Pages; vinyl records; milk when it is bad; sunflowers–towards the sun, chicory leaf–towards the north; a roly poly when touched; waffles and pancakes and merry-go-rounds; the night to cold, the day to warm; a light on and off; a friend on the street when you call out her name; that bright-eyed heart-eclipsed girl from the old 80’s song; an old jerk, a new leaf; the seasons; a good car on a shiny dime; the time this Sunday, falling back; this baby girl inside me: head down now, Readying herself, the doctor says, to be born.
Your baby now weighs four and three-quarters pounds; you know this because she is balancing on top of your bladder and you can feel every ounce of her, but you don’t really mind, actually you don’t mind at all, because all you can think about are her toes and how small and perfect they already are and how you’ll kiss them and how they’ll smell like a newborn baby–that smell you never understood when other people gabbed about it; hmm, you thought, bizarre–but now, getting so close, you’re beginning to understand, and you can hardly wait, so you bide your time sipping tea and thinking about how next fall you’ll have to find tiny matching socks before you even leave the house.
Trying to find a poem to post, I notice a terrible deficiency in poems that contain Thursdays. Tuesdays are everywhere; Sundays follow closely, but Thursdays seem all but forgotten. How sad to be a Thursday, especially when the cold sets in, and you have not worn socks (your mother would be disappointed), and you have left your scarf on the hook by the door, the hook you hung so you would not forget to grab your scarf on a cold day, a Thursday say, when you were running–breathless, poem-less–out the door, running somewhere that you have already arrived and now nearly forgotten.
Perhaps I’ve found a way to simultaneously curb my sweet tooth and quadruple my anxiety about giving birth. [Not that I’m anxious (I keep telling myself!), not at all–it’s perfectly natural and beautiful; everyone was born.] I’m just struck by the vast new vocabulary I’ve acquired since getting knocked up.
Imagine then my despair at my thirty-two week ultrasound when Uh-oh, the doctor said, looks like she’s bottom-down breech. I stared hard at the screen, and there happy as can be, surrounded by my amniotic fluid: my pretty little daughter sitting on her pretty little bum. What are you doing in there? I wanted to yell.
I mean, how do you explain to an unborn child how difficult it will be in the real world to be upside down? You have to hunt down trapezes and monkey bars and yogis who cling wildly to inversions–it ain’t easy. Do it now, I want to say. You’ve got your whole life to be rightside up!
So now in my spare time I google “turning a breech baby.” Yes, it’s only been forty-eight hours since I got the news (which, by the way, they told me was waaaaaaay too early in the game to worry about), but already I’ve done acupuncture and shoulder stand and cut out sugar (well, except for cupcakes) and talked to her and sang to her and made C. shine a flashlight at the bottom of my belly and put a bag of frozen peas near her little head.
And though I’ve yet to find “try shaming her into turning by writing about it in your blog,” I thought I’d try that too.
I love my early morning walks around the neighborhood, love seeing the sky turn pink as the sun rises over Brooklyn and smelling the sweet, doughy fresh baked Italian bread. I love looking in people’s windows and seeing their coffee pots dripping in empty kitchens as they–somewhere in another room–shower or hunt down cufflinks or try to get their sleepy-headed spouses out of bed. And then there is the homeless man around the corner, or maybe he’s not homeless, maybe he’s just waiting for the bus in an old beat-up coat, and God bless your baby girl, he says. I love him too.