Saturday, April 24, 2010

That which we covet...

Any new parent knows that sleep is something you crave, something you try to steal, something you wish for and daydream about...

So it's no wonder that when we see our other fellow family members enjoying some sleep, we covet it, admire it, and want to document it:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Things I love about my daughter...

There is plenty that is hard... days and days of a few hours sleep, teaching your baby and your body to connect, not worrying yourself to death about every little thing, but then again...
She has this sweet face and these big eyes. She squeaks in her sleep while she tries to wrestle loose from her swaddling. She is extraordinarily alert and happy after she poops. She loves to sleep on her daddy's chest. While sleeping on you, she reaches out to lay a hand on your face.

But the unexpected thing is that she knows me. She knows my voice and follows it with her head as I talk to her across the room. I can comfort her with a simple coo. (Not always, of course.)

Other things I love:
- the way her hair swirls in black curls around the back of her head - her dad jokes we have to comb it in a perfect spiral.
- the way her face expresses pure emotion - rapidly changing as thing erupt and then resolve in quick succession.
- the softness of her skin, like velvet.
- the sweet smell of her.
- the odd combination of a long and lean physique that is contradicted by the sheer doubleness of her chin.

She is one week old today. I want to remember her - not just the struggles, the worry and the pain, but the joy, the love, and the excitement of my sweet, sweet baby.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Conversation in CVS:

Lady in CVS: When are you due?

Me: Tomorrow.

Lady in CVS: ... (shocked look on face)

Lady in CVS: Is it scheduled?

Me: Yes, for 9:30am.

Cashier: I was not expecting that response!

Lady in CVS to Cashier: Right? I know!

Lady in CVS: Well, good luck!

Me: Thanks so much.

And scene.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

C-section, turtle style

Coming soon to an operating room near you...

Early to the Party.

So I have a guilty pleasure... it's called People Magazine.

During this pregnancy I have been particularly enthralled with watching pregnant celebrities. Except, seems like nearly all of the women who were due around the time as me have delivered early!

It all started with Padma Lakshimi - Top Chef host, former wife of Salman Rushdie, and all around beautiful lady.

Actually, that's not true... the first "celebrity-type" was that Duggar woman. I don't watch the show, but her bout with pre-enclempsia and early delivery had me quaking in my boots! That little micro-premie is four months old and still only like four pounds.

But then there have been all these other ladies delivering early: Paula Patton, Leslia Leslie.

Well, I'm grateful to my little one for hanging in there. Two days to go.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The New Pool.

March Madness is over and I am victorious. I picked Duke to go all the way, and they did! And I collected on my bet, eating a glorious dinner with my husband.

We sat in a fancy restaurant, ate delicious food that he might have been reticent to try - had it not been "my" day. And we talked about our thoughts, our hopes and our fears for the next stage of our lives. It's funny that you can be constantly reminded that you are pregnant: by others, by your appearance, and by the still active girl doing her yoga moves in utero and STILL feel like it's not real.

I can see now the reasons why this will be tough - because even today, just 4 days until I give birth, I can ignore or deny this is actually happening - at least some of the time. But that dinner made it better. Just by talking about things, it felt real and good. And I felt so connected to that sweet man across the table from me - and comforted that we are truly sharing this.

Now we have a new pool... a "how big will the baby be" pool. And I am so excited to see if either of us is right.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

O Happy DAY!

Birds are chirping. The sun is shining. It is unseasonably warm...

And it's my last day of work! Hooray!

The outpouring of support I received in email form after yesterday's post was staggering. Thank you all for your kind words and your presence in my life! I thought I would write a post with a different tone today - a foil if you will - for yesterday's list.

Things I will miss about work:

First, for the last few months, we have had a really wonderful, young alum working in our office. I've been training her, and perhaps occasionally overwhelming her with information, but she has been fantastic, encouraging and supportive of me. She tells me I look nice, she marvels at the miracle of life taking shape in my body, and she sneaks in to dish on the conflict and strangeness that often enters our lives in this office. I'll miss her and will be wishing her well!

Second, my lunch bunch. I have three of the most fantastic coworkers... whom I affectionately refer to as "the Philly girls" - Every day we eat together. I have learned more about Pop culture from them than from anyone else in my whole life. Anything I know about the Phillies is because of them, and they provide a wonderful break from work every day at 12:30. I may set the baby up in her bouncy seat at 12:30 and say "so, baby, what did you think of the Biggest Loser last night?" But I'm guessing that might not be quite as satisfying as the laugh-fests that we have. They are the kind of group that will listen to your problems, give good advice, and then find a way to poke some holes in things and get you laughing. I hope they visit, because I'm gonna need that!

Third, there are wonderful people here. I have focused largely on the naysayers and n'er-do-well types that haunt these hallways, but there are also students that bring me flowers, faculty that check in to see how I am doing, and other staff that lend their kind words and support. One faculty came in yesterday, told me how great I looked and then offered some words of advice: "Be sure you take time to look at your baby... they change so fast, seemingly day-to-day, try to memorize her sweet face before it changes." She totally had me in tears with the sweetness of her love for her own children and her happiness that I am about to embark on a similar voyage.

So my dear colleagues, I'll see you July-ish! And for my dear friends and family, thank you for helping me to see the silver lining and allowing me to use this blog as the receptacle for all kinds of emotions - good, bad, honest, and ugly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reasons not to get pregnant:

(feel free to print this out and leave it for your teenage daughter before she goes on dates or maybe to the prom...)

1) Your life is no longer your own.
Sure, there are plenty of lovely things that happen: the anticipation, the bonding between you and your mate - and between you and other mothers, but you will lose the opportunity to push through hunger and fatigue - you become at the mercy of your biological needs. And if you are someone that cannot abide by that, then do not get pregnant.

