Friday, February 22, 2008

A New Kind Of Love

I had wanted to have a baby since 1998. Before that I didn't know too many people who had babies. Didn't even know too many babies. The only time I spent around babies in the past were my own neice and nephew, who most of the time, lived in other states. I adored my nephew as a baby, but I was about 15 years old at the time. Having babies was the farthest thing from my mind. When I was in college, my sister, niece and nephew stayed with my folks and me for a while. My niece was about 3 or 4 at the time, and unfortunately, not the sweetest thing in the world. I was also working at CVS, where frantic and exhausted looking women would come in with screaming kids. I had decided that kids were a mistake some people made - to try to keep a doomed marriage together or the result of failed birth control.
But I remember this time I met this little boy while working at Koenig Art Store. He came in with his Mom, and he was so outgoing, started talking to me by himself. He said, "My name is Sean. And I have a brother - his name is Patrick."
I said,"Wow, you must be Irish."
He looks at me with this look of pity and exasperation,"NO, I told you, my name is SEAN."
I was instantly smitten. We chatted for a while, and so amazing was our connection that his Mom asked if I would babysit because he seemed to like me so much. I declined because I thought, well, I have absolutely no experience with kids and I would be a terrible babysitter. But I remember that moment when that cute little boy stole my heart. I never looked at kids the same since.

Then, a few years later, Marianne, a woman with whom I had worked as a decorative painter for years, had a baby boy, Leo. It was the first time a friend of mine had a baby. And I was finally mature enough to recognize what Marianne was describing to me. She loved to tell me about her feelings for her Leo. How it has changed the way she sees everything. I could see how much fun she had with Leo and the bliss she received from him. She would cry when describing something sweet or cute that he did.
And something that really blew my mind was this one time we all went to get Mexican food somewhere in Brooklyn after working in the city. Marianne still worked with us while baby Leo would stay with her parents. Next to our table was a woman who was with her own baby, who was hungry and crying. That baby was very cute too, and when he started cryng, I noticed Marianne slouched down in her chair, pulling her shirt. I asked her what was the matter. She told me that the crying baby made her gush out milk. I was stunned. Not even her own baby. I was completely awed at the power of that . Her motherly instincts took over her body. Her desire to calm that baby made her body do something miraculous. I am sure some folks heard that baby, and their reaction was one of intolerance and annoyance. I needed to know what being a Mommy was like. That kind of love, that kind of total transformation of body, heart, and perspective.

Then it seemed everyone I knew was having babies. And my friend at Paier College, Sue Falato, who was cupid for Mark and me, had a baby girl. I started talking to anyone who would indulge me about what it was like to have a baby. There was just one problem I had nobody to have a baby with. And finally Mark came into my life. And I knew he was the one. There were times when I couldn't look at Mark and not wonder what our baby would look like. The love we shared and the intensity of my admiration and love for him - I needed to know. But I still needed to wait. And wait. Wait for a steady job, wait for Mark to feel ready, wait for marriage. Until finally waiting was no longer necessary or smart.

So here I am, and pregancy is nothing like I imagined it would be. I do not feel like the glowing, enlightened, happy, happy life-giving miracle I thought I would. Instead I have felt nauseous, sick, bloated, lonely, nervous and bored. But now that I am feeling this cantaloupe in my belly, what I didn't imagine is the feeling of having a tiny person in there, with whom I am sharing blood, emotions, and a new kind of love.

2 comments:

Kristin C. said...

I can imagine it's hard having your body taken over...having to give up YOGA to make the baby happier. Man. That would be hard enough right there! I think once you get out of this awkward stage of pregnancy and start to grow...you'll start feeling more pregnant...and you might begin to experiance those emotions that you are longing for. But...don't put to much pressure on yourself. I'm sure all new-mamas-to-be feel the way you are right now.

AllBeehive said...

I think that once you start feeling better and you can feel the little flutter kicks of the baby, and you learn the sex, ALL of this will change. You will feel the life inside of you and won't be able to imagine life without Baby C.