In the olden days, women used to retreat to their homes and bedrooms to "enter their confinement" for the last month or so of pregnancy. I'm sure there were many reasons for doing so, including inexact due dates, the societal indelicacy of pregnancy, and the need for a change of pace - for the slower - in the woman's life (for those who could afford, not necessarily monetarily, to do so).
It's this last aspect of a confinement that I find particularly appealing, perhaps because with this pregnancy, I've been able to do exactly that: take a time-out, as it were, from the everyday hustle and bustle of our life in Tucson. And friends, it has been wonderful. The biggest part of the slow-down is probably not having to cook, at all, but there are other things contributing to it, too.
Think about it - since I don't have to cook, I don't have to seek out, shop for, buy, prepare, or clean up after food, either. We don't have a car, so everything Miriam and I do is either walkable or bus-able. I'm disconnected from friends, a (nice) house (that we totally miss) to take care of, church obligations, and regular old routine stuff that we do just because. Money has become almost meaningless to us since we never have to spend it, at least not in small, day-to-day amounts (unfortunately, things like cell phone bills continue to exist).
Similarly, time, at least for Miriam and me, is worth less. With small exceptions for activities like dictionary work, laundry, and midwife visits, our time here is leisurely and unstructured. Basically, we play outside all day long on this gorgeous campus that is our backyard, taking breaks only to eat meals that other people prepared for me or - gasp! - take a nap. There must be something in the water here because after a 9-month abstention, Miriam takes a daily nap again. Of course, her bedtime is now 10.30, but what woman - pregnant or not - doesn't relish the chance to take a rest in the middle of the day instead of pressing on desperately to 8 o'clock with an increasingly cranky child?
Here are some photos from a day in the life of Bridget & Miriam:
I am really enjoying my modified "confinement," especially the part where Miriam and I spend lots of time together. I think it will be a fitting way to welcome a new baby to the family, having had a chance to teach, nurture, and love Miriam so intimately and so immediately beforehand.