2) Your body will change in weird ways.
Some highlights of how my body has changed... some of which you have heard already: my nose has gotten broader, by eyes have gotten dryer, my carpal tunnel is so bad I haven't felt three fingers on my right hand for nearly two full months. You will get veiny. I'm lucky, no varicose veins, but you can see nearly my entire circulatory system, if you were to have the misfortune of seeing me naked right now.

3) Your second trimester will lull you into a false sense of security.
At six months pregnant you still look cute. You have a bump, people are supportive. You start planning. You don't feel sick anymore. And if you are like me, you have this glorious, smooth belly. Then, one day in your eighth month, there is one stretch mark. You cringe a little and swallow hard. By the end of the next month, you beautiful belly is gone, looking instead like a scratching post for a tyrannical feline. You tear up when you accidentally open the drawer to your bikinis, wondering if you will every wear those beautiful, tiny creations. You laugh at yourself for worrying about a little cellulite for the last decade. Now you have real worries.

4) You may eat weird things.
It all started with Popsicles and salad. Now it's avocados and rice cakes. It could be worse, but it's weird. I look forward to eating alone, so I can embrace the weirdness of my food choices in peace.

5) You will come to hate people.
Some people will be nice. Some people will be mean, but they will ALL have something to say about how you are doing or looking. By the end, you will just want them to freaking shut their pie-holes. Compliments exist - use them people. Most of these people are well-intentioned, but after nearly a year of hearing their opinions, you will not have patience for them. God forbid you don't have an awesome OB that keeps their comments in check - or if you don't do your research about what is normal, because then you will truly be at the mercy of these comments and then, well... god save you.

6) You will get scared.
People will tell you they loved being pregnant. These are people with no imagination. This is scary stuff. From the moment of conception, there are a million things that can kill your unborn child. Every book you read will go into great detail about what these things are and what might help avoid them. You will do some of those things and worry the rest of the time about the possibility of being the worst mom of all-time, killing your child with tuna sandwiches and blue cheese dressing. Then at the end, the stories of how hard it is to be sleep deprived and breast-feeding - you will create images in your head of you morphing into some kind of psychotic zombie - who at any moment could eat her newborn child out of pure frustration. Don't worry, the books say that's normal.

7) Nothing will ever be good enough.
Even if you continue to work up until the very last minute - with your water breaking on the copier-room floor, your colleagues will still try to get you to do "one last thing" before you leave. Not everyone, but enough that you will feel guilty and perhaps like a bad employee. Even if the very same people have been encouraging you to have kids for years.

8) Clothing will betray you.
You will be able to wear alot of non-maternity clothing for a VERY long time. Some things even longer than your maternity clothes. That is because maternity clothing is cheap and ugly - unless you are a millionaire. Also nursing bras are weird. And you will shop for things like bands to wear on your wrists to ease morning sickness, bands to keep your belly from showing when your shirts start to shrink up, and bands to compress your stomach after the blessed event. There are alot of mildly embarrassing bands in your life, and yet you will not be embarrassed by them, they will feel like life preservers.

9) Your skin will do crazy things.
Maybe you'll have acne. Maybe you'll have an itchy rash. Maybe you'll darken in weird places. Maybe you'll develop "skin tags" in places where no one but you will ever see. Or just maybe, you'll develop pregnancy leprosy, but don't worry, the books will tell you that is perfectly normal.

10) Your breasts will revolt.
Whatever you used to like about your breasts will change. They will start to do the opposite. Your nipples will look like dartboards. If you thought they were too big to start with, they will get bigger. If you want them to get bigger, they will not. If you even think for a second that they are looking good, they will start to do something different with the very next breath. Breasts are not to be trusted.

11) And finally, the worst comments - the pure evil ones will come your way.
Things like "sleep now, it will only get worse!" and "enjoy this time, because before you know it they become teenagers!" and "oh, you are in for one hell of a ride!" These comments, much like this list I have just created, are born out of frustration and meanness. Ignore them and do what you want. Everything will be okay and you will be able to live a mostly positive existence - if you want to - if you work at it - even despite the challenges.

One week from today, I will have a baby.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I'm done. I've had enough.

I want people to stop staring. I want strangers to stop saying things as I walk by. I want coworkers and students to stop saying how big I am and how surprised they are to still see me at work.

I only have 3 days of work left. I'm thinking about driving to work those days, just so I don't have to see as many people. How sad is that? I just want to hide from the world. So they will stop talking.

I can tell you that from now on, I will tell pregnant women "hey, I like your new haircut!" and NOT "OMG, you are bigger than your desk."

By the way, I got about 4 inches of hair cut off. Did anyone notice today? Yes, two people. TWO people. But how many people talked about how big I looked - two DOZEN.

I'm about ready to tell them where to go. It's really beginning to make me angry. It makes me not want to share this amazing experience with anyone. It makes me want to avoid the world until I am back to my normal size and shape - quite honestly, it's too much. And I feel trapped by it.

I just need to get through the next three days of work. THREE days. That's it. And yet, I am dreading them. DREADING them.

I wish I could go into this great transition feeling more confident. I am really disappointed that people are so insensitive that they can't see how much I HATE what they say to me. That they cannot just be happy for me and focus on something, anything besides what my body looks like.

So F*** you people. And your comments. I'm gonna make it through these next few days in spite of you... or maybe even TO spite you. And then I'm going to be nice to pregnant ladies for all of time... and tell them how they will get through this... how beautiful they are... and how much they are going to love their new life.