Going through “The Change”

It’s remarkable the changes that take place in a pregnant woman.

For instance, it is 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning and I am awake, have been awake for the past hour and a half, in fact. I woke up close to 5:30 a.m. after hearing Marta get up for her second trip to the bathroom that night. I then went downstairs for the New York Times, read the New York Times, drank my coffee, made some toast and am now starting a cup of tea and this blog post.

In the bedroom, Marta just made the slightest rumbles of waking. Then I heard her turn and, I assume, promptly fall back asleep.

For those of you who regularly sleep to 11 a.m., this news probably sounds rather unremarkable. But Marta is—or used to be—an obscenely early riser.  She is the first person I ever dated who got up as earlier as I do. Throughout our relationship, in fact, I’ve always thought of the mornings as our special time. The rest of the world slumbers on, but at 6 a.m. Marta and I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed, heading out for coffee or going on a walk or taking a road trip to see a nearby Iowa town.

But pregnancy is a sleep monster. Though Marta still goes to bed at a grannie hour, 10 p.m. most nights, she now sleeps until 8 at the earliest. Some mornings she’ll stay in bed as late as—gasp!—9:30. I pass the bedroom every once and a while to make sure she’s still living and there she will be, often with her hands literally clasped behind her head like a sunbather, her eyes closed serenely, and—I swear to god—a slight smile on her lips. Dead to the world.

When she eventually wakes, it is in sleepy child sort of way—none of the morning energy she used to have. She’ll wonder out in a drunk-man’s stagger toward the bathroom (pregnant women also constantly go pee), come make some hot chocolate (and they can’t drink coffee), and then, perhaps, mumble a good morning (nor do they speak that much).

It may sound like I am complaining. Or pining away for the crazy, early-rising days of our youth. And perhaps I am, ever so subtly. But more so I am thrilled by these changes. Because of what they indicate. I told Marta near the beginning of this pregnancy (in very bad taste, I know) that I couldn’t wait for her to start throwing up.

She never did. Though she did feel nearly constantly nauseous for the first two months. And I didn’t really want her to throw up. I just wanted a concrete sign of what we already knew was true. That there was a little poppy seed inside her growing into an apple and then, one day, a crenshaw melon.

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