Recently I wondered why my bouts of indigestion and gas seem to be worse now that I'm no longer pregnant. I wondered this out loud, standing at the kitchen counter, while sucking down my lunch in 90 seconds next to a screaming baby. I then chugged an ice-cold glass of water. I further pondered my bloatedness while scarfing a hamburger on the one minute walk home from a neighborhood barbecue with a screaming baby in a sling. Hmm.
Had a dream last week where I was in the airport with the baby and my flight was delayed for something crazy like six hours. And I looked at the baby and said to myself, well, you're comfortable and cool here (we're going through a heatwave here on the east coast) and you're past security so I'm sure you'll be safe, so I'm going to leave a go home for a few. And I did. Without the baby.
Analysis and Interpretation: a) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, because isn't that just so sensical and typical -- leaving the fussy kid to fend for himself in the international wing while mommy cools her heels in the quiet comfort of home with a martini? Funny stuff. b) ZOMFG, WHAT THE HELL? FOR SERIOUS, SUBCONSCIOUS? I remember while dreaming this that my sub-sub conscious was sorta uncomfy watching dream self mill about the house, but really what the fuck? As if I would purposefully leave my child behind somewhere! (Note purposefully. I know of many wonderful, sane, competent moms who have accidentally left stores and realized once in the parking lot that they came to said store with more than what they were leaving with. I haven't done this yet, for the record.) c) Ok, deep breaths, this isn't really about leaving my cherubic fusspot behind somewhere, is it. Oh no. Let's go Jungian, shall we, where everyone in the dream is really me and what the dream is trying to say on some level is that *I* feel abandoned. I feel abandoned? Because of the baby? Am I in some way abandoning myself on this journey? (Dum dum dum!) Is the baby to blame for this self-identity abandonment? What am I really trying to say about airport coffee?
Hey, at least the baby appeared in my dream! I took that as serious progress that I'm accepting that he's here.
Had a dream last night that we -- Me, Mr. ABF, Bella, and Baby -- were at Children's. And I couldn't figure out why, because both kids looked healthy. Something to do with Maddy? (In a footnote, Charlie Sheen wandered through this dream. I don't even like Charlie Sheen.) This was followed by a dream where after just putting down a happy infant, my mother came carrying him to me asking where the baby aspirin was because his temperature was 108.
This is more like it.
I was invited to a baby shower for one of the umpteen babies arrived/set to arrive in my neighborhood. Which is nice, not feeling like the neighborhood vampire at which pregnant people shake garlic in front of to ward off my cloud of evil and doom. But it's my first since Maddy and I must confess I find the whole thing so fucking weird.
My lovely neighbors just threw me a baby shower a few weeks ago and it was kinda awkward and kinda awesome and really overwhelming. All these women who were apparently dying (no pun intended) to bestow their good wishes and future funtime projections and take bets on size and birthdays and do silly things with toilet paper had to stifle their optimism while I pursed my lips and reminded everyone that there were no guarantees here. And like a geyser, emotions were released in a cloud of adorable onesies, homemade burp cloths, and beautiful books (many of my neighbors are graphic design people which I discovered makes for an incredibly tasteful and beautiful shower).
But to acknowledge something that's not done yet? Oddly, I'm able to see positive outcomes for other people, just not myself. While still pregnant I got news that a family member was expecting this fall, and I immediately could see their wonderful outcome, but still not my own.
Putting me in the situation, however, to congratulate and celebrate something still undone is really anathema to me. It's like throwing a victory parade while the game is in the 5th inning; awarding the prize money before the experiment is run. The horse isn't out of the gate, and here we're hanging the wreath of roses. You get the point.
I don't count chickens. I'm very squeamy about attending and pasting on a smile and handing out a bag of our favorite baby goodies. Because . . .
well, I won't go there. I know the if. I know what happens. I'm not into bad mojo or jinxing or hexing and lordy, if this bunch was they certainly wouldn't have invited me. And yet I'm just so uneasy. What's an appropriate gift from the hesitant and realistic pessimist?
