19 March 2010

one year ago

You're comin with me.

One year ago this weekend, I was out dancing. I had the "perfect pregnancy" to the extent that any pregnancy can be perfect. I was woefully ill for the first four months or so... as in, riding my bike and throwing up WHILE RIDING MY BIKE. Walking down the street and barfing ON THE STREET. You have no idea how humiliating that is. But supposedly lots of barf is an auspicious omen, nonetheless.

So one year ago I had survived the turmoil, the questions, the terror, the samadhi, the education, the changes, the headstands, the momsoon... it was time.

She was due on the equinox. Funny, because my birthday is the solstice. I had hoped she'd come 'on time' (what a concept) so she'd be a Pisces cusp. No such luck. But I was not uncomfortable. Feelin fine, apparently. Dancing, moving with ease. No pain, no pressure, no nothing. The biggest pain I had was in my neck with everyone asking me if I was "ready" or if she had come yet. I think you should leave a pregnant woman alone except to ask her if she'd like her feet rubbed or a cup of tea. Don't bug her with your agenda. You think it's not your agenda, because you're asking her about herself, but it is your agenda. She's fine. Leave her be. Get the woman some peppermint or a glass of wine and call it a day.

One year ago I was prepared and patient. Curious and thoughtful. Not hurried. Never testy.

I did like the love. Only once did it happen that someone asked me to rub my belly (at least he asked) and I said "NO WAY!" Some skeezy guy at Utopia. Everyone else was people I liked or wanted to know: mommas and papas and universoul lovers and family. It is a beautiful thing, being pregnant. I will say this, though. Some people call it a "sexy" time. For me it was not a sexy time, really. It may be a horny time, it may be a sexualized time, but all I felt was like I was a walking neon sign that read "Ayano's Property. " Just being honest, here. How much more claimed can you be? It's not like I got into this situation by myself. I had some help. And so then I walk around with it. That was an interesting transition. From being independent in my body, in my identity, to feeling claimed. Nevermind invalidated. It is ah-maze-ing the way that people (women) see a bulging belly as an invitation to spill their stories on you. Luckily, I had the tool of attention just to listen and not to comment or be contrary or brusque. Women need more support in this world, this country. I was thinking of creating a first trimester support group, because it tends to be the most challenging time: you're pregnant - probably - and you're not supposed to tell anyone, you don't know if it's going to stick, and nothing at all in the world is certain. You need a gang of women around you yet you're too exhausted even to clip your toenails. It will happen. I'll make it happen.

Once I was waiting for the number 1 bus on my way to teach yoga after the 9-5. It was a cold night, I was probably 7 or 8 months along, wearing my Columbia winter ski coat. This guy looks at me and says, "What do you have under your jacket!?" as if I was smuggling a Honeybaked ham. I stopped for a second, because I couldn't quite comprehend what I was being asked, and I said, "A baby...I mean, on the inside." He then sparks a conversation, telling me about his girlfriend who is six months pregnant. He tells me what they're going to name their son and then asks me what I'm naming my daughter. "I can't tell you," I say, "it's a secret." He then tries six ways to Sunday to convince me to tell him her name, "I'm a complete stranger! You'll never see me again!" But of course that wasn't enough. "I'll give you five bucks!" I shit you not the man offered me a Lincoln if I'd tell him my daughter's name. What? Still no. He hollered at me as he was getting off the bus, and even once he was on the street, still trying to get me to call out my daughter's name to him, a total stranger, for no other reason than he wanted to know. Silly man.


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