Archive for July, 2007

Insomnia can suck it

Just in case anyone was wondering, I was in fact awake until after midnight last night.  And awake again slightly after 4 this morning.  And laid in bed, unable to get comfortable and with Lucy forming some sort of strange Stonehenge-like shape between C and me, until I finally got up and made a cup of coffee about an hour ago.  The upside is that I didn’t have time to develop leg cramps.  The downside?  I feel like I’m back in high school and have a paper due today–all teeth and edges (only minus the adrenaline rush of actually getting the damn thing done.)  We’re going to the museum with C’s civilizations class and I’m apt to fall asleep, on my feet, in front of the shrunken heads.  Which, I suppose, is better than feeling like a shrunken head, which is about where I am right now.

It is already witheringly hot in here.  Tell me I’ll feel better after a long shower because it’s all I’ve got right now.

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Last night as I said good night to C, I rubbed my stomach to find a misshapen section. ‘What is that, a chicken thigh?’ I asked him.

The mercy of getting more huge and less comfortable is that your mind finally starts to prepare you for the actual baby that is at the end of the journey. This is the part of pregnancy I most vividly remember from the first time, and, truth be told, the one I’ve been waiting for. There’s a baby in there. It won’t be long now until that chicken thigh is in my arms. And then I get all excited and a little impatient. I think this must be why so many people take up knitting or spend hours planning layettes and painting murals–after six months of waiting, the last three can drag on something fierce.

I spent a bit of time yesterday thinking about a birth plan. I didn’t have one for Lucy and I kind of feel like I should this time.  I’m a little nervous about the specifics this time around since, well, we really winged it last time and as much as I know you can’t plan birth, I’m not great at winging overall and the only thing that saved me last time was not having enough time to stress.  And then I started thinking about what I needed to get before the baby gets here, how we’re going to fit everything into Lucy’s room, what we’re going to do when they’re too old to share a room, and on and on and on.

Now, if I didn’t have to rely on someone else for getting our stuff out of storage, I’d probably already have it.  Crib set up and gathering dust, we’d be tripping over the swing and bouncy chair and exersaucer in the living room, and the worm bin would be displaced by the high chair (note to self:  find new home for the worm bin…)  And it would be too early, and then I’d proceed with my worrying anyway, but that’s hardly the point.  The point is, the last trimester is all hurry up and wait (or the wait and hurry up) and it doesn’t suit me.

Which brings me to the new-agey portion of this shebang (because I always come back to the new-agey part at some point…)

I’m starting to think about setting up a birth altar.  I haven’t decided where to put it yet, but I think perhaps it might help me to have a place to focus when the worries about how birth will happen start to overshadow the rest of everything.  I need a little Universe Spirit right about now to even things out.

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Downstairs! With the doorman! As I type! Which means that tomorrow I can plant my strawberries and whatever else I have lying around that needs plantin’. I am so excited I could sweat. Profusely.

Coming back to this after opening and unpacking the pots…I am not sure what I have gotten myself into this time.  I got a set of 3–14″, 16″ and 20″ and apparently along with every other ounce of perception I once possessed, my ability to envision sizes flew right out the window as soon as I peed on a stick because, I swear to god, I was envisioning polite, demure little pots and these are substantial, block the heater pots.  I love ’em, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a little intimidated by them.  I have a packet of mesclun seeds that I think I might toss in the 20″ pot.  I’m going to plant the tomato and jalapeno in the tomato tree, and then the strawberries in the 14″ and our basil, oregano and parsley in the 16″.  Is it totally weird to grow food inside?  We get great sun in our front window (in the living room) and it’s configured in such a way that we really can’t put furniture along the entire wall, so it’ll be decorative as well.  Plus, food!  In the living room!

