Friday, August 27

Abigail Faulkner Aisling Cook
born August 25, 2004
at 5:49 p.m.
8 lbs. 2 oz.
19 inches long

Tuesday, August 24

Looks like there should be some news soon.

Saturday, August 21

Had something to drink, something to eat, and took a good look around. I'm feeling much better now.
Instead of napping when I should have I read a book. Now I feel flustered like I ften do after reading a book in one sitting, unable to seperate the book from myself or my thoughts from the book. The boy in the book was afraid of things he didn't have a system for. I am afraid of things I don't have a system for.

Driving home in the rain my stomach hurt. It hurt on and off while I was reading and my lower back too but in no pattern. I was lying down and it is hard for me to tell sometimes when I am lying down because my hips can hurt as well. Now I am sitting up and I feel fine. Better, at least.

I am unsettled by never having done this before. And by the fact that there is no pattern to follow, no right way. My uterus contracts. I feel pain. Nothing happens for hours or days. My back hurts and this is normal. And it could mean nothing. I am afraid the book had something to do with this-- I was not unsettled before. Unsure, yes, uncertain, of course, but not unsettled.

It is my mother's birthday. She thought I would have the baby today. She is bucking the system and thinks it is a boy. Because I have an innie. It would have to be an incredibly short labor to make today the day. I have been counting on a longer prelabor to tie up loose ends. I think I will tie them up now. Maybe then I won't feel unsettled. But I don't just want to wait. Having things undone means I am not just waiting. My head is woozy, I am going now. To get something to drink. And tie up loose ends.

Friday, August 20

Walked downtown for black cohosh and ginger teas. Lala at the Lone Gull, humidity bothersome and feet swolen. Sausage and pasta at Trupiano's. Home walking tired feet and heat and longer from the train tracks with belly contracting but not progressing. Nap with Gata.

Cook sausage, remove, add olive oil, enjoy the smell. Add garlic and onions, the other half of last night's eggplant bitterness bled out. Tomato. Oregano. Basil. Move the table out for four for dinner, only three end up eating. Zac in effect via cd. More arrive late, then more on no particlular time. Too tired to move for much the rest are held captive by our one-channel tv and the Olympics.

Just one day late, too early for the risk of cohosh but not too soon for ginger. Sister says the baby will come on Mother's birthday, so it can be about her. Those who know say try for a Virgo. Painful contraction this morning but oly one. That won't do at all. Warm night, sleep may come hard or not at all. New neighbor. Lock the doors, try not to worry. Don't worry. Gata is already witing upstairs. I'm off to bed.

Monday, August 9

Monday morning. Did the dishes, swept the floor, nearly done with the laundry. I never thought I would enjoy laundry this much.

Watching movies lately, what else to do at 9 months? The rumor that I don't like movies is not true. I just like to watch them at home where I can do something useful at the same time. Or at Gerrit's, where he treats me like a princess.

Odd couple of days there, Friday and Saturday. Down, not out, but down and not happy about it. Family information I am uncomfortable knowing. Makes me think in a way I don't like to think. Friday baby slow to move, or just sleepy, who knows. But enough of a change to make me worry. Might have been me doing too much and not taking the time to feel little kicks and nudges. Could be because it is a little more cramped in there than before. Saturday spent being more still, eating more regularly. Kicks back to normal. Friendly faces in the afternoon and evening. Mystic Pizza. Irby's lemon tart. Tea in a big cup.

There is so much longing right now I hardly know what to do with myself. Make lists. Cross things off lists. Make new lists. List of lists:

* people to call when I have a baby (find phone numbers)
* people to email when I have a baby (make email list)
* things to pack for the hospital
* movies to get
* things that need to be done before I bring Baby home

If you have anything I should add to my lists or my lists of lists let me know. I haven't done very well with them yet.

My grandfather finally opened the pool, no locust trees this year and even no chairs. But I can go and pack more junk, swim. Remember mermaid days. Skin sliding through the water, light and music from the barn as friends shoot pool. Night swimming, naked, when the air is as cool as the water. Swimming until teeth chatter and limbs are useless, finding my way inside, sleeping with the moon in the window and off the water.

