Thursday, December 5, 2013

Miracles, junk food, and non-toxic paint

Holiday miracle: I thought my new space heater was broken, and now it’s working again.  Thank you, baby Jesus. 
Our other, most recent, holiday miracle is Baby Evie’s newly-apparent swimming.  I’d suspected there were goings-on in my uterus for a few weeks, but I guess she’s big enough now that her watery acrobatics can’t be confused with gas anymore.  There were squirms, I thought, during Thanksgiving dinner, and I tugged Heather into the bathroom to see if she could feel them, but no dice.  Sunday, though, it was so apparent that something was afoot that we gave it another try: I lay on the bed with Heather’s ear pressed to my belly, and our fetus, 21 weeks and 1 day old, made herself known to Mommy. 

Heather described swishing sounds, like rolling around on a water bed.  Trying to keep the room quiet, I’d tap her leg when I felt something, and she would murmur in soft agreement.  Our kitten Cleo, impatient that our attention was elsewhere, climbed onto Heather’s hip, expecting to be doted upon as usual, but for once we ignored her.  We were preoccupied with thumps and flutters and flailing limbs, as though a tiny arm that we couldn’t even see was the most absorbing single feature of the universe.  When the arms quieted down, Heather and I felt bereft and cheated, directing our maternal instincts towards Cleo with renewed vigor.  We even tried to get Evie going again, singing at my mid-section, tapping like you’re not supposed to on animal enclosures…  Nada.  We knew she was stubborn, but we didn’t figure she’d be such a hard sleeper.  Still, it can only be a good thing in the future, right?

Miss Evangeline has a new last name, too.  Yesterday I went to court to change mine, ensuring that the little one will not be burdened with an eleven-letter surname.  Heather has been assigned to get a plaque for the front porch announcing our shared last name, because if I had to go to court, it’s going to be public.  The judge was pretty no-nonsense and not entirely sure that my desire to unload an ugly last name was a compelling reason, but the requisite documents are signed nonetheless.  I feel that I’m giving my child a beautiful gift, in that she will never have to spell out her last name at a doctor’s office.  “Evangeline,” maybe, but that’s pretty phonetic.  When I finished decorating the tree last night, I thought about how this is her first Christmas (even if it’s from the womb) and that this is her first Christmas present.  Now if she’d only return the favor by growing into a big Santa belly…

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