Monday, March 29, 2010

My Little Lovelies

I am a lover of words. I love to hear them, read them, write them, and study them. I like them when they are all crammed together on page after page, or when they stand alone all on their own.

I cannot stop buying books. I cannot stop reading everything. And I gravitate towards people who also love them, especially if they can twist them and turn them to make me laugh.

I read books about loving books. I watch movies about crossword competitions. And last night I even watched Akellah and the Bee. What a sweet movie. I LOVED it. I loved watching a young woman who loves words and who has found something she is good at and is not afraid to embrace it, hone it, and use it.

If you have a 7 year old girl, or need the 7 year old girl inside you to feel inspired to a little hard work, then definitely rent this movie. It's a keeper!

Here is a quote that Akellah reads in the movie:
(Quoting Marianne Williamson] Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You Don't Say...

I am feeling good. I am 37 weeks pregnant and I am actually still feeling good.

Sure, my hands are swollen, my feet are swollen, my skin breaks out in strange ways, but I can still unlock my office door (who invented glass doors with locks down near the floor), I can still hoist myself up and down the train stairs and my apartment building stairs, I can dance a little jig, and I can walk a mile, maybe two.

But the one thing that gets me down, that has me avoiding eye contact and looking for camouflage are people's comments. I have had men hit on me. Women suggest that maybe I should move the date of my c-section because I am getting so big. And countless, countless people say things like "you're ready to pop!" or "why are you still here" or "my god, are you having twins?"

Nothing deters these comments.


I have tried just smiling and laughing. I have tried joking. I have tried ignoring them. I have tried rational answers based on scientific data.

People remain undeterred.

So if you see a very pregnant lady hiding in the bushes at the train station, with evil eye necklaces and crucifixes piled around her neck, it's probably me. I can be lured out of the shadows with compliments. Avoid any mention of size or glow - just go with the standards, like... "You're doing great!" or "You look nice in that scarf!" - or even just "Glad to see you're still here!"

Better yet, let's talk about the weather. Or politics. Or how YOU are doing. You can glance down and get a good look at the baby... I don't mind that, just keep the commentary above the belt. No low blows, please. I'm begging you. Just leave me be and let me live out these last few weeks with some dignity and some privacy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daddy's Girl.

One of the cutest parts of being this pregnant is trying to assign personality traits to our little lady, even while still in-utero.

There is one thing that I feel fairly confident about... she is a daddy's girl already.

How do I know this? Well, let me tell you.

For MONTHS, whenever he is home, she starts moving more when she hears his voice. And about a month ago, we were sitting on the sofa one night and I swear she moved her whole body so she would be closer to his voice. She doesn't have room to do that now, but I bet she would if she could.

She also likes to kick him. If we are laying in bed, with my belly touching any part of him, then she likes to kick him! This past weekend they had some kind of kick-pat communication thing going on... and I was all, like "um, nice you all are having fun, but mama is trying to sleep here!"

I've always wondered what started this. He does have a great voice and a wonderful laugh. I am usually alone chilling when he comes in... so there is not a lot of distractions. But I really think that she must get some kind of endorphin rush from me when he comes home. I just love him so much, she must know. If she doesn't know now, she will soon - I cannot hide how happy I am to see him when he comes in from work, I cannot keep from following him around to hear how his day went, and I only stop if I realize there is some small thing that I can do to make his day better - like maybe a cup of tea or something. And in return, he is so sweet and kind and gentle - and recently he has developed this knack for seeming to never tire of the million things I need help with. From reaching tupperware containers to building furniture - no one should be able to muster that much enthusiasm for such mundane tasks. But let me tell you, I appreciate it more than I can say.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Third times a charm...

Yesterday we went to church to find out what we needed to do to get ready to baptize our little lady after she's born. It's all fairly easy, just one class that we'll do at the end of this month.

BUT, while we are there, we found out that the church had never processed our "special dispensation" form - allowing Charles to marry me and making the marriage legitimate in the eyes of the Catholic church.

So, are we living in sin?

(this was all just an elaborate event to fool people)

Not really, we are living in bureaucracy. And so some time after the baby is born, we'll have to re-fill out the forms, submit them, and have our marriage blessed by a Catholic priest.

I find this funny, since we had two Episcopal priests marry us (Hi MoM! Hi Dad!) and a third that renewed our wedding vows about 8 months later. We went to premarital counseling and we filled out the appropriate paperwork and met twice with a different Catholic priest.

It just shows that some people don't play well with one another!

