Monday, January 11, 2010

About the boy.

I have always found it fascinating to see the different ways people deal with the same situation. None more so than pregnancy. I have never been one to show my ultrasound pictures to, well, anyone but my husband and sister, and our mothers. I remember when I received my first ultrasound picture via email when I was a single lady working in a corporate environment. "Welp, that is the inside of my co-worker's hoohah," I thought. "And she is having a baby that looks like Skeletor." Imagine my surprise when I was at a baby shower with ultrasound cookies. Really? You would like us to eat your baby? With coffee?

During my pregnancy with Beatrice, my co-workers threw me a surprise baby shower on a Friday night in the guise of a "game night." I totally didn't expect it. I am not a "baby shower" type person; in fact, I think I was fairly adamant in demanding no shindigs in pink. But it was really lovely, and very me. Beatrice's name, spelled out in Scrabble letters, strung across my friend's living room. I got gifts like a towel with sushi all over it, which Bea still uses, and a onesie with Jimmie Hendrix rocking out that says, "Foxy Baby." It was perfect really. I felt loved.  The one game they organized was putting brown whiskeys or liquors in little baby bottles which each woman had to sniff and identify. I won the game, and the girls drank the whiskeys while I sipped lemon water. *sigh* I suppose that is what happens when you have a baby shower thrown by people who have never had babies.

So, really, my pregnancy after loss, at least in the way I talk about my pregnancy or share information, is almost exactly the same as before. Maybe a bit grumpier, less chatty to strangers, unable to make the requisite speculations about sibling rivalries, names, size, etc. But definitely, showing the black and white picture of my child in utero is going beyond my capability.  Only once, in an ultrasound room, did I think, "She is so pretty." And that was my Lucia. I just think ultrasound pictures of my children look sort of creepy. Oh, I have seen a ton of gorgeous ones in the last year on babylost mamas' blogs. And I sort of rue that my children always sort of give me the proverbial  finger in utero. "I'm not posing. No how. No profile. No cutesie shit. You get what you get and you don't get upset, Mama." I can barely get profile shots of them. But, that day, our twenty-week anatomy check of Lucy, her profile, her delicate features, for some reason, I could see them clearly, make out the contours of her face, and the ways in which she was uniquely Lucy. I was over the moon about having a second girl. I had a true sense of her--one that I still carry. I didn't say, "Oh, she looks like Bea, or your mother, or me." She just was Lucy. Perfect and lovely.

Of course, none of her ultrasound still shots that I carried home really looked like the beautiful ghost I saw in the machine, but I still saw her.

I have neither written much about this pregnancy, nor shared ultrasound pictures. What I am trying to say is that it is not really my way. The pregnancy is not something I have been obsessing on, per se. I feel totally the same physically, except for being lumbering, having headaches and having a kid kick me from the inside out while another kicks me from the outside in. I suppose you could say that I am resigned to allow what will happen happen. There is a kind of peace in that path. Of course, I am doing everything I can to give Thor a good start in the world. Mostly, I am trying to get healthy in my head, to remain calm, not to overreact to normal pregnancy pains and not to think so much about what life will be like if [fill in the blank] happens. I am 26 weeks, or 27. Somewhere in between the two. I am in this liminal stage between feeling more regular movement and the extra hard core monitoring (twice a week appointments starting in a few weeks). I currently check in every month, piss in a cup, stress about my weight, talk to the midwife about how friggin' hard this all is, and then climb back on the train.

To be frank, I am feeling a bit contented here. Just moving forward. I am not stressing just yet about the giving birth part or what Thor will actually wear when and if he merges womb-side kicking and screaming. I suspect he will be in pink for a few weeks. I am still afraid of premature labor and of counting chickens before eggs hatch, but he moves. When I prod him, or drink cold water, I can get that reassuring shift or fluttery stomach. Some days when I read the book Madeline, or sing the alphabet song, he giggles. That is the sensation, and I find myself smiling despite myself.  

He might actually kiss me one day. Play football and bring home a girl. He might be called something other than Thor. He might wear a suit and I might call him my Little Man. He might become an artist and a basketball player. He might smile at me after three exhausting weeks of constant breastfeeding and long nights. He might have my eyes or hair. He might live.

Beatrice puts her nose on my belly button and waits for him to kick her. "The baby kissed me, Mama."
"That's because he loves you, Beatrice."


  1. Can I just say - awwwwww. I love hearing you talk about this pregnancy and Thor, and I appreciate it is hard for you and not exactly your thing. You do whatever feels right. Talk about it. Or don't. We're all here to listen no matter what.
    I just can't wait for this new little boy to arrive, I really can't.

    and ps: I'd LOVE to see his u/s pics! But I'm sure you knew that! You know I love them, even if they're not posing!

  2. I remember feeling my third born giggling in the womb, and when he was born he giggled in his sleep, he still does.
    I obviously don't know you very well, and have only been reading your blog a couple of months,but I have kinda envied you your reserve in talking about your pregnancy. (rightly or wrongly). I'm only 10 ish weeks along in my pregnancy after losing Florence and I've already shared an U/S pic and blurted stuff all over my blog rather uneleagantly.

  3. your list of mights made me tear up. It's so hard to imagine that they'll really get here... and DO those things! I cant believe your almost 30 weeks!! Cant wait!!!

