Posts Tagged: Pregnancy

Jul 12

So this is what it feels like to be one day away from my due date

Happy Day Before My Due Date to Me!

Two nights of contractions that fizzle out when the sun rises have left me not so sure that this whole baby thing is such a good idea. I mean, the Baby will be pretty cool. It’s the whole getting-the-baby-out part that has me a little nervous. Although intermittent and with a good amount of rest between each contraction, I’m still reminded of what I had forgotten (gotta love the childbirth amnesia effect) directly after Anna was born, nearly 6 six years ago: this sh*t hurts.

I’m eager, anxious, and trying to remain calm. Yesterday evening I vacuumed the entire house and then mopped the kitchen and dining room, prompting Adam to exclaim, “Looks like you’re going to have the baby tonight!” (Note: this did not happen). Today I am changing the sheets on the bed. I’m flirting with the idea of cleaning the bathrooms but every time I double over in pain I think to myself, “self, maybe I should just rest,” so instead I am sitting in front of my computer pretending that “doing laundry” is active work, though the machine, truth be told, is actually the one doing the activity. I’m just listening in.

Maybe this Baby wants to share a birthday with his or her Daddy? Adam’s birthday is tomorrow. Tomorrow has a nice ring. Close enough that I can nearly touch it, but far enough away that I can rest for the moment.

I’m nervous. I think know I can do this, the birthing of a baby, because I’ve done it before and I will do it again, but it’s a daunting task. It’s hard work. It’s a game changer.

Anna has been a bit angry lately–she can’t verbalize why but I am pretty sure that it is Baby related. Her world is about to change, to fall apart and then be rebuilt. Alternating with this anger, though, is a sweet joy, an excited cheerfulness. “I can’t wait for the baby to be born!” she says.

We are ready (well, ready as we’ll ever be).

I’m trying to keep this mindset: relax, calm, open. Embrace and ride the waves. Focus on sweet baby toes and nose and chin and curled up baby body. We can’t wait to meet you, Baby.

Jul 12

She will always be my baby

I hear her plaintive little voice ask all the time a variation of the same question, “will you still love me when the Baby is born?”

And I know, not just from my background in Psychology, but from real-life experience, that having siblings is both the best thing in the world and the hardest. Siblings are great (don’t get me wrong–I happen to love all three of mine!) but I understand and know that there are certainly times, in my childhood and even now, when being/having a sibling = Mom and Dad don’t belong to ONLY me (AKA, Damn! I have to share!). There can be a sense of “pay attention to MEEEEEE!” and this is going to be a whole hell of a lot different for Anna, who hasn’t had to do any of that sharing stuff in her 5 and 1/2 years here on earth. Here at Casa Gray, it is all Anna, all the time. Being an only child, though lonely at times, is pretty awesome, what with all the attention and time and resources being funneled into YOU and ONLY YOU.

Deep down I know that the benefits will outweigh the drawbacks. I know that Anna will adjust. I know that Anna will LOVE her brother or sister in a way that will make tears come to my eyes (its already happening–I happen to think there is nothing sweeter than her voice chirping at my stomach, “Hi Baby! I love you!”). I know that this child will add immeasurably to our family, in ways that I cannot yet comprehend or know. I believe that there are great and wonderful times ahead for us. But I acknowledge that, at this time, we are moving into a new era: from the triad of Mama, Daddy, and Baby (ok, Big Girl Anna) into a quartet. This will mean adjustment and it will mean patience and it will mean re-figuring out what it is to be our family. I mourn for Anna the loss of her “only” status (a rare and precious thing) at the same time as I rejoice in her ability to embrace her new role as “Big Sis.” We are moving into uncharted territory, but, really, isn’t all of parenting uncharted territory? Every age, every developmental leap provides new opportunities and challenges, things to learn and unlearn and to humble us as parents. Things to stretch us to our limits and things to break our hearts and things to make us swell with pride and love, the likes of which we never even dreamed of.

I love being the Mama of one child and I know without any doubts that I will adore being the Mama of two–two unique individuals, two mini people, two beautiful and wondrous beings.

