Monday, April 28, 2008

Pregnancy: Week 17

My belly button is cavernous.

It is.  It truly is.  I realize that at some point my belly button will stretch out in ways I never thought possible and ultimately convert from an innie to an outie by the time the baby comes along.  What I didn't realize is that prior to this conversion, it apparently deepens and widens and softens and becomes cavernous.  I have a small cavern where once was my belly button.

This is the week that I feel like my belly "popped," as they say, the week where it's suddenly more noticeable that I have a round mound of a belly.  A little buddha bump, for that is how I feel.  I've moved out of my regular pants, for the most part, and into maternity pants, at least a few pairs.  It's not been as exciting as I thought it would be to find maternity clothes.  It seems that all of the cute clothes are expensive (for temporary clothing!) and cheaper clothes make me feel frumpy and as if I'm wearing a tent.  It's hard to know what size to get - these pants fit now and seem like they have some elastic room to grow, but will they fit in 3 months?  And buying the next size up is like donning a parachute.  An open parachute gathered around your shoulders and waist in a large tent-like fashion.   My rounded belly (and my voluptuous breasts) also mean that shirts don't quite fit like they did before.  My longer t-shirts and tanks are starting to creep up, scooching up my belly while I type at my desk, and my growing chest and rib cage are asking for more leeway in shirts too.  And then there's my underwear - I'm not exactly growing out of them, but they are starting to slide down in the front, which is only embarrassing to me in the event of a car accident or a Marilyn-Monroe-skirt-moment.  But still, I know they are sliding down, and it's not pretty, and does everything change?  Really? One friend offered to buy me the kind of underwear that fit up and over my belly.   I politely declined.

I've had a few more moments this week of feeling the baby move.  Last night on the couch, after dinner, there was definitely a fish-type movement in my tummy.  It was quick and such a strange sensation (it's been happening a bit while I write this entry, too).  I've become more aware of my uterus this week - certain squatting or leaning over positions are more uncomfortable.  It's hard to explain but pre-pregnancy not being able to bend in the middle had more to do with my (lack of) flexibility and now, suddenly (or gradually I guess), bending in the middle is more uncomfortable because there's this something inside - inside! - that's in the way.  And won't move.  All of this to say, what I think is so weird is that there's something inside - this whole package of life and life-support system - that is taking up residence in my body and beginning to make itself known.   I have a baby inside of me!  That is just the weirdest idea ever.

Probably the biggest thing of this week is my quest to find a new OB, which also brings me back around to whether or not I even want to be in the care of an OB (and ultimately a hospital birth, covered by insurance) or if I want to be seen by a midwife (home birth and paid for out of pocket).  My current OB and I do not share a similar vision of pregnancy and childbirth.  He's nice and all, but seems very concerned with how much more experience he has with this than I do.  He also seemed to insinuate he doesn't appreciate women who think for themselves - which I have a hard time with.  So I'm on the hunt for a new doctor and I hate it.   I would like for the right doctor to fall from the sky, open a practice just down the street from me, and deliver in the nicest, least medically hospital not far from home.   I'm not sure how to look for a doctor, not sure how to ask my questions, not sure if my questions will just put off the doctor. And I'm not sure if our current medical system allows for what it is that I'm looking for anyway. I know that midwifery "fits" me better - it fits what I want in terms of something holistic, an experience that trusts the body, and trusts that the mind and body are connected.  Something that is transformative and empowering.  Hospitals are more concerned with disease, things going wrong, and liability (which my current doctor also admitted, that some of his choices are simply to cover his ass).  

So, I don't know.  I'm not sure how to sort this out.  How to listen.  How to seek.  How to trust - my self and others.  I have a very strong sense that the answer lies somewhere within my self - that it is not about someone giving me the answer or mapping this out for me - but I feel or seem unable to find it.  If you are of the praying persuasion, I'd appreciate your prayers on this one - that I know how to listen, that I know how to seek, that I know how to trust.  And that I find what I need.