In case it wasn’t obvious, I am in full-on nesting mode, although in this case ‘nesting’ seems to more like ‘settling in for the winter’ (which it may very well end up to be, actually.)  Until we get our baby stuff out of storage, there is precious little for me to do besides plan how I want to rearrange stuff when it gets here and play around with food (growing, buying, eating, and soon cooking and later, hopefully, canning.  I have asked for a beginner’s canning kit for my upcoming birthday and I’m really hoping I get it.  When I was pregnant with Lucy and we were so worried about her heart, I used to daydream/visualize myself with her, at about this age, cooking from scratch and making our own preserves and doing all sorts of things that people who knew me would think I’d lost my mind for envisioning because, hello?  Not Martha Stewart.  Needless to say, we never ended up really doing any of those things (unless you count baking cookies from pre-made dough) until this summer, when (surprise, surprise) I was pregnant again.  So I don’t know if my inner pioneer comes out with pregnancy, or if I’m just remembering that I always wanted to do these things because of that trigger.  Either way, my nesting seems to be more ‘putting up food for the winter’ than ‘assembling layette.’  Although I’m starting to toy with the idea of getting my sewing machine fixed and/or learning to knit.  Because apparently in my mind I’ll have tons of time to do stuff like that after the baby is born.  Seriously, I don’t even know what the hell I think I’d sew or knit.

Otherwise, the dog days of pregnancy have hit me pretty hard.  I lost most of the sleep hours between 2am and 6am to leg cramps and am trying to remember to flex my feet while I’m sitting here because my arches are cramping now.  And, to make matters worse, we do not have a single junk food item in the entire house to assuage my sweet cravings.  I’m thrilled to be eating healthy and all that, but really, I desperately want a cookie or a bowl of ice cream, and the closest I can think of is oatmeal with maple syrup.

Tell me I’m not turning into a hippie, please?

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After a Lucy-sanctioned trip to the diner, I dragged her (and my husband-who-deserves-a-medal-lately-for-humoring-me) to the Union Square Greenmarket. As we entered the park, we ran smack into the New York Healthy Birth Fair. And the sky parted, and angels trumpeted, and I came away armed with a sackful of information on everything from lactation consultants to Bradley Childbirth Education (and, bizarrely, a pamphlet on not circumcising despite explaining that we had zero intention of cutting.) There were women sharing birth stories and doulas and all nature of wonderful women advocating for birth choices for other women and honestly, I was so happy I could have cried while hugging all of ’em. Ahhhh, hormones again. It was truly lovely, and had I known it was going on, I would have spent the entire day getting my mommy on. As it was, however, I left having met both a lactation consultant and doula/childbirth educator who I really liked and whose services I will likely be looking into this week. We were there for bread and meat, and so to the Greenmarket we headed.

After a quick pass-through (which yielded 18 Lucy handfuls of green beans), C and Lucy split off, frustrated by my whiplash-ing at each stand drawn to the playground and I was able to shop in earnest.  And shop I did–snap peas for Shepherd’s Pie, not the best but good enough to shell and cook.  A nice bunch of carrots.  And, to satisfy my newfound appreciation, a bunch of salad turnips!  To think, before the CSA I’d never eaten a turnip…

Then there was the bread!  A loaf of 7 grain with a heft, a peasant sourdough that even my husband drooled over when we got it back home.  And then!  A 4-pack of alpine strawberries, a Tiny Tiger tomato plant, a jalapeno plant and a beefsteak plant.  It was time to meet up with C and Lucy to pick out our meat–a pound of ground lamb and a pound of lamb sausage–curry with pomegranate.  Lucy promised to bring a tissue paper flower back to the lamb-stand woman so it looks like we’ll be making this a weekly trip!  And, honestly, I love the idea of that.  I know I’m all gushy lately, but buying meat from the people who farm makes me feel ok about eating it.  Plus they sell sheepskins and yarn in addition to the meat so it seems like a more holistic sort of use.

So, today while C is at the Yankee game (I’ve not been to one since June…the thrill of live baseball is sort of overshadowed by the waste for me at this point but then again, I also don’t care much about the Devil Rays…) Lucy and I are going to make a vegetable stock.  And then, I have to find some pots for my strawberries and when C gets home we’re going to move the Tomato Tree outside, which is going to devastate Bean, who has taken to sleeping underneath it.

