Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pregnancy Memories

Today the filming begins. The Brits will meet me at my office for my initial interview. I cannot tell whether or not I am ready, it only seems right to begin. I pray that I honor both my God and myself in this endeavor. I feel like Moses, when he complained to God that he was not eloquent enough of tongue to deliver the message to Pharoah. Can I get my message across in a way that makes me look credible? Last week I had lunch with my friend, Betty. She has a PhD in English as a Second Language/Linguistics. She has spent about the last 10 years teaching English throughout the Middle East, from Hebron to Qatar, from Kuwait to the United Emerites. I am always eager to see her when she is in town on annual furlough. I love to hear her stories of places and people on the other side of the world and the impact she is having in the lives of those she interacts with. As I told her of my plans and projects, and my accompanying concerns, she suggested that I review the rules of logic and debate for defending my ideas. I thought this was an excellent idea, especially since the issues are so emotional for me. As an academic and researcher, Betty thought that by framing my experience as a case study, or a self-reported observation I could provide valuable, usable data to anyone inclined to utilize it. I'm not so sure. Antedotes and empirical evidence (or what I refer to as personal narratives) are usually not as valued in the research community- but its an interesting thought. Besides my work is targeted to the masses, not the ivory tower bunch, though I would be thrilled if someone took a positive interest in my work. Of course I could always try to publish in the scholarly journals myself- but right now I'm more focused on Woman's Day and Ladies Home Journal.

Speaking of "my work" I'm feeling ever so pregnant these days. Heartburn abounds, so do round ligament pains. On any given day, I could be mistaken for a duck, waddling my way to and from my appointed rounds. The other night I awoke out of dead sleep with a charlie horse. I had to wake my husband to push on my foot and fix me. I've increased my calcium intake since then. This will be my final pregnancy so I try to relish it all. I want to remember how pregnancy feels, the sweet bulk of it, the lavish heft of it. I want to wrap it in tissue paper and tuck it away in a corner of my brain that never forgets. That sounds absurd, doesn't it for someone whose had ten pregnancies? How can I possibly forget? But there are times when all my pregnancies and births blurr together in a mix, I cannot distinguish one from another. Who was it that I tried to fix the heartburn with dried papaya? Which was the pregnancy that felt light and airy and made me feel like a goddess among mortals? Which pregnancy did I discover leased maternity clothes and had the smartest business wardrobe ever? Throughout which pregnancies did I try to drink a quart a day of raspberry leaf tea in the final months? Who did I take the Bradley lessons for? I have many pregnancy memories, but its difficult to fix them to a specific time and place and child. Heck, about 50% of the time, I don't even get my kids names right when I call them, and I have to really think to figure out who was born what year! But this, I want to remember. I want to relish this pregnancy, that I gourged myself on hand-picked blueberries, and swooned at the sight of cold bottled water, that I go barefoot every chance I get, even in my office, that I see a chiropractor monthly, and take morning walks with the family dog. My jiggly belly, my big floppy breasts, my tree trunk thighs and my dependable sturdy feet- I love it all, and treasure each gifted memory that this pregnancy brings.

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