Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The newness of numbers, the sound of words


Every post these days seems to celebrate a number, a span of time left before this baby will be born. Each week is a new breath of fresh air and each day left is a count-your-blessings moment. Today is the marker for 100 days left until our due date and like all these numbers it's the first ever experiencing this. These weeks of pregnancy were always markers that I never thought I would get to, let alone be able to write about on a regular basis. Everything is "a first." I broke down and bought my first toy for the baby. I couldn't resist those knit dolls I've always wanted to buy.

This also marks the first baby toy I don't feel like stashing away like a closeted secret - afraid to let myself and others see it for fear it will just verify what I might lose. A breakthrough is an understatement. It was like some sort of shock therapy. After the initial shock wore off that buying the toy didn't unleash the infertility heavens to shit all over me and I didn't immediately get a phonecall telling me bad news, I felt like we might as well go whole hog. We decided on the crib, the bedding, the rocker, the wall paper, the stroller, the whole shebang. All in one afternoon a load of emotional baggage lifted in one fell swoop. First time moments are truly magical.

Words have a similar first time moment. There are words you never say until that time arrives to welcome it. Do you remember the person you first said "I love you" to? Do you remember the first time you referred to someone as a boyfriend or girlfriend? It was scary to say at first. I remember after I got married it still felt so new and weird to say, "My husband did this, my husband did that" or "I am his wife." It felt like a funny mistake my tongue had made without me knowing it. But years later, forming those same words in my mouth are as common as any other noun, adjective, or verb I might need to say.

But I had this same new moment the other day making an audio tape to send to A. I had decided to record some stories so the baby can hear me since at this point the baby is suppose to be able to recognize voices. So I grabbed some books with my niece who acted as my assistant reader. I slowly flipped open the story book, took a deep breath, pushed the record button, and began, "Hello, this is mommy."

The word fell out of my mouth with that same hesitation and weirdness as all first time words. It felt funny, slightly exciting, but mostly like trying on new skin. The same way when I would say "husband," I felt like I was pretending or playing dress-up. "Surely the word 'wife' is not me, I would think to myself. "Surely that man over there I've been dating is not my husband?" But yes, those words were correct. And saying the word "mommy," not referring to a third person or a concept, but to myself will take some time to not feel a little absurd. But like all things, there has to be a first time.

Luckily, a little voice reassured me I was not insane when my niece handed me another book and said, "Say it again, 'this is mommy.' That sounded nice."

8 comments:

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

Once again, you've made me cry (in a very good way) with this post ... another that brings me right back to where we once were.

Wishing you many, many more magical firsts.

Infertile In the City said...

TABI - crying at work is not cool, but, I so loved your post. It takes me back, a year ago, 2 years ago, when we fist "met" the war you fought to get here, I'm so happy you brought the doll, and decided on everything else, I wish I could have seen it, in my head it plays like one of those magical monterages (sorta like when julia roberts buys all those nice clothes in pretty women - the pride she has, the excitement).
Congrats, 99 days and counting...

Dora said...

Beautiful post. Mommy ... such a powerful word.

luna said...

I love love love this.

how wonderful baby will hear your voice now! I think that really helped us. we talked a lot to K's belly in the hope that baby would recognize our voices too. I think she did.

counting down the days with you!

Caz said...

I've just read your blog for the first time. It's had me and my partner crying and laughing together at the same time because what you say hits such a raw nerve. I'm so desperate to hear of someone else going through the same feelings as me. We're a little behind you in terms of how much we've been through but in the uk you have to wait 2 years before they'll put you on ivf, then I miscarried at 6wks a year ago so they moved the goal posts again. Time just keeps ticking on and we can't do anything about it. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Caz xx

Holly said...

Hey Mommy,

I have a big smile underneath my tears!!!!

What a great post...can't wait for the next one, but next time I will have the box of tissues close by!

The next 3 months are gonna fly by!

peesticksandstones said...

Oooh, I hope you'll show us some more of the cool stuff you picked out! I remember the first time I brought home a baby item, and setting it on the living room floor and just staring and staring at it for weeks in disbelief.

I remember how weird "mommy" sounded for the longest time. Only recently, at 4 months of saying it to my baby, has it started to really sink in and feel natural and right when it comes out of my mouth. I earned it, dammit. And sure as hell have YOU!

Peaches said...

What a wonderfully wise niece you have...Keep reading Mommy!