Friday, July 27, 2007

Are those pregnancy hormones in your system, or are you just horny to see me?

Rob: I have a blood donation appointment at 10:45 tomorrow morning.

Crazed Pregnant Chick: No!

Rob: No?

CPC: Then you won't be able to have sex with me!

Rob: Uh, I can schedule the appointment for earlier...

* * *

There is an insane, nymphomaniacal knocked-up beeyotch in my house, and she's trying to keep my husband from doing a good deed because she knows about the "no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for twelve hours" rule, and that really puts a damper on her post-dinner plans. Now, you might be doing the math and figuring that her mostly-willing victim should be good to go around midnight, but that's not soon enough for this pleasure-starved Harpy. Besides being up the pole and therefore calling 8:00 pm bedtime, she wants it when she wants it - plain and simple - and she wants it NOW! She must be stopped!

Oh, wait. That's me.

Ahem.

Yeah, well, I don't know what to tell you. It's totally not my fault. I had my crazy little freak moments before I got pregnant, but this is ridiculous. It has to be the hormones that everyone is always talking about. I mean, I was the biggest pregnancy-sex skeptic in the world. I scoffed at all of that "when the morning sickness wears off and the hormones kick in dot-dot-dot hey I'm just sayin'!" stuff that everyone and their mother suggested. I was all, No way, I will feel like shit forever. I will never want sex again. But I should have asked right then if anyone could recommend a nice marinade for those words, so they'd be nicely seasoned by the time I got around to eating them.

And I will get around to it. As soon as I'm done abusing my poor, wiped-out husband two fifteen more times.


BiB
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

The first child

Rob and I had just moved into our new place (meaning that we had unpacked the basics and shoved all of the remaining boxes into the tiny second bedroom and closed the door) when my mother-in-law asked, "When can we expect grandchildren?"

"Erm," I stammered, "sometime in the next, uh, year or two."

Of course, I should have said, very pointedly, "That's something I will discuss with my husband. In private." Or perhaps, "Any minute now!"

That was about a year and a half ago. (I should be careful about pulling time frames out of my butt, apparently.) What continues to strike me about this question, however, apart from its unwelcome abruptness, is the obvious plural: grandchildren. As in more than one child.

Rob's and my conversations about our future family used to take a similar turn for the plural: "When we have kids, we'll so do blahblahblah!" And frankly, imagining a future that includes children is easy. There they are, school-age and full-of-it, playing the games we used to play, asking the same unending stream of questions. Why? and How come? about everything. They're fairly autonomous. Sure, they need us - Mom and Dad - for lots of things, but they're discovering the world on their own, fighting with each other, forming opinions. Oh, and while guiding my little brood through life, I manage to look remarkably chic. Of course. Because imagined futures are just the slightly-more-plausible versions of fantasies.

And, like fantasies, imagined futures almost always start after intermission, skipping over Act I entirely. Unless twins enter the picture, no couple goes from being a childless twosome to having "children." There has to be a first child.

As it sinks in that by Christmas, there will be a tiny, newborn human being in my house, I'm beginning to feel the same twinges of perplexity that I felt shortly after getting married. Not so much What have I done? as Where exactly am I? Weddings are too often built up as happily-ever-afters, with no talk of the crazy ride that follows. Family futures are similarly truncated: we talk about having children, not of having a child. But that little heartbeat, that thwump-thwump-thwump underwater rave coming through the doppler, belongs to a little individual. A single new person who will take me on the greatest adventure I can imagine.

Somehow, in going from the plural "children" of future-tense families to the single "child" of right now, the magnitude of the situation comes out. I am in the midst of something that I thought about for so long, without really grasping. As I lie on my side, looking down at my belly, waiting to feel the little jumps and starts of the person growing there, I try to re-imagine a future for myself and my husband.

Thump, thump, as though to say, "Hi, Mama," or perhaps, "Send down more spaghetti!"

