Monday, April 26, 2010

Great mornings

Sleeping on your left side supposedly increases the circulation to the baby, but it wasn't natural for me, so it makes me a bit sore sometimes. So every morning when I wake up, I flip over to my right to balance it out for a few minutes.

And every morning, Abbott flops around in there when I do. He's only moving around periodically these days, but I can count on him moving around at that moment. It always puts me in a wonderful mood. And I say to him, "Good morning, Abbott!" And then I know it's going to be one.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New litmus test

In my teens and twenties, it periodically came up that I skipped a grade. I had always been young for my grade, and that made me even younger, and then I was young for my first job. No big deal, I did it when I was 8 years old, it had very little relevance to anything present. But when people would ask about my relative young age, I would tell them. 

And whenever I did, there was always one of exactly two responses: 1. Oh, huh. and 2. Oh, well, my parents didn't LET me skip a grade. 

I mean, OK. It always felt a little defensive and somewhat shoulder-chippish. It surprised me the first couple of times, but then I heard it over and over. It's not like it was this incredible character-revealing moment, but it usually ended up making sense when I looked back at other moments. 

Anyway, that has stopped coming up. I don't look as young anymore. Also, I'm *not* as young anymore. But I have found a new inadvertent litmus test: telling people I'm pregnant. Oh, the first responses are always about the same: "Congratulations! That's such great news." People are all really nice, and that's great.

But being pregnant is not just telling people once. It's 6 months or more of it coming up in conversation. And I've found that sometimes people really reveal a negative side. I don't have to hear, this is how my experience sucked and your experience will necessarily be the same. I mean, if it is inevitable, why do I need to worry about it now?


Because let me reveal this about myself: I'm excited as hell about this kid. Sure, I have some anxiety too, but I will take it as it comes. And I'm sorry about whatever it is you feel negative about now, but you don't have to make it about me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sometimes it just hits me

I am missing my mom so much today. I mean, there's no big surprise there, right? Some days it's purely intellectual; I wish I could talk to her about her birth experiences, I think about how I can integrate her name into this boy's name, et cetera. Today it's fully stop-and-cry emotional. I just want my mom. I want her to know what we're doing, what I'm doing. And I know some people would say that she does know. But I personally do not believe in that. I mean, it's fine when people say that to me; I just gain no comfort from it. So here I am, made my bed, sleeping in it.

Here's a passage from "A Prayer for Owen Meany," one of her favorite books (and from her actual copy of it, which I keep on the mantle so I can flip to the inside cover to see her "N. Lam 1/93" written inside):

When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time -- the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes -- when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's gone, forever -- there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm a believer

So all of these Toyota revelations have me in the mood for the movie "Class Action." It's from 1991 and stars Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as a somewhat estranged (strained, to say the least) father and daughter who are on opposite sides of a car safety lawsuit. If you haven't seen it, consider it. Of course, the movie is really about familial relationships, but the car storyline is quite compelling.

This morning I read in the paper that Toyota used evasion and deception as a frequent tactic in legal challenges. I guess, by this stage in the game, that shouldn't be shocking. I don't know why, but it hit me particularly hard this morning. We were a 2-Corolla family until an SUV assaulted Jeffrey's '96 in a parking lot last year. I bought mine a couple weeks out of college; it's the only car I've ever owned.

I think I'm pretty cynical. I never believed in Tiger Woods, and politicians can do precious little to shock me. Those things roll right off me. But I realized today that I must have really believed in Toyota. It was a hidden bias, one of those feelings you don't realize exists until it ceases to. And sometimes that marshmallowy inside really surprises me.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And just in case you wanted to see him ...

Here he is:

















I like our ultrasound technician because she always labels the head and body. Sometimes I look at these things and see little alien bodies. But this one is pretty good.

In other baby news, I've been feeling him squirming around in there. It mostly feels like my bowels moving, but I know they're not right in that spot. So it must be him. It's not like he's kicking or punching yet, as far as I can tell. And it's not quite strong enough yet for me to call Jeffrey into the room from wherever he is, just for the baby to stop doing what he was doing. 

We also are taking birthing classes every Thursday for 2.5 hours. So far it's been pretty good. At first it was a bit too feeling-y, but now it's seeming more practical, and therefore my speed.

In nonbaby news, I have decided after years of trying that Jeffrey and I simply do not see eye to eye on cheeses. Swiss, you're flavorless and pointless. You're dead to me now. Now, an Emmentaler or a Gruyere, I can understand. There's something to work with. But the saddest grilled cheese in the world is one that has Swiss in it. 

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Because a vision softly creeping left its seeds while I was sleeping

Jeffrey and I learned this week we're going to have a boy. Smile for a boy! It's not any more exciting than finding out we are having a girl would have been, but it's just nice to be able to start thinking about our child in more real terms and to be able to abandon gender-neutral personal pronouns.

I know this will seem sort of out of character for me, but I pretty much felt it was going to be a boy. Both Jeffrey and I had been having dreams about our kid, independently, and it was always a boy. I had one very early on, and it was this boy with this crazy shock of shiny black hair. And when I woke up and told Jeffrey about it, he said, "That's funny. I've been dreaming about a boy, too." Then later I had a dream I was reading to him. It could have been a complete coincidence, I recognize, but it just happens that I was not surprised.

Anyway, that morning I told my friend Rita right away, and she said we should go out and celebrate and buy some boy clothes. That's what she and her husband had done when they found out they were having a boy. But it was an incredibly rough week work-wise for me, so we didn't make it out.

Then this weekend we went shopping for a crib and stroller, and we got pissy, as we do. Those strollers are so hard to fold down! It was deflating. So I remembered what Rita said, and took us over to the boy clothes. But it didn't work. We just left, empty-handed and tired.

I'll tell you what did work, though. We had to go to Target to get some low-light bulbs for the bathroom (bright enough to light my constant night peeing but dim enough that I might be able to return to sleep) and we wandered through the science fiction toys. Really, they were just brightly colored plastic pieces of garbage that have little or no use and are bound for the landfill. But you know, Jeffrey could not have been happier.