Sunday, September 24, 2006

In the 24th week

This week marks the arrival, in no uncertain terms, of the linea negra. Though in my case it's more like a linea light tan-a. If the pic weren't in black and white with the contrast pumped up, you'd have to strain even more to see it, but it's there. For some reason I find this very cool. An aside: whenever I think "linea negra" I think of the theme song from "Villa Allegre," which was a bi-lingual (Spanish) show that was on PBS when I was a kid. ("Linea Negra" fits into the melody/rhythm well, right where the words "Villa Allegre!" went.) I wasn't a fan of the show, though, and it always bummed me out when it came on after Sesame Street instead of Electric Company or, my favorite, 3-2-1 Contact. Just a bit of Gen X nostalgia for ya there.

Meanwhile, our front porch is getting quite crowded with second-hand baby gear. Last week, we bought a pair of beautiful Pali cribs & mattresses off of Craig's List. Also in residence on the porch: a double snap-n-go stroller frame (also courtesy of Craig's List), bags of hand-me-down girl baby clothes and crib bedding, a double breast pump brought all the way from Iowa City by a friend (hello, friend!), a "My Breast Friend" nusing pillow, which may or may not work for tandem twin nursing, and a beautiful rocking chair from my parents' house, which I have always loved. My parents have a picture of me in it at 2 years old, in a yellow bunny sleeper, with my thumb in my mouth and my finger in my belly button -- a strange security habit I had as a toddler.

SO, just waiting for A. to finish painting the nursery, and in it all goes. That's going to be fun; I love decorating. And it will be nice to have something so tactile and tangible to do.

What else? Well, my emotions continue to range from abject fear, sorrow, and regret to uncomfortable numbness to unadulterated excitement and elation -- the latter particularly when I feel the babies kicking and squirming, which they do with increasing force and frequency.

I wish I could say that I walk around on cloud nine all the time, but that just isn't the case. People seem to want pregnant women to be constantly, unambivalently blissed out. They come at you with big, knowing smiles on their faces, shower you with congratulations, and say "you must be so excited!" I can just imagine the looks of horror if, in reply, I said (quite truthfully) "Well, yes, I am very excited, but I'm also afraid that this is going to turn me into someone I don't know or even necessarily like, ruin my marriage, torpedo my husband's career, and prevent me from ever writing a word of fiction again. But I'm also just dying to meet my daughters, whom I love with the primal intensity of a mother Grizzly bear."

Am I a head case, or what?

But let me say this, ladies (and the rare, occasional man): it is a source of great comfort to be able to vent and ramble on this blog, and to read your wise, kind, funny, and supportive comments both here and via email. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading.


Blogger scruffylooking said...

I can't believe you don't have any stretchmarks. No fair.

All those things seem very real when you're hormonal. I've never been one of those women who walked around telling everyone how much they loved being pregnant. I was so dizzy and I couldn't find my attention span anywhere. The reality is that you will be the same person you were before you had children - only a little more frazzled and sleep deprived. Since I had my 2 girls within 16 months, the first few years, my main focus was being a mother. The older they got, the more time I was able to spend on my own interests. The trick is getting them on the same nap/sleep schedule. I can't emphasize that enough.

Oh, and thanks. Now I have the, "Laaaa, la la la la la la la lalala, la - Villa Allegre!" song in my head. I forgot all about that show.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And thank you for writing.

One of the best compliments I ever received was from a friend who has no kids and never plans to--who really wants nothing whatsoever to do with kids. Not only did she tell me that I was an amazing mother and that Squig was an amazing kid, she said--and here's the cool part--that I was still exactly myself. Maybe this doesn't make as much sense coming out of context, but this was a revelation to her, that I could do something as life-altering as have a child/become a mother and still be the essential Deadbeat. ;) I do feel just like my old self, only better. I bet that will be the case for you, too.

Now as for the fiction writing, I have nothing encouraging to say. Except that I hear it gets better when the young'uns get a little older. Ah, and BABYSITTING.

2:44 PM  
Blogger bihari said...

Yup. You will recognize yourself again, only with expanded borders and a chewier center. And yup, motherhood is full of mixed emotions. Anyone who pretends otherwise is full of it, or one-dimensional.

2:32 PM  

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