When I was a kid, I used to scrutinize pictures of my parents. I wanted to find a shred of happiness, of love, of joy. When I look at pictures of Adam and I, I know that Poppy won't have to search that hard to find all those things and more.
Being into animal rescue, I see all kinds of bad shit come down the pike on Facebook and elsewhere. I look into the eyes of these dogs and cats and want to run to their sides. I've always wanted to save them all. My inability to do so kills me each day.
there was the ultrasound. We hadn’t expected it to be part of the first
doctor’s appointment, but exactly what about this situation did we expect? The
whole appointment was a circus. We waited an hour at the East Bay Women’s
Center before our doctor breezed in. She was cool, though. She wore dreads. She
spoke in a low tone and we had to lean forward in order to hear her. She took
my history, did a pelvic exam. Then she said: “Want to see the baby?”
my mouth I could feel my tongue dry up, turn into a crumpled and atrophied
thing. To say yes opened up so many possibilities I couldn’t and didn’t want to
fathom. To say no just seemed rude. In the end I chose my own weird version of
I said, and could almost hear Adam grit his teeth beside me. I ignored it. In
that instant I realized that I wanted to see what – who – I was carrying. I needed to know what that creature looked
like, to observe whatever features I might be able to make out. This was – for now,
at least – my child.
My child. When exactly does
one become a mother? Does it happen at the moment of conception, before the awareness
even settles and is recognized? The first time you see the changes in your
body, feel the creature move within you? When he or she finally emerges,
goo-covered and screaming?
This song was big in 2002, the year I fell in love with Adam. Every so often I go on a jag where I play it over and over. The lines that get me the most: And when all of this is over/should I lose you in the smoke/I want you to know/you were the one. Every time.
place my hand on my stomach. I find myself doing this more and more, much to
Adam’s amusement. He’s always said I was going to wind up being that person who
rubs her pregnant belly, much as I deride the mothers who I see doing it. I
always said that wouldn’t happen. As with most things, I’ve been proven to be
full of shit. But I’m not really rubbing and I’m not feeling happily complacent
the way most of these women seem to be. It’s more of an odd clash without
conflict, reassurance without fulfillment. It’s a coming-together of sorts, but
of what sorts I have yet to determine.
My father works in GPS and has for as long as I can remember. When I was a teenager, my parents had me convinced that they had some device implanted in my car that could tell them where I was at any time. I bought it, like the idiot that I was and am, but still I went anywhere and everywhere.
Flash forward to last month, when I returned from Santa Cruz. As I pulled up to the curb, Adam came out to greet me. How did he know I'd gotten home right at that moment? He held up his phone and grinned. Seems I'd shared my location over text message at some point and hadn't realized that it didn't turn off on its own.
I don't care, of course. There's nowhere I go that he can't know about. Still, it's kind of funny when I go to meet him somewhere and he says: "I was wondering why you made a right instead of a left ..." Damn technology.
I read this comment yesterday that a woman's delivery often reflects the way a woman lives her everyday life. When I read that, I had this flash of you having a super chill birth while live blogging all the gory details and taking selfies with Adam ;-).
Today was going to be Angel Island Day. I was really looking forward to it. Then Adam said to me: "Um ... maybe it's not the day." That's because I've been having trouble eating and keeping down anything I am able to eat. He was worried about my hiking alone and being a ferry ride away from medical help if necessary.
So instead I went up to Mill Valley and am going to go to Muir Woods at his suggestion. I cried on the way up, frustrated that my original plans hadn't come to fruition because I'm vulnerable, angry at the vulnerability. KFOG's 10 at 10 came on and the year was 1997. I pictured myself running toward that impetuous 24-year-old who I once was, arms outstretched, greeting her.
These are your parents. I was already pregnant when this picture was taken, though I didn't yet know it. If I had, I might've been a little more sober. I was very happy, though, as you can probably tell. We're at Kristen and Sean's post-holiday party, in Sean's mahn-cave (pronounced 'man-cahve'), which is about the hippiest mahn-cahve I've ever seen. Adam's drinking some overpriced, yummy Japanese whiskey. I'm glorying in my freshly done eyebrows. Maya took this picture while standing on a washing machine, some dude visiting from D.C. not-so-subtly admiring her form. It was early January. Outside things were changing, the weather already opening toward spring. The trees knew, even if we did not.
I'm a writer and storyteller in Berkeley, CA. If you're wondering where that is, follow the smell of patchouli and skunkweed. There you'll find me with my kickass husband, gorgeous little boy, and manic Lab-Australian Shepherd mix pups. I'm represented by Miriam Altshuler of DeFiore & Co., but of course, my views are my own.