Friday, June 29, 2012

HappySadHappySadANGRYANGRYHappySad

This week I crossed the line for real. I am no longer merely moody. I am unstable. The Mayor of Crazytown.

During unoccupied-body months, I have some pretty high highs and very low lows. Spill a big ol' cocktail of baby-growing hormones on my emotional state and the result is a super-powered mess. Over the course of a single day I'm about six different people. Fortunately, a couple of them are the upbeat, productive types. The rest just want to cry and throw things. And maybe set fire to something with their minds.

There's no telling who will show up to work at what time. At least they change shifts often.

Mood swings are par for the pregnancy course. Of course they are. Even if hormones weren't at the core of the whole process, changing the shape (and color and temperature and texture) of my body/mind self, the emotional impact of creating another human life would still be huge. There is a brand new person where there was never a person before! And she's wiggling her not-quite-finished body, and batting her fist against my cervix so I have to stop walking for a minute because suddenly I'm getting a Pap smear from the inside.

Surreal, but very real.

Of course I want to cry and throw things. Except that I also want to explode with joy.

Belly Feet

.....................................

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Westley Explains It All

Pensive

"God doesn't exist."

"How did you decide that?"

"God was in the time of the dinosaurs."

* * *

"We should put all the animals on the moon, so no one can eat them."

* * *

"Pie is not dessert."

"What about chocolate pie?"

"Chocolate pie is dessert."

"How do you know which pie is dessert and which isn't?"

"Only chocolate pie is dessert."

* * *

"Are you more of a salty dog? I'm more of a candy man than a salty dog."

* * *

"I'm going to the potty. Daddy, you're in charge 'til I get back."

* * *

.....................................

Monday, June 25, 2012

Thirty-Two Weeks

Thirty-Two Weeks

First off, I hope everyone for whom Pride was yesterday is feeling very happy and proud, embracing the queerness in themselves and others. It was a glorious, sunny (!!!) day in Seattle, with much happiness, cheering, and very little clothing.

Pride

Proud Superheroes (Superqueeroes?)

Even doped-up on cotton candy, Westley was not fully convinced of the parade's coolness. He enjoyed my pointing out cute dogs to him, many of whom were dressed in colorful bandanas or tutus. The Leather Daddies cracking their whips got him to sit up and take notice. But his favorite thing by far was the truckload of Furries.

Furries

Westley Loves Furries

I wanted to celebrate loudly and proudly, with hugs and high-fives and lots of pictures, but my energy deserted me. It took only a couple busses blasting "YMCA" before I started to feel tired, sore, and ridiculously pregnant.

How weird that just a week or two ago, I was marveling at how well I was feeling, saying things like, "This is great. The belly size is good, I'm still pretty comfortable, things are great." This week everything started to feel...not good.

Thirty-Two Weeks
Trying SO HARD to smile, you guys.

My feet are already tired when I get up in the morning. They aren't any bigger, and I've managed to avoid growing cankles—I think. I still weigh myself every morning (27 pounds gained), but seeing the number on the scale is not easy. Logistically-not-easy. I can't actually see my lower half past the hugeness of the belly.

Planet Belly

Speaking of my lower half, hemorrhoids are now out of control. They're not painful (yet), but all the king's coconut oil and all the king's witch hazel cannot get them to calm down. Also, any and all interest in sex I might have had before this week has vanished. Nothing turns me on. None of the old, reliable tricks appeals any more. Even hugging feels uncomfortable.

My upper half isn't faring much better than the lower. Left to their own devices, my breasts are wide-set and like to go their separate ways. As they continue to grow (because who doesn't want a bra size with a gazillion Ds in it?) they have decided to break off their relationship for good. After expanding outward toward my right and left sides respectively, my breasts are now so far apart I'm going to call them Tit Romney and Boobrack Obama.