We took more pictures this weekend.  I will post one soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008


The other day I was slicing strawberries to eat with my yogurt.  As I was slicing, using my thumb as a stop for the knife as it slid through the strawberry, I realized that I was cutting the strawberry the way my mother would, the way I had always watched her cut fruit and quick and easy vegetables. I was usually in awe of my mom when she would do this, mostly because she still had both of her thumbs fully in tact.  I didn't understand how she could move the knife so deftly, cutting quickly but stopping just before slicing a finger.   And it's not that I was in awe of her as a kid - no, it's been in my adult life that I didn't think I'd ever cut a strawberry without a cutting board.   And then, there I was, cutting a strawberry just like my mom would.  When did that happen?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Mostly leftovers: salmon, brown rice, Cheetos, some peas.  And applesauce.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pregnancy: Week 16

Something shifted this week with my slightly-more-noticeable belly.  I'm not sure if it's that I've been drinking more water (because it's SO DRY) this week, or if my uterus grew enough, or if my uterus just shifted to a different position or what.  But this week I have to pee with a greater degree of frequency and urgency.  The one good thing about the fact that this urgency coincides with a growing belly is that either 1) my pants are already unbuttoned/unzipped before I even reach the bathroom or 2) my pants are made up primarily of elastic (no button or zipper to begin with), both of which make for very efficient potty breaks.  I encourage the no-button-no-zipper lifestyle - way easier.  And it comes with a pretty cute belly too.  Jeans with elastic in the back for every woman!

My food cravings seem to be dying off a bit these days, which is nice (though less entertaining for you, Olivia).  Grilled cheese sandwiches made with American cheese, which were in for the past month, aren't capturing my attention this week.  Cheetos - flavor of last week - are also out this week, though I could be persuaded to take up a bag if needed.   And Frosted Flakes are now far from my craving memory.  I also don't feel as crazy hungry as I did in the first few weeks of pregnancy and I feel like there are more options for satisfying my hunger when it does strike.  It's still not a good idea to let me get anywhere close to hungry - a slightly monstrous and crabby woman appears - but this was mostly true pre-pregnancy.  I don't do well without food or access to food.  I also don't do well if people take food from me, but you know that story already.

I started a pre-natal yoga class this week and I love it.  While each session demonstrates my lack of flexibility and coordination, it gives me this space in my week where I breathe deeply and with conviction and a bit of grace, too.  I spend most of the class thinking "I could fall asleep in this position and it would be lovely."   I love that it's slow and gentle, there's no competition to do better, pose quicker, or be more flexible - there's just this gentle encouragement to feel my body, to open, to be strong, and to surrender gently.  Have I mentioned that it's gentle and calming?  I think what sold me on the class, though, is the teacher.  She has this energy about her that is so lively in a life-giving sort of way.  Not a perky, cheerleader-type energy, but someone who seems full of and interested in life and giving birth to life.  I think this is hard to explain, but it's very attractive to me.  Oh, and she remembered my name the second time I came back to class and greets me with warmth and enthusiasm and interest whenever I walk into the yoga studio.  It's what I want church to be like, I guess.  A place where I feel welcomed, where there is space and grace and I'm allowed to go at my speed according to my breath and my flexibility. Until I find church, I might just keep getting pregnant so I can continually take this class.

In the next few weeks, I should be able to feel the baby move in my belly.  I spend a lot of time "listening" to my belly.  When I go to bed and when I wake in the morning, I place my hands on my belly and wait, trying to decipher the movements and shifts, if any, in my body.  Was that gurgle the baby moving or was it just a gas bubble moving down the line?  This twinge of pain, is it a ligament stretching or something tapping my insides?  I'm pretty certain that what I felt on Sunday evening were these early movements, someone doing flips and wiggles in my uterus. There is another life inside of me, which I find so strange, so extra-ordinary. I can barely believe that we have this capability, that this is where babies come from, that this is where you and I came from.  Sometimes I find pregnancy so astounding and sometimes so mundane.  It seems like a wonderful tension to live in, between the natural and supernatural.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The sliver moon

