I'm in that nice part of pregnancy in which I can almost forget, at times, that I'm pregnant. Oh, you know what I mean. I love Baby, but it's good to be able to sit around and feel normal, not queasy or exhausted or too heavy or full of the thousand natural shocks that pregnant flesh is heir to. Particularly lovely is to be able to lay in bed in mostly comfort and to poke at the baby.
Baby is precocious. I've never felt a child quicken so early. At the tender age of 14 weeks it started giving kicks and flutters and rolls that I can discern as movement and not just intestinal rumblings or the pulse in my stomach. And I've never felt a child so articulated so soon. This is not just a blob of baby. It has a back, a head, little hands and feet, and I can feel them through my stomach. I can't imagine this is just a case of the grand multipara knowing what to prod for. This is unmistakeable. Baby floats up near the top a lot when I'm laying down, and, well, there Baby is, large as life.
Large as life, indeed. This morning my seven-year-old and I lay in my bed and looked down at the huge lopsided lump on the right side of my stomach. We poked it, feeling the long smooth back, and it gave such a lurch on the on the other side of my stomach that I yipped. Maybe it's payback -- I spend so much time laying on my back, nudging baby in amazement that I can actually feel it, that Baby is getting mad at me.
That's part and parcel of life here. I feel like I've lost control of the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, the grocery shopping, almost everything. Not that those things don't get done, but that all system has broken down, and everything happens on an as-needed basis. And yet we have clothes to wear and food keeps appearing on the table at roughly dinner time and no one has collapsed from rickets or scurvy or an overdose of cheerios. The kids down the street make blithe comments to the effect of, "Gee, your house sure is messy!" and yet keep coming over, day after day, to play here for hours. Baby's rapid growth is startling, but that early squdging around is a benefit I hadn't counted on. It seems life keeps on kicking whether or not I've got all my ducks in a row.
The next month is packed almost to overflowing with life-changing events: my baby sister gets married, my friend gets married and my nephew gets baptized. My little brother gets married at the end of summer. Everything is growing fast, getting bigger and livelier and more chaotic and better than anyone could have planned. None of these things require my intervention. They happen, and happen well, without my having to put a hand in, and thank God for that. All I have to do is show up and let these kids kick me around.
Two Poem Drafts
12 hours ago