Thursday, August 31, 2006

In the Womb

I woke up exhausted this morning. Must have been from all the cross country trekking through Freud territory last night. I boarded a train for a ski trip - I'm finding train trips and their wild disorganization seem to be a common theme of late - and emerged on the snow with my skiis and a surf board for good measure. I opted to take to the water. The surfboard turned into a small boat just in time as people started shouting that a shark had been sighted. This massive pair of jaws erupted from the depths, only to be revealed that it was a grizzly bear a guy had captured and was now - quickly - transporting by raft. The raft skimmed the water faster and faster until it was flying. I was flying. The raft touched down in the woods and the grizzly bear started to run as I flew past him. The forest was incredibly dense but I flew deeper into the woods, knowing that I risked losing speech, sight - even sense of self in order to get to the heart of the forest. But I had to keep moving deeper into the forest.

Retreat into the womb? Searching for my baby? That bowl of Cracklin Oat Bran right before bed?

Last night Caleb sleepwalked downstairs. When I asked him about it, he seemed shocked to remember it. He said he had been looking for our son who he was afraid had been left in the backyard.


Friday, August 25, 2006


As each week of my pregnancy passes by, I feel like I have become qualified as an expert in its passing - and therefore - should never have to experience any of its symptoms again. So I find myself shocked when yet again I sit down to dinner and and the insides of my stomach feel like they are trying to trade places. We tried Golden India last night, a restaurant really close to our house, and we were very excited to find that the food was just as yummy as our favorite Indian place in LA. Sadly the chicken tikka masala nearly sent me sprinting for the bathoom, but a Sprite finally got my stomach under control.

We moved to town on Sunday, and Caleb has been frothing at the bit to get settled, but with no moving van here, there is so much he can do. But we're always supposed to be doing something. And then there is me. Walking up the stairs feels like mile 20 of the marathon. 3 PM usually finds me asleep on whatever surface will hold me. He says he understands that I need to sleep - and don't get me wrong, I don't think I could have married a more supportive partner and father to be - but I don't think he really believes just how tired I am, that the naps are just a way to get out of running to Target or going to the DMV.

Well, the latter part might be true.

I slept for 12 hours last night, so my brain took the opportunity to offer up a kind of David Lynch highlight reel. A friend of mine in his 40s was the star - he was trapped in some gothic New York apartment building like the Dakota where he had to defend his sanity to a clearly deranged panel of "doctors." It felt a whole lot creepier dreaming it then writing it down now - but in the dream, the paranoia and claustrophobia was just overwhelming. My friend managed to find a way to escape at the basement level of the building that now looked suspiciously like my childhood church. I'm gonna try not to read too much into that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Sexy stuff

I was inspired to start this blog after devouring Anne Lamott's book on her son's first year as a single mom - Operating Instructions. I was blown away and moved by her bracing honesty and candor, and I felt that in my chronicle of becoming a mom,I should attempt to do the same. Write things down without fear, without afraid of being shocking or gross or worried that my grandfather is reading. I was all set to go.

Until my dream two nights ago.

No way around it - it's flat out embarrassing. I've put off writing about it and considered just ignoring it, but in the interest of being true to my mission statement, I've just got to suck it up.

The other night I dreamed that I tried to seduce Macy Gray.

I know.

I invited her over to my house, and she showed up giggly and possibly stoned. I plied her with cocktails like I was some horny frat boy with a rotten core and when I thought she wasn't too alert or keen to fight back, I went in for the kill. I grabbed her waist, and her body made me shudder. And not in a good way. Her skin felt like playdough, like there were no bones in her body. No rib cage. Just rolly dough skin that I could have probably worn as a blanket.

I don't think I've given an awful lot of thought to Macy Gray either positively or negatively. I've enjoyed a few of her songs, questioned her personal style and sobriety when she's given interviews, but I can honestly say that not once have I ever taken in that helium canister voice and afro and said "DAMN!"

But if I'm to play armchair Freud here, I think what might be going on is that in my dream, I tried to seduce myself, Macy Gray being the ugly mother extension of who I am afraid I am going to become. (My apologies to Miss Gray if she ever reads this). In the dream, I - being a man yet still myself - gotta love dream logic - remember being horrified by her body, how ample and fleshy and distorted it felt. In waking life, I eye my hips and stomach, wondering if the miracle I'm about to experience will be overshadowed by some F-in serious, hardcore vanity. Will my husband be repulsed by me? Will I be repulsed by me? More importantly, if I was in some LA nightclub and ran into Macy Gray, would she be repulsed by me? Or would she be too stoned to care?

Monday, August 21, 2006


I’m in the clouds as I write this. We’re somewhere between LA and Memphis, an empty duplex and wonderful friends behind us and family and a new baby waiting on the ground. My sister’s water broke around midnight, and 5 hours and 1 C-section later, Avery Cobb Suber, a 7 lb. 12 oz. ball of fury and black hair, hollered her way into the world. Avery was in breech position, so the C section was unexpected. I keep reading about celebrities and busy careerwomen who actively choose to have C-sections and where I understand the thought process of trying to control the labor or avoid the pain, electing to have your abdomen sliced open in addition to not sleeping for 3 months with a squalling newborn seems a trifle masochistic. But then that’s what the nannies are for, I suppose. Lindsey’s voice on the phone was thick with drugs and nausea. Apparently Mother Nature can’t be fooled so easily – it seems trading in labor pains for the epidural can result in one humdinger of a headache. I suppose in the long run jabbing a needle into your spine and getting a migarine after major surgery is preferable to experiencing an earthquake in your vagina, but sheesh. Anyhow, she sounded proud and excited to finally be a mom. We’re going to see her in the hospital tonight after we land, the same hospital where I will be delivering. I’m gonna do some snooping, see if they have one of them waterbirthing contraptions hidden away. I have it in my head that waterbirth is like a hottubbing party of one. Get the jets going, crack open some brewskis, maybe the doctor will have a giant mullet. I shared my thoughts with mom. I don’t think she shares my enthusiasm.


