Sunday, October 5, 2008

Looking for Meaning Where There May Be None

One of the odd symptoms I had in early pregnancy was an apparent increase in the intensity with which songs would go through my head on endless repeat. Since I subscribed to XM a few years back, the variety of options for my internal jukebox has increased exponentially, but suddenly that seemed to make no difference.

I was about five weeks pregnant when I found myself struck with insomnia, while Reba McEntire's "Fancy" rolled through my head, over and over, through the wee hours of the night. In case you aren't familiar with the song, it's about a dying mother who realizes that her teenage daughter has only one way out of poverty, and it's via the proverbial Oldest Profession.
She handed me a heart shaped locket that said
To thine own self be true
And I shivered as I watched a roach crawl across
The toe of my high heel shoe
It sounded like somebody else that was talkin
Askin' "Mama what do I do?"
She said "Just be nice to the gentlemen Fancy
And they'll be nice to you"

She said "Here's your chance Fancy don't let me down
Here's your one chance Fancy don't let me down
Lord forgive me for what I do, but if you want out, well it's up to you
Don't let me down now, your mama's gonna move you uptown."

Well, that was the last time I saw my ma
The night I left that rickety shack
The welfare people came and took the baby
Mama died and I ain't been back
I charmed a king, congressman
And an occasional aristocrat
Then I got me a Georgia mansion
and an elegant New York townhouse flat
And I ain't done bad
A strange song to have stuck in my head, but maybe the message, if there is one, is that Fancy triumphs over adversity in the end.

A couple of weeks later, the Estelle/Kanye West song "American Boy" kicked off its rotation on my internal jukebox's endless repeat.
Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some day
Take me to New York, I'd love to see LA
I really want to come kick it with you
You'll be my American Boy.
This went on for several days. I wondered if my brain was trying to tell me something about the sex of the little bean growing inside of me. At this point, though, I remained completely unconvinced that this pregnancy had much of a chance of success. I tried to just tolerate my internal soundtrack and go about my business.

A week or so after that, as the nausea descended heavily upon me, came another unique selection. The Smiths' "The Boy With a Thorn in his Side" began playing in my head on endless loop.
If they don't believe us now,
will they ever believe us?
And when you want to live, how do you start?
Where do you go? Who do you need to know?
In addition to the clear connection to a fragile life, I noted with interest the gender-specific title, and the fact that my UU condition causes all my pains and twinges to be localized to one side of my abdomen.

A thorn in my side, indeed.

Later, as the 12-week nuchal screen for chromosomal disorders rolled around, my anxiety again neared a peak. The concern nagged at me that we'd find no heartbeat, and if it was still alive, we'd get results that indicated a high chance of abnormalities.

Around the same time, though, "One Step at a Time" by Jordin Sparks (yes, the American Idol winner -- don't judge) started up on the old internal jukebox. Desperate for some sort of philosophy to cling to, I locked onto this one.
Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you've always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can't touch
Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time
At the test, we saw the little bean jumping and flipping around. Steve was fascinated by the ultrasound images. We got great results from the screen. And as of yesterday we're at 16 weeks and counting.

One step at a time, right?

Thanks to for most of the lyrics, with a tweak by me here and there. ;)


Rebecca said...

16. Woo hoo!

This post reminded me so much of waddling down a hallway at University Hospital in Syracuse with Dan, who was staring at a printout of our sonogram. "Congratulations," he finally said. "You're having a kidney bean."

dcpeg said...

Fascinating! Pregnancy sure does strange things to a woman's mind as well as her body. What a marvelous time in your life - hope the repetitiveness doesn't become too annoying.

Fingers still crossed!

caramama said...

Yeah for 16 weeks!

Earworms drive me crazy. I tend to get them pretty bad normally. I can't imagine getting them with crazy pregnancy hormones!

sara said...

Congrats on the 16 weeks! So funny what you said about being in tuned with certain songs as various points. I found it the same way. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things just keep marching right along!

Christy said...

Love this post - this "song stuck in the head" thing happens to me frequently. Don't discount your feelings - you could be right.