26 March 2012
One of the hardest Sulvanisms for me to shake was the idea of spacing. It did not occur to me that I would be lighting each new pregnancy off the smolderings of the last. I was looking forward to the breaks that only seemed reasonable and necessary; I, like everyone else, had always lived break to break. Some months of not serving as host for another human life would keep me going. No weird clothes. No icky and embarrassing demands on my body for a while. Time for the baby to get bigger so it wouldn't be so rough adding another.
It didn't work out that way. Sometime in the last few days I lived the unknowable moment past which I have been pregnant, nursing, or both for ten years with no breaks in service. The part of me that finds this shocking has gotten smaller over those years, but she's still in here somewhere. While the lot of normally functioning woman is no longer unthinkable to me, it remains incredible and menacing and gargantuan. It is a tidal wave and I am a bicycle on the beach. To think of it makes me want to fall down on the floor and just lie there.
I'm good at faking my way through local life like a normal person; to do otherwise would make everyone miserable. But I always secretly feel like an alien around women with kids the age of my older kids, because I do not know any who are living the lot of normally functioning women like I am. They have moved on to basketball practice and bike rides. There are no maternity clothes boxed up in their closets, there is no nursing paraphernalia in their top drawers. Precedent indicates that the baby and preschool moms, my closer allies for now, will soon leave me to join the basketballers and bikers. But I'll probably still be here; pregnant, nursing, both.
I didn't get the memo. I'm the supermom nobody wants to be.