My physical complaints have nothing on my mood, though, which took a nose-dive this week. Even when I'm not having nightmares, I wake up plagued by a sense of nonspecific dread. Ridiculous things upset me—dust on the baseboards, having to wash my hair, the idea of grocery-shopping—and I spend most mornings feeling like I could burst into tears at any minute. I need to check myself before I speak, because my voice often comes out sounding hostile or annoyed.

Earlier in pregnancy, I resisted using hormones as the go-to excuse for every twinge and change, but now? I'm blaming it ALL on the hormones, because I can! It's not that I'm being a jerk, it's my hormones!

This isn't much consolation for Westley, who's had to contend with a tired, cranky, tearful mother more often than he deserves. I really have to keep myself in check around him, with a constant stream of mental reminders that He's not doing it on purpose to annoy you, he's only four, this is temporary, gonna be OK, da-doo-doo-doo, just dance... 

Before preschool finished, I had visions of walking with Westley to the park every day until the baby was born, playing in the yard, and finding a few non-dandelion things to grow in front of the house. But the weather has been giving us lots of gloom and rain, keeping Westley, me, and my lousy hormones cooped up in the house. It really doesn't feel like summer.

As I was getting Westley ready for a bath one day—partly because having a bath is a fun indoor thing to do, and partly because I no longer fit in the tub and like to bathe vicariously through my son—I pointed out the liquid barrage on the skylight above our heads.

"Can you believe it's summer and it's raining this hard?"

Westley's face lit up. "Is it summer now? Is the baby going to be born today?"

For months, I relied on "summer" as a way of talking about way-off-in-the-future time that didn't involve an overwhelming explanation of how calendars work. Now that summer's here (whether or not it feels like it), I'm going to have to come up with something else.

"Pretty soon," I told him. "She's got about another six weeks or so. Which is kind of a long time and kind of not."

Thirty-Two Weeks

.....................................

Friday, June 22, 2012

Post-Kid Kitchen: Rad Radishes

Radishes

Last summer I read an article about gardening that suggested vegetable-gardening neophytes start with radishes. Apparently, they're low-maintenance and hard to kill. Of course, the article concluded, no one actually eats radishes.

"Hey!" I addressed the magazine page angrily.

Radishes are one of my favorite vegetables, and have been since I was a child. I have a very vivid memory of munching on raw radishes and turnip slices while watching the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland on VHS. To this day, I love raw radishes with the tiniest pinch of salt, sliced and eaten with dip instead of chips or crackers.

Radish Slices

I have yet to try growing my own radishes—partly because plants kind of scare me, but mostly because I can get beautiful local radishes for a mere 50 cents a bunch! As we move into July, I'll be sauteing them with local peas for a perfect "I-don't-really-feel-like-cooking,-but-I-want-something-cheap-and-tasty" summer supper.

Summer Spaghetti with Radishes and Peas
Serves 4

2 bunches radishes, trimmed and sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp dry vermouth
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 oz. frozen peas*
8 oz. brown rice spaghetti

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Meanwhile, saute radishes and garlic in oil  in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until garlic begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Radishes and Garlic

Add vermouth, salt, pepper, and frozen peas. Cook another 4 or 5 minutes, until radishes are tender and peas are warmed through.

Saute Time

*You can use fresh peas here, of course. Just add them at the very last minute, after the radishes have turned pale pink.

Pasta with Radishes & Peas

Taste for salt, and serve immediately over hot spaghetti.

.....................................

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Knocked Up and Coming Down with Something

Westley spent Father's Day cuddled up to Rob on the couch, feverish and exhausted. He rarely gets sick, and when he does, he seems to kick the sickness's butt in about six hours. But whatever this bug is, it's really taken the wind out of his little sails.

I was hopeful that I wouldn't catch Westley's mystery illness, but I've just started to feel that first twinge of coming down with something. The scratchy throat, the extra achiness, the things-aren't-quite-right sensation...

During non-pregnant-body months, I do the "Kill it Before it Comes" Cure, which is really just a lot of heat:

1. Make yourself a bowl of soup or mug of tea, as hot as you can stand it.
2. Run a bath, as hot as you can stand it.
3. Put on a warm hat, get in the hot bath, drink your hot soup or tea, and SWEAT.

