2/17/08

Anticipation


I must have been playing with fire...writing about motherhood yesterday while my hormones were in a high state of flux. Today, coming down from the worst and most painful part of my hormonal upheaval and easing back into the calmer waters, I am suddenly beset by...gosh, I don’t even know what to call it... Some sort of feminine madness.
I’m suddenly and unexpectedly intoxicated with the idea of our immanent state of “pregnancy”.

Let me take a step back and say that I never wanted to be pregnant. Not really.
Well, except for that one time.
It was the summer after fourth grade, and I was living with a friend’s family in Woodstock because my mother was being treated for cancer at Sloan Kettering in the city. To this day I think that my sudden infatuation with the concept of pregnancy must have been some sort of reaction to the idea that I might lose my own mother, because that particular obsession, for me, was isolated to that one hot, sticky, languid summer. Never again either as a child or as an adult did the idea appeal to me, not in that intense, visceral, intoxicant way.
For whatever reason, that summer, I mooned around in bare feet stuffing pillows up under my nightgowns, holding a hand theatrically to the small of my back and murmuring sweet nothings to my faux belly.
Of course, at the time, my image of pregnancy was a far cry from what it would be now. For once thing, I was like eight (or however old you are in fourth grade). For another, I was heavily influenced that year by the on-screen pregnancy of Robbie’s wife Katie on My Three Sons.

My imagined maternity wear, therefore, might have looked something like this.

I had an idea that I’d spend a lot of my time drifting about in chiffon peignoirs, much like January Jones’s character in MadMen, eating bon bons and powdering my nose.
Can you imagine? Me? In a pink peignoir?

In the intervening years I turned out to be a lot less January Jones and a lot more Lara Croft. I turned out to be patently disenchanted with the idea of barefoot and pregnant. I turned out to have much more of an affinity with the idea of adoption.

Well, don’t worry...I haven't completely departed my senses. I’m not sitting at home stuffing pillows up my nightgown tonight (wouldn't M. be surprised when he got home?). But I am feeling a little of that baby madness I remember from that long-ago summer.

It’s not that I want to be pregnant. Really, I don’t. I guess what I’m looking for is some sort of indication that we are...expecting, if not so much in the ordinary way. I want a sign, a stork, a Walt Disney cloud of butterflies and twittering birds to announce the immanent arrival of our “bundle of joy”. I want to order sugar-coated almonds and cigars with pink bands on them.

I want to pick out onesies, and maybe even a bootie or two. I want to lean over a crib draped in gossamer, and...Oh, heck. Maybe I DO want to wear that pink chiffon peignoir!
And satin kitten heels with marabou on them...

Maybe, after all, this madness is easily explained. Maybe it’s that just that February is easing into March. Maybe it's that my pregnant sister-in-law is sending me announcements for babywear sales. Maybe it’s that every other day the temperatures have been rising, the days lengthening and the earth melting, and the first birds stretching their vocal chords in anticipation of spring. Maybe it’s that I can feel the bulbs we planted last fall waking slowly from their dream state, deep under the rich soil, sighing and preparing themselves for growth.

Fecundity is about to take over our corner of the world again, and with it...well, with it, we may find ourselves undergoing our own mysterious transformation.
No maternity frocks for me, but maybe I can find other ways of celebrating our unusual form of “expectation” as our time for referral grows near.

14 comments:

girl of a thousand blogs said...

I personally preferred my adoptions to my pregnancies... but that's just me.

I think I would have been darn happy in a penoir.

She will be all you are hoping for and more, more, MORE!

Congrats.

Chrissie Larkin said...

OK...I feel so excited for you I could simply put BURST COMPLETELY OUT OF MY SKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH and I have pink chiffon pegnoir, you know, if you want to try it out...:) It was my mom's and I used to dress up in them as a kid...she had a pink and white one, and GOSH did I feel decadent!!!!Love to you!

krj said...

Never in all this time that I've known you would I have ever guessed you'd post a pic of Bambi and wish for singing birds to announce your "pregnancy" :)

And I'm not sure you ever posted before about not ever really wanting to be pregnant. I never did either... just never felt that pull. I knew in high school I would adopt and it's the only thing I've ever really wanted to do.

Alana said...

You often touch my soul with your writing. I sit here misty eyed. I can't wait til you can yell to the world.."I'm gonna hava a baby!!!"

tiffany said...

You're EXPECTING! Congratulations. :)

And it sounds like you are about to do a bit of NESTING. :)

Enjoy.

Tish said...

It IS a strange thing to be at your baby shower and not be pregnant. They can't really play that weird game where they wrap the toilet paper around your growing belly...which actually turns out to be a good thing! A very good thing!

Carrie&Aaron said...

you should be getting a refferal soon! I cna't wait to see her cute little face with yours! and maybe M too!

Tamara said...

I cannot wait to see how you two celebrate your own baby's imminent arrival!

I much prefer adoption showers to the pregnancy ones (from my experience as a guest at both sorts): no food restrictions, have cocktails if you like, and people tend to be a little more creative about the celebration too.

Yoli said...

Oh boy, yes you are nesting. I hear the herald announcing that referral from far away.

I have that same Lady Godiva picture saved in my hard drive. I love how you incorporated all those archetypes in one post.

Vivian M said...

Sounds to me like you are expecting...and have all the symptoms of a paper pregnancy! It's called nesting.
And by the way, I think you would look cute in pink!

sweet-P's Mum said...

someones getting 'clucky'...here's hoping for an 'announcement' in the near future!

hey...I think you'd look cute in just about anything...so the pink might just grow on you...an chiffon is sexy if paired with stilettos!

H

Heather said...

I think it's very heathy for you to be exploring all these emotions now while you wait for Flynn. Preparing the nursery, shopping for baby gear... all of these rituals help you prepare to become a mother -- whether you are pregnant or not. You're making room in your life for a baby and mentally preparing. Oh, and I fully expect to see you decked out in the pink penoir on Flynn's Gotcha Day!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

You know... I thought I was the only one in the world who never 'wanted' to be pregnant... that isn't that I didn't want kids cause I do but I was adopted and to be able to adopt was one thing that I had always wanted to do... it wasn't that I didn't have a desire to be pregnant or anything like that... it was just that I was going to adopt cause I knew what it was like... funny - my Great Aunt (and I love her dearly) said to me one day... You need to have one of your own blood and I thought "What am I? Chopped Liver" (since I was adopted)... Do I hold that against her? No... cause I know she never meant it to come out that way... to me, whether you give birth to a child or adopt - they are you children regardless... to me... a mother is the person that picks you up when you fall, looks after you when you are sick, loves you regardless and punishes you and gives you guidelines growing up. That to me is a TRUE mum... take care and be good... hey, just for laughs... I dare you to stick the pillow up your shirt again and take a picture... hey, you're a girl who likes to live on the edge... hehehehe...

Margaret Miracle said...

I love how well and clearly you express your feelings. I remember being in the 4th grade (must be a magical year) and my cousin stated that she wanted 6 children. I said that I would never have any from my body because I would adopt. How true to life we were? My cousin has 5 children...she miscarried one baby late term. I have adopted and can't wait to adopt again. Did my 4th grade self know my destiny? She was a smarty!