It's not a pre-fabricated fantasy couple-with-children future, but a real one, with a child. With this child.


BiB
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lolfetus

My husband thinks he is so funny.

Did I mention that I'm married to a big-time geek? Yeah.


BiB
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Monday, July 16, 2007

At least it's a start

My husband is as opinioned as the next guy, but he's also incredibly diplomatic. In the interest of avoiding conflict, he usually keeps his opinions to himself. Which is sometimes great, and sometimes a huge pain in the ass. Like when, you know, I actually want to know his thoughts about something in particular, and he's all, "I don't care."

Oh, you so care, you big lying liar-head!

One of the hardest things to get him to express opinions about is parenting. I have heaps of ideas about things that I WILL and WILL NOT do as a mother (all of which will, undoubtedly, come back to bite me in the ass more than a few times), and I have slowly been bringing up the more important ones, trying to spark some conversation on the topic. This usually gets me a response of "Mmm-hmm," or something similar. As for Rob's ideas about fatherhood? Almost completely unexpressed, as of yet.

Recently, I tried a slightly different approach to get him to open up about some of his visions for his future, parenting self:

Me: Is there anything you can see yourself doing as a parent? You know, like things your mother always did, or your father always did when you were growing up?

Rob [after thinking for a minute]: Well, my dad always peed with the bathroom door open. I'm not gonna do that.

Ahh. Now we're getting somewhere.


BiB
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Anew

I spent last night contemplating some news (which I have yet to process fully), and realizing that I felt like I didn't have anywhere to put the things I was thinking. Rob had listened to as much as he could stand, his head already tired and full of job-application thoughts. I thought about calling friends, my best friend (Miami is too far away!), my mother. I contemplated putting up a new thread on one of the few message boards I sometimes visit. And then I remembered my blog.

Why did I start blogging in the first place? To keep track of my thoughts, mostly. When I was a new bride living in a new city with a new beginning to navigate, I created Urban Child Bride (dollybird.typepad.com, now retired). Hipster replacement was the tagline, as it summed up my ramblings about transitioning from life as a Victorian-literature-critiquing college student and aspiring art filmmaker to that of a (mostly-)city-dwelling wife and aspiring mother. But the topic proved too far-reaching: with that much freedom, I could write about anything. And so naturally, I found myself writing about nothing.

Baby in Broad bundled all of that wife-and-mother stuff under a more specific set of parameters: a thesis. I had this new-identity thing pegged. And yet, writing still proved difficult. I heard myself yammering on on a single topic, and promptly got sick of myself. What was the point of blogging if I was going to annoy myself while doing it?

What it took me several months of not blogging to realize is that the minute I try to categorize myself - my voice - I lose the ability to express it. Labels and theses are useful, but imposing them on oneself leads to trouble. Squeezing oneself into a role is about as useful as trying to wear a dress three sizes too small. The exercise itself suggests that the role is what's important, what's right, and that if it feels like it doesn't fit, we must change ourselves. Where did this giant tablet of bullshit come from, and how did I not notice it mixed into my chocolate pudding?

Over the past 5 months I have realized a number of things, some of which should have sunk in long ago - chief among them that there is no right way to be. There is certainly no right way to be me in my life. A dress is much more flattering when custom-made to a person's measurements. So I have dusted off my blog. I spent some time cleaning it up, and I posted a few things that had been held in Draft status for months on end. Beginning anew.

I think that people resort to quoting the dictionary when they feel that they lack the words to match the significance of their thoughts. "The American Heritage Dictionary defines love as..." Still, I believe in reminding ourselves of the meanings of words. Anew. "Anew" can mean "once more," which suggests precise repetition, an exact copy. But it can also mean "in a new form or manner." The same story, told anew, draws inspiration from its previous telling but is, nevertheless, distinct.

I am 20 weeks pregnant. And bewildered. Life - my life - beginning anew.


BiB
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