Cartoonist A.K. Summers is someone I went to Oberlin with, though I didn’t know her there. (I didn’t know Sari there, either—which is amazing when you consider the entire college has like 2,000 people. Cliques.) Anyway, I’m glad to know A.K. now! Her first graphic novel is now out, and the title says it all: PREGNANT BUTCH. The project started out on the web, ran on ACT-I-VATE, and is now in print.
Her publisher, Soft Skull, asked me to write a few words about the book, and this is what I came up with:
A.K. Summers’ Pregnant Butch is a Tintin lookalike who embarks down the path to motherhood. If you made it through that sentence without your head spinning, then you’re ready for one of the weirdest, wonderful-est pregnancy memoirs out there. Employing a variety of art styles (think Hergé meets Jaime Hernandez, with a little Jack Kirby thrown in for fun), Summers has crafted a wry, wise tale that guarantees a chuckle on every page. Pregnant Butch is an unsentimental, no-holds-barred book filled with insight and genuine feeling. (And you know you want to see Tintin pregnant!)
Buy it now from your favorite retailer.
A bit belated, but here’s my first attempt at exporting an iPhoto slideshow and uploading a video to YouTube.
Arghh. Looks like I spoke too soon. Sari’s Thursday-night contractions were false labor. After they stopped (at about 5:30 a.m.), they never came back. Seems they really were brought on by the stomach bug she had, and now she’s (mostly) over that, the contractions have not returned.
Of course, that may be for the best, at least for the next couple of days, as I seem to have acquired a couple of “itises”: bronchitis and conjunctivitis. Guess that “summer cold” I’ve been suffering from for the last week got out of hand. And pinkeye?! I thought you only got that if you were a 19-year-old college student. Oy. I was all laid-out yesterday, hacking like a cancer patient, with a temperature of nearly 102, which is what finely sent me to the doctor.
What a pair Sari & I make! My theory is all my maladies were brought on by our Thursday night hospital visit. Why do they keep those triage rooms so damn cold? Fuckers.
Well, now I’m doped up on multiple antibiotics, steroids, and codeine-doused cough syrup, so we’re actually hoping to get a couple of days’ respite — for me to get better — before Sari goes into actual labor. Course, if she doesn’t go into labor by Wednesday (by which point she’ll be ten days past-due), they’re gonna induce her anyway, so we’ll definitely be parents by then.
Finally! Sari started having real contractions today. Poor thing, they were brought on by a touch of the stomach flu, and some stomach cramping, but they were real by-gosh contractions. About ten minutes apart, and pretty strong, lasting about four minutes each. Sari powered through each one like a trooper. She vocalized, I vocalized — it was just like a high school pep rally!
Our doc, however, was a little concerned to hear Sari wasn’t feeling the baby moving during all this, so she had us go to the hospital, just to make sure everything was okay. We spent a couple of hours there while they did the fetal monitor/ultrasound thing. Everything is fine, of course, but Sari’s not the least bit dilated, so they sent us home.
The contractions kept going through all this, even as we were heading out to find a car service, so there were multiple pauses along the way as Sari dealt with the pain. At one point, as we were leaning against a wall in a hallway, Sari was transfixed by one of those cheesy pieces of generic art you see in hospitals and motels everywhere. It was a neon-colored pastel landscape in the “Fauvist” style, and in her compromised state, Sari thought it was the most wonderful thing she’d ever seen!
After our little art appreciation moment, I got her in a cab, headed back to our place, and put the exhausted gal to bed. Now the contractions seem to have subsided, hopefully to let her sleep through the night. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they start up again tomorrow, and we get to go back to the hospital for real (once they become more regular and closer together).
That’s my hope. We’re looking forward to meeting our kiddie!!
We’ve been very lucky to have have had a completely healthy pregnancy, both for Sari and Junior. But that’s not to say we haven’t had some obstructions along the way. Just in the last month, we’ve had to thinking about flipping our baby, then passing our due date, only to find it was wrong, and now we actually are past our due date, and may have to face induction.
Is inside Sari!
This is not a PhotoShop effect. Isn’t it amazing?
Our most intensive collaboration to date is due to debut sometime around July 16. All preprations are in order. The “baby” now has a room of its own. The doula has been reserved. A list of 50 names for each gender is being considered.
Wish us luck, please. We’re gonna need it.