I met Avery last night. I never knew something so tiny could have the power to strip away all the sarcasm, the bravado, everything until all that’s left is awe. She is absolutely gorgeous, and not in the she’s really a lizard baby and I’m being a kind aunt kind of gorgeous, but the Oh My God there’s clearly no way anything that springs forth from my loins can compare with this kind of beauty. I now also see a major perk to the C-section. Instead of going through the trauma of birth, the baby gets plucked from the womb, their faces rosy and not squashed or misshapen or lizard-like. I can’t wait to go back today and just stare at her some more.


Praise to Allah and Jesus and the Cow Farmer because Uncle Ben has lifted the fatwa against meat! I just ate a French Dip, the bread nice and soggy and collapsible from au jus. It tasted like sunshine. Not once did I gag or have to poke at it with a fork but ate the whole thing like the big girl I am. I hope Uncle Ben continues to be merciful. I haven’t felt queasy in days, and I am very cautiously beginning to hope that my week of not-quite morning sickness is just that.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is grab my boobs. With most of the obvious symptoms not yet lurking around, my boobs have become the bellwether of my pregnancy. The boobs hurt, therefore, I am pregnant. And then I sit up and wonder why I go through the whole grabbing rigamarole because they hurt so bad it feels like Caleb held a lit match under them as I slept. As soon as I sit up, gravity takes over, and the millimeter or so that they fall feels like they have conspired to free themselves from their fleshly prison and skydive to the floor.

I have never had big boobs, and I can admit fairly honestly that, aside from spying the occasional screen goddess on the cover of a magazine with a sexy rack, I have never wanted big boobs. I’m athletic and I think they would just be in the way of all the running and jumping. When I was seventeen and first on the pill, my boobs got all billowy with estrogen, and when paired with a sassy push up bra from Victoria’s Secret, I had an honest to God rack. I can’t remember where I was going that day as I walked out the door, my head and chest held high, but I remember scuttling home hours later like some misshapen dwarf, my rack sucked into rib cage, my arms crossed over my chest in shame. The stares, the creepy whistle-slobbers they attracted! It was truly shocking how weapon-like my body suddenly felt, like I was kid whose hand just closed around the steel of a .38 special. I switched pills and waited happily for the male gaze to return to my legs, where at least I had the power to run away if things got too creepy.

But now my B cup bra actually fits, and at the rate they are expanding in their strange lateral direction, I might have to upgrade soon. I don’t think I mind. I am proud of my perky little B minuses as Caleb called them, but with all the change that is swirling around us right now, I think a C cup is one more thing I can handle. As long as I don’t get freaky soda can-sized nipples. Because miracle-shmearacle of motherhood, that’s just gross.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I love meat. Meat of all kinds. Sausage, corn dogs, salami. prosciutto, bacon fat. I draw the line at gas station hot dogs and jerky. But I love meat. Fried, seared, pulled, cured, smoked, bbq'ed, sauteed, sauced, grilled - I seriously can't go a meal without meat. It's an embarrassing admission, b/c I feel like it lumps me in the same category of people who shop exclusively at WalMart or learn their politics from Toby Keith songs. But I love meat everyday, any place, any how.

But Uncle Ben does not like meat.

When we learned that the baby in my womb was about the size of a grain of rice, we came to call it Uncle Ben, because anything seems nicer than "it."

But seriously, Uncle Ben hates meat. And since he has control of the joystick in the game that is me, I hate meat. I can't stand it. The mere thought of it makes my insides flip and my skin crawl. Dinner the other night was at The Magic Castle, the kind of place where one goes for wedge of iceberg lettuce and blue cheese and a big honkin piece of meat smothered in tangy, burnt dreaminess.

I had the pasta primavera.

Fruit, on the otherhand, I can't get enough of it. I wake up with peaches on the brain. the taste of pluots on my lips. Plums in my heart. After 2 weeks of this I finally went to the store and picked up about 6 pounds of fruit so I would be set.

This morning I woke up and I looked at a peach. It stared back. I put it down. Now I don't seem to like fruit anymore. At all. Couldn't I at least get a memo for these things, so I don't have 6 pounds of pluots rotting in my kitchen?

But the thing that warms my heart?

Uncle Ben has got a killer sense of humor.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


A haiku:

2 tests in a box
The first one was negative
Two lines say "SURPRISE!"

I am going to be a mother.

Holy shit.

As a former college student, Angeleno and now wife, I've taken my fair share of pregnancy tests, and I am well acquainted with the one line. The reassuring thing about taking a pregnancy test as you are sweating bullets and imagining breaking the shocking news to your baby daddy and wearing elastic waistbands and screaming through labor like they do on TV is that the one line pops up almost instantaneously. It says, Calm down now, you paranoid little wretch who is on the pill. All is well, and remember that promise you made in the bathroom to God next time you decide to get it on.

But this time, the one line wasn't there.

I had taken a test just days before, and it was negative. The one line said "Go ahead and make your nine months pregnant sister order you a glass of wine just to rub it in." I wasn't pregnant.

But days later, my period was still MIA. And there was one test left in the box. So I took it, and that one line didn't come. I stared at the two little windows, waiting for the line, wondering if maybe the test was defective. Or...

And that's when the 2 lines appeared.

60 seconds later my husband and i were laughing and crying on the couch, staring at a stick that said everything is about to change.

I am going to be a mother. And I'm really happy about that. And when I'm scared shitless, I'll write about that, too.