Last night, while walking the dog, on the way home, just before home, I caught a glimpse of the sliver moon in the dusky western sky. The sky was still light, just beginning to darken softly, the sun just beginning to sleep, the sliver just starting to shine. The trees stood as dark intricate silhouettes against the sleeping waking heavens. This reminded me of Oregon, of the retreat, and of evening prayers, where I'd gaze out the windows at the sleeping sky waking sliver moon resting just a hair above the intricate outlines of the ponderosa pines. Cool quiet pine air settled around me in the dim room lit by our prayers of hope of pain of grace of joy of brokenness.

I feel unsettled today, and scared, and sad, if I am to be honest. The changes ahead feel daunting and difficult as Aaron and I consider dreams and family, living and being. Can we do what we do with a child? And do we want to? We, the two of us, have made adjustments and compromises, have found support and creativity to adapt to our non-traditional path. We've made it through New Orleans, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Baltimore, Kentucky, New York, and all over LA. But can we keep it up? Can we do this when our two that are one become three (well, four - let's not forget dear Zoe!)? Will we have the creativity, the support, the energy? I don't know. And I don't know what if not this.

There are no decisions being made today, and probably none for a while to come. We are doing our best to listen, at least I hope that's what we are doing. And maybe in the listening we will live in to the answers. I don't know. I'm not always good at this.

I long for cool pine air and I long for the intricate bold silhouettes of mountain pines. I long for the quiet of a young low in the sky moon. And I long for the grace of god.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Someone stole my cake

It's true.

Someone stole my cake last week.

(Julia is tired of this story, but, well, too bad. There are women in the midwest who need to know about the stolen cake!)

Last Monday was my 30th birthday and my friend Erika made me a chocolate cake - from scratch! - with delicious cream-cheese frosting dusted with crushed Thin Mint cookie crumbles. The cake was special to begin with - it's been a long time since I've had not-from-a-box-or-a-restaurant cake - but then add to that the fact that Erika has three children under the age of 3.5 years old. I barely have time to brush my teeth twice a day, let alone bake anything, and here she is, 3 kids hanging from her arms and legs, and she's baking me a cake from scratch. I felt pretty special.

And this was, by far, the best chocolate cake I've had in years! Years! It was sweet and moist and chocolate-y. And YumYumYummy.

After partaking of the best cake ever with some of my coworkers, I put two pieces of cake on a paper plate, covered them in plastic wrap, set them quickly in the fridge at work, and ran off to a meeting. I was so excited to eat another piece of cake the next day and to bring a piece home for my husband to enjoy, too. It was a hectic day and I didn't bring the cake home that night...

The next morning, as I was setting up for more meetings, I opened the fridge and happened to glance at my plate of chocolate cake - the very yummy and did I mention special? cake. And on the paper plate sat one lonely piece of cake and one skid mark of cake where the second piece had been, and the plastic wrap was neatly tucked around the plate.

Who steals birthday cake from a pregnant lady?!?

No one has confessed to taking my cake and eating it, too, even though I'm pretty sure that everyone within a three block radius knew that I was not very happy with the disappearance of my cake.

I'm almost done being upset about it. Almost.

Making Julia Happy (and Olivia and Paige, too)

Welcome to my blog.  I meant to start it this weekend, but Friday night I got stuck trying to pick a template that would be aesthetically pleasing and then fell asleep at 8:30 which afforded me little time for blogging.  And yesterday I had a tremendous headache after an attempt at attending church.  I feel the headache is a sign from God.  It also means I didn't blog.  

So welcome.  I'll write more soon and will try to make it more profound.  And moving.  Or at least interesting.

(and a big thanks to Julia for helping me set up a blog, and facebook, and myspace, and probably gmail, too.  sheesh - what would I do without you?)