Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wonder Mama

OK, this is embarrassing. I seriously did not mean to resume this blog and then fall silent for three weeks. In my defense, I must tell you that I have been heroically fighting the plague and am typing this post with blackened stumps.

OK. Not exactly, but we did have back-to-back bouts of flu for two and a half successive weeks: fevers, chills, copious gobs of mucous expectorated by one and all. The second round was beautifully timed to coincide with ovulation.

I don’t know about you, but the husband and I are not so good at hot sex in fevered conditions. There was a time, back in our twenties, when we actually thought this was a fun idea. Now, not so much. I would say that the spirit was willing though the flesh was weak, but even that would not be strictly true. Having survived three miscarriages, we were just the teensiest bit leery of what high temps might do to denature his boys; the prospect of falling pregnant with a doomed mutant lacked a certain sex appeal. So, ahem, we were challenged.

But, the plentiful mucous was not only at the bronchial end. Eventually we gave it a go. I am now completely convinced (7dpo) that I am pregnant. You might think that having actually been pregnant 4 times in my life, and having believed myself pregnant about 40 times in my life, that I would know better. The last time I was this sure this early I turned out to have a UTI. But still, I’m sure. Go ahead and call me hysterical.

Now, I know that I promised to deliver my deep thoughts on the total life-transformations of motherhood, but the truth is that I’m in a rush. (And I have to pee, nudge, nudge, wink, wink!) So for the moment let me say this:

It’s true that bearing a child is not exactly going to turn an ugly duckling into a swan. But to dwell on that misses the whole point of the transformation. The transition from childless woman to mother can’t be described by comparing one bird to another. It’s more like the difference between fish and fowl. I honestly feel that in becoming a mother, I’ve found my wings.

Quite literally, I feel like a different person. The change is shocking to me. Always before, I’ve been a model of consistency. I went through the so-called changes of adolescence with little more than a grumpy shrug. While some of my friends went to bed one night as sweet quiet bookworms and woke up the next day as hair-sprayed boy toys with cigarettes in their lockers, I pretty much slept with a finger marking the spot in my book and went right back to reading in the morning.

But having a baby, well, I’ve been punch drunk since the moment he was born, so in love with him, so focused on home even as I still go out to work, it has been more than a little disorienting. I really think that brain chemistry must change profoundly in motherhood. And I don’t think we’ve even begun to take rational stock of what this means for women personally or for society as a whole. I’ve been bit by the spider and I’ll never be simple Peter Parker again. But damn, does it feel good to soar.

If you surf on by and find me, I'd love to hear your best/worst two-week-wait story. Simple good wishes also gratefully accepted!