Thursday, February 9, 2012

10 years ago today...

10 years ago on this day, I was... 15 weeks pregnant with my babies. While other women might be just beginning to show at this point, I, carrying two, was quite past the "Is she pregnant or has she just been drinking a lot of beer?" look, and well into the strangers-rubbing-your-belly-without-asking phase of my pregnancy.

I was recently back from my last ever Sundance film festival, where I had encountered the delightful cumulative effects of "morning" and altitude sickness and thus nearly hurled on James Caan. But I had also had my pregnant belly rubbed for luck by charming actress Julie Benz (Darla of Buffy/Angel & Rita of Dexter) and yes, she asked first.

10 years ago today, I hadn't had my amnio yet, so I was sitting on tenterhooks, not knowing the gender of the two babies I was busy gestating. Boys? Girls? One of each? Waiting, waiting, waiting to find out.

I did know my life going to change, irrevocably and forever very shortly, and was working hard to study up and prepare for it. (Ha!)

One thing I would have been right in the thick of was planning a "minor" apartment renovation, mostly centered on the kitchen & bathroom, trying to make our small space livable with babies. That "3 week" renovation turned into a 3 month job, and nearly left me bringing my babies home from the hospital without a working kitchen.

10 years ago today, I was trying to work a little bit, but not too much, heeding the words of my very cautious, high-risk OB: "This may be your ONE shot at parenthood, don't blow it! Stop working at 25 weeks. Rest for a minimum of 2 hours each day on your left side. Rest. Rest. Rest. And drink plenty of fluids."

I never went to see my OB without having to wait at least an hour, maybe 2, occasionally even 3. She was always apologetic, but I was sanguine. My age, twin pregnancy and fertility status (these were IVF babies) we're what put me into her hands, while so many of her other patients had much more fragile, stressful, troubled pregnancies than I.

She would always say "Sorry, but there was an emergency." And I would always answer "That's OK, I'm just glad that *I* wasn't your emergency." And I always, genuinely, was.

Because me? I was one of the lucky ones: Never put on bed rest. Only developed a host of uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy, none of the dangerous complications. Delivered a pair of healthy seven pound boys at 39 weeks.

10 years ago, I was probably working on the plans for my father's 85th birthday party. My parents were still robustly enjoying an active retirement in Florida back then.

Five years earlier, I had gone down to Sarasota for my Dad's blow-out 80th birthday bash. But March 25th was into my no-fly zone, so my folks were coming up to my home, New York City, for this one and I wanted it to be wonderful. Memorable.

And it was. I rented the Hungarian House social hall for a Sunday brunch. Surprise guests flew in. There was a jazz band. Lots of hugs and laughter. And lox and bagels galore. Perfect.

10 years ago today, I was almost halfway through my pregnancy, poised on the precipice of the biggest game-changing event of my life. Everyone always tells you: "It will never be the same after you have kids."

Some mean that in a kindly way, citing the love and joy that come with creating a family. Others are more cautionary, thinking of years of lost sleep, the further losses of freedom, self, center, intimacy that can happen.

And like every blissfully ignorant pregnant woman I, would nod my head and say, "Yes, I know, I know."  Thinking my observations of my friends families and my mental projections of myself into motherhood had me well prepared.

But you know? (And if you are a parent you DO know, are smiling at my innocent folly.) I hadn't a fucking clue.

10 years ago today, I knew next to nothing about autism or ADD or special needs parenting or neurobiology. When I looked at our families trees, I had no idea these apples would be falling from them.

But that's OK, because if I had known, I don't think I would have had the courage to have children. Blissful ignorance is necessary, if a pregnant lady is to stop worrying and get any sleep at all.

10 years ago today, I probably fell asleep kicked back in the hideous blue rocker-recliner that I had sworn was ONLY in our house until the boys no longer needed to be rocked to sleep, but still squats in the living room to this day.

I dreamed of oceans often during my pregnancy, of waves and seashores and creatures of the deep, swimming and undulating beneath the sparkly blue surface.

10 years ago today, I placed my hands on either side of my rounding belly and thought great things about the tiny twin beings, slowly becoming human inside of me.

Tonight I kiss the sweet, damp, vanilla-shampoo scented heads of my nine year-old sons as I tuck them into their beds, and they drift off to sleep, dreaming their own dreams, and growing into lives of their own shaping.

Mama’s Losin’ It

I'm linking up with Mama Kat who prompted us to start a post with the phrase “Ten years ago on this day, I was…”

I'm also linking up to Maxabella's I'm grateful for... because I am so grateful for my wonderful boys.

Looking for comments? To read or leave a comment, click on THIS post's title, or HERE, to bring you to the post's page view. Comments should appear below.