Showing posts from 2012

At Long Last

My baby, Miss Henrietta Plum, is two months old. I can't begin to explain how every piece of that sentence blows my mind, but I'm here, finally, to try. And I have so much to say about all of this--about her, and motherhood generally, and how it's changed me specifically, and stories about how we landed ourselves in Lowell, and on and on--that I don't even really know where to start. And every day I think I want to blog, that I need to blog, that I simply must find a moment to record what's happened and what's happening and this big bursting evolving love, and then it's time to feed her or make dinner or my c-section incision randomly starts bleeding and I must away to the emergency room (true story. happened yesterday. all is well, oddly.), or I'm just so exhausted that I believe Sam when he says my only job at that moment is to sit very quietly and watch television until it's bedtime.

And so we'll start with the only place it makes any good …

Our Anniversary, Across the Table

Our fourth wedding anniversary was at the end of July, right around when I hit 28 weeks. And behold! A dress still fit me! 
We went out to dinner at a place we'd heard about called Craigie on Main, and it was a lovely meal. The weird part: One of their specials was pig's head. As in, the entire pig's head. We asked about it, mostly out of horror (we're both latent vegetarians, I think), and the waitress commenced telling us all about it--how they'd cut it in half for us, how everything was so tasty and we could eat all of it--the ears and the cheeks and the on an on. I think Sam held up his hand for her to stop. And we didn't order the pig's head. But we had a lovely time. Here we are, across the table from each other, clearly in love.

The Nursery

I posted some Instagram pictures of the nursery on Facebook (oh gosh, I'm getting so social media-y!), and though Instragram pictures are charming, it's hard to really see what's going on in the ones I took, so here are some more, with details. I'm not done with it, but I'm more done than I thought I'd get, so here it is.

Moon Lamp Before+After+Cat

A year or so ago, I found this baby lamp at the thrift store. I think I paid a couple bucks for it, thinking I'd revamp it at some point since I wasn't crazy about the yellow gingham. A few weeks ago I thought I'd tackle the project, and found this stretchy turquoise lace fabric in my stash. I used modge podge and some hot glue to cover it (which was ... maybe not the best method, but it got the job done), and here's the after.

And because he hopped up right as I was taking pictures and looked so picturesque, here's Meatsock with the Moon.

Shower the First

So, here I am, against all predictions, still pregnant. I'm 36 and a half weeks now, which just blows my mind. And she shows no sign of imminent arrival. I mean, I'm uncomfortable. Really, profoundly uncomfortable most of the time. It's a little absurd. And there have been some scares with low fluid and contractions and the like, but everything is pretty much fine now, aside from the fact that she's stubbornly breech. They're going to try to turn her next week, which will apparently be an incredibly painful procedure. But hey, if it turns her around, it's worth it, right? (Right?!!)

Anyway, way back when we were worried she wouldn't even make it 28 weeks, some dear and lovely friends (Russanne, Emily, Sarah) threw me a shower. Since I was on bed rest, they did it at my house, and the loyal Russanne came and cleaned up the place and decorated while I sat on the couch. This was only slightly awkward, since I so longed to help. But Russanne is an absolute pro…

Stripey Crochet Blanket

It didn't take me long, once I got put on bed rest, to realize I needed to learn to crochet. Or do something (anything!) with my hands, but crochet seemed the easiest. My friend Russanne came over one afternoon to show me the ropes (or the yarns? okay, that was a really funny joke, to me.), and I proceeded to fail miserably, over and over. I'd try to make a square shape, and somehow end up with a triangle?! Or I'd try to  make a circle and end up with a weird little mushroom shape? It was discouraging, is what it was. But I kept trying, undoing what I'd done and asking google what the heck was going on, and starting over.

And soon a big box of yarn I ordered arrived, and I proceeded to make this wee blanket for the baby girl. Okay, actually, first I failed again. I got a good way into a blanket and then realized it was so tight that it was more like a ... what? A scrubber pad or something. It was bad. So I pouted for a day, and then started over. And though, honestly, …

On Pregnancy and Expectation

This morning I was thinking about yoga. I was thinking about prenatal yoga, and how I had planned to do it while pregnant. I was thinking about this because my body hurt, and for an instant I thought, "Maybe I could do yoga," and then I remembered that I couldn't. Which led me to thinking, again, about the plans I had for this pregnancy, about how I thought it was going to go, and how few of those plans are actually playing out.

Here's what I had in mind originally: I had a midwife at a birth center, and I really liked her, and I was excited about a semi-granola birth, a valiant attempt at doing it "naturally." I envisioned laboring in the bathtub and in the birth center's garden. I wanted to learn hypnobirthing and find a really good birth class. Before then I would do yoga, and I would take long walks, and I would eat a lot of green healthy things and plenty of good protein and I would be lean and lovely as a pregnant lady--you know, like a q-tip with…

Golden Snails for Baby

Sometime back I realized that those weird shelves of trashy knick-knacks in thrift stores are actually a gold mine if you have the right eyes. Almost any of the tacky little ceramic figurines you find there can be beautiful, given a little love and a coat of spray paint.

I found these three little snails awhile ago, and fell for them. They were a dollar a piece. And I knew they were meant for baby. I took them home, and eventually got around to getting a can of gold spray paint, and one evening, after a long day of bed resting, I took a very brief excursion out back to the parking lot behind our place so I could oversee the painting of the snails. I remain deeply in love with them. Someday, when this kid's nursery actually comes together, they will be a sweet addition to that space.

