Friday, August 12, 2011

Red Writing Hood: Cleared

We're getting steamy at the Red Dress Club today....

"Should we do it?" he whispered.

She glanced upstairs. "Okay," She tiptoed to the couch, "But only if we're quiet."

"Don't worry," he said, flicking on the DVD.

They watched season one of Lost during the final months of her pregnancy, unwrapping each character and plot twist, then folding them neatly in their mind's drawers. .

But then Madelyn came, with her fleshy pink feet and soft sighs. Life pressed the pause button. The drank her in. Watched each sigh and arm flail with wide eyes and an ever-present camera.

But oh, how she fussed! Bleating mews, inconsolable arching. Fury with a red face and pouted lip.

Her parents paced, holding her close as she curled into herself. They placed her in her bassinet, where she would sleep for ten, sometimes fifteen minutes a stretch before beginning the process anew.

They had tried to watch the same episode of Season Two for five weeks now "Why is Charlie so conflicted about the Mary dolls?" she asked, "I swear, this baby has made me stupid."

"I don't remember," he admitted. "Should I rewind it?"

"Nooooooo!" she hissed, "We will never finish this show. We must plow through it."

He winced as the baby hiccuped and growled from the bedroom. The clock ticked as they held their breath and waited. 


He pressed play. She rested against him, placing her hand on his leg.

She had gone to the doctor today for her six-week checkup. Her husband didn't know, because she didn't want him to know, that she was cleared. For exercise, for sex, for medically being "normal."

As the castaways ran through the forest on the screen, her eyes filled with tears. How was this normal? Her breasts reeked, her hair was developing its own ecosystem, and life was broken into fifteen minutes of wailing and fear.

How did people have second children? How could they even consider doing this all again?

How could they even do it again? 

She sat in silence as the screen faded to black. She felt his gaze, and turned to him.

And  he kissed her. He cupped the back of her neck and drew her closer. She folded into him, returning the kiss, feeling herself become lighter, looser, unleashed.

He ran a thumb down her check, tracing her jawbone. His eyes spoke of longing, of twisted sheets and soft sighs. "I miss us," he said, "I love Madelyn, but I miss these lips." She closed her eyes as he moved to her ear, "And lots of other places."

She nodded, and once again, felt her eyes fill with tears. "Oh, me too." She rested her head against his chest, feeling the familiar warmth, his soft, oaky smell. Her hand moved to the trail of hair leading to his waistband. He let out a low groan.

She smiled. It was time.

"Honey? I went to the doctor today...."


Anonymous said...

Oh, that felt so real. That felt like I was eavesdropping. Hair with its own "ecosystem"? Awesome.
The 15 minute intervals of life with a newborn? So true.
Very good job with this. came from TRDC linkup.

Anonymous said...

Sweet, romantic, and a touch steamy. Loved it!

Carrie said...

yup, definitely have to wonder how the human race continues to larger families.

Sweet story, very realistic :)

CDG said...

Stinky boobs, unruly hair, frazzled nerves and all, and yet? We can find the appeal in one another, simmering just under the surface.

As we were saying earlier this week, love is weird.

And you've captured that very nicely here.

erin margolin said...

this brings back memories for me...eerily similar memories after my 6 week pp checkup after the twins.

i was exhausted, suffering PPD, but doctor cleared me for sex. and i felt guilty, like i'd been depriving hubs for soooo long.

so i did it. even though i wasn't ready and wasn't "into" it. i was too wiped out in too many different ways. it was forced. and it was horrible, and we stopped. i was in pain. i was not comfortable with my post-baby body. my boobs were leaking. my body didn't even feel like MINE.

how i hope it will be different this time around...

oops. now i'm crying.

love you.

Kir said...

The first time after the twins were born we were trying to get through the 2nd season of the Tudors, which was very sexy , racy and put me in the mood. This piece captured so much of that longing. Like Erin, infertility had taken so much of the sexy out our sex life that I still struggle to put it back.
The images were wonderful , your gift of words was evident in every line.

Elaine A. said...

Is it too trite to say "been there, done that?" I suppose not, since I have.

Your descriptions put me right there with these first time parents. I'm so glad she gave in. ;)

Evonne said...

This brings me back to when my kids were babies. Being sneaky like a teenager, only it's not your parents you're worried about hiding from.

From Tracie said...

This story is so true to life. You did a great job with it!!

I'm glad it had a happy ending.
(ouch. I did not intend that pun!)

Jill said...

Gosh I remember thinking those same exact things.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You captured that whole new baby thing perfectly.
Nice job, jj

Galit Breen said...

Oh Nancy, this is all too relatable. Your descriptions, your words, the emotions you evoke- this post? Is perfection.

I also adore the ending- go them! :)

Victoria KP said...

Oh, this is so perceptive. I think A LOT of us kept our "cleared" status quiet until we were sure ourselves. Lovely!

Sara said...

Wow. I loved the writing in this story. This line alone is worth it's weight in gold, "unwrapping each character and plot twist, then folding them neatly in their mind's drawers." What a great visualization and then you keep with the "pause button."

Still, that's not what this story so special. You captured the mood of new parents so well, especially when desire re-emerges. The questions,'s like beginning all over again as a couple in some ways.

I also really liked the dialogue. This was well done and I thank you for sharing it:~)

Ash said...

Adored this take!!! One thing those singletons don't understand, the true intimacy of marriage after a child - you must let down your guard, allow yourself to be desired in your new skin. NOT an easy trick.

Hand down the pants, you naughty girl. Gets them every time ;)

Kim said...

Such a good piece, rings so true when you've been through it. I love that detail about not wanting to tell him about the check-up. Boy have I been there.