We settled down to watch a movie (a really really boring one, as it turned out), Andrew had started a fire in the fireplace, the Christmas lights were on the front porch, and the room smelled like fire smoke and cinnamon.
"We have a pretty good life," Andrew said, a little dreamily.
We pretty much do.
I was sitting at my computer when suddenly a sharp pain knifed through my right side. A few quick ripples, like aftershocks, then it was gone as if it had never been. Andrew's head whipped around at my gasp, at the ready to do whatever I needed--bandaids! call 911! catch me as I fainted!--but all I could do was tilt my head, my hand at my side.
I think--I think I just felt the baby!
He couldn't have come over faster than if I had actually fainted. Really? he wanted to know. Where? What did it feel like?
I put my hand up his sweatshirt, palm facing out, and then fluttered my fingertips against the fleecy inside of his shirt, three, four times. A little like that. He put his hands against my abdomen, a little below my ribcage. Is this normal? A little early, I told him. And now I may not feel anything for days. But I did. I felt it.
After a while, he went back to what he'd been working on before, I returned to my blogroll. And just then I gasped again, as that flutter punch came back.
His head whipped around again, worried, until he saw me smiling like a goof.
Stop gasping like that, it scares me!
You try being punched from the inside and see how you gasp.
He looked at me and smiled. Good point.
I haven't written for days because I'm not sure where I am. After so long having identy as Can't Get (or Rather, Stay) Pregnant, I haven't yet grown into Pregnant. Pregnant is still other people.
School is one long maddening hell right now. I don't know what it is this year--different kids, more tired, whatever--I'm just not enjoying it at all. We're twelve weeks into the year, 24 more weeks to go, and I feel like I will never be caught up. For type A little ol me, that's a big fat recipe for stress dreams (wherein it's been discovered that a clerical error means I don't have credit for high school geometry and must take it to retain my college degree and the teacher I'm taking it from refuses to teach me and all the kids say, "See? this is why we don't like YOU as a teacher either!") and heartburn.
And I'm in a weird stage. I can't go out and get a glass of wine (or even faux-wine) with friends or even really stay out late anymore (I'm wiped by 10:30), but also I'm not yet a mother and so still open to the "Just wait and see!" that well-meaning already-parenting friends and family like to pour. Just wait and see... how tiring the first three months are ... how hard it is to leave your child and go to work ... how much weight you gain. I know they mean well--or at least, most do.
Oddly enough, though, the "Just wait and see!" game is never about happy things.
I had one teacher come up to me, out of nowhere, and tell me, "Oh, don't worry hon, before I was done, I weighed 197 pounds!" I was refilling my water bottle in the staff workroom at the time. Note that I was NOT talking to anyone about pregnancy, weight, or pregnancy weight. Plus--"Oh, hon, I weighed more than 197 pounds before I got pregnant, so I'm pretty sure I'll be more." And then I left the room.
There's still a weird chasm between those who have kids and me, where with rare exception (*cough*Em*cough*Leah*cough*) communication feels really one-sided. And I'm worried about losing touch with the friends who don't have kids. And plus, I just feel really uninteresting right now. My world is eating, sleeping, and grading. Who enjoys that?
Despite my bitching--because what else is a blog for?--we are really happy. This past week, we made a tour of daycare centers in Portland. Yes, I'm not even five months pregnant, and we were touring daycare centers. Note that of the three we went to, only one could guarantee us a spot for next fall. Staying home, at this time, isn't really a great choice for our family unit and as much as I know it'll suck and I'll cry and feel like a horrible person and probably reexamine how much I really want to teach, we want to be prepared with daycare. And we've got one place for sure, and will likely get into the much better place as well. Just a few checks (the first of many, I know, but after the major bucks we've spent to get this far, really, we laugh! we laugh at these puny checks!) and we've guaranteed our spots on the waiting lists.
Andrew is over the moon about everything, and likes nothing more than to chart the daily progress of my belly, my bellybutton, my breasts. At Thanksgiving, at our annual Go Around of What Are You Thankful For (that almost everybody, mostly guys, moan and groan about, but I think everyone secretly really likes), we all got to be thankful. Andrew summed it up nicely. "I'm thankful for all my friends and family. I'm thankful for maternity pants. And larger bras."
I'm thankful too. I'm thankful for the smell of fire smoke and cinnamon, and for maternity pants and larger bras. I'm thankful for friends who get the weird netherworld I'm in at the moment and meet halfway. I'm thankful that Christmas break is three weeks away. I'm thankful for the first communication from our little mystery package. I'm beyond thankful that I get to struggle to find my place in this identity at all.