Saturday, January 10, 2015

35 weeks

The biggest development in this girl's entire life/pregnancy lately is IV iron infusions. Sign me up for that shit for the rest of eternity as far as I'm concerned, I don't even care how much it costs. Here's how it goes: I reserve many hours of alone time, go the the beautiful, futuristic medspa office where everything is either white or clear (chairs, desks, cabinets, everything), lay on a bed and nap/read/talk on the phone/whatever and take a billion milligrams of iron straight into my veins. Then kindly Dr. Ian gives me a shot in the bum with a bunch of other good stuff (B vitamins, Vitamin C & A and other things that are meant to help my body "unlock" all the iron I just got) and I'm on my way. Sometimes if I look extra extra terrible - I have been getting a little yellowish artificial tan from my anemia - I also get an extra bag of fluid. I don't feel like a million bucks but I feel alive and that is really something. Thank god for modern medicine.

Ok but so really, though, any time now would be great. 

No one knows exactly what sets off the hormonal chain reaction that causes natural labor to begin. We think it's the baby and we think it's probably when their lungs begin to make surfactant, signifying that if they were born they would be ready to breathe air - that they send the first signal and the mama's body takes it from there, but really, no one knows. What a wonderful, frustrating mystery. May your lungs be ready soon, little guy.

Because, man. Exhaustion, heartburn, anemia and it's dark eye circles, a renewed nausea, belly button soreness, WADDLING. (I prefer to think of it as toddling.)

And really, there is just no way to sleep. Between the hips (the hiiiips - I am literally type-whining), the back, the belly, the legs, my hands falling asleep, my preschooler whacking me in the face, sleep comes in 1 hr shifts between rolling over/peeing/longing to lay on my back. Are you interested in hearing me continue to complain? Coming right up.

I remember after Olive was born waking up in the night to feed her and change diapers (and pump, I also pumped after giving every bottle) and how quickly that turns you into a zombie who doesn't REALLY ever wake up and remembering anew in the first few seconds of waking that I was not pregnant anymore because I had, in fact, already had the baby and how supremely happy that made me. Not sleeping and having a giant, deflated stomach that basically served no purpose because it couldn't do anything it was supposed to, nursing a sore bottom and having a baby with feeding problems and most of the time I just rejoiced over the non-pregnancy of it all. Sometimes I really feel like I'm crawling out of my skin waiting for this to be over.

But I am still grateful for this boy. I am grateful for a healthy, if miserable pregnancy. This is a gift.

Olive still has a birthmark on her face: a red heart right between her eyebrows. Her pediatrician said it would probably fade by around her first birthday but here it is, still going strong at nearly 4 and standing out especially dark whenever she is hot, cold or crying. People who know her stop noticing it pretty quickly and I only see it when a stranger points it out and then I always feel a warm familiarity, like seeing an old friend for the first time in a long time. It's her special mark and so emblematic of who she is: loving, emotional, connected, full of heart. I was looking at her forehead-heart the other day and her full, expressive eyebrows and perfect shaggy, sandy hair and just generally admiring her and thought about how my undereye circles continue to grow and I know all my hair will go straight and fall out after her brother is born and all the while, she seems more and more beautiful each day. And I thought about how I'm so happy to give her that - to sacrifice some skin elasticity and to accept a few new grey hairs (6ish just with this pregnancy!) for these exquisite children of mine. You lose something in the looks department when you have a baby - it cannot be argued otherwise: a certain softness or plumpness or youth or something but these babies, man, the soft pillows of fat thighs and chubby cheeks they grow are so worth it. 

Weight gain: oh, I don't know...65 lbs. Maybe I can keep it under 80? ha! Syke. But it really all depends on how much longer this thing goes so let's everyone think labor thoughts in the coming weeks, shall we? I'm ready any time after Jan 24th when I am officially in dates.

Let's do this thing.

Blogger Tricks

Sunday, December 28, 2014


"She's tiptoeing into the very beginning of some sort of relationship with God, or with a higher power, or something, but it is very hard for her to believe. I recommended that she think of all the women who have most adored her in her life and to come up with a sense of God based on that kind of love, on the sense of protectedness that it gives you to be loved by a really fine woman, a sense of some mysterious regenerative force at the center of things."
- from Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions

My friends gave me the most lovely, low key baby shower recently and since then I've been loving how I get to field all the text messages about how much they enjoyed each other. They all generously listened to my epic whining and Elieen, who understands me, made me a giant pile of bacon to eat. So.

One of my oldest friends is one of Olive's favorite aunties and she and her man took O for a special date to see Zoo Lights for the second time. It's amazing for me to have a couple hours to just sit but even better for O who gets to go on an outing and be showered with fresh, undivided adult attention. Her aunts - both those with and without kids in their own special ways - have been so key through this pregnancy and I don't know what we'd do without them.

I annoy my doula nearly every day with my pregnancy induced mental illness - she hears about every ache and pain, every heightened emotion (frustration, guilt, rage) and sleepless night. She endures all this with aplomb, as doulas do. Her husband makes a cheesy bean dip you'd trade a family heirloom for and when I told her I was thinking about it, I came home to find some on my porch. With tortilla chips.

My mom has interrupted her very busy, newly retired schedule of hot tubbing with her friends and playing in her ukelele band to take Olive many extra afternoons so I can nap, get an iron IV, etc. Thanks, mom.

Olive's wonderful babysitter has been clutch: getting my wiggle worm outside and to the wading pool this summer while I spent the whole thing puking and sleeping and now going on fun outings like ice skating and also just having her over to do girl stuff like paint their nails and wash their bangs. Olive loooves hanging out at her apartment.

To all the people who have offered to join the meal train, taken Olive off my nauseas hands for a bit, listened to me complain and just generally held me up these past 35 weeks, really, Thank You capital T capital Y.

Of all the things I have learned through becoming a parent, asking for help - and accepting help when offered, has been one of the hardest and most profound. I am so so grateful for the amazing women in my life who have literally made it possible for me to have another kid. Thanks, ladies. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014


// a brief guide to essential oils

// a brilliant acceptance speech from shonda rhimes

// I have a perfectly good system so I probably won't be getting one of these but aren't they drool worthy?

// if you need me, I'll be somewhere eating dates 

// pretty updo for short hair (got a holiday party coming up?)

// project 333 in the kitchen!

Friday, December 12, 2014


image from pinterest

// the English government wants you to birth at home

// how to take great pictures of kids

// signed Olive up for this popular sibling prep class this week (i'd love to know if you have anything like this in other cities!)

// what kids' drawings of family say about their home life

// mexican hot cocoa (sub coco milk to make it dairy free)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

she says (III)

"I thank god for everything in my life. The heart, the trees, the houses, the iPad, the lights and my mama and my papa and the people. And papa. All the people in the world."

"Don't say shit mama. Shit's a bad word."

Me: "Olive, does the eucalyptus still smell good?"
Olive, without sniffing: "No, mama. It didn't smell good when it first got here and it doesn't smell good now."

"Mama, I am loving you so much that I just need to touch your face"

"Mama, well, when you have the baby, first you're gonna have contractions and then your belly will get bigger and bigger and bigger and then we'll turn the light on and then, I don't actually know, I'm just makin' this up, then he's gonna be borned in the biiiig bathtub and then we're all gonna look at his penis."