By Kristina Wright
As I write this in the wee hours of August 30, my stomach is undulating with my unborn son’s unsuccessful attempts to negotiate more space for himself in my womb. My ankles are nonexistent and my feet have swollen to the point that the only shoes I can squeeze them into are cheap Old Navy flip flops—and that’s becoming more difficult by the hour.
As I write this, I am excited and scared, worried and yet peaceful. My emotions rise and fall with my breaths, each one bringing a different concern or reason to be joyful. Above all else, I am filled with anticipation.
As you read this, I am in a bed on the third floor of a hospital in southeast Virginia, recovering from a Cesarean section and quite possibly holding my newly born son. My stomach is far from flat, but it is no longer stretched to capacity with the weight of the unborn baby. My ankles and feet are likely still quite swollen and I probably look like hell. And I don’t care.
As you read this, I’m likely in pain and/or on pain meds. I might still be feeling the effects of the IV drugs given to me during surgery. I have likely cried a lot of tears and laughed until I thought my incision was going to split. I am euphoric with the new mother’s high and I am filled with anticipation.
As I write this, I am attempting to focus on what happens after the baby is born instead of stressing about the surgery I’m about to endure. I am focused on getting through this last little bit of time before I arrive at the hospital at the ungodly hour of 6 AM on Thursday, September 1. I am trying not to think about the spinal block I will receive or the incision that will be made some time after 7:30 AM that will bring my second son into the world. I am breathless with anticipation of the future.
As you read this, I am not thinking about writing, editing, blogging, doing the laundry or the dishes—or what you think of me. I am exhausted, but I will not sleep much because I am in a hospital and that isn’t conducive to rest. I am focused on my new baby, on my toddler at home, on my body’s amazing abilities, on the people I call family. I am anticipating going home, getting to know my new baby and healing my body.
As I write this, I am hugely pregnant, I have a book deadline looming on the same day the baby will be born, I am exhausted, I am uncomfortable.
As you read this, I am no longer pregnant, the book is finished and submitted, I am still exhausted and uncomfortable, but for different reasons.
As I write this, I am the mother of one.
As you read this, I am the mother of two.
Writing is a process by which an author can convey a message. Time has a way of altering that message, changing its meaning and scope, making it more or less relevant to the reader. Writing is about building anticipation for the next scene, drawing the reader in, giving the reader a glimpse of something just outside his reach—a promise of the future, a secret no one knows, an answer to a riddle, a glimpse through a cracked door.
Reading is about extracting meaning and deciphering truth. It is a pact with the writer to have a little faith, to trust in the words and to hang on until the bitter, bloody end when all will be revealed.
Reading is about unraveling the mystery. It is anticipation in the form of pages being turned, paragraphs being skimmed quickly for instant gratification and then reread slowly and savored for their resolution.
Writer and reader need each other. In fact, they can't survive without each other. Lacking one, the other is pointless. Without both, there can be no anticipation.
As I write this, I am on the precipice of a life change, sleepless with the anticipation of what is to come.
As you read this, I have flung myself into the abyss, trusting that all will be well. I’ll see you on the other side. Promise.