But Anna will always be my Baby, no doubt about that. I tell her that every day–I whisper in her ear that SHE is the one who made me the Mama that I am today. That she is special and will always be special. That I am a big sister, too, and that it is pretty darn cool. Because who else is going to boss around the second-born (and in my case, the third and fourth born as well)? My Baby, my Big Girl. My firstborn and, for just a little while longer, my one and only.


Jul 12

36+ weeks pregnant

Adam claims that my morning sickness is getting better but I just think that I am getting smarter about what I attempt to eat. I am eating the blandest diet ever, but at least my weight is holding steady at this point. My usual foods: white french bread (NO whole wheat or whole grains or anything like that), white cheeses (Monterey Jack and I am having a love affair with those round Babybel cheeses that come wrapped in red wax–NOM NOM MUST EAT), glasses of MILK (?!??! haven’t done that since I was a kid), SOME fruits (cherries = ok; dried fruits = mostly ok; apples, raspberries and blueberries = from the DEVIL), baked russet potatoes, plain cornbread, Trader Joe’s plain tart frozen yogurt (but only specifically this brand), and homemade shortbread cookies (NO vanilla, just the plain ol’ recipe made with butter, sugar, salt, and flour). That’s pretty much it.

My sister had her beautiful baby girl, Marley, last week…..and her due date was only 10 days before mine so that has really given me a kick in the pants. I’m only about 3 weeks and a couple of days away from my due date and, if this baby comes a little early like Anna did, I’m only really a matter of days away from the Big Day. The day that Marley was born found me frantically ordering stuff from Amazon (crib, crib mattress, carseat, burp cloths, etc). Must. Nest. Now. !!!!

My 36th birthday is this Friday (I’ll be 37 weeks that day–full term!). I don’t feel down at all about getting older. I love it, actually. Bring it on! This is going to be a good month and a good year all ’round. I am starting to get more and more anxious (in a good way….mostly….) about meeting Baby–who is he or she? Boy or girl? What will his/her personality be like? Who will s/he look like? I’m having lots of dreams. My favorite recurring dream is about a peaceful and beautiful birth. I don’t know if this is wishful thinking or a manifestation of all the meditation I’ve been doing throughout this pregnancy but I love it and I don’t believe it can hurt to put positive energy into envisioning things in that way. The moment of Anna’s birth is seared into my mind as the very most powerful single moment in my life and I cannot wait for the absolute wonder of the moment that a baby (a BABY! A PERSON!) comes out of my body and into the world. It’s a miracle.

I’m obsessing a little bit about minor things (window coverings for all the bedrooms as we took them down after painting and couldn’t bear to put them back up–they were all so old and decrepit!–and now we need new ones and AAAAHHHH!!!) but, on the whole, I know that things will fall into place. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat (as repulsive as I find eating at the moment I don’t believe that Baby or I am going to be permanently nutritionally deprived in the long run), love in our hearts, and all manner of unnecessary luxuries as well. I feel especially lucky to have a swimming pool right outside my bedroom. We’ve been swimming Every Single Day and I love it. Nothing like floating weightless when one is carrying a big ol’ baby belly around.

As much as the food thing sucks, I’m also lucky enough to have been able to walk 3-5 miles a day for the entirety of this pregnancy. I may not be able to make it to prenatal yoga class (the class timing sucks for us–it’s right at dinner time) but at least I can get out there and breathe the fresh air and move my legs. That’s gotta count for something, right?

Anna’s behavior has been extra super challenging this last week or more. I’m worried that at least some of it has to do with the ways in which our family is getting ready to change. I’v been trying to give her extra attention, but this is wearying as she is not in school (and doesn’t have camp until next week) and I am really with her 24/7. Not much downtime for me. I love the little lady but am hoping that these temper tantrums cease, and soon. We’re trying to ensure that she gets the sleep she needs but our little night owl is often up late (regardless of what time we put her in bed) and up with the birds (hence my haste to put up window coverings in HER room as I think that the early sunrise isn’t helping this). But, as challenging as she has been, she also has had many, many moments lately of being purely delightful, of being helpful and smart and amazing. She swims like a fish (can dive ALL the way down to the bottom of our 9 foot deep swimming pool!), can sound out and spell many words, draws pictures and writes books and puts on plays and dresses up like a princess and tells me many times a day how much she loves me.

