Sunday, March 9, 2008

That Little Kicky Thing

That baby hasn't gotten out yet, but he has a fine time trying. Thump, thump. Little heartbeat with limbs. Sometimes you feel a little shimmy-pop or a shark-fin slide against the outer dome of his prison. He's somewhere in there blinking in the darkness. He hasn't got a name.

This is an impossibly strange situation. Three-pound homunculus, tapping at the walls. You can see him rise and fall like an undulation in the earth, or someone shifting restlessly under bedclothes. Sometimes he gets feisty, and strikes outward with a sharp jab. At some point it will hurt.

Sometimes it feels like a bellyful of discontented pickerels.

With the first one you thought: I will never be closer to this child than I am now. But you understand now that this is not true. He's a fond and effortlessly close physical shifting, a comfortable (or not-so-comfortable) presence, but he's fierce already to be on his own. He'll get out. He will eventually turn to you and tell you solemnly that his cozy needs zipping or his water cup has spilled, or that his stuffed snake "has a long tongue that gives him bad licks and causes him to be mean to all other animals" (a la Eldest Son). The tongue of said snake, you'll notice, bears a small Band-Aid pilfered from the medicine cabinet.

You will in all outcomes like him better then than you do today. You shall be friends.

But today, he struggles and thrums down deep. It's not long now until this is gone, and gone forever. On to better things. Just as you cannot fully remember the pain of a broken limb or labor itself, you will never again remember this sensation—not in the bone and gut. No chance odor will bring it back, unexpected, waiting in line at the store. Not the certain flavor of spring onrushing, nor the wind.

Maybe this music will bring a small reminder, though, one day. Sitting here waiting for his eyes to open nine, ten, eleven weeks down the line, and feeling him stir and turn.


Anonymous said...

Wow! For your uterus-challenged readership, this piece is a revelation! Also, as I am suffering from the seldom-diagnosed "Birth Rage Syndrome," it made me just a tad homesick...where is my intimate inland sea, my wet phone booth of gestation, my safe motherly convayence, my private Loon Lake where it's always night and only the far-off call of a strummed guitar calls me on to the Holland Tunnel of Birth? Eh?
As an amateur magician for children, I stand in awe of your TRUE magic...making life appear!

Old NH

Anonymous said...

You tricked me. I thought this blog was about parties and ponies. I want my money back.

Knickerbocker said...

I went ahead and sprung for that Baby Head Spa you wanted. I can only guess that's why the little guy is so fidgety.....