We’ve taken to picking up all of the spare cheerios and chunkier crumbs under the snack table and saving them in an old bread bag to leave outside for the birds.  I put a batch out last night, and this morning we have a handful of twittering birdies out there this morning availing themselves of the crumbs.  I think they’re wrens, but don’t quote me on that.  My bird identification abilities stalled out somewhere around Lucy’s age, and is therefore limited to being able to comfortably tell the difference between, say, a cardinal and a robin.

And then tomorrow I will rest, because my calves ache and my feet ache, and I’ve been going a little crazy lately.  But before I go, here are our week 3 numbers for the Riot:

  • Trash:  24.5 lbs
  • Recycling:  18 lbs
  • Gas:  4.7 Gal
  • Food Local:  76%
  • Food Bulk:  5%
  • Food Wet:  19%
  • Consumer Goods:  $409.90 (Whoa.  Books, maternity bras, shorts, and sundresses, goggles for Lucy and flip-flops for C.  All new.  It’s way too easy to spend money sometimes and I’m still a sucker for a sale.)

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I don’t know why, but somewhere between dinner and sleep I felt the most wonderful feeling:  contentment.  C steamed up the potatoes from the farm share and we mixed up sour cream with green onions (also from the farm) and basil from the balcony and it.was.heavenly.  Lucy had a cupful of plain basil leaves before bed (after trying the onion.)  So maybe it was eating something I had grown myself.  Later, I tucked myself into bed with my Riot for Austerity binder to do the preliminary numbers for the week and realized that I had double-counted our mileage not once, not twice, but three times over the past 2 weeks.   I then totted up our food for the week and, realized that, for the very first time, our local food made up 75% of our total groceries!

The thing is, my flowers are all blooming, my herbs are all ready to be harvested, my worms are thriving, I’m eating better than I have in a long time, Lucy is eagerly trying new foods, and I seem to have rediscovered some sort of resolve I’d lost in the midst of wallowing about in angst for the past few weeks.  And it feels really good.  It feels like I can handle things.  To be honest, I was starting to get a little freaked out by the mood swings and crying jags.  I guess I do get a pass since I’m a ball of hormones.

In baby-related news, we still have no name although we’ve taken to referring to the baby as Carl Elvis.  It rolls nicely off the tongue, no?  Plus think of all the blue suede baby possibilities!  I’m really partial to Declan or Dorian, and we’ve also added Giles to the list of possible names.  Lucy is partial to Elvis (or Nemo, don’t ask…) though, and will screech loudly if we suggest anything else.  Which is great fun on the subway, let me tell you.  The most striking difference between number 1 and number 2 may very well be a general lack of solemnity regarding the name.  Choosing Lucy’s name was Serious Business Indeed.  This kid?  Hope you got a sense of humor, boy.

I’m also soliciting advice on cloth diapering–tips, places to order, anything.  I’m not 100% sure we’ll do it but I’m right around 97% so anything would help.  Ditto reusable menstrual pads, which I’d like to have for post-partum (still remember the hell of the hospital ones.)  I have plenty of time to figure it out but I’d like to get started planning since…ok, I’m excited and we already have most of the baby stuff we need and it isn’t time to rearrange Lucy’s room to accommodate Carl Elvis’ stuff yet (mostly because it isn’t on site yet).

And now I need to eat something.

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25 weeks

I can’t believe I’m posting a photograph of myself in a bathing suit on the internet.

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There’s something about this pregnancy that’s turning me into a huge ball of angst. I had two crying fits over the past weekend, one because nobody ever takes pictures of me (hand*staple*forehead*) and the one immediately following because my hair gets so tangled at the back of my neck that I think I might have to get it cut. I should have seen it coming after the MIL diatribe last week, or any number of times that I’ve had fits because of things not going according to plan. I touched on it in aforementioned diatribe, but I should probably unpack it, as they say, because crying over hair is silly (the picture thing is totally legit though.)

