Wednesday, May 19, 2010

boarded the train and there's no getting off


I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

Sylvia Plath

*   *   *
It has been over a month since I posted and a bag of green apples it's been. At 11 weeks into the altered reality of pregnancy I think I may see the light: I only feel utterly miserable only three-fourths of the time.

I sincerely hate being pregnant. I thought perhaps that my first pregnancy was rather miserable due to the stress of two moves and four weddings. But the truth is: pregnancy just does not become me. I was speaking to a friend's mother recently, a mother of seven, and she told me she had so many children because she loved the hormones of pregnancy. She felt calm and peaceful while pregnant and nursing. After each child was weaned she dreaded the return to her normal self--so she just got pregnant again. And I concede that this is a problem worse that the one I am saddled with. Nonetheless, I think two children will do just fine for me: my mother-hormones tend to suggest things more like jumping off the roof of our 6-story building. I might as well ride out the remaining six months or so ahead of me lying in bed eating Häagen-Dazs lemon ice cream.

But ah! I am already a mother of a boy! There is no ride this out in bed. Ike unearths my hand from its hiding spot under the covers and pulls with all his toddler might, crying, "Go! go! go!"

Go, indeed. Go to the refrigerator and stand there, desperate to eat while despising everything I can see. Eating while pregnant for me means being so stuffed full of food that I couldn't take another bite while being overwhelmed by the urge to keep putting something--anything--in my mouth to ward off nausea, and at the same time detesting the smell, feel, color and very idea of food.

I am trapped in my body. I am trapped in a 5-block radius of my apartment in a suddenly distinctly ghetto neighborhood. The subway disgusts me. Our car is in a garage 9 blocks away. I cannot leave the building without ziplock baggies of candied ginger, saltines, apple slices, hard candies, a bottle of watered-down orange juice swinging on my arm--all to go 3 blocks to the grocery store where I will buy food that will then sit uneaten in the refrigerator because it is the most disgusting food I've ever seen.

Oddly, I am nauseated by colors too--particularly green and gray. I am nauseated by chartruese, forest, aqua, teal, lime, moss, putty, turquoise, ultramarine, beige, mushroom. Consequently, I am nauseated by the better part of my wardrobe. I am nauseated by Facebook. By my half-finished website. By my computer itself.

I'm sure soon, when the 2nd trimester finally takes hold, I will remember why I volunteered for this misery. But for now I am content that looking at my computer screen no longer completely turns my stomach.

{ poetry wednesday }


Julia said...

Amber, it's a great sign that you participated in Poetry Wednesday. Eleven weeks-- you are almost out of the woods! I can't wait for you to feel better. And I heartily agree that feeling bad during pregnancy is a better problem to have than feeling bad when not pregnant!

Beth said...

Oh I am sorry for your misery. Nausea is a miserable state with its beginnings in hell itself I am sure. But congratulations on your pregnancy! Thoughts and prayers your way. Good to hear your voice again. You were missed.

Molly Sabourin said...

Oh Amber, how effectively you've unearthed my own memories of being newly pregnant, in a city that reaks of urine, with a high energy toddler completely unconcerned with my fatigue, nausea and general irritability. My heart so goes out to you. Yes, soon this will pass! How extraordinary, though, that there is a baby in your body, growing bigger every day. Congratulations!! And I agree, it is nice to have you back! : )

Kris Livovich said...

Congratulations!! Unfortunately I was one of those pregnant women you would despise. Brushing my teeth would make me gag, but otherwise there was no nausea problem. I would be like your friend and pop out a dozen or so - if I didn't have to raise them. That seems to be the hard part.

Nostalgia said...

Oh, my goodness - CONGRATULATIONS!
I have to say, that somehow, deep down I had a suspicion - because you disappeared in a a way. :)
Also, at first I felt all the misery, you are describing so well, but then... I just started giggling, because... well, it is hilarious, to compare pregnancy (that many women would do anything to get into) with a "train and no getting off", there's so much drama in it, that it turned out funny. It's something Amber can do so well. It made me miss you more than ever. Great post!
P.S. Facebook makes me nauseous too, may be I need to take a pregnancy test.

amber said...

Thank you all for your kind kind comments! It cheers me. I have been feeling a bit too sorry for myself of late. I do have a little sonogram photo that I look at that reminds me of the life growing inside me, which makes it all worth it.

I am beginning to suspect this little one must be a girl, since everyone says girls cause more nausea. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. And yes, I know I am dramatic. Yesterday I truly hated my husband and today I love him. Yesterday I felt like I was betraying Ike by having another child, today I think he'll love having a little sibling to explain things to.

And, veronika, I wouldn't mind if I stay nauseated by facebook!

oxox to you all.