Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Winter of my discontent!

This mornings "Perspective" on KQED was by an Oakland-based poet named Mary Wang. It was about her post-pregnancy hair loss, and as she spoke about the changes in her body, I appreciated her poetic reframing of the experience, describing it as "a kind of mourning, like autumn leaves letting go of their leaves now that the flowering is done." I also appreciated her description of pregnancy and childbirth as "the ultimate female olympics" -- I've been (intermittently) going to the gym, aware that I'm about to run a really insane marathon. 

But what killed me was when she talked about her body "begin[ning] to winter, letting go of everything it stored" now that those pregnancy hormones are gone. I guess it's the hormones. I also think of it as just the power of life inside me, making me hum with a strange energy I've never felt before. It disturbs my sleep, waking me up every few hours to stare at the ceiling and kegel anxiously. It makes me smile like an idiot at bigger belly bumps, but also makes me want to run up to strangers and hug them because they used to be babies. It leads me to get home from work and frantically attack the still-unpacked and -unorganized corners of my home rather than relaxing on my new deck chairs, still unwarmed by my ever-expanding butt. I know the physical realities of a baby in my belly will make themselves known soon, but right now I feel so at home in my body in a way I never have before, and I really don't want to give it up. I want to be first-trimester pregnant forever. 

Being on the pill is NOT the same thing -- that really is just hormones. This is reality, little hands reaching across a nascent chest to clasp together inside me, then form into fists, then punch at the core of me, reminding me I don't know as much as I thought about everything -- or anything. 

It's in my very nature to mourn the loss of pleasure even as I'm experiencing it. I can't stand that I won't feel this way someday. Of course, then I'll be breastfeeding or communing with motherhood in some other way, which'll probably be hot-damn awesome as well, but when Wang described the fading "dark line of longitude that separated [her] belly's globe," I felt her loss as keenly as I'll feel my own. 

Give her a listen here:
I can't find her on the Googles. Maybe you can. 

And of course, since I can't finish up a post without some kind of sartorially-obsessed observation, I will just say this: Amazing sale at Belly Dance Materity. It all just arrived (bunch o' shirts and a dress -- i was afraid to spring for non-returnable sale pants without the option to try on) and everything's great quality. It looks like I can start wearing it NOW and it'll all stretch. Of course, I should save it for when I'm too big for anything else and don't have much choice... but i don't know if I'll be able to resist.

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