tuesday marks 40 weeks for me, a full 9 months. approaching your due date is nerve wracking. i’ve spent the last month in a frenzy, trying to get everything done before the baby comes. for the most part, i have. the house is clean, every last baby sock and onesie and crib sheet is washed and folded and carefully put away. there are diapers and nursing pillows and cremes and tamales in the freezer. the car seat is in the car, the bag is packed with his little outfit (one tiny, one larger, just in case) and hat and blanket. we’ve read countless birth and parenting and breastfeeding books. i have a tendency to need to be extremely prepared for everything. it is all about control, for me.
astrology has always been my dogma. i grew up hearing what a leo i was, what a scorpio my brother was, what a virgo my father was. these comments always punctuated characteristic behavior: attention seeking displays, over-emotional reactions, reclusive or anti-social behaviors, anal retentive or controlling modes. i became a real astrology nut in my teen years, reading countless books, taking classes from local hippies, looking up the natal charts of every person that i met. i say that astrology is my dogma because it holds a certain unquestioned weight in my life. it colors every interaction that i have with people in my life. i expect an aquarius to be contrary as much as i expect a swedish person to have blonde hair.
my mother often talks about what it was like as a cancer woman to have a leo child. she talks about how having a sociable, extroverted toddler forced her out of her comfort zone, and into situations she wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. i always look at the astrological makeup of families and marvel at what lessons families have to teach each other. how reserved, introverted water parents have dramatic, firey babies. how grounded, conservative earth parents have rebellious, questioning airy children. it is often said that our children are our greatest teachers. it is no different with children than it is with anything in life: what you need to learn comes to you. it hits you over the head if it needs to.
as i approach the end of my pregnancy my extreme nesting-preparedness has turned to obsessively looking up astrological charts for the days ahead. i find myself wracked with worry about what my son will turn out to be. a libra with aquarius moon who questions everything. a scorpio with cancer moon who struggles with his extreme sensitivity. as the days pass i find myself telling myself it cannot happen today. he can’t have pisces moon. today can’t be the day.
over the past week i have experienced many of the pre-labor symptoms. this morning i experienced a contraction that was so painful and so riveting that i felt as if i was going to have the baby that very minute, or pass away. it was interrupted by the urge to throw up. it ended a few seconds later (although it felt like a lifetime) and i went about the day, staying close to the watchful eye of my boyfriend. i found myself, reeling on the bathroom floor, saying “no, not today. not today.”
something that i have always struggled with is that very idea of astrology as dogma, and the weight that is attached to it. in many ways it has felt like a sentence, a set of traits that is not alterable. certain signs or placements are lost causes to me, untrustable people, or limitations that are not surpassable. but i think, then, of the sign of scorpio. this is probably the most complex sign, and has not one but three totems: the scorpion, the eagle and the phoenix. to me this is symbolic of the range that we all posses. within our lifetimes we all have the ability to be at the lowest end of functioning all the way to the highest. a pisces is capable of being a drug addict or a priest. a leo is capable of great warmth and generosity and great selfishness. it’s important to remember that life, astrology, everything carries a set of lessons that are there to explore if we choose to. we learn different ways of coping and reacting to circumstances in our lives. astrology can show us the tools that we have within us, but no one is doomed to any type of life.
the big and constant lesson in my life is letting go. no matter what his chart looks like, my son will be no less beloved. i am looking forward to all that he has to teach me.
(the astrological prints are from the land of nod: http://www.landofnod.com/all-wall-art/kids-room-decor/1)