Periodically, if it is relevant to other themes I’ve been exploring here, I will post an entry from my archive of the more private journal I have had since 2003. Here is one such entry, from a letter I wrote to Jaya when I was pregnant with her, back in May of 2007. This was part of a project I was doing then, which was compiling a song for each week of pregnancy; I called it my “gestation mix” and this was week thirteen’s entry. The song I had chosen for that week was Tobias Hellkvist’s cover of “Step Aside.”
Have I ever shared this picture? If you can’t make it out, it’s a shot of the words “ROBINA ANDY” scrawled into the cement. It’s on the sidewalk a few blocks from our house.
We had nothing to do with it.
The real mystery is that no one we know knows anything about it either, or will admit to having done it. It showed up at some point after our wedding, though we can’t be clear exactly when, since, I mean, how often do you scrutinize the sidewalk outside your front door, let alone blocks away from where you live? The only reason we even picked up on it is because it’s outside an apartment building Rayna used to live in, and she had stopped by at some point to make sure there hadn’t been any mail left for her there, happened to look down, and there it was. This building is next door to a pretty popular neighborhood bar, one that many people we know frequent, so the theory is that someone we knew got drunk and this was the result. But the real question is why our names? If you were drunk and saw wet cement, wouldn’t you scrawl your own name into it? The whole situation baffles me, but I smile every time I pass this little piece of sidewalk, which is several times a week since it’s on my way to the gym.
In the next three hours I officially sail through to the magical time known as the second trimester, this period where I will supposedly begin to be recognizably pregnant, stop gagging through meals, feel the baby move within me, stop feeling asexual, gain more energy, stop worrying. Of course I will not cross this threshold at exactly twelve midnight and suddenly feel all of those things. As with all things, though, it helps to conceptualize experiences with landmarks and so we have this one. When I first found out I was pregnant, this moment seemed impossibly far away –the way being 32 or 36 or 40 or whenever weeks seems impossibly far away now — and now it’s here!
When I think back on the first trimester so much of it surprises me, much like finding your name in the sidewalk when you didn’t put it there. I’m not only learning so much about pregnancy, about growing an entire human being (!!), but I’m learning a lot about myself, my impulses, my strengths and weaknesses, myself-with-Andy. None of it has been exactly what I expected. so on the eve of my second trimester, here’s to you sea monster, and here’s to the fact that I know you will continue to surprise me, both when it comes to you and when it comes to me. I can’t wait to listen to this song, which I find oddly comforting and euphoric despite its pensive lyrics, with you later, when your tiny hand is wrapped around my finger, and later than that, when you’re fifteen and are horribly embarrassed by the whole idea that I made a “gestation mix” for you, and even later when you and/or your partner are having a sea monster of your own.