With a person in my person, that much heat is off-limits. I was also pretty sure my newly tender (and spice-intolerant) tummy would reject my other go-to home remedy. But I will share the recipe with you nonetheless, because it is so hardcore.


Destroyer of Colds

Destroyer of Colds Cocktail

Blend the following:
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 large clove garlic 
1 chunk ginger, peeled (I use a piece about the size of my thumb) 
A few dashes cayenne pepper 
1/4 tsp turmeric 
Maple syrup, honey, agave, or other sweet stuff, to taste 
Water, as needed, to help it blend 

This stuff tastes pretty gnarly, but it kills sickness dead, especially if you're still in that "just feeling a little under the weather" phase. While all the ingredients are safe for pregnancy, it might not be the best choice when your stomach is squashed into a pancake and your lower esophageal sphincter is not its usual, pressure-ful self.


Pregnancy Anatomy

So what's a seven-months-pregnant lady to do to keep from getting down with the sickness? Here's what I've been up to for the past few days. It seems to be working insomuch as I haven't been feeling any sicker.

Water — It's the boring answer, but staying hydrated is always a good idea. It's an even better idea when you're feeling less-than-awesome.

Ginger — After my nausea-ridden pregnancy with Westley, I never wanted to see ginger or anything ginger-flavored again. But it really does the trick for the beginning of a cold or flu. In fact, I find ginger is useless for nausea but fantastic for scratchy throats and runny noses. Grate some fresh ginger root into a pot of water, simmer for a while, add some sweetener if you like, and drink. It's the kinder, gentler Destroyer of Colds Cocktail.

Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar — The Internet reminded me of this one (thanks, you guys!): take 1 Tbsp Bragg's ACV in a glass of water three times a day until you feel better. It's not even unpleasant if you're used to drinking lots of...

Kombucha! — This is a little (or a lot) controversial. Is kombucha tea safe to drink during pregnancy and while breastfeeding? Some say yes, some say no. Many, including my naturopathic physician (who is also a licensed midwife), say yes, as long as you were drinking it before pregnancy. I find that a little bit of kombucha (4 fl. oz. or so) every day goes a long way to keeping me feeling healthy.

Tea — Herbal tea soothes a scratchy throat, helps with nasal congestion, and counts towards your water for the day! Red raspberry leaf, nettle, and peppermint are all good choices for pregnancy.

Chiropractic Care — The only thing on the list that's not a beverage! Chiropractic adjustments can help support the immune system by relieving physical nerve stress. Regular adjustments can also be extremely beneficial during pregnancy. I also find chiropractic care really relaxing.

* * *
What else? Some people swear by extra vitamin C and vitamin D. And of course extra rest is always a good idea, if you can get it. What are your favorite pregnancy-friendly tips, tricks, and remedies for a case of the "coming down with something"s?

.....................................

Monday, June 18, 2012

Thirty-One Weeks

Thirty-One Weeks

Several nights ago, I dreamed I was running through an old beach town toward the water. When I reached the the sand, it was covered with spiky red sea urchins. I slowed to a walk (to keep from slicing open my bare feet) and continued out to the end of a long sandbar. I paused, breathing in the salty air for a moment. Then I turned around to head back to town. That's when I saw the mountain lions.

There were five of them standing between me and safety. Well, I thought. That's it. I'm going to die. But it seemed foolish not to at least attempt to make a run for it. Perhaps, by some miracle of dream-science, I'd manage a burst of speed fast enough to pass them. But I'd only taken a few strides before the mountain lions lunged at me from both sides, teeth and claws sinking into my body.

It's not the only anxiety dream I've had this pregnancy, but it's certainly the most vivid. I mean, I died in it. That's pretty heavy stuff! On a different morning, I woke up not remembering any dreams, but shaking and in tears, afraid of something I couldn't identify. It was upsetting, but also unsurprising, as last week was a pretty anxiety-ridden one—for no reason other than anxiety seems to be part of the work of gestating.

