Thursday, November 15, 2007

Smokestacks Aflame

It has been a pleasant November so far, yet I keep finding my jaw clenched when I wake up each morning. I can't shake the feeling I'm forgetting something ominous and hugely important.

My mind seems to work like the oil refineries that dot the northeast corner of the Bay. On a sparkling, clear day, smokestacks blaze to burn off pollution collected from production on smoggier days. I'm told refineries pick the cleanest air days to outgas because it prevents them from running afoul of the environmental laws. Bad ass particles that would have resulted in penalties if they were released on smoggy days are just fine when released on the clean-air days.

This always struck me as sneaky of refineries -- sort of an end-run around the clean air mandates. Still, it is practical. And now my psyche is doing the same thing.

Little A was due in mid-January 2007. She was born five weeks early, so last year at this time I was nearing the end of my pregnancy but didn't know it. Crisis mode is not the time for constructing big pictures and waxing philosophical. So last November I ricocheted between the hospital L&D triage room and my home with preterm labor and tried not to go completely loony from the terbutaline. I also tried not to go crazy over the fact my kitchen renovation ran late. Nothing like the grit, noise, and power and water interruptions from construction to make working in your home office peaceful and productive!

And that was about it, in terms of conscious thought from me. I was more tired and uncomfortable than I will be until I (hopefully) reach my nineties and have worn out entirely. My body felt like someone turned it inside out, whipped me all over, and then yanked me rightside out again. Even though nobody could see it, my uterus was about to go boom.

I know people say that when you look back on pregnancy later, you forget all the annoying parts and focus on the sweet parts. Well, maybe if you're talking about a case of hemorrhoids or stretch marks that's true. But would you say "Someday you'll look back on this and laugh!" to someone right after a hostage crisis? Because that's what Little A's pregnancy was like. I'm thrilled to be where I am now, but I'm not particularly fond of the scene of the crime, and don't think I ever will be.

1 comment:

Beruriah said...

This post feels so relevant to me right now.

I'm so glad those days are over and you are where you are now, as well.