But I do like the idea of dressing up and dressing our little lady up in order to have a fresh blessing of our marriage. If Charles wants to recommit to me with all my new stretch marks and by that point the new dark circles under my eyes, then I am all for it!

In the meantime, we are marriage limbo - recognized by some but not all. And with me not wearing my wedding ring, it's getting positively scandalous around these parts!

(Maybe we just wanted to jump straight to this...?)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thinking in phrases.

A woman on the train told me this morning that I was beautiful.

Maybe you are making me more beautiful?

I spend a lot of time focusing on all the negative changes, the increase in my nasal girth and fortitude, the new stretch marks, the swelling of various parts, the numbness in my fingers. But maybe I could change this way of thinking for the next few weeks. Maybe I could begin to embrace this wide expanse of smoothness that is now my belly - and maybe I could rejoice in the movements, knowing they will begin to slow very soon? Maybe I could think about how thick my hair has gotten or how full my lips look?

Maybe that woman could see how much I love you?

I want desperately to teach this baby girl how to love everything that makes her special. Maybe I need to start with those things in me? Maybe I could be less sensitive? Maybe I could actually begin to hear people's compliments and let the other comments roll off me? Maybe if I can do it, then she will be able to as well? I want her to feel confident. I want her to feel beautiful.

Maybe she could tell how long I've waited for you to come?

I know there will be times when I get angry about the way the world is. But for now, I have nothing to complain about. Last night our waitress came over and asked when I was due. By the end of the meal she was begging us to bring the baby in after it was born. We are nice. Nice begets nice. Maybe it won't be as hard for you as I sometimes fear?

Maybe I can make the world see me as beautiful, see you as beautiful, just by seeing them as beautiful?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I have had moments to look forward to in my life, massive celebrations. My wedding, the weddings of others, graduations, more moves that you can count on your fingers and toes, special trips, visits, and events.

Nothing compares to anticipating your first child.

As things go on, I find myself wondering how she's doing in there (there being my uterus) - not in the fearful way of the first trimester, more like... "hey there, hiya little girl, whatcha up to?" I wonder when she seems in the process of some crazy movement if it's because she's uncomfortable, or maybe bored, or may just curious to find a different view of things.

I wonder how big she'll be, what her personality will be like, and if she'll be healthy. I think she's perfect, but will she really be? Will she like words or numbers? Will she sing or dance? Will she be quiet or outgoing?

Now that we have half our room stacked with baby clothes, I cannot wait to see her in them. I can't wait to see how her father dresses her - if he favors his own urban, casual style, or if he gravitates towards the sweet dresses and matching hats.

I can't wait to baptize her. I don't know the Catholic service well, but in the Episcopal one, you have to promise that you will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. I want to promise to help her do that. If we can arrange it, she'll wear my baptismal gown. A long old-fashioned one that has miniature ruffles over a foot past where any normal baby would end. It's dramatic and gorgeous. I might need to wear a hat and a suit, just to compete with the drama of it all.

Last night I had my breastfeeding class. I went into it scared and lonely and I came out excited. I talked to the lactation consultant about how to ease the process after a scheduled c-section and she showed me information about skin-to-skin contact while still in the OR. Now I cannot relax from the image in my mind of having my sweet girl on my naked chest, with her loving father there beside me... even before they finish the procedure. I hope they will agree to let me do it.

Brief aside: If you want to waste several hours, visit and look at baby booties. Even if you don't have children or don't want them, you cannot help but melt at the cuteness. Then when you imagine that the sweet girl wearing them is your very own, it is nearly unbearable!

I won't pretend this process is fun. And I won't pretend that it's getting any easier. I considered ordering take-out from work today, even though there is a deli two blocks away - because those two blocks felt cruel and cold and long. I am the person that used to walk 2 miles each way, just to get a small snack or a specialty drink on a weekend - I called it "wandering the planet." Now, my mind wanders and my body wants to stay put. In my office, I scoot around in my desk chair so I don't have to stand up... I call it my "crab walk" - but it's crazy. And I know I look crazy, I just don't care.

I am getting used to people staring. I stay perky in mood to avoid talking to people... if you say "Oh, I'm doing great!" then people don't press. And that's what I want, keep moving people, nothing to see here.

Oh, but there is... every day my belly is a different shape. At any given moment one might be able to see it move. My clothes are stretched to their limit. There is no such thing as camouflage - there is only looking pregnant and looking VERY pregnant.

And the time is finally close. A month from Monday will be my last day in the office. And there is SO much to do between now and then. And by mid-month, if she comes, she'll still be full-term. There is still plenty to worry about, but gratitude is seeping in. Seeping in with fingers crossed and wood knocking.