I had another cervical-check ultrasound on Friday. Those usually soothe the fear away. But after weeks of things being right, I was suddenly afraid that this time, something would be wrong. Everything was still fine. (The baby's fist has been right on top of my cervix, which I actually got to see on the ultrasound image. Very cool, four little fingers and a thumb covering the internal os, but not comfortable. I'm hoping baby girl doesn't decide to come out with her hand up by her head.) There's still plenty of amniotic fluid, and my cervix is ever-so-slightly shorter than it was two weeks ago—3.1 cm, down from 3.8 cm—but it should begin to shorten at this point. Baby girl is head down, lying on her left side inside my left side, all four limbs on my right. All is perfectly normal. But the anxiety didn't let up after the scan.

Dr. K. totally called me on it.

"You look worried."

"Yeah, well..." And I mentioned that the baby seems to be slowing down. "I still feel her every day, but she doesn't pommel me so hard any more."

Dr. K. gently reminded me that as babies get bigger, they don't have as much room for kickboxing. Oh. Of course. Why didn't I remember that? She also recommended I start doing formal daily kick-counts, which have become my go-to technique for putting myself to sleep.

Now if I could just do something about the nightmares.

* * *

I retired several more pieces of clothing to the "postpartum" box this week. Amazingly, this wrap dress still works. Non-maternity clothes have been the heroes of my maternity wardrobe.

Thirty-One Weeks


Let's take it back three seasons and 26 pounds!

Fall Fashion - Tuesday

Fall 2011.

My pregnancy fashion advice, especially to those of you who will be at your pregnantest during warmer months, is really just one word: dresses. I've been pleasantly surprised by how well my non-maternity dresses have adapted to pregnancy. I love me some jeans (oh, how I miss you, skinny jeans tucked into boots!), but mamas, skip the maternity pants and get yourself some stretchy dresses! Easy, breezy, belly-ful.

Thirty-One Weeks

It's so strange to think that there really aren't that many weeks left. Just nine, and perhaps as few as six. Either way, we're down to single digits. And then I get to meet this little girl.

"What do you do with a baby?" I asked Rob the other night.

He laughed, but I was totally serious.

"I remember nursing Westley and changing his diapers, but what else?"

Rob shrugged. "I think that's about it, in the beginning."

That fits with my foggy memories of Westley's early weeks. And then what? I try to imagine how this baby will fit into our family. Will she just blend right in, like she's always been here, strapped to my chest in the Ergo as we go on our usual adventures? Will she throw us all off balance entirely? I wonder what things will have to give, and what (if anything) will be a natural fit right from the start.

I may be carrying this baby around inside my body for the time being, but she is much bigger than I am. As much as I think I know her from movements and pictures and my own strange intuition about who she might be, she remains enormous unknown.

I can't wait to unravel the mystery.

Thirty-One Weeks

.....................................

Friday, June 15, 2012

We Are Here

Rob and I are doing absolutely nothing to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary, which just happens to be today—and not seven and a half weeks from today, as many of our family members believe. It's not that we don't think the date is worth celebrating. (It absolutely is. High-five self and partner-person!) But we, um...kind of forgot about our anniversary until last week.

"Hey, you know what's coming up?"

"What?"

"Our anniversary. Seven years!"

"I was so going to guess that!"

It's even falling on a Friday this year. We should be going out, perhaps to a swanky downtown hotel for the weekend, to toast each other and dance spoon the night away. Instead, we're lazing around at home, with bed linens overdue for a washing, tiny plastic figures of superheroes everywhere, and leftovers for dinner. (For what it's worth, they're good leftovers, and we also have leftover dessert.)

Couch Lazing

Lack of celebration aside, this morning we looked at each other and agreed that we're finally together because we really want to be together. This process kicked itself off a few years ago, but everything feels easier now. "We" fits us better, because we became a better fit.

