Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Easing Back In


Hello, internets. Miss me?The radio silence you’ve been enjoying has been made possible by:

  • a Bean who is getting smilier and more fun every day
  • a Mama who is way less depressed now that she isn’t in pain all the time*
  • more weather worth walking around in [Ha! Except then it rained all week and I still didn’t get this post done!]*only…I seem to have injured myself with only a little pumping, and the weather got chillier, and…the vasospasms are back. I have stopped pumping and they seem to be fading. I figure I’ll try pumping again when I’m healed up, but if that’s how it’s gonna be, then I guess it will be formula when there comes a time that I can’t always be nursing him. ‘Cause I ain’t going down that road again.

But I miss you, and it’s raining, and the Bean is asleep in the ergo, so I thought I’d tiptoe back by accepting these nice awards from Kaitake:

The rules:

1. Link back to the person who bestowed the awards on you (yup).

2. Tell us 7 things about yourself, for each of the awards (total 14 things):

Good heavens. Fourteen things. But I do so want to be both stylish and versatile…. I may have to draw from current events.

1. I’m from North Carolina. My accent was never terribly strong, and what I had of it was beaten out of me in college, where almost the only thing left to give someone trouble over was the region of the country she came from. I regret its loss very, very much. I get very pissed off when people say stupid things about the South, especially when it’s that smarmy aren’t-we-all-so-awesome-because-we’re-liberal-Northeasterners B.S. that some folks will try on me because I don’t have an accent and because all Southerners are bigoted and backward, right?

2. My first year out of college, I worked for City Year, part of Americorps. At our national conference that spring, I shook Bill Clinton’s hand after he gave us the most generous and moving speech; was deeply disappointed by John McCain, who phoned in his appearance in a way I found very disrespectful; and went to hear a state senator give a surprisingly good talk to in a small classroom. Although I agreed with what he had to say and thought he’d said it well, I was bothered by a lazy rhetorical flourish that relied on the expectation that rural people are backward, and, as I try to when possible, I came up to him afterwards to tell him so. We had a good talk, I thought, and he seemed to see my point. …which is why I was so disappointed when, years later, this happened. Barack, we talkedabout this!

[Whoa. It’s days later; I have no idea what bee was in my bonnet when I started that. Someone must have crossed me, and now you bear the brunt of my irritation. I won’t delete, as the tirade above certainly tells you more about me than whatever cutesy facts I’d come up with to replace it. Ahem.]

3. In case the above cast any doubt, I loved and continue to love my college. Sugar and I met there, when she was a sexy senior and I was a bright-eyed first-year with waist-length braids. (I shaved my head second semester. As you do.)

4. Lists apparently give me thinking-block. My preferred form of OCD is categorizing.

5. …which is why my “favorite” household chore is laundry. Secretly, I even love that our wee-tiny, totally not-allowed-in-our-building, hooks-to-sink/drains-to-tub washing machine is so small that I have to subdivide my normal categories into smaller loads. (Hot pinks only! Lights/cold! Blue things with buttons!)

6. I am not a good housekeeper. At all. But I am a good cook. If you were coming to dinner for the first time, I’d probably make a lamb tagine and Lebanese couscous, unless I was in the mood for chicken and biscuit. If you are a vegetarian, we’d probably have pasta alla norma. If you are a vegan, well, you probably aren’t friends with me, on the grounds of my terrible boorishness.

7. I have a degree in writing and even a little book-ella, with photographs by Sugar. (Please don’t give away our secret spidey-identities.) I found pregnancy profoundly mentally debilitating but am now starting to feel like thinking again, which might turn into writing again. Last time the ol’ noggin was functional, I was reading Illness as Metaphor and thinking about infertility in literature. I got as far as checking Hedda Gabbler out of the library and carting both around for months. Then I lost both of them. The library has now been paid and I’m ready to start again. If you think of other examples of infertility — at least strongly implied — in literature, especially canon-stuff, please tell me.

Okay, that took almost a week. On to current events.

8. Can I say again how much more fun I am having with the Bean these days? He smiles, he laughs, he shows a marked delight in Evita and Patti Lupone in general. I’m starting to figure out the napping situation, thanks to some good advice about putting him down earlier and some accidental discoveries about the wisdom of letting him fuss a little. It helps that he can see his mobiles now, so I don’t feel quite as guilty putting him down when awake.