  4. I always hung Ella's recent u/s pics on the refridgerator. The u/s pics for this baby are tucked inside of an envelope that sits on my nightstand table. I just can't hang them around the house. Nor, do I share them with anyone other than my husband. It's different this time. I want this baby more than anything. But, it's still different this time.

  5. I am very much with you. The u/s pix are in a drawer. I am so removed anyway, when I see him on the screen I actually pause and remember that he's actually inside me, right now. Sure, I get kicks and nudges, but I also drink my cuppa coffee and go for a run and pull on a big oversized fleece and go about my biz. I feel like there's precious little to say until there's something to talk about.

    Hang tough.

  6. Min are in a drawer too. I've even tried being gushy and it just seems awkward.
    I was never very open about pregnancy.
    I really hope he kisses you, brings home a girl and is an artist AND a basketball player...

  7. I'm glad you're feeling content and "lumbering along" this pregnancy. I can relate to that feeling. I think that's what post-stillbirth mommies do, oftentimes. You take it as it comes without expectation or hyper-public-excitement. thank you for sharing your "mights." I hope they become "wills" for you and me both. :0)

  8. Everyoen does pregnancy their own way. I remember one of my best friends calling my kids "creepy" in u/s pics. And that was okay. She still loved them, just found the u/s shots creepy.

    I loved the comment on belly kissing. So sweet!

  9. I'm going to totally bumble how I say this - but I find myself in a weird state of - give it up to the universe - this baby will come home - zen-ness, peppered with a couple of bouts of extreme freak the f-outness - that I know aren't quite rational.

    Claire loves to talk to my belly, and talk about helping with babies,and I wonder to myself if I'm setting her up for hurt by engaging in this way.....if we shouldn't be talking about the baby til she actually comes home....and then I find myself imagining Mother's day this year with my three girls....two at home, one watching over and I feel hopeful, joyful thinking of this little babe who will grow and live.....

    Its all just a jumble of emotion and the only way through it seems is to take it one day at a time, one week at a time.

  10. OH, Angie. I just saw Rose's name on your January remembrances. Thank you for remembering our sweet girl. :)

  11. Your list of mights made me cry. I hope they all come true for you.

    I'm sitting here crying and hoping that one day I'll have a future pregnancy to write about.

    I wasn't gushy about pregnancy and then when it all got complicated (at 20 weeks) I never really wanted to discuss it with people and just used to change the subject.

    It was my first pregnancy so I'll never have a baby shower and at this stage I don't think I'll ever be able to bring myself to go to one again. Probably better for my friends anyway - no one really wants a reality check about babies not making it at a baby shower I'd imagine.

    Thinking of you and Thor.

    Maddie x

  12. sounds like everything is going.

    I am not talking or writing much either. The volunteers I work with probably think I am crazy (most don't know about Serenity) and when they ask me if I am getting everything ready, I am just like, "I guess" while I am thinking 'I kinda have everything, from the first baby, that you don't know about. Now, shut up or change the topic."

    But, at home, I am getting ready. I guess I can only live in a place of hope.

    And, I am with you on the freakiness of u/s pics.

    keep chugging away girl.

  13. The "he might live" got me.

    I think I kind of muddled along through my pregnancy having the occasional freak outs, the occasional realisations that he 'might survive' but everyday living with that axe over my head waiting for the 'bad shit' to happen.

    In hindsight it was excruciating.

    I am looking forward to seeing you through to the end, to meeting your Thor.

  14. Just (((hugs))) and hopes for the best for your family. A lovely honest post. Thanks.

  15. i hear you angie. i have always been quite private- until i started a blog. and when i got pg again i really didn't want anyone to know until i had a living healthy babe at home with me.

    i can't make plans or imagine the future. but i do hope that it will result in living healthy baby boys for both of us.

    and although i'm not preparing i bought some baby socks the other day, cuz they were on sale and cute and i just said why not. i can just hope he gets to wear them.

    much love to you

  16. I envy your calmness in this. I was a wreck my whole pregnancy. I am still a wreck, but maybe I would have been this way loss or no loss. Hoping for Thor to do all of your "mights" and more!

  17. Beautiful post... just beautiful... thanks for sharing.

  18. Somebody actually had honest to goodness ultrasound cookies!! Really?! I don't think I could bring myself to eat those, certainly not now anyhow.

    I was very secretive with my u/s pictures of the twins and had to be nagged to show them to my work colleagues. Somehow I wish I hadn't given in.

    And your 'beautiful ghost in the machine.' I can only say I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But I'm glad you saw your girl, I'm glad you have that sense of her still. xo

  19. Hugs to you, Ang!

    Just added you to the heART swap, too. When I say "flat" ATCs, I just mean flat enough that we can send around in regular envelopes -- I don't want to have to buy or make boxes to send cards around. Other than that though, anything goes, fabric, quilted, felted, beaded, mosaic, paint, drawing, collage, anything...
    Make sense?

  20. That's a lovely, moving post.

  21. The last two paragraphs moved me to tears. My little girl is similar with Jurgen. She snuggles up to my bump and chats away. I find myself pleading with the universe not to hurt her or her brother like that ever again - never mind me. Those "mights" were just so poignant. I want them all to be "wills" for you and Thor.

  22. I feel so absent from this pregnancy too, until an ultrasound. Then it's real for a few days and I am back to watching from the outside.

    Thor, I love it!


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