Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The H.M.S. Me

As I enter into my third trimester of pregnancy, I have become aware that I and the baby are simply passengers aboard the ship that is my body. The vessel that carries us both is a lurching, sloshing thing, inducing seasickness in the both of us. The ship leaks in mysterious places. We are prone to days of little movement, and then tossed about on days of great activity. The ship isn't really big enough for two people. As the baby gets bigger, the quarters are more cramped and less comfortable. Sometimes it's hard to breathe.

I can hold my baby and protect it inside this ship for three more months, and then I've got no choice but to let it out.

My dreams are brilliant and vivid every night. Sometimes they are nightmares, and I wake up the husband to be comforted. The good dreams are random, or about breastfeeding, or sleeping close with the baby and my husband. My nightmares involve miscarriages, filthy houses, and (once or twice) being forced to move back to Murfreesboro.

This week my youngest sister, Abby, is in town with me. We've both got the week off and plan to visit family and start setting up the nursery for the baby's arrival. While the baby will sleep upstairs with me for the first six months or so, we've still got to put together its room so there will be a place for all the stuff people are giving us. Little hats and booties and toys are already floating our way. It's nice.

Because I have waited to have my baby, I can afford a nice crib that will convert to a toddler bed. Because I have waited to have a baby, carrying it is more difficult. There are plusses and minuses to everything. I know the financial ease with which I am giving birth arouses envy in some of my family and friends. And to them I should say: we are two people aboard this ship. I've been to the emergency room once. I have vomited until all the blood vessles in my face burst to the surface. Hyperemesis Gravidarum. When I talk to you and say I'm feeling better, a lot of the time I'm lying. Although; it's not a big lie. I feel better now than I did three months ago. But I am still sick. I am less sick than I was and I am used to the constant queasiness now and I have learned to manage the illness better. You can have your children young with ease on your body, or older with ease on your wallet. At 29, I have tried to find that balance point between age and money. So it is only a little difficult both ways.

The week I will call about making a will. This week I will call about getting the fireplace cleaned. This week the house will get cleaned in a way that will chase away the nightmares. This week, inside my storm-tossed ship, I will not be ill, but well. I will be careful. You should come and see all the progress.

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