Friday, August 6

Hips are sore in the morning, the weight of the womb and all. The sun wakes me long before the bus honks outside for Eric, the boy who lives in our backyard. Took a bath into a shower and back into bed. Why can't I stay naked in bed all day? For modest visitors I would pull the covers up to my chin. Getting dressed is such a hassle these days.

Gerrit arrives for coffee and Portugese sweet bread, new corn broom in hand for the new house. Gooseberry jam and Xtina's condiments. Gata wants out the back door, asks politely with one paw raised. I still say no. Bag of baby clothes left on the back porch, no note, but 12 months written in a hand I recognize.

Nap time, morning nap, Gata with paws crossed over my hand as I sleep. One hour of sleeping and one hour of thinking. Thinking of you, of all of you. I am starting to say sentimental things and I hope you don't mind.

Sent home last night with leftover turkey, open-faced sandwiches for lunch. No cranberries but dried, thrown in a pan with some orange juice then zzzed. New table in the kitchen, old diner table kept for years in my father's basement, moved from James's grandparent's house. A better shape for facing eachother. Wooden table into the study.

Off now to the old house, to get plants and cinder blocks and wood for building shelves. Mirror and the wedding present from Chris. Painting of me at age 5 riding the carousel at St. Peter's Fiesta, wearing my favorite dress. Maybe the antique cradle. Medium dishes for serving sweet bread toast to your favorite people.

Wednesday, August 4

Lost the post I was writing yesterday, blue screen before burgers at Halibut Point. No big loss. Birthing class and cleaning, basinette set up and laundry away. Rooms vacuumed, waiting for my mother-in-law to visit.

I should talk about the weekend.

Missed poetry on Friday, promised my sister I would take Caleb and Elijah. Elijah, 2, well-behaved and flirting with my friend Kelly, sitting in the evening on the back porch eating popcicles. Caleb, 6 months, fussy from the heat but still wanting no more than to be up against me. Kelly leaves at 10, door slam wakes up Caleb. Singing on the front stoop, sleeping on my shoulder, waking every time I try to put him down. One o'clock brings the parents through the door, followed by James and MC. Everyone happy with the evening but my body, tired from pacing and holding.

Saturday morning stayed in and rested, conserving energy for the evening's trip in for the Massacre. Shocked by the trade, worried about D. Lowe, driving into town listening to sports radio. Excited to hear and meet new people. Glad to see Tina and Matt again, and all my friends. Nice to meet Stephanie Young. I wish I had more of a brain these days but I haven't. If whomever is in my belly is a boy I want hand-me-downs from James-- that kid has style.

I enjoyed the readings on Saturday night. I wish I could give more details but right now I haven't got much left in me. I remember being relieved by xtina's political poems and knocked out by Dottie's reading. Being surprised at how quiet David Hess was both reading and talking. How I wish Kim Lyons had gone over 12 minutes. Being flattered by Joe's reading. And finally, Saturday night, being overwhelmed by the lack of care in Douglas Rothschild's game show.

Maybe it was because I am 9 months pregnant and can't sit still for so long anymore. Maybe it was because the poetry was so good to that point. Maybe it was hearing complaints about people going over time, which I had hardly noticed. But I think it is bigger than that. New York is New York and Boston is Boston. I like them both. But the game show tried to bring a New York event to Boston without acknowledging what an important character place is. If the audience were playing the game it would have probably been okay but scripted as such it felt a little like I was supposed to be seeing how much fun they have in New York. And after listening to so many good poets it was a bit of a downer to sit and watch people taking poetry so lightly. I was still deep in it, the words and ideas and the respect that made the evening go so smoothly. I could have gone out into the night with that in my head. By the time the game show was over I just felt hungover.

(I should note here that I don't mean this as a criticism Rothschild's performances. I really enjoyed his piece at MIT last year. The care and attention put into it, as well as the focus on the language of the city, were wonderful.)

Sunday tired, Frank from Gloucester at Donut Jim's and a boy sitting with his family rearranges his baseball cards to line up with the trades. MC, JC and I into the city again. I am getting too tired to get into readers but I think I really enjoyed them all. Charlie's after, happy to talk to Mitch, hoping I didn't scare David. Sunday driving home and into the house where the smell of orange blossoms fills the air. Quick bath and out for a drink (water for me). Ran into "family", a story for a later day. I'm going to bed now, the rest of the stories will have to wait for another day.

All my love to those I love.