July. Here we are!

Jun 12

Whiny whine whine

I haven’t blogged since Tuesday because I every time I think about what I would write about, it sounds so incredibly whiny in my head and GOD don’t you just hate whiny people? I am annoying myself.

Let’s start with something positive. I am a beautiful goddess of a woman in full bloom, carrying a baby child to full term. I am nurturing a living human being in my body. I am ecstatic at the thought of holding a tiny, snuggly little wiggle worm in my arms, of wrapping a small body in a swaddling blanket, of clothing a wee munchkin in wee adorable clothes and teensy tiny baby socks (I bought some baby socks yesterday and SQUEAL! they are they cutest most adorablest things ever in the world SO TINY!) but probably one of the biggest reasons that I am so so so so so anxiously excited to meet this baby I’m lugging around like a heavy, weighted basketball (maybe more like a medicine ball?) stapled to my belly (oops, see, whiny? Sorry, it just slipped out) is that OHMYGOD I am so sick. So so so so so so sick. Like first trimester morning sickness but actually kind of worse because of this most bizarre phantom smell and taste thing that follows me around, all day and all night. I am hungry, but I am sick. This is the time where I am supposed to be allowed to gorge myself on delicious food items, right? Now, at the very end where I can just throw caution to the wind, thank goodness for breastfeeding being a fantastic calorie burner for afterwards, and tell myself and everyone else that I’m just helping Baby to “beef up!!!” Alas, sadly, not so much. Instead (sorry, major whine ahead), all day long, I walk around with bile rising up into my mouth, starving and unhappy. When I succumb to food (Must! Eat! So! Hungry!) it is all so disgusting that I’m not sure that it’s much better (nausea is no better, that’s for sure) but I know I do have to eat. At first bland foods were ok but now it is every single food item known to man. And even some items that are not edible (not that I would eat them), but everything seems to have a noxious smell, some things more strongly smelling than others (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, flowers, etc). This is atrocious and no good way to live.

Thursday I was feeling particularly depressed about this. It is so bizarre to obtain absolutely no pleasure from food. Even when we aren’t necessarily thinking about, I realize now, even when we think we are just eating “because we are hungry,” there is an element of hedonistic delight in savoring morsels of food. The flavors (sweet, salty, and all the rest) delighting our mouth. Right now, everything tastes to me like rancid oil or spoiled meat or something else that should most definitely NOT be put in the mouth. I am constantly asking Adam or Anna, “are you sure this food is ok? Does it smell/taste ok to you?” because it goes against my inner biology to put food that tastes this nasty into my body–it feels worrisome, like it will hurt me, cause me to vomit. They both look at me, wide-eyed. “It’s fine!” the assure me. I’m still suspicious.

I’m struggling here. I want Baby to stay in as long as s/he needs to, in order that Baby grows strong and big enough but I am so anxious for this food thing to resolve. I’m miserable.

I’m happy to be pregnant. I’m excited to have this Baby. But, DAMN, I just feel so awful.

Sorry for the whine. That’s just how it is around here right now, I guess.

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

My doctor and my midwives tell me to just eat whatever I am able to stomach. To eat a protein smoothie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I have to. I’m trying.

I’m 35 weeks pregnant. Only five more weeks until my due date. Only two more weeks until I am full term. I delivered Anna at 38 weeks and a couple of days (2 or 3?) so I am kind of hoping in my head that that means that I won’t have to go another full five weeks or more. Three I suppose I can handle (???? can I????? Well, it sounds better than five plus, I suppose).

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Breathe in (ugh, there’s that smell again), breathe out (try not to vomit into my mouth). I can do this. I am a brave, glorious goddess.

Jun 12

Food Aversions

I’ve had cravings during this pregnancy–nothing too off-the-wall crazy but I’ll just get it in my head that I absolutely NEED to eat meatballs from Petrini’s or whatever–but this new pregnancy food thing I’ve got going on is really weird. I don’t remember having this at all when pregnant with Anna (except for first trimester food aversions, but that was a general nausea kind of a thing, not so specific as this time round, and certainly not so late in the game).

