Thursday, July 20, 2006

Liminality

So, the other night I went to a meeting of a local mothers of twins club. There were twin moms at all stages – with newborns, toddlers, etc. and one other woman at exactly the same stage of her pregnancy as me. Man oh man. When I first got there, I felt like an exchange student on her first day of school in a foreign country. (I imagine that, outside, my car was feeling the same way: my poor little 10-year-old Honda Civic with its anti-Bush bumper sticker, surrounded by late model SUVs and station wagons and mini-vans.)

I thought: What am I doing here? I want to go home! Back home to my husband, my books, my Season 1 of Lost on Netflix, my cat –- my easy, self-absorbed existence. I am not one of these people! I am not a Mom. I never want to be a Mom. I mean, I want to be a mother to my children. But not…you know. A Mom. Any way I can swing that?

And it wasn't as if there was anything wrong with these women. (Or any of my friends who have children, for that matter.) They were perfectly nice, smart, accomplished, normal people. I think it was just being in this situation, there for the sole purpose of talking about motherhood (of twins, specifically), and hearing stories of C-sections and sleepless nights and how to choose a nanny (yeah, right)….oy. It kinda made me want to go out to a seedy bar, put some Led Zeppelin on the jukebox, slam a few beers, smoke a cigarette, and flirt with the bartender.

It is indeed strange, standing at the edge of this precipice, so full of joy and anticipation and yet so acutely aware that my life is about to change completely, irrevocably. Not that I don't want it to. I am absolutely thrilled to be having children. And yet…and yet. It's been such a nice, sweet young adulthood. Ten-plus years of work, study, socializing, traveling, figuring out what I want to do and who I am and generally enjoying an obscene amount of freedom.

And then there's my husband—he and I have been together a very long time. It's always been just the two of us, and it's been wonderful. Of course, we've always dreamed about having a family. It was always there in our future. But I will certainly miss our us-ness.

On the flip side, I wouldn't want all of it to go on indefinitely. There has been many a time in the past couple of years when it's felt like something was missing. Someone. Wait…isn't this a song from Annie?

Well, enough. There is a season, turn, turn, turn, etc. etc. I'm just glad pregnancy lasts as long as it does. I need this limbo time.

In fact, at the moment, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I have a little more energy now, my appetite is improved, and all of a sudden, I actually look a little pregnant. With my clothes on, I mean. And those clothes are almost all of the maternity variety now, especially the pants. Today I bought a maternity/nursing bra at Target and HALLELUJAH it feels good. I scored a few more hand-me-downs from friends, and also gave in and bought a few tops to wear to work.

It's harder than you might think to find work-appropriate maternity clothes when you work in a semi-casual office, as I do. The "professional" stuff is too stuffy (and expensive) but the casual stuff is either sloppy or slutty-looking. (Kevin Federline is not the father of my twins, as far as I know, therefore I will not be wearing a hot pink babydoll top and short shorts, thanks very much.)

I'm also starting to get excited about fixing up the nursery (currently wall to wall with junk), and all that nesting jazz. I've been told that twin mamas are well advised to get a jump on this stuff in the second trimester, before they become the approximate size and weight of an orca whale. So, in the next few weeks, A. and I will start sorting and painting. My parents, at the end of the summer, will bring down the crib – the same one my brother and I both slept in. It's exciting. It's nuts. It's the most alive I've felt in a long time.

I will end this lengthy post with a word of friendly advice: when someone tells you that they are pregnant with twins, the proper response is never, ever, ever the one uttered today by an acquaintance I encountered at the drug store: "Oh, no!"

2 Comments:

Blogger bihari said...

I love this post. You write so well about the difficulties and joys of approaching motherhood...and no, you don't have to become "A Mom" to be a good mother. At least, so I tell myself. You will still be you, with your style, your body (it comes back!), your quirks and loves and awesome talents, your brain. You will still relish time alone with your husband--and time alone, period. You will have a self apart from the new selves you've helped into the world. It doesn't necessarily feel like that when they're tiny, because they're so attached to you, but eventually there is a balance to be had. Or so I strenuously maintain!

I remember waiting for Rabbit to be born and thinking, "This feels like a cross between waiting for Christmas morning and waiting to be hit by a freight train." But I think you've described it better.

I hope this doesn't sound like advice. It's not. It's just interested musings, because I STILL struggle with the Mother-Mom dilemma.

9:49 AM  
Blogger SER said...

I totally cracked up at the "Oh, NO" comment. That is hilarious. Why are people so fucking retarded about what they say in response to anything reproduction-related?

That is an interesting point about how women who are pregnant with twins should do the whole nesting thing earlier. I'd never heard that before, but it seems delightfully well advised and appeals to my love of planning.

Finally, I think you can avoid being a Mom. First step: don't wear Mom Jeans or any sweaters with applique or other frivolous accoutrements. Wait a second...where have I seen you in an appliqued sweater? Uh oh.

1:35 PM  

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