Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hey Baby

The other day, I felt it. Not the fluttering, "quickening" or kicking of my baby moving, but a feeling all the same. For weeks, the only indication I had that I was pregnant was the all-day sickness, frequent trips to the bathroom, and an appetite for nothing more than baked potatoes and my mom's pancake recipe. When I finally felt better, it was time to host family and friends, get married, and begin my third year of school. Thoughts of this elusive baby were centered on finding daycare, shopping for a crib, stockpiling diapers, squishing my expanding waistline into my jeans, and generally worrying about how I would juggle being a mother, student, and research assistant in a few months.

On this day, however, I was sitting on the couch after class, hand on my belly. I had read that I might be able to feel the first flutters any week now so I was concentrating on any kind of feeling. And then it happened. Not a kick, but a realization. I understood for the first time that I had a baby. My baby. I could picture her, just big enough to fit in my hand. And I fell in a kind of love that I'd never felt before. A protective, I will do anything, anytime, anywhere for you because you're my baby, kind of love.

I immediately emailed my mom and tried to put the feeling into words, but I didn't have to try very hard because she understood. I finally had a tiny glimmer of how much she must love me. I cannot imagine how I will feel when I finally meet this little one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Iowa City 52245

I am going to begin by explaining myself to anyone who has grown impatient with my absence in the blog-o-sphere. Here's the thing: I've had news, excitement, goings-on in my life that I have been bursting to report. But, being the humble woman that I am, I recognize when I need to step aside and let others have the spotlight. I thought it was only fair to let Brenda Walsh and the rest of the 90210-Redoux have their little premiere before turning the attention back to me. I even waited a respectful 48 hours, giving viewers a chance to watch the encore presentation tonight. So, there you have it.

Now, back to me. Step aside, Beverly Hills, because Iowa City 52245 has been busy getting pregnant. And married. In that order. I am not going to say that I got pregnant by accident. I KNOW how accidents happen, and for the past 16 years of my sexual life--mom, stop trying to do the math, you're embarrassing me--I have not had an accident. I also came of age in the ABC After School Special Era. The poignant story of Rob Lowe becoming Dana Plato's baby daddy after "just one time" at summer camp in School Boy Father was embedded so deeply in my 10-year-old brain that I never once sneaked out of the house in high school (that, and Dad's custom-fitted wooden security dowels on all of the windows pretty much guaranteed abstinence for my sisters and I).

There must have been some small part of me that wanted to get knocked up on that fateful afternoon in June. I am, according to the medical community, of "advanced maternal age." Basically that means that I have like a dozen viable eggs, and most of those have had knee replacements or moved to time shares in Florida. My beloved is 38 and, according to the medical community, he is rockin' the same fast-moving, voluminous goods that he had at 17 because that's just the deal with being a guy. At any rate, we are not young and had decided that we would start "trying" to get pregnant next year, after at least six months of honeymoon bliss. I had honestly begun to worry that maybe I would have a difficult time getting pregnant, so I figured that, at the very soonest, I would have a baby after my coursework was completed, after sitting for my comprehensive exams, and after successfully defending a dissertation proposal. Not once did it enter my brain on that June afternoon, sunlight pouring into the bedroom, that not one, not two, but all three of my sisters had gotten pregnant easily.

16 weeks later, we have fully embraced the excitement that comes with being expectant parents. We've stopped circling the Clear Blue Easy test stick with steely eyes and shaking our fingers at one another, cursing, "One time!" We've given up on shaking our heads over the timing and the implications. Instead, we realize the full import of the "miracle of conception" cliche. I had no idea it was just the right day and just the right moment, but one of my eggs got off her ass and hobbled over to greet her 10,000,000 suitors and hooked up with what I hope was the smartest, fastest swimmer in the bunch.