Seven years ago, we went out for a very fancy dinner because it seemed required. Because we were getting married. We were supposed to do Something Special. I don't remember anything about that dinner except that Rob wore a chartreuse satin tie and I ended up with a cocktail that matched it. Rob wanted to buy me a wedding present, and I chose a pair of earrings. Silver with heart-shaped Helenite stones. Bright green synthetic gems to represent our glass relationship.

Tonight, there is no compulsory fanciness. In fact, I'll probably work out and then sit around smelling sweaty while Rob reads aloud (but not too loud—Westley is asleep in the next room) and the baby wiggles. Doing absolutely nothing—together—is the perfect evening.

We don't have to go anywhere special tonight. We're special here.

.....................................

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Post-Kid Kitchen: Kale Chips Ahoy!

Kale Chips

I'm suddenly wishing this were a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with kale in them. (I might have to do that sometime, just to say I did.) Instead, this is me arriving very, very late to the kale chip party that has been going on in the vegan food world for years.

I have tried transforming kale from leafy green to crunchy snack food before—with lackluster results. My kale chips always came out burnt-tasting, or not-in-a-good-way chewy. I declared kale chips a waste of perfectly good kale salad ingredients. But after an upbeat and delicious-smelling demonstration by aspiring dietician Andrea Lopriore at the Bastyr University Herb and Food Fair two weekends ago, I was inspired to give them another go. And I'm glad I did.

Salad Spinner Assist

The secret to really good kale chips? (Besides having a four-year-old help you with the salad spinner.) You might not like it.

It's fat. Lots and lots of fat.

Well, not lots and lots, but much more than the mere spritz of olive oil I had been trying to get away with when making my chips.

Salad Spinner Assist

Kale Chips
Serves 2 (or one suddenly kale-chip-obsessed pregnant woman)

1 bunch kale
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
Salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 F, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (You may need two cookie sheets, depending on the size of your bunch of kale.)

Wash kale and dry thoroughly. Tear kale into bite-size pieces, discarding rough stems. Transfer kale to a large bowl and toss with melted coconut oil to coat. Arrange kale in a single layer on lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until crunchy. If your kale is very thick, it might take 15 minutes or longer before the edges start to look golden brown, but check on your kale chips frequently!

Kale Chips

Cool, taste for seasoning, and enjoy!

.....................................

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thirty Weeks

Thirty Weeks

Last week, I was over it. This week, I'm slightly less over it—though I by no means want to stay pregnant forever! Things feel pretty good size-wise, as long as I'm not trying to squeeze into pants. (This cardigan/maternity tank/high-waist leggings-with-seams-showing look brought to you by Laundry Day.)

According to the scale, I'm not any bigger than I was last week. Though I feel the need to point out that, with ten weeks to go, everything about me is pregnant. My chin is pregnant. My hair is pregnant. My appetite is definitely, ridiculously, huge-bowls-of-muesli-in-the-middle-of-the-night pregnant. Parts are swollen that have no business being swollen. I have done regrettable things with ice packs. My ability to remember even the simplest words is gone, and nouns are the worst. All things are just "the thing" now. As in, "Can you hand me that thing? It's right there next to the thing."

Thirty Weeks

Fortunately, even in my state of uber-pregnantude, I have lovely friends who say kind things about my appearance. I feel very shallow owning up to it, but there are magical confidence-boosting properties associated with hearing (or reading, as it were) some version of "you look great." It also doesn't hurt that this is Rob's favorite part of pregnancy. As soon as I get semi-huge, he starts grinning like a fool whenever he sees me and patting my belly whenever it's within reach. I still think it's weird that when I move in to kiss him, my midsection touches down first. He thinks it's adorable.

More than anything else, though, being active has bolstered my roller-coaster mood. Running on the elliptical, working in the yard, and walking to my chiropractic appointments are excellent reminders that while I may not look my best or be able to remember monosyllabic words, I'm healthy. I can still do things! I can!

