Wednesday, September 08, 2004

the dark side

A couple people suggested to me that if I wrote a blog I could talk about things, feelings, states of being, associated with pregnancy, most particularly a surprise pregnancy, that maybe needed to be talked about, that others don't write about. I guess I really haven't done that yet.

I haven't written about how utterly shocked I was, and how my doctor told me the news like I already knew and never once asked me how I felt about it, chucking vitamins my way and scheduling an ultrasound. ("It's a fun appointment! Bring the dad.") I haven't written about how I had hoped to someday adopt, that physically having a child was more frightening to me than most anything else I could imagine. I don't know how to write about how mad at myself I was for ignoring my intuition to doubt just enough that I never wanted to be pregnant and consequently let this happen. I haven't mentioned yet how duped I felt, how angry at my husband, how depressed I was for the first 4-5 weeks I knew. How black the world was, and how many times I mentioned in terror postpartum depression while those around me nodded curiously and so didn't get it - still don't. Then there's the lunacy of how sick I felt just when I was supposed to be making a major life decision. How I would curl up at noon and rock myself to a queasy sleep with recordings of "everything happens for a reason" playing in my head in the voice of virtually every person I knew and want to choke on the guilt I felt for not being happy like everyone else. There was also how as my husband bounded off to work each morning and I lay crumpled, roles I realized we'd have after the baby was here too, the 21st century felt like nothing at all special and co-parenting a joke. I suppose I could also write about how my mother-in-law instructed me in her supremely simple way to "Be happy," and my own mother sent me the most misdirected letter of our relationship to date telling me to "face reality" and "stop being selfish," among other things. How could I not just rise to the occasion amidst all this joy?

My conversation with my husband about children was unfinished, and a prescription for a new pill was on its way to me, and oops, what a summer it turned out to be. Now I ponder daily my private world in relation to the larger one (not that I didn't before...). Wonder about writing, wonder about purpose, wonder if I should be answering phones for candidates with cartoon faces and sketchy voting records. Wonder who the woman is I will become. Clench my jaw hard at night in anticipation of meeting two new people - the child that I still have zero real sense of and the me that will emerge. Divide my time between trying to figure out how to get my security deposit back from the bastards at the property management company from two apartments ago and trying to figure out what the school systems are like in Italy, whether their virgin-slut dichotomy for women is a less harmful cultural climate in which to raise someone than the psychotic individualistic materialism we promote. I listen to the death toll in Iraq rise and want to throw myself on the ground and beg the Universe to send many pretzels to W or at least some common sense to the Midwest so November doesn't leave us ripe for more acts of pre-emptive heroism.

This pregnancy is a terrible, wonderful thing.

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