Bionic Mamas

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

Itinerant items


Years and years ago, when Sugar was in grad school in Chicago and I was still in college in Massachusetts, I used to make these crazy drives to see her, straight through in my beater ford probe, because who has time or money for motels? One Christmas break, I made the drive despite my younger cousin (whose family I’d spent Christmas with) begging me not to, on the grounds that I was far too sick for the trip to be safe. She was entirely correct. I was just barely out of the delirium stage of am atrocious flu. The right side of my neck was so swollen I could hardly hold my head upright. An hour into the trip, just the pressure of my clothing on my body was enough to make me cry from pain.

But you know: love.

Somewhere in snowy Ohio, I began to realize what a terrible decision I’d made. Thinking some encouragement might help, I called Sugar, only to get her machine. (She didn’t have a cell phone, because who did?) Though I never failed to leave a message, that time I hung up. I was utterly certain I would not survive the trip, you see, and I did not want her to have to preserve forever as my final words to her the sound of my weeping.

(spoiler: I did not die. But I did engage in a race with an Indiana highway patrolman, and I had some hallucinations after I arrived)

Anyway, internets, that’s why I haven’t written during the moments of free time the last two days of travel with the Bean have afforded. It’s been… Harrowing. But though my sweatshirt be stained with both vomit and diarrhea, we are so close to home now that I feel I can chance a few items as we glide by the Hudson, two hours behind schedule but largely alive.

Item: still pregnant . I mean I assume I am. I do feel nervous about Monday’s ultrasound, but not because of any concrete evidence to fret over. The spotting has not returned. My uterus feels large. My breasts are enormous. (do they just keep getting bigger every time? Sheesh.) mood swings and hypoglycemia abound.  (I have inherited a familial hypoglycemia from my father. I’m usually pretty good about taking care of myself, but pregnancy apparently makes all the usual signals go haywire.)

although the unisom is keeping me pretty steady, I am not good friends at present with milk or eggs — very different from my unquenchable desire for same while pregnant with the Bean. I keep thinking I’m not having cravings until I get near a hamburger. Seriously, why are those not a breakfast food? As worth the Bean, hot tea and especially coffee are a fast track to Nausealand. This is a crappy combination with my taking a sedative every night and then taking care of a toddler every morning. And every night: he’s slept through the night three times since we left home almost a month ago.

Item: in most other respects, the Bean is great. He did his first solo jigsaw puzzle at my parents’ house, a 24-piece farm scene. Lots of coaching required the first time, markedly little the next day.  I am doing my best to build an ally in my quest to make puzzles a priority in our tiny living space.

He went on his first boat rides (row boats and canoes) on our trip to the north woods, loved it, and was pretty good at not throwing himself around like a maniac. He climbed his first (very small) mountain, and is immensely pleased with himself. Mostly he fell in love with a place six generations of our family have likewise loved.

More to tell, but it’s getting to be time to pack up our bags while the child is still distracted by the ipad. Pray my newfound confidence in our return home is not met with subway shenanigans.

9 thoughts on “Itinerant items

  1. Puzzles, huh? This, too, they will have in common. Bunny is an addict. In fact, his speech therapist uses puzzle pieces as a reward for making the sound she wants him too.

    Good luck with the last leg. Sorry about the throw-up and diarrhea. I hope it wasn’t the grapes, but fear that it was.

    • Next time, we will have to bring some puzzles! And a kid who’s had a real nap. Don’t worry over the grapes — whatever this is, it’s been too long to blame them. (I feel fine, fwiw, and he hasn’t had a fever or anything that makes me think contagion.)

  2. Yikes! Sounds like some lovely adventures, despite the bodily fluids and sleeplessness. Hope the last leg home is quick and painless (and bodily-fluid-free)

  3. Yeah for family reunions, I’ve been thinking about your travels!

  4. I’ve been thinking of you. Glad it’s gone (mostly) well. Travelling with a toddler is HARD. Travelling solo with a toddler while pregnant? I am in awe of your strength.

    If it is any consolation, E. (who is largely now a good sleeper) is a TERRIBLE sleeper anytime we travel, and then goes back to normal pretty much as soon as we get home again. So I hope the Bean will be the same.

    I was pretty beaten down after our trip to Europe in June, but after a few weeks back home I already tended to only remember the lovely bits and could more easily skip over the disasters (largely involving E. in an enclosed space on public transit). So I’m sure the vomit and whatnot will be less prominent in your memories in a month.


  5. OK so I am stuck on a totally irrelevant part of your post – please do not tell me that breasts get bigger the second time around!! That I really do not need.

  6. Awwww! My husband traveled (though using the expensive but sane method of airplane) from MA to Chicago to see me when I was in grad school. Makes me teary…

    I want a place six generations of my family can love. That is incredibly touching.

    You are an amazing rock star for taking such a trip at all, let alone while gestating.

    Puzzles are THE BEST. We are big puzzle fans here. I like the lame kind that are all folksy scenes of people quilting or playing cricket or some shit. Good on the bean for busting into the world of puzzles.

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