I was the most content pregnant woman in Germany, maybe even in all of Europe. I'd just left a stressful and all-consuming job in LA that involved a lot of silly but somehow sharp office drama (it devolved to the point that at least once an hour I held scissors to my own throat and pretended to cut my jugular just because and only because it upset one of my co-workers). I was a bitch and a drudge and a scourge and my name was well on its way to becoming a byword among the nations. My unpleasantness and disaffection were Biblical.
And then a miracle happened and I was whisked off through no virtue of my own to this shiny new life in Europe: no work, no reponsibilities, no deadlines. Plus: a free car! It was that magical. And the most magical thing of all: at an advanced age and with no expectations at all, suddenly a suspected case of food poisoning turned into a baby on the way.
I had just finished a lovely 6-week vacation/language intensive on the Baltic Sea, in which I swam. I walked about 5 miles a day through hilly German vineyards, ate well and often and according to the finest of nutritional guidelines, slept when I was tired, read books, saw old friends and made new ones. I tried different things--not just odd German things like their late-night talk shows that inevitably end with someone on rollerskates wearing feathers talking about the Euro Zone, but different clothes and different music, books, speed limits, opportunities, boundaries and horizons. I did all this in the name of being a memorable parent, a deserving mother, a woman prepared and excited to help this child make his way through a strange world.
This is no longer the case, this glowing. And it's not because all those bouncy hormones have pulled up stakes. It's not just that I'm watching 50 creeping up on me in 15 short months, bringing with it crepe-y skin, kooky knees and adult acne. It's that I've lost my lustre. It's not depression, that black velvet comforter that keeps a girl in bed with the blinds down; this is more like a set of scratchy flannel pyjamas in an unpleasant shade of ecru. There are no raisins in my oatmeal. One of my sparkplugs has crud in it. My dog won't hunt. My tiara don't sparklie. Bleah. Just. . . bleah, is all.
Getting knocked up isn't an option this time, but I'm going to put myself on a pregnancy diet again just the same. I'm not talking just blueberries and brazil nuts (tho also blueberries and brazil nuts). I'm going to try to live this day-to-day adventure as though I were uniquely responsible for nurturing a small life inside. But this time it's mine.