Tuesday, July 11, 2006

With a song in my heart

"We are horrible, inflexible people."

That thought, coupled with another: "what ever made us think we could be parents," run through my consciousness on some hideous perpetual loop as I wait for my husband to get into the car.

It's a cold Saturday in November and we are on our way to the hospital, one month before the due date.

We had opted for the bootcamp version of child birth class because neither one of us could peel ourselves away from our busy, independent lives long enough to attend the more civilized, four-week program of two-hour classes on Tuesdays - TOGETHER. I don't remember what was playing on the radio because the soundtrack in my mind continuously blasted "BAD MOMMY, BAD MOMMY, BAD MOMMY."

I didn't want to do this. I am not sentimental. I haven't a romantic bone in my body. I LOVE PINK FLOYD and FISHBONE and THING FISH: I had nothing appropriate for motherhood.

As we parked the car and walked into the hospital, I had pictures in my mind of women in Bermuda shorts and Argyle socks sitting on the floor between the legs of their husbands, who read from some playbook and rubbed bellies while some woman with a whistle walked around the room urging everyone into a hyperventilating tizzy of WHO-WHOs and HE-HEs.

It seems funny to me now, how we sat there as if in a zoo, checking out the other couples. Measuring their dedication by swollen ankles and dark circled eyes.

We went through the motions, and did the breathing. I was surprised to learn that deep breaths were valued over the hee-hees. I also learned that yoga had made it possible for me to slow my inhalations to three per minute, subsequently earning me a spot on the remedial breathing crew after class.

Then it happened: The DJ/nurse/educator made us do The Baby Dance.
"... Mmmmm Mmmmmm mmmmmMmmm m."
Israel (IZ) Kamakawiwo'ole ... crooning "SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW." And we are instructed to hold on to our husbands as if we are slow dancing at the wedding. Turning in circles to the music, inspite of myself, I started to feel the rhythm of this new life, and thinking perhaps the soundtrack wasn't that bad after all.

I didn't know then that in that same hospital, a month later, there would ultimately be a c-section performed as Kate Bush's THIS WOMAN'S WORK" pushed all the lulling melody of fairy stories from me and replaced it with sheer terror.

"I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking
Of all the things that we should have said that were never said
All the things we should have done but we never did
All the things that you needed from me
All the things that you wanted for me
All the things that I should have given, but I didn't ...
Oh, darling, make it go away."

The "BAD MOMMY" anthem, the song that had hijacked my internal airwaves for nine months and threatend to stay with me for a lifetime, was back.

Oddly enough, when I finally saw her face and introduced myself, it was the Rainbow that won out in the end. Jed still can't hear that that dreamy intro without tearing up. I never told him how Kate was with me in surgery, but I'm thankful IZ was with him, and that we were all together at last.

Family portrait

*For writing prompt at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas


wordgirl said...

Oh yeah...the Rainbow song. It totally gets me every time.

Andrea said...

That? Is an adorable picture. Cherishable.

The fear can be intense, and I'm just glad seeing my son for the first time was more intense.