Thirty Weeks

There is still so much to do, though, and I have finally given up on the idea that it will all get done before the baby is born. In fact, most of it doesn't need to get done with any kind of urgency. I just think it does, because like my mind is also pregnant! The true baby essentials—something to wear, my breasts (each with its own gravitational pull and small system of moons), and something to pee and poop into—are taken care of. I keep reminding myself that the baby will actually be just fine, even if I don't find something to replace the blinds in the living room TONIGHT.

Thirty Weeks

The truth is I'm not going to be as "ready" as I would like, period. Because there will never come a time when I think, "Yes, now everything is in place for major life upheaval! Bring it on!"

Instead, more often than not, I wonder, "What have I done?"

I'm very glad Westley will be four-and-a-half when his sister is born. (I'm not sure I could survive a two-year age-gap. I know people do, all the time, and I bow down to those people.) Even so, he seems to enter a new, more challenging developmental stage every few weeks. The unfortunate result is that the closer I get to having a second child, the more I second-guess motherhood as a sound option for myself. Westley can be wonderful—and when he's fun to be around, he's a LOT of fun to be around—but when things are difficult, they're so far beyond difficult that all I want to do is lock myself away somewhere dark and quiet for the next 27 years.

Then I remember that it's all going to be okay. Even if it's NOT okay, it will somehow be okay. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Namaste, and all that jazz.

Thirty Weeks

.....................................

Friday, June 8, 2012

Post-Kid Kitchen: Pancakes with Syrup Traps

For the longest time, I COULD NOT make pancakes. Vegan, gluten-free, "standard," from a mix...I couldn't do any of them. They were always awful—and we ate them anyway, which is not something I recommend. Turning yourself into a human garbage disposal because you're pissed off that your cooking project didn't go as planned is never the right answer.

Anyway. Pancakes. I was determined to master them because 1. I never had, 2. I wanted pancakes so bad you guys after Westley's birth, and I still haven't really gotten over the fact that I didn't get them. Oh, and 3. I didn't have a waffle iron.

Until now.

Gluten-Free Vegan Waffle

That's right. In a fit of pregnancy-hormone-plus-Target-air-induced insanity, I bought a cheap waffle iron. And it has CHANGED MY LIFE! Even more life-changing was the fact that my first batch of waffles came out beautifully. Take that, pancakes!

Gluten-free, Soy-free Vegan Waffles
Makes 3 large waffles

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour) or tapioca starch
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp granulated sugar 
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp canola oil 
1/2 cup to 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 

In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together applesauce, oil, and 1/2 cup of milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir. Add more milk slowly, a tablespoon at a time, until you've reached the consistency of thick pancake batter. Thicker is better. Not only can you not take away milk once you've added it, but thinner batter is more likely to stick to your waffle iron. Your batter won't spread on the iron, but you can use a spoon or silicone spatula to even it out.

On my iron, 3/4 cup of batter makes a lovely waffle in 5 minutes on Medium. Your mileage may vary with your waffle iron.

Or just use this same batter to make pancakes.

.....................................

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Little Off the Grid

For the past few days, my Internet connection has been partially down. I think. I don't know what's actually going on, as I have zero techno-knowledge, but some sites look and connect up normally, while others don't. There's no discernible pattern. It's annoying, disconcerting, and a little scary (since I do a portion of my budget management online). It's also the tiniest bit liberating.

I often joke about living "off the grid." It's my go-to response when Rob shares a dismal news story he heard on his drive home. "That's it," I declare, throwing up my hands. "I'm selling everything I own and moving to a hippie commune!"

It's really a half-joke. With disrupted sleep and a hijacked body making me more irritable than usual, I long more than ever to escape. Relocating somewhere remote where I can learn to grow vegetables and just be away seems like a good start. Away from giant stores with their stifling air and petroleum-based everything. From the motorcycle enthusiasts who explode through our quiet neighborhood at 9:00 PM. From instant access to words and images I didn't want or need to see on my way to check my junk-filled e-mail.

