18 years of worry is a joke.  Parents never stop worrying.  They never stop loving. Parents are FOREVER.)

I just wish I knew that my last night of 12 hour sleep in my apartment in Ithaca, New York was going to be just that – FOREVER.  Maybe I wouldn’t have taken it for granted.

Speaking of the whole forever thing…it’s a lot to take in.  Being a mom forever.  Any of you that have met just about any of the guys that I have dated have probably used your Psych 101 class and realized my commitment phobia is reflected in those guys.  Some of you might say that is putting it mildly.

BUT, you know, forever is, um, a really long time and I was in no rush to start forever just yet.

And forever is still a lot to wrap my mind around.

So when I get completely overwhelmed by the concept of FOREVER, I think back to a dream I had before I knew I was pregnant.  Indulge me even though it makes me look a little kooky…

I had spent the night at my daughter’s father’s apartment and while we were sleeping, I had one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had.

In the dream, we were both sleeping, just like in reality and Joel Siegel, the late entertainment correspondent, was sitting at the foot of the bed.

Now I must back up and let you know that I interned for Joel…sort of.  I interned for the person that sat next to his office but because of simple geography, and Joel’s personality…I ended up helping Joel with a variety of tasks.

Joel would be the first person to tell you that he was…how shall I say it?….particular…about how liked things done.  For some reason, it never bothered me.  Joel and I got each other.  His tasks helped me pay some of my bills when I was hired a few years later and the conversations we had were even more valuable.

In addition to his long list of accomplishments in the civil rights movement, entertainment and journalism, he wrote “Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son” when he started to realize his cancer might prevent him from teaching his son everything he wanted to share with him.

When Joel died, it hit me hard.  I knew how much I would miss his unsolicited advice and his worldly insight.

So here I am…years after his passing, sleeping nicely and here is the dream.

Joel is sitting at the foot of the bed and I sit up and ask him, “What are you doing here?  Oh my god, I miss you so much.”

“Cara,” he said in his very distinct voice, “I am here to tell you that everything is going to be okay and that your life is headed in the right direction.”

“What do you mean?  Am I going to get laid off?” I asked, as this was the question on nearly everyone’s mind at the time.

“Cara,” he said, “I know this is not how you pictured your life to be when you were an intern, but I promise you everything is going to work out.  You are on the right path.”

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“I promise you, you are headed in the right direction,”  he said.  And with that, the dream was over.

I woke up and had a sense of peace that I can not describe, although I was still baffled by what the hell he was talking about.

When I told my sister about the dream she said, “Huh, that is interesting.”  And I said, “But I get nervous, like something bad is going to happen and he is telling me I am going to be okay.”  And my sister said, “Well the point he is making is that everything is going to be okay, so I think that is what you should focus on.”

About a week later I found out I was pregnant.

Now…I have no idea if it is all a coincidence and I just happened to have a dream about the guy that I started my career with during a time of turmoil in the industry and the economy as a whole.

Or if Joel was really sent to tell me something.

Or if my body knew something before my mind did and was preparing me.

I may never know…what I do know is that dream has helped me sleep just a little bit better over the last 9 months.

That dream and all of you.

So on this Baby Eve, as I run out the door to go get me pre-op blood work, I will leave you with a quote that I love from the movie and book Eat, Pray, Love.  (btw…the movie was okay, but if you are looking to do some soul searching I say stick with the book…like the book ten times more.)

“…I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” – a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you….Or so I’ve come to believe.”

I will be in touch soon.  And I trust when my daughter goes back and reads these and rolls her eyes, saying “MOM, god-uh…you are so weird-uh” you will all explain, “Yea, she is a little New-Agey, hippy…but she loved you before she knew you.”

5 Comments

  1. […] contacted by someone that is so close to her due date.  And as I responded to her, I could actually re-feel all of the emotions she was going through.  And it hurt.  A lot. The empathy I felt was very […]

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  2. Tamara says: December 3, 2010 • 03:12:46

    SOOOO excited for you Cara! I have a feeling your forthcoming sleepless nights will also be filled with huge bouts of joy.
    Congrats!

    Reply

  3. Stefanie says: December 2, 2010 • 15:07:01

    Love you, Car!! Can't wait to meet Ducky :)

    Reply

  4. Ashley says: December 2, 2010 • 14:49:19

    Good Luck, Cara! As many have told you, motherhood is the most amazing blessing that a woman can experience. It changes your outlook on the world, and life in general – there is nothing and no one in this world who can compare to the love that you have for your daughter. And though it may not seem possible, that love will grow with each passing second. Looking forward to seeing pictures and meeting your little cutie :)

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  5. Meg says: December 2, 2010 • 14:45:44

    Lovely, Cara. And such a sweet tribute to Joel.

    Reply

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