Saturday, September 19, 2009

Me and Mary Travers

Mary Travers died this week. And while I wasn’t terribly broken up over the news, it brought me back to my childhood music, played so often in both my parents’ houses: Peter, Paul, and Mary; John Denver; Simon and Garfunkel.

So a couple of nights ago—the day Mary died—I put on Peter, Paul, and Mary’s greatest hits while I cooked dinner. As I chopped the green beans I sang along a little bit to “Blowing in the Wind,” stopping when I realized I was getting choked up over the lyrics—pretty damn brilliant lyrics (that Dylan was quite a poet), so this seemed justified—and laughing at myself for being such a sap.

The next song started. I don’t know the title—the first line starts “I’ll walk in the rain by your side.” (Just looked it up. The title is “For Baby (For Bobbie).”) I hadn’t even realized it covered by Peter, Paul, and Mary. I know it a lot better as a John Denver song; it had always been one of my favorite John Denver songs. But as I tried to sing along I started to cry in earnest, tears pouring down my face onto the cutting board.

I cried like this for a couple of minutes, sort of standing outside of myself wondering where the hell this was coming from. And then it hit me: these are the songs my mom sang to me when I was a little girl (back when we were so so so close). And this song in particular, from the time I was just a kid myself, was one I always imagined singing to my own child someday. (The song is written as an adult-to-child song.)

I realized that all of these songs—the songs I was raised on—are the songs I’ll sing to my children. Children that I’m actually going to have. Children growing inside me right now, who could be listening to my voice right now. Do you know how long it’s been singe I’ve let myself picture my future children the way I used to, back when I was so innocent and na├»ve, when they were an inevitability rather than a fantasy?

And there’s a certain irony to the fact that this will be my kids’ bedtime soundtrack, given my complicated relationship with my mother (a charitable discription) and complete lack of relationship with my father. It’s not that I’ll sing these songs to them because they’re the best songs ever written, and it’s certainly not because this is the music I like the most. But they’re the songs I know—the songs I can sing when there’s no radio backing me up. And they’re pretty, child-friendly, bedtime songs. My family’s version of a lullabye. So I guess this one tiny piece of my heritage will be passed on.

Then “Puff the Magic Dragon” started playing. I kept crying. By then, I was keeping an eye around for J, who was in the next room talking to his BFF on the phone. Because I knew that if that man caught me weeping over “Puff” I’d would absolutely never hear the end of it. Pregnancy hormones be damned, there are limits to what you can get away with in this family. Hell, I was already making fun of myself.

I managed to dry up a few minutes before J got off the phone—he never was the wiser.

In some ways, pregnancy totally rocks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Pregnant-Person Doctor

Yesterday we went to a pregnant-person doctor for the first time. The night before, I mentioned to J that “maybe he would clear us to start having sex again.”

“I don’t know,” he responded.

“What do you mean you 'don't know?' You don’t want to have sex with me?” I asked, somewhat suspicious at this change of heart.

“It just doesn’t seem right,” he admitted, “what with you carrying another man’s child.”

* * * * * * * *

Going to the pregnancy doctor was strange, very strange. There were all these pregnant women in the waiting room, and two of them had teeny tiny babies with them as well. Can you imagine? I mean, I know that women have back-to-back babies, but there was one woman with a baby that couldn’t have been older than two months. And if she’s already seeing the pregnancy doctor, you have to assume she’s at least a few weeks pregnant, right? How the hell did she manage that?

And I’ve discovered that I don’t like looking at hugely pregnant women. They totally freak me out. Is that going to happen to me? It’s one thing to want this in theory, and to know in my mind that I’m inevitably going to end up huge (no escaping it with twins). It’s quite another to realize that this actually is going to happen to my own body. You know, the body I live in? The one I have to live in all the time? It’s just freaky.

The bottom line is that everything looks good, and nothing I told the doc about my medical history (which is all pretty much pregnancy history) concerned him that much. He wasn’t even going to do a sono, but when I told him I really wanted to know the babies were still alive, he squeezed me in with the sono tech. Not much to show in the way of pictures, but two strong heartbeats had me grinning ear-to-ear.

My god, I think we’re really going to do this.

* * * * * * * *

Oh my god, I MUST clarify the opening comment. J was TOTALLY JOKING about the "carrying another man's child" thing. I posted it because he had me on the floor laughing after he said it.

I don't think he's having any trouble at all dealing with the donor situation. Both of us are just so thrilled to finally be on our way to parenthood.

Oh, and the doctor said "not yet" to the sex thing. :-(

Friday, September 4, 2009

In the End, It’s All About Love

After I wrote my last post, I went back into my bedroom, sat on my bed, and cried for about 20 minutes. And not those pretty Demi Moore tears—I’m talking big heaving sobs, blotchy face, snot-everywhere crying. Then I cleaned myself up, had a snack, brushed my teeth, and went over to kiss J goodnight.

As soon as he saw my face, said “hey!,” stood up, and put his arms around me, I started to cry again. I told him how I felt I was being robbed, robbed of happiness because as a 37-year-old professional, I still couldn’t afford a family in this fucked-up, you’re-really-on-your-own country of ours. Then I dried my tears, kissed him goodnight, and went to bed.

Where I proceeded to start crying and shaking again. At this point a little light went on in my head. Hormones, I told myself. No worries, this too would pass. Eventually I slept.

Since then I’ve felt a lot better. I don’t know—maybe I just needed to have that complete breakdown, to acknowledge both mentally and physically that what is happening to me is totally insane, and that no one should be expected to take it calmly.

I also handed the day care hunt over to J. We have found that there are some “family” day care providers—women who take kids into their home—who are cheaper than regular day care. I had spoken to one, but was so freaked out by her not-so-bright reaction to me that I didn’t think this was an option for us. But J called me on Tuesday (day after my freakout) and said he’d talked to another woman who was amazing—exactly what we’re looking for. Odds are that she won’t have two openings when we need them, but just knowing someone out there like that existed went a long way to make me feel better.

Last night, after I changed out of my work clothes into my sweats and laid down on the bed with J for a pre-dinner chat, he said this: “So I was thinking about all this today. And I realized that, while what we’re about to do is incredibly, unbelievably, impossibly hard,” he paused and I gave him a wry smile, “there is nothing in this world that we will ever love more.”

And I cried again, a little bit. I’m blaming the hormones.