Not the world’s greatest pictures, but I love this thing.
9. The Bean’s room is still very much a work in progress, particularly when it comes to decoration. Why, yes, the man in that print is smoking a cigarette. Positively wholesome compared to most of what’s on the walls in there. That room has been the repository for art that I like but either don’t want our guests staring at during dinner or don’t want to see when I’m trying to go to sleep. Which is to say, it’s mostly me naked and/or work that is overtly about death. Cheerful!
10. We’re having a lot more fun doing tummy time these days, thanks to the Bean’s greater head control (which he developed despite having virtually no tummy time until recently, which makes me wonder just how necessary it is, but anyway) and my giving up on forcing him to face-plant on the floor, which seemed cruel, boring, and a guarantee of a crabby baby. Now I lie most of the way down and put him on my stomach. Cute! (And I don’t have to lie on the floor, staring at the herd of dust buffalos under the furniture, which is kind of a drag — see #6.)

tummy time

The mobile Sugar made, which hangs over his bassinet, is fuzzily visible in the upper right.
11. We have rain-sound white noise on so much of the time now that I’ve started dreaming of monsoons. Think Apocalypse Now. Also, I have to pee. All the time. The continual actual rain outside is more of a problem, not least because I suspect that the Bean has inherited my (and my mother’s) air-pressure-related migraines. There have been at least two days when a blistering headache on my part has coincided with strangely pained, inconsolable wailing on his, much improved by a dose of infant Advil. Poor critter. I was so happy knowing he couldn’t have endometriosis and so naggingly worried about the likelihood of asthma, but I never thought about this one. At least he’s also got my ability to move his eyebrows individually. That’s some compensation.
12. He also has my (and my father’s) simian crease on his left hand. I get strange looks when I glow with pride over this point of resemblance, but I have always loved sharing this with my dad. It’s like we’re part of a secret club most people don’t even know exists. My father, who is a geneticist, used to show his students pictures of our hands — a good reminder that soft-markers are not diagnoses.
Left Hands
13. I keep meaning to write my birth story for y’all; I don’t know if there’s a statute of limitations on that sort of thing. Even though I basically got the story I wanted — healthy baby, vaginal birth, an epidural that was nothing but wonderful — I spent a long time feeling really messed up about parts of it. Ashamed is the closest word, I think. In a way, Dr. Russian’s later display of bitchery was a relief in that it suggested that maybe her behavior during labor wasn’t my fault, per se.
14. The one I’ve been keeping from you: I need to change the subtitle of this blog, as I’m now down to just the one vagina.

I nominate the following bloggers for these awards: You. You Over There. You There. And You, Ya Lurker.

12 thoughts on “Easing Back In

  1. Of the many other things I find fascinating about this post, it is the last which fascinates me the most – down to just the one vagina? That is a story that I do hope you tell (and I am not ashamed in the least to say that I am fascinated by your vagina).

    Baby smile = happy Kym.

  2. yay for a post from you!
    and oh man do I love those curtains!
    and of COURSE Kym wants to know about the vagina…wait- one vagina? what's going on around here??

  3. Yes, you cannot drop something like that without explaining. How did this come about?!?

  4. Terribly curious. Also, I have some awesome serial killer portraits that my sister did in art school that I am not allowed to put up anywhere in our house–I'm sad to know that other couples compromise on the baby's room, since I don't think that would fly at our place. Anyway, I'm jealous of your death art…

  5. That smile is to die for! I did Americorps too. Andddddd those mobiles are absolutely amazing!

  6. Isn't smiling just the awesomest??? And yes…we're starting to see actual naps (as opposed to, I'll just sleep for a few minutes in devilishly unpredictable patterns)around here as well. And please, share more about your vagina. Inquiring turtles want to know.

  7. Simian crease?!? So cool!

  8. Of course we in the internets missed you! And the BABY!!

    We run a fan for white noise. It sounds like a storm inside all the time.

    Don't get me started on that set of Northeasterners who, while retaining their own racist, bigoted, narrow worldviews, simultaneously manage to believe that they are Enlightened, Egalitarian God(desse)s. And that anywhere south of DC and west of Philly is God's Country, except LA.

  9. Oh, what a delightful post! The part about tummy time made me laugh particularly hard. Face-plant-crabby-baby-time is right! And we've found it also always somehow becomes puddle-of-urine time, as there's something about the position that …oh wow, I can't think of the word I want…makes her diaper not work. I love the photo with your glorious rack in the foreground–it's a great view of Babyworld.

    And I say screw academic/intellectual writing–spend all your time writing posts for us to read.

  10. Ooh. Satisfied sigh. More of this sort of thing, please. On college, maybe?

    Bean's mobile = a thing of beauty.

    Bean himself, so beautiful. Goes without saying.

  11. Gorgeous baby! Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous baby!

    I am also completely OCD about laundry and dish-washing (No! NO! You can't wash that fork until you've done ALL the cups!). Otherwise, the house is a tip.

    ONE vagina OMFGBBQWTF?

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