Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Truth (About Most)

When I was pregnant with Zoey I was ugly. Bloated, broken out, rashy, oily, peeling, peeing like a lap dog at the sound of every doorbell, a cautionary tale for doing it. You must be having a girl, somebody at work once commented, and when I asked why she said that being pregnant with a boy makes you glow while a girl steals your beauty. I didn't even have it in me to feel slighted. She was right: I was a beast, my nose somehow twice its size. My face felt different when I smiled, although I did not smile often.

I became addicted to Afrin and Babycenter when I was pregnant, breathing through my mouth while I whispered aloud names, all of which ended in a question mark. Once a month I got a prenatal massage and the masseuse would push her finger into the yeasty loaf of my ankle before she would agree to work on me. Please plump back up, precariously perched on the table like a bead of boba tapioca, I would close my eyes and pray, not so much because I was afraid of edema but because I so desperately wanted to be touched.
I craved satsuma tangerines when I was pregnant, would buy them in bulk and pile them on my desk like post-its come unglued, the fleshy sections falling apart they were so ripe. At night I would lie awake in bed trying to remember which side was best to sleep on, where was my liver, something about my kidneys, and why it was all so important. I hardly slept. One night in the third trimester, between clumsy traipses to the bathroom, I dreamt that I unzipped my belly and pulled my baby out to play. The baby cupped my face and cooed; I laughed. It was a joke, a secret, sshhh, something between us, and I was so sad when I realized it was time to zip my baby back in. When I woke up, my nipples were oozing colostrum.


Last night I made stir-fry, the vegetables over-steamed, loose, the rice overcooked, crunchy as maggots, the kitchen a mess, the faucet still dripping, my stomach flat; I was not hungry. Why is there always so much shit on the floor? At bedtime, the blessed hour of 8, after filling a cup of water, after finding the step-stool, after brushing the teeth, the tongue, the hair, after filtering through the pile of diapers to find one with a picture of three princesses, not one, four diapers rejected for the royalty of being too blond, I bent down to kiss my baby goodnight. I love you Mama. I love you most. No, I love you most, in the warmth of each other's breath we played our game of modification, on and on, more and most, the best. But then Zoey cupped my cheeks with her hands and cooed: Most bootiful, and I breathed it in and kept it there, this old wives tale of misplaced modifiers, of things stolen and then given back in bounty. It is mine, this secret, to pull out and play with, to zip back in for safekeeping.
*Slightly creepy felted womb from here.

18 comments:

Aartee said...

This is why I can't wait to be a mom one day...not now but one day..and that womb is a little creepy!

Vanessa said...

The womb is creepy, they story is beautiful. I've always been afraid to be pregnant, afraid of stretchmarks, afraid of labor, afraid of shifting bones. But I can't imagine anything being more worth it.

arollerskatingjam said...

J'adore

monkey said...

the most unattractive i've ever felt in my life (including puberty) was when i was pregnant.
truth be told: i was a hot tranny mess.
yes, it was all worth it...blahblahblah.
kinda wish i could have tapped out on occasion and let my man get adult acne and start peeing a teeny bit in his sleep.

Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie said...

This was really sweet, but honestly... I was wondering what that felt ball thing was all the way until the end, LOL.

Anonymous said...

you always make me cry. damn you and love you. nina

~a of SkanksForNothing said...

I love reading your posts, they draw me in and they are the kind of stories I want to immediately skip to the end to read the last part, but I make myself savor every word.
Best yet
Thank you-abby

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

So beautiful.

Weitzell4 said...

You have such a way with words. I can't wait for you to write a book, I know I will love it.

Jules said...

My friend had a girl, and towards the end her nose grew so large, so red, that she began to resemble W.C. Fields.

Sadly, during that time her license expired and she had to have her picture taken. She has pregnant nose on her driver's license for a solid 5 more years.

Petunia Face said...

Oh dear god, Jules--your friend needs to feign losing her license and have that shit re-taken.

cybill said...

Hey your looks came back! Mine never did, no fair!! It's hard to believe how quickly this time goes, i'm happy for you that you stop and appreciate it.

Sschraed said...

Beautiful...perfectly worded as usual. I too was addicted to babycenter when i was pregnant with my April 06 baby. Always commenting on the thread on what we all at that day..lol
Sara

jaime said...

The stories you tell on your blog are so enthralling!

Anonymous said...

I love when you write about motherhood...your words just melt my heart. Oh and the Zooey literacy rap. I cry/laugh at that one!

I stole your Prozac said...

just perfect. thank you ever so!

The Lil Bee said...

She is so lucky to have you...you are so enamored with her and I can see why. BTW I don't know what that stuff was that leaked out but it sounds pretty awful. File this under things they don't tell you about pregnancy!

Anonymous said...

That felt womb looks like a dermoid cyst a friend just had cut off her right ovary. It had, no joke, dark hair and a TOOTH growing inside it. Google "dermoid cysts" if you don't believe me; it's some creepy sh^t.