The thing is, that instant access to the online world has been my substitute escape plan for months. Of course I can't actually go anywhere—even an overnight stay at a local hotel seems far beyond my reach right now—but I can distract myself by checking on such-and-such a Web site for the fifth time in two hours. It's straightforward, and pretty pathetic: I don't want to be inside my own life right now. I wonder what Flickr is doing? (This is probably when a better-functioning person would call a friend.)

Now, that kind of avoidance behavior isn't an option. Yesterday afternoon, during my prime idle-on-the-Internet time, I made gluten-free deep-dish pizza for dinner, and then—since I was already in the kitchen with the flours out—gluten-free bread so Westley could have toast in the morning. I scrubbed the bathroom, started some laundry...

It wasn't the escape I craved. Not by a long shot. I still felt antsy and irritable when I was finished. But I also felt good about myself for taking care of some things that needed to be done, rather than pretending to have important business to attend to online. And I was embarrassed by how small and isolated by life has become, and how I think I can fool myself into believing it's bigger by always logging in, clicking through, shutting (myself) down.

I don't need to sell anything or move anywhere to be away. I've already been partially gone.

.....................................

Monday, June 4, 2012

Twenty-Nine Weeks

Twenty-Nine Weeks

On Sunday I mowed the lawn and felt very awesome about my ability to get things done...until I went to put the mower away and pain shot through my low back. Yes, I threw my back out mowing the lawn. Which is pretty pathetic, I have to say. I'm usually very careful standing, lifting and changing positions (the little bridge-hula maneuver I do to turn over in bed is stupid-looking but great back insurance), so the idea that I could hurt myself walking around my front yard offends me. This is my second pain flare-up in three weeks. I've already started chiropractic care, but I'm seriously considering a buying a maternity belt. Because I have given up on the ridiculous notion that my core is capable of supporting itself. I have also abandoned all hope of ever feeling sexy again. At least for the next few years.

Twenty-Nine Weeks

I'm very at odds with my body now. The pain certainly isn't helping, but mostly it's the weight. At 29 weeks, I've gained 25 pounds—and I feel like a complete failure. Because as practically every pregnancy resource will tell you, 25 pounds is an acceptable amount of weight to have gained...at 40 weeks. I know that 25 pounds is the bottom of the "healthy" range for a full term pregnancy, but the idea that I'm "over" where I should be is hard to shake. And I worry about how much bigger I'm going to get.

The receptionist at Rob's office thinks I'm "tiny" for having about two more months to go. I managed to stop myself from blurting out, "It's a total optical illusion! You should see me naked!"

I may have to become something of a nudist over the next ten weeks. Getting dressed is becoming a lot more challenging. Thank heaven for long, loose maxi skirts! I wanted to avoid wearing maternity clothes as much as possible this pregnancy, and my body seems to agree with that goal at least, as I've already outgrown my maternity jeans. I tried on a pair of maternity jeggings this week, hoping the "-eggings" part would mean stretchy comfort for my lower half. Alas, no. I just ended up with a pregnant muffin top. NOT a good look.

Twenty-Nine Weeks

The baby seems to be slowing down a bit, movement-wise. She doesn't startle me now, or wake me up with her punches. Naturally, instead of being grateful for the break, I worry that this means something is wrong. I still feel her move a little during day, but she seems to hit her sweet spot in the evenings. She's most active while I'm resting in my crazy nest of 300 pillows and Rob is reading out loud.

Almost every night, Rob and I have some version of the conversation where we just stare at each other and marvel: "There's going to be a baby." I don't know why it keeps hitting us like this. But I still sometimes gape at Westley and think, We MADE him. And now there's going to be another, slightly (very?) different one. How is that even possible?

How do our bodies manage do this crazy thing? With relatively little help from us? If I think about it too hard, it doesn't seem real anymore.

Twenty-Nine Weeks

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Halves

6 Months
Half.

Cutest Bhuddist 
One and a half.

  Photobooth Phun 
Two and a half.

  Waiting 
Three and a half.

  4 1/2 
Four and a half.

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