For eighteen months I have embarked on a journey a la creating the littlest human boy. The following contains a collection of thoughts over the last year and a half. Our mutual growth, twisted around one another, dependent, independent, quite a ride. Tomorrow Archer is nine months old. In preparation, today I am posting nine months of thoughts leading up to Archer's arrival, the nine months before the nine months, counting down...
Two Months Pregnant
These past few weeks have been monumental for me, in my life. I have found that decisions, and the repercussions of the choices we make have everything to do with the loved ones that support us. I have learned that one is never ready for a surprise, and that there is no right or wrong decision, and that realism and idealism usually touch. I have come to recognize that opposites, like fear and excitement, can hold hands.I have learned that hard work pays off in the end, regardless of how much is in your pocket. I have learned that there is no wrong way to do anything, and that love is very simple. I have learned that I would rather struggle than regret.
Three Months Pregnant
I have multiplied. The person growing inside me, albeit small, waved at us the other day. From a computer screen, a little face appeared, with two hands and little feet that danced in the darkness. Fingers stretched and batted, and the little heart sang. Pump, pump. Pump, pump. I didn't plan this pregnancy, not that I usually plan for anything that happens. Every wonderful thing in my life has happened unexpectantly... My cup runneth over.
Four Months Pregnant
Last night I ate Beef Jerky for the first time since I was in 5th grade- two packets of hardened Teriyaki Beef. Earlier that afternoon I got on my hands and knees with a sponge and a toothbrush and scrubbed the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room floor. I also windexed every surface, cleaned the oven, re-organized the medicine cabinet and baked cookies... I have never in my life baked cookies. I also have never been so anal about dust. For the past few months my cleaning habits have replaced my pre-pregnant smoking habits, and after work when I should be at my desk writing tenaciously, I have been slaving over the crock-pot and cooking three course meals...
Five Months Pregnant
Top Ten Reasons To Get Married in Vegas:
10. You save your parents $50,000 and yourself the pressure of parents. (no offense, momz and popz)
9. Rest assured, you will get lucky.
8. The Limos have felt red roses and the driver may have wise real-estate advice. (ed: you folks are having a kid. Shiyat. You should move on out here and invest in a high rise condo, you know, for the kid's sake.)
7. The 104 year old Organ player wears a faux diamond JESUS broach every day to work (her pastor got it for her.)
6. It's exotic to get married in another state from home. Kinda like marrying in Acapulco or Cannes.
5. If you are five months pregnant and forget to bring your paperwork to the chapel, they will marry you anyway.
4. You get to stand in line with people from all over the country, mostly from the Midwest... and the girls are "so nervous!"
3. The "I'll marry you in one second, just after I finish with the couple at the drive-through window" quote, which we heard more than twice.
2. Britney Spears did it and she is quite happily married.
1. The minister has a boom box and he isn't afraid to play it.
Six Months Pregnant
We found out yesterday that we are having a little man-boy in three months. The Ultrasound was one of those super tech 3D situations where you can see the baby but he looks like a fossil. A cute fossil. He had his foot in his mouth and was giving us two-handed devil horns. He was also wearing a beret and speaking French. I could tell by the way he was scowling and twisting his mustache.
Seven Months Pregnant
Are we there yet?
Eight Months Pregnant
...The mother pats her belly. She draws circles where she thinks his head rests, like a halo round and round. She wonders what he is thinking about. If he will be claustrophobic like her, feeling the need to burn holes in the sky, to climb out of the world that seems at times so low like the ceiling of a dollhouse or the 6 1/2 floor. How does he cope with his growth? Curled up in a ball, walled in by humidity and darkness, blinded by the occasional beam of light through her belly button.
He has a name and she calls to him, so that he can hear her voice and love her as he grows beneath her rib cage, sagging quietly toward the hole between her legs, his escape. Full of life, she pushes her belly out and walks him down Detroit Street, to the end of the block and back with her dogs in tow. The dogs recognize her voice when she calls to them. She wonders if they know about the baby, like a beanstalk curling through her, green and freckled like her husband's eyes. She wonders if the dogs can sense that two hearts are beating in the same space, her body, layered like a Russian Matroska doll. Perhaps they can hear the two drums in harmony
She thinks he will have a sense of humor because every time she laughs he bumps her with his heels, stretching to the rhythm of her giggles. She knows that he will be beautiful, strong and sensitive, stubborn with the willpower of an idealist, and that perhaps she will have to teach him as she has been taught that the real world seeks not another dreamer so he must be aware of the risks involved. She hopes to be like her mother- aware of her child's potential, generous with love and the freedom to explore. That she will remember to send her child looking for his own hiding places and mountaintops, rather than mapping out her own. She tells herself that he will find the way without her, so long as she packs him lunch and an umbrella. "Just in case it rains," she will say and he will roll his eyes and tighten the laces in his boots.
When people ask for his name, she tells them, introducing her belly with pride, as almost a shadow would, for in the sun he stays in focus as she stands behind him slightly blurred. She knows that everything is about to change, that he will escape her violently and enter a world that she and her husband are wary of. The baby tickles her with the voltage of trapped enthusiasm and she laughs again.
Nine Months Pregnant
He moves inside me, trapped in the only world he knows. Soon he can stretch his legs and touch strange faces, pulling stories and light through the holes in fallen leaves, nibbled by inchworms on the topsoil. He will open his eyes and see the doctors, then his Dad and finally, me. And soon he will see the medical machines and the Renoir prints framed by brassy gold that hang slightly crooked on the bleak hospital walls. I cannot imagine what he will say to himself when he sees these things for the first time. The congruency of seeing and knowing based on first impressions. Everything, a first impression.
His moves become rapid and I turn on my back so my husband can press his ear to the stretching shell and hear the ocean. So that he can trace the movements with his fingers and feel an entire world, under water, white as skin, ambitious with nature's willpower: the balance of natural beauty and disaster. Her husband looks at her, still resting on the conch of questions, anxious and excited. We feel his movements together. Three sets of hands exploring my body, motivated by life's natural impetus, the forces that be. And we lie together through the night and wait...