We've settled into a rhythm, which involves a fair amount of nighttime sleep for me so I'm not complaining! Just stating! And a whole ton of up time in the day, which over the course of the day devolves as someone gets more and more tired and refuses to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time. Until he's purple with tears, or maybe it's me who's purple, and then we take a bath which he just loves and settles down, and we eat and read with big sister and fall asleep and do it all over again. But it means for much of the day, he-who-shall-not-be-put-down-or-away-from-paternal-contact is in our arms or in a sling and while this enables us to have some mobility, it does not allow for much. And when the heat index is 100 and you have a little heater pasted to your front and hormones raging through your body? It does not feel so very nice come 5 p.m. We have eaten cold cereal as a dinnertime main course.
But we do it, and I can make him giggle now, and he's got a double chin and knee folds, and hey -- he's here.
You know what's weird, I realized while emailing back and forth with Angie, is that I don't use his name much. And I'd like to blame the blog (damn you for making me anonymous! And suspicious! And paranoid!) but geez, I've only posted a handful of times so I really don't think that's it. No, I think it's something else. I love his name, I love hearing other people use it and the plethora of nicknames that break from it, but I don't use it much. When I write or talk I tend to stick with "baby," or the universal "Him/He," and when I'm talking to him directly I find myself splurting out something a bit stupid like "Muffin Man" or similar.
I'm thinking this is all part of the accepting process. You know how most normal people get excited when they're pregnant? And they start planning and thinking and anticipating so when the baby actual arrives they're already kinda in full swing with those emotions? And part of this is rolling baby names off the tongue, and maybe sheepishly out-loud when you're home alone, just to get a feel for them? It's like I'm in the first trimester here, just sorta feeling my way around the general idea. Like he's here, but not really, and hey -- wouldn't that be a great name?
I was on a run yesterday . . . wait, back up: Kids, I'm Running! Have been, actually. This time around I'm being overly cautious and ramping up incrementally slowly using interval training so as not to blow out my foot again. So far, so good.
So anyway, running. Or wishing I could. I actually feel like I'm in good shape -- I ran through about 32w until I had to move to the elliptical and kept that up through about 36w -- but I put the Maserati in 1st gear and just take my time because I don't want a repeat of therapy and cortisone. Yesterday was just a delicious day, with a morning in the 60s. I had my tunes plugged in and my running app keeping count of my intervals. I was humming along to whomever . . . Cake? The Killers?, feeling pretty fucking happy about my weight loss and the cute red-headed dude waiting for me at home, and
The grief cloud hit with a sudden rage, and within a second I was brushing off tears.
I was happy. And I was sad. I was sad because I was happy. How fucked is that.
I'm not a "I feel guilty because I feel happy and I should feel sad" or "Happiness means I'm forgetting Maddy" person; no, I'm much more of a "Well it's about fucking time I feel happy" person, but I think what got me was the odd sense of deja vu.
Because I was right here, right here on this square of sidewalk, before. With my tunes in, and the sun shining, trying to shed some baby weight.
And it was so unbelievably, cosmically different. Like Freak Deja Vu, where it's the exact same except everything that was scorching blinding white is now filled in with cool black lines. Everything upside down to the point it made me nauseous, is now right-side up. The Poseidon Adventure, except now standing on your head so in some peculiar way it makes sense. All the songs that made me sob are replaced with tunes that make me run faster. The running wasn't desperate. The sidewalk doesn't lead to a gaping empty hole, it takes me back to where I want to be.
It's upsetting, for some reason. I suppose because all stories should be like this, not like that. And because it's not a peculiar otherworldly sense I'm picking up on, some eerie rustle through the trees. Uh uh. It happened. It's still there, scarred into my brain, and a faint ache in my foot.
And she'll never be there when I come home in need of a shower.
One big huge slurpy sniff at the traffic light, and it was past. The thundercloud moved on.
It sill always be like this, won't it.