Tuesday, August 24, 2010
And there it is: our daughter. Daughter. What a strange thing to be writing, to say to one another, when we had especially anticipated a boy--from the conviction of friends' "vibes," to the dreams both myself and my mother had, to the timing of the conception, to the way I kept calling her a "he." And I'm relieved to report that, though shocked, and asking the doctor, "Are you sure?," I really, profoundly discovered I would have been happy either way. There were moments when I thought of the adorability of Jack and Jimmy, how another Kiefer boy could charm just as easily, and there were moments, such as the Vida panel at Bread Loaf, when I felt all fierce and feminist and wanting a girl. But ultimately, either sort, or anything in between, would have been welcome and beloved.
After telling Kelly, I'm slowly waiting for the ringing to die down from my ear, my own mother's hand clamped over her mouth at the news, which she received at the same moment as Ryan and myself. There it was--a mover, a manipulator. I wanted the wand to still so I could simply stare in wonder as her fists moved in and out of the cave, as she touched her face, as she bicycled her legs. In the follow-up appointment with the OB doctor, he also noticed the frolicking, the kick into the device that listens for a heartbeat, the having to chase it about to keep it steady. Oh, and how that heartbeat looked like the mouth on a puffer fish on the screen, already mocking me, telling me I was wrong to not let her stay out past curfew and that I just don't understand anything at all.
I'm completely, head-over-heels in love already. I was before I saw her face, but this makes it even more miraculous, that monkey-love, her limbs climbing about, her nose and lips jutting. I keep calling her my minnow; I think this might be baby's first nickname.
My mother and I have been busy making: she made me a second pair of maternity pants in tan corduroy, she also worked on the first version of cloth diapers, I have been knitting the kicking bag, and I finally tamed the bobbin and started making soft stacking blocks out of leftover quilt fabric. It's our sweat shop; Ryan asked me if Santa had arrived in August. I feel that push even more, the desire to make things with my hands, when it's specifically for her. Love, love, love. So much of it, right here.