Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Night Owl

I think the baby is a night owl.

She has taken to dancing a chorus line starting at about 9:00 at night. When I lie on my left side, as the doctor tells me I should do to avoid putting undue pressure on the vena cava, she springs to life like Bruce Lee, punching, kicking, and doing God knows what else. I am pretty sure she's shouting, "Move, bitch! You're squishing me!" so I turn to the right: instant bladder trampoline action.

I've taken to spending the first two hours of sleep walking to the bathroom and back, as any accumulation of fluid in the bladder will feel like bursting if a baby is jumping on it.

In these periods of semi-wakefulness, I've taken to thinking about the future, as is my want. What is going to happen? What will the first night at home be like? I never wanted children until I met Steve; what if this is all some elaborate plan to be the perfect woman for him and I find myself completely ill-equipped to mother? And, while we're on the subject, how does one mother without her own mother around to ask questions of?

These times of questioning remind me of the Old Anxiety Days in which I'd routinely be up until 3:00 a.m. due to some brain malfunction that prevented melatonin from releasing and the GABA receptors from doing their jobs. Time would pass and my mind would drift over routine, unsolvable worries. Ultimately, though, like Lydia Davis writes, "At that hour of the morning I can usually get myself out to the end of something like a long dock with water all around where I'm not touched by such worries." That moment where thoughts drop away always comes. I just need to trust it.

Fortunately, things aren't nearly so tragic anymore. It's tremendously invigorating to be in a place now where I am on the frontier of something entirely new. I imagine there are few changes as momentous as becoming a parent. I feel like I'm nearing the top of the roller coaster--chug-click chug-click goes the track as you inch toward the top--and the three of us are about to cascade down.

Today, baby, you're well into your sixth month of being alive in there. People are excited about you! Your grandpa is planning a baby shower, and this week someone passed on the coolest and fanciest convertible crib to you. I mean, this thing is the Cadillac of cribs. I think you're going to like it. And even though you will only have one grandma who lives in another state, I have a feeling that there will be plenty of grandma and auntie types to fill in the gaps :-)