I’m pregnant, most likely for the last time, and I really don’t want to look back on this pregnancy and have a boatload of regrets about things I could’ve done differently. My last pregnancy was, how should I put it…not how I would have scripted it. It took us some time to decide we were going to keep the baby, and some of our family members were less than supportive with the decision we came to. And then, of course, the sono that showed us the heart defect. I reckon the amount of time we spent in the throes of pure, worry-free gushy excitement about having a baby was roughly a month. It was not pretty. The rest of the time was spent trying to justify our capability for having a child, doctor’s appointments, and sleeping. Honest to god, I slept through 2/3 of the pregnancy just to not have to deal with the sky falling. This is not to say that the pregnancy was miserable, just that I wanted some more time to really appreciate the wonder of what was happening.
One of the things I regretted most last time was not having any pictures of my growth. I have tried to remedy that this time around by doing the tacky mirror self-portrait deals but there is something sort of sad about having to photograph yourself. No, actually, it just makes me sad to have to photograph myself. And, a month or so ago, I just sort of stopped doing it. Not as a protest or anything, just because it was easy enough to skip a week, and then two, and then it was more hassle than it was worth to wait for Lucy to go to bed and get a path cleared in the bedroom and go through all sorts of contortion to get a side view. Still, when a big pregnancy promise is to document your growth, eventually the your hormones are going to overtake you. Exhibit A, the ‘everybody thinks I’m hideous and is just too polite to tell me’ crying jag. (in my defense: there are strikingly few pictures of me over the last few years and the few that have been taken involve being outside which means either I have my face screwed up into a squint or am wearing a cap and brown SPF shirt. Why do people take pictures outside anyway?) I don’t know why I have so much of my self-esteem wound up in whether or not people wielding cameras actually point said camera at me, but I do. When I get a batch of pictures from my family and I’m not in any of them, I wonder if it isn’t some sort of subliminal message that my presence wasn’t noted (or wanted.) It’s more understandable with the ILs since, you know, they’ve all known each other for a really long time, but still it makes me feel as though I’m not a person one would want in one’s photo album. It sounds sort of silly, but it’s a really big deal to me. One of the things that sent me over the edge crying when I had my breakdown a few years back was that I would die, Lucy wouldn’t even remember me, and there would only be 2 pictures of me with her. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that, actually, and I think maybe it doesn’t have much to do with pregnancy after all but let’s see where this goes, shall we?

Anyway, for this pregnancy I set out particulars about which I didn’t want to compromise. Photos were one. I also desperately wanted to take prenatal yoga. As I touched upon in the diatribe, I was not able to do it. It is a very big deal to me because one of the main reasons I could not do it was travel. In order to appease everyone who wanted commitments to visits over the summer, I had to scrap prenatal yoga (Friday nights.) I am still not happy about it, and by ‘not happy’ I do mean really resentful at this point. I didn’t realize, until last week, how angry I am about the demand on our time for this summer. I allowed somebody else’s priorities to overshadow mine, and I’m really mad at myself. In fairness, I tried to say no countless times, but at no point did I stand up and say, ‘I will regret not taking this class and I do not find regret to be worthwhile.’ The upside (that I may be able to take it once our travel extravaganza gets finished, assuming I am not entirely exhausted and that 3rd trimester isn’t too late to start) is unfortunately pretty well lost on me right now, as it slowly starts to dawn on me that this pregnancy will probably be nothing great to look back on either. 9 months seems like such a long time until you get around month 7 and realize that anything you didn’t get done already will have to be packed into the remaining time. Which is, I’m afraid, a feeling that sucks as well as a feeling I’m struggling with right now.

And the big, huge, freaking irony? All of these things I wanted to do this time around were all under the guise of ‘enjoying the pregnancy’ which I’ve managed to nitpick until I can’t even relax to enjoy it because there’s something I’m going to miss later or somebody else has something they want me to do, or whatever. I’m really struggling here, and I keep lashing out and I think I just need some time where I don’t feel so much pressure for everything to be a certain way or else, and I’ll be goddamned if I know how to relax enough to figure out how to do that. To be completely honest, it’s not even like I’m sitting around the house miserable or anything, it just all comes out that way when I try to write about it and I don’t know what it means that I can’t write about anything without getting angry or sad.

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