I had a general awareness that something horrible happened to children today, but I hid from it. Until I couldn’t anymore, and when I knew for certain what had happened, I lost it. I’m one of those people who takes tragedy very much to heart. It’s worse now that I’m pregnant. And worse still while I’m coughing. Human suffering is the worst.
I have to remember this time, though. The hours upon hours of choir rehearsal and performances last week. How all the old ladies in my section doted on me and shared their birth stories. It seems no woman ever forgets her kids’ birth or the discomforts of pregnancy. They would feed me and encourage me to stretch when I needed to. The one to my left knitted baby a very Eugenian rainbow colored cap.
I’ve already forgotten how many times people shared stories about when they played the same music for their babies that they played while those babes were in utero, their babies would go quiet and still and listen. And how often this led them to tell me how much my child will love Christmas music and particularly Bach’s Magnificat.
I’ll want to remember heading down to my in laws’ beach house late at night. Cracking up listening to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Kicking ass in Acquire against my husband only to have him hand it right back to me when I challenged him to SmallWorld. How good our dog was, and how we fed her bones and leftovers and let her run like crazy and fetch sticks and swim in the surf. The naps. The cold that came creeping in after 9 months of amazing health. And that time I inexplicably fell backwards out of a king size bed.
Fretting. Choking down gulps of mother’s cordial and justifying eating several cookies to get rid of the flavor. Wondering whether this kid will come out tomorrow or worrying that I have another 4 weeks. Deciding that December 2oth fits into my schedule nicely, and begging him to please, oh please come on that day.
My many appointments. My midwife’s sweet Mexican lilt when she talks to my baby boy and checks his–as of 37 weeks–completely engaged position. My healthy, healthy pregnancy. “You get an A on everything,” she tells me. My acupuncturist completely curing my hip pain–and I haven’t had it since. My chiropractor who busts into the adjustment room and laughs at me. “You look like crap” he says with a smile and total love. “Let me fix you.” And he absolutely does.
My friend who insisted that I have a maternity photo shoot even when I felt terrible, and only an hour earlier was told by my chiropractor that I looked like crap. And then somehow feeling cute and 90% less sick just by pretending I’m cute and not sick and posing while she took a ton of pictures, cracked jokes, and promised to photoshop out any errant leg hairs.
The belly groping. The dozens upon dozens of painless contractions I get each day. The pins and needles feeling my cervix. And me, telling my body it’s doing such a good job. Bring it on. I say. Keep it coming. I’m ready.
My dear, sweet husband who helps pry me out of bed, fixes me green smoothies, and busts through our to do list as if he’s suddenly not terribly afflicted by ADHD. His smile as he feels the knobbly knees and feet of our baby through my skin. Putting together the nursery. Pacing around Target together at 10:00 PM. Ensuring that I sleep. Making me chicken broth and chicken dumpling soup. Throwing around name ideas. Having my back. Always.