Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thoughts on Pregnancy

I started feeling baby move around 14 or 15 weeks. What an odd sensation. I've wondered how my child acquired a hamster wheel based on all the activity. At least one of us is exercising.

Less charming: playing hacky sack with my ovaries.


February 2015 - 16 weeks

My insurance company refers to the birth of a child as a "life event." Prior to that, pregnancy is defined as a protected disability by employers. It's nice to know my job won't be filled while I'm on maternity leave because this "disability" is temporary.

I couldn't help comparing first trimester symptoms (mild, by all accounts) to how I might react to the same symptoms sans baby: persistent, unresolved nausea; fatigue; breast pain; isolated mid-section growth. Good thing pregnancy tests are so readily available. Otherwise, I would have been panicked: Cancer! Tumors! Autoimmune failure!

Nope. None of the above. Just growing a person in there. Pay no attention to the alien life form squirming and stretching its limbs. Amazing.


February 2015 - 18 weeks

The hormonal/emotional journey since going off birth control last summer has been... interesting. I'm grateful I lived through adolescence (forgot how grueling it was to feel unhinged most of the time). I'd like to say that my coping skills have improved in the last two decades, but I'm not sure they have. Let's not ask Hubbins to confirm or deny. Tears and FEELINGS and introspection are exhausting.


March 2015 - 20 weeks


Our 20 week ultrasound was so special. I had been hoping for and assuming we were having a baby girl. But when the ultrasound technician said "its a boy," My reaction was all joy. I smiled so big lying there on the exam table; the tears that sprang up landed in my ears. I had this strange vision of all stages of boyhood, from infant baby boy, rough and tumble kiddo, to full grown young man with his arm around my shoulder. I reached for Hubbins' hand and we just grinned excitedly together for a while (even though it was dark in the room, I know that's what was happening).

As we left the doctors office, Hubbins turned to look at me and said wistfully, "I have a son." You know that saying that women become mothers as soon as they find out they're pregnant, but men don't become fathers until they hold their newborn? Not true for us. I'm so thankful I don't have to wait until the delivery room to see the transformation to "daddy." He's going to rock parenthood.


March 2015 - 24 weeks


Observation: social constructs change during pregnancy. I can’t think of another instance where it’s socially acceptable to openly comment on someone’s bodily protrusion (the exception, I suppose, would be when seeing a compound fracture – to which the appropriate response would be “AAAAAAAA! I’m taking you to the emergency room!”).

But during pregnancy, it’s perfectly normal to hear enthusiastic commentary on my changing anatomy. I find it a little embarrassing, having gained noticeable weight, to hear “Ooh! Look at your belly!” but it’s also nice to flaunt my growing mid-section. “Form fitting” clothing was taboo in adolescence, but now it’s acceptable and maternal. Curious, considering my new “form.”

Speaking of my new wardrobe, maternity pants for the win! Spandex from navel to armpits? Yes, PLEASE!


Easter 2015 - 25 weeks

Pregnancy seems the most passive form of parenting. Granted, my unborn child is biologically connected to me and we're contained in the same physical space. He relies on me for survival at this point. The ironic thing is that this total dependence is low-maintenance in comparison since it’s all happening automatically. Once we’re separate entities, care taking becomes manual.


In honor of this miracle and mystery, my silent sidekick and I are going to go take a nap.


Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - April 18, 2015

27 weeks

We're Pregnant! Christmas 2014

We shared some big news with our families at Christmas: we're expecting!

I wrapped some of my favorite picture books to give to my dad and siblings. The card said "Save for July and practice your read aloud voices!" with a little ultrasound picture inside.


Best reaction ever.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter thoughts: January 21, 2015

Today is Mom's birthday. How should one celebrate the birth of a lost loved one? At lunchtime today, I made a plan: I'll buy flowers after work and lay them on her gravestone tonight.

My work is now done for the day, but the sun has gone down. I don't want to visit a graveyard by myself in the dark. Other than Mom's name in writing, there is nothing about that location that makes me feel close to her.

So instead, I bought myself flowers and I'm writing her a birthday card. With lots of stickers. That's much cheerier, exactly like her.

*****

I don't know which is worse: not being able share celebrations with Mom, or not being able to go to her for comfort when I'm sad. As a kid, I remember a framed proverb a friend wrote in calligraphy for us. It was displayed in our home for years:

Shared joy is twice the joy.
Shared sorrow is half the sorrow.
 
Recently, there have been many joys and a few heavy sorrows in my life - my instinct to share both accentuate Mom's absence.