For whatever reason, I cannot stand the taste, the smell, the sight, nay, even the idea of peanuts butter. Or roasted peanuts. Or things that, though seemingly unrelated, still bear some kind resemblance to peanut butter/roasted peanuts. Things that have a (at least to my crazy super sensitive sniffer) a whiff of a slight smell that sort of seems “peanut-ish.” Today that included chocolate ice cream (roasted cacao beans, perhaps?), chocolate chip cookies (that I made myself, just my standard recipe, nothing crazy in them and definitely no peanuts or peanut butter!), and roasted garlic (??????).

I’ll be walking around somewhere and I’ll catch the scent and it is enough to have me dry heaving and wishing for escape. I am having nightmares of the smell. I keep trying to force myself to eat bites of things but the moment it hits my mouth it is like it tastes…rancid or something. It definitely does not taste remotely like anything that I would like to eat or swallow.

Will this go away? I sure hope so because it is kind of a downer when I can’t even fix my child a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without holding my breath and trying not to look. I’ve never in my life felt so strongly anti-food as right now. I’m one of the least picky eaters that I know–I seriously will eat (at least try anything and I’ll even eat foods that aren’t necessarily my favorite, such as eggplant and raw oysters, just because they are there), so this is just plain weird.

I’m hoping that this will pass after baby is delivered, that it is some bizarre hormonal thing that will resolve after the birth because the alternative is just….shudder…I can’t fathom a world in which this smell will continue to haunt me the rest of my life. That’s just not right. Stupid peanuts.

May 12

27 weeks + 5 days

Adam and I took the baby out to dinner and a reading by David Sedaris at the Arlington tonight. I’m not sure if it was all the audience (and Mama) laughter or the big dinner, but Baby was jumping all over the place. I am starting to feel like I am hauling around a (very bouncy) bowling ball attached to my front. And I love it.

Apr 12

The very very best thing in the world

(Well, besides hearing your child say, “I love you”)? Baby kicks and rolls and punches from inside. Such a crazy, insane thing to feel. Anna finally felt the first kicks yesterday, with her hand on my belly, but remained unimpressed (is THAT all?!?!? was her general attitude), but, as the one inside of whom this baby dwells, I have to tell you that I think it is the awesome thing ever. And now that I’m feeling it every day, all day (well, not ALL day, there are breaks in between, but it is very frequent), I’m still not sick of it yet. I’ve been known to stop whatever I’m doing and stand there, like an idiot, with a smile on my face. I’m connecting. It starts now. And what I want this baby to know, above all else, is how incredible this is, how I thought this would never, ever happen. You know what? I’ve had two pregnancies now that I felt that way through, Anna’s and this one. Anna’s because after my miscarriages I was starting to lose hope, this one because after chemo I was coming to terms with this being the end of my childbearing time. To have this? Now? A miracle, that’s what it is. It’s the best thing ever.

Mar 12

Spring Break

Spring Break, week 1 (Anna has two weeks off). Friday. Anna is sitting on the couch, in her pajamas, watching Yo Gabba Gabba. It is 11 o’clock in the morning. I’ve decided that this is ok.

I’ve mostly decided that this is okay because I just now got out of the bathtub. We’ve spent our morning, thus far, eating a leisurely breakfast, doing prenatal yoga together (if there is something cuter than Anna doing cat/cow and downward facing dog, I haven’t encountered it yet), then Anna started watching a video while I took a long, lazy bath.

My sleep has been crap lately. C-R-A-P. I’m pretty much only getting a halfway decent sleep every other night or so. And even those nights are kind of hit or miss. There is something that is not good for my morale when I am wandering the house at 3 am, cursing my lack of sleep, thinking of how, pretty darn soon, I will probably be awake at this time but that will be because of a baby. And not just because I was too congested/my back hurt/my mind is full/I got hungry/I’m uncomfortable/etc. Well, I guess most of these things are because of a baby, but somehow it is different. Like, quieter, with less crying (me *and* baby, and yes, I did cry in Anna’s early days and they are not so far gone that I haven’t forgotten how hard it was).

