It's only the beginning / by Christina Rosalie

I’ve grown accustomed to being hunched over. Hunched, as in, knees up, back rounded, almost fetal. This is the way I spend my day, curled on the couch, attached at the hip to my laptop, mostly, between tentative forays into the kitchen, and occasional attempts to be useful in any way. It isn’t pretty. Remember when I used to be a runner? When I wake up, for a split second as I’m lying there in bed, I think I’ve maybe just been having an unpleasant dream (one that involves lots of dry heaving and vomit.) I lie perfectly still on the apricot colored sheets and feel the wind blow through the open window above the bed, cool on my cheeks, and my body feels simply there. Toes, knees, arms heavy from sleep. Usually, DH has already gone to shower, but Bean, who crawls into our bed at sun up, is snuggled next to me, and I still like the smell of his hair, so I curl towards him and nuzzle in.

Eventually though, I must stand, shower, and begin the ridiculous process of trying to put food in my stomach while my stomach furiously tries to expel it. Banana didn’t go over so well this morning. Peanut butter, which I can barely stand in ‘real life’ is one of the few things that sticks without complete offense. If I eat every two hours, I seem to be able to avoid vomiting. Sort of. According to the doctor, this is all good news. She told me this with a grin, while she measured the blur of black and white with a fluttering heart rate on the ultrasound monitor. Due date, February 24.

Yesterday was miserably hot, which only increased my discomfort. Over night though, the humidity was squandered in big fat raindrops. Now, the grass is dew-dimpled and silvery. Everything is a tangle of green, the meadows are waist high with grass. The goslings have tripled in size. In the garden, the cabbages like fat purple jewels are tucked between pewter leaves. The tomatoes are ramshackle, taking over an entire bed. The radishes have gone wildly to seed, but I leave them in place, their tiny white flowers calling for honey bees.

Last night, in a rare moment of inspiration devoid of nausea, I made peach grunt with a pile of almost spoiled peaches. Easy peasy. Cut up peaches and place them in the bottom of a pie pan with a few dabs of butter and a sprinkle of sugar. Mix 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1-1 ½ cups whipped cream together until it becomes a sticky dough. Place dough in mounded spoonfuls on top of peaches and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the peaches are bubbly.

We ate it with whipped cream. The dough bakes into this lovely scone-like confection. Really quite delicious, even while nauseous.

Now I am hunched on the floor beside Bean who is drawing with scented markers. Of course, he thinks they are the coolest things in the entire world. I think they were invented to torture women afflicted with the all day version of morning sickness.

While I’m genuinely excited about the idea—the idea, mind you and not necessarily the actuality—of two kids, the fact that I now must be pregnant for the next eight months is painful to me. And depressing. I hated being pregnant the first time around, and I hate it no less this time. I also hate all those women who virtually sparkle the entire time they are pregnant. Who act as if it is the best thing in the universe. Halley Berry types who say they wish they could be pregnant forever.

Am I the only person in the world who hates being pregnant?