A Monster for Baby

The only way I'm staying sane lately is to make objects for baby. At night when I can't sleep, I imagine her nursery in great detail, and then I send Sam to the fabric store (what a hero, no?) and in the evenings, after I've worked from home, I turn on Netflixed sitcoms and make whatever has struck my fancy.

One morning I woke up with the idea to make the baby a stuffed monster. Sam and I dig those Ugly Dolls. You know the ones? (I think you either get them and love them or you don't ... we love them.) And we've talked about getting her one. But it occurred to me I'd like to make her one, and this was the result. Sam loves the monster, and was soon very excited about her photo shoot. He wanted a picture of her everywhere, as you'll see. (She was loosely inspired by these monsters, which I found whilst Pinteresting, of course.)

A (Sort of) Maxi Dress Tutorial--EASY!

Some time back I began to experience angst about how hard it is to find modest dresses. When I got pregnant, I developed an instant aversion (okay, inability) to wear anything aside from flowy and loose dresses with leggings, and it began to just irritate me that everything I bought had to be paired with a tank-top (because it was too low-cut), a sweater (because it was sleeveless), and/or leggings (because it was too short). Quite often, I had to add all three, and I began to just be annoyed as I put on all of those layers of clothes. The point of dresses was to be easy; the point of dresses was to have nothing touching me. Wearing a dress andandand missed the point. And really, while I don't generally get indignant about this stuff, I began to wonder what is wrong with this world that I can't find a dress that doesn't expose my goodies. I mean, I confess my aim for modesty is related to my religious tradition, but it also it just seems like I'm a grown woman, you kno…

Two More Baby Quilts

I made a few more modern-looking baby quilts for friends, and thought I'd share. In fact, I thought I failed to take a picture of the first one, which was a bummer because I love it, but hey! I had pictures of it all along, just waiting to be posted. Both of these were made for dear friends in my ward, whose babies have arrived now, and I'm super super pleased they have evidence of my adoration, ready-made. I'm slightly obsessed with these solid-color quilt tops. I wish wish wish I could make one for the baby I'm growing, but she'll have to settle for a similarly-themed crocheted blanket. Perhaps I'll provide a sneak-peak of that soon? We'll see. The verdict is still out as to whether I'm not totally destroying it.

And now, a bunch of pictures.

On Location and Pregnancy

This is basically the only pregnant picture of me that exists. At least the only belly shot. And it's sort of a pathetic belly shot anyway, right? I mean, I told you I'm not really showing. And wow, looking at it really confirms that fact that I'm just looking chubby. But hey, someday I'll be glad we took it. Perhaps. Right?

I had Sam take this right before my 20 week ultrasound, the one where they found my shortened cervix and sent me straight to bed rest, do not pass go; do not collect two hundred dollars. I worked from home that morning, finished up a memo summarizing a meeting, sent it out, and we had lunch on our way to the appointment. And part of what amuses me endlessly about this picture is that I'm actually not holding onto the baby at all. Did you know this? That babies ride much lower for most of the pregnancy? That if I actually held onto what is baby, you would think I was obscene? So here I am, clutching my smushed internal organs, laughing at the t…

Less Depressing Follow-Up (or, What Bed Resting is Teaching Me)

Whew. So, was that the most depressing post ever, or what? Thank you for showing up here to read it, and for all of your really lovely and compassionate comments. I appreciate them, every one. And I think it was good for me to get all that out there, even so publicly, though as soon as hit publish I worried one just wasn't supposed to be so honest. The next morning I woke up feeling better, and mostly that's held. I still have bouts of sadness--usually once a day, to be real--but I'm able to have a bit more perspective over all, and I'm learning what's essential to my sanity.

Not long before I got put on bed rest, I heard about a Buddhist meditation practice that involves the simple question, "Who am I?" asked over and over again. It's asked not with the intention to answer it, per se, but to peel back everything that surfaces that's not really an answer. That idea has been in my head a lot lately, as I navigate this new reality. It feels like I&#…

Scenes of A Difficult Pregnancy

The ultrasound last Friday was lovely--one of the loveliest. We saw her hands and arms, her profile, her cute nose, her brain, and the beating chambers of her heart. And the ultrasound tech showed us how confident she was that that the baby was a girl. A girl. A girl! I felt pretty and motherly, wearing a polka dot blouse and vintage skirt.

And then everything got very dramatic. The tech told me to wait there, that she needed to show something to the radiologist, that after that the midwife would probably want to speak with me. She asked if I'd had any cramping, and I remembered the evening we had spent at the MFA the night before, how I had clutched my stomach as we walked down corridors and through large, beautiful rooms, and I told her, "Yes, actually."

I waited, we waited, wondering what it could be, but not concerned yet, not really. And she came back, and invited me into an office where people were entering information into computers, talking about what they'd …

On Books That Saved My (Pregnant) Life

When I got pregnant again, I began to long for stories, for people to whisper in my ear what this felt like, so I could check it against my own feeling, and open up the experience for me. I didn't exactly know I was craving this until I found these three books and felt myself relax into them, and hold them dear in a way I haven't held books dear in a long time. In case you're in the market for a pregnancy read, or really just a good book, all of these were wonderful. Magnificent even, in some spots.

*Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother by Beth Ann Fennelly.  I've read (and really loved) Beth Ann Fennelly's poetry, so I was excited to discover this book, which is a collection of letters she wrote to a young friend and former student who was pregnant and far away from family. They're loose letters, meandering through her own experiences as a mother to a young child, and her memories of becoming and being pregnant (as well as of a miscarriage). They're…