I am bouncing between excitement and absolute terror. Oh, for the joy of that first moment of meeting one’s baby! Those crazy milk-drunk faces, those pursed lips and those tiny flailing limbs! How precious! And how frightening! To be responsible for one of those again? Am I up to the challenge?

I have no doubts that I will love this baby. I will love this baby HARD. I will love this baby COMPLETELY and FULLY and with so much love that it will hurt. I know this.

I also know that, most likely, there will be so many challenges up ahead. I’ve got what it takes, right? Time to psyche myself up.

Mar 12


I haven’t blogged in days because I have been working on this one post that I just can’t seem to get right. I’ve written more than 5 drafts and it just won’t flow. I give up. I wanted to write about body image in pregnancy and the mixture of emotions that come along with watching your waistline disappear but it just made me sound vain or like I don’t enjoy being pregnant and that is not my intent at all. Just something I’ve been thinking about as I’ve had to fold up and put away even some of my early maternity clothes (jeans purchased at 13 weeks are now too tight in the hips! so…goodbye to those). Anyway. How about a funny story to get back into the swing of things?

Anna and I were driving to school in the morning last week. The radio was on. I had it on what I thought was the “safe station” (e.g., no raunchy morning DJs). An advertisement came on for the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, which is hosting a couple of big name comedians. One of the comedians says, “Marriage sure does change after the kids are born. What’s the deal with sex after children, anyway?” and I quickly turn down the volume.

Anna says, “Mommy? Why did that guy say ‘sex with children?'”

Me (internally thinking, uh oh, gotta correct this, but oh, crap, we’re like 60 seconds away from the car lineup and her teacher is going to open the car door in a a minute and she needs a quick explanation and correction so she doesn’t go into sharing at circle time today saying her mommy was listening to the radio about sex with children. Gulp.) “NO! No no no no no. He didn’t say sex with children, he said sex after children!” Nervous laughter.

Anna waits a beat then says, “Oh.”

I looked back at her in the rearview mirror and see her puzzled look. Hmmm. “Do you, umm, do you know what sex is, sweetheart?”

“Ummmmmmm” (like she is honestly and truly thinking about it, riffling through her mind to come up with an answer, “Ummm….nnoooo?”

And at this point we are literally about to pull into the spot where the teachers are waiting to get the kids out of the car and I have like 10 seconds so I just say, “It’s how babies are made, ok?!” And I smiled a reassuring smile, thinking to myself, “This conversation will definitely have to be revisited, because this is inadequate.”

Anna is distracted by the teachers, by her fellow classmates, by making sure she has her lunchbox ready. Anna looks at me shrugs and says, “Ok.” Like, no big deal, Mom.

Wellllll….alrighty, then.

One would think that a mother’s pregnancy would lead a child of this age to be asking more questions about how did that baby get in there, anyway? but this does not appear to be the case with my child, who instead worries almost endlessly about how the baby is going to come out. I’m not sure if it would be the same if I had a boy child, as Anna seems concerned that the vagina is not really such a great place for a baby to come out of. She has one of those and she cannot fathom the thought of a BABY coming out of there.

“But….how does it get big enough? Does it hurt? Is there blood? How much blood? Like, a lot of blood? Will you cry? Won’t your vagina hurt?”

And on and on and on.

But absolutely no questions about how baby got IN there in the first damn place. I’m letting her take the lead on this one. I answer her questions (“It’s very stretchy. Yes, it hurts. Yes, there is blood. Well, some blood. So that afterwards there is some cleanup and the woman has to wear a pad like during menstruation. I might. Yes it will but it is all entirely better and wonderful when that precious baby is in your arms!”) because we are thinking of having her be present for the birth of her sibling (she has expressed interest and we are planning a home birth so this is a possibility. It is also a possibility that it will be too much for her, in which case she will get to go visit a friend or hang out with a grandparent or whatever. It’ll all work itself out.

Just as long as she doesn’t start asking more questions about “sex with children.” Geesh. That one I just couldn’t let go. (Eek).

Mar 12

Halfway there

20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go. Whoa.