mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week eleven, from BabyCenter:

2007.01.02. the flake factor

if leaves are allowed to flake, why can't i?
If I made the rules, pregnant women would all be given an automatic pass starting at the time they first believed they might be pregnant and not ending until (a) two days after they learned they were, indeed, not pregnant or (b) three months after the baby's birth.

This pass would get them out of all sorts of things, from events planned but not shown-up-to, to babies left without socks in the winter, to thank you cards unsent or taxes not completed.

I am normally a flake, anyway: I forget to process contracts and return emails. I forget to turn off the tea kettle and to open my mail. I neglect to send gifts until months after the intended event; I put off paying bills; I fail to return phone calls. Sometimes I go weeks without having checked my voice mail.

All that is magnified, complicated when I'm pregnant and somehow I believe I should be accepted my iniquities. Instead, I am filled with a swelling guilt and I complete long-put-off tasks in fits and starts.

When I plan a hike and never make it so, I respond to that sinking feeling by opening and filing all the mail from the past six months. Though I neglected to mail Christmas gifts to my sister, my niece, my friend, I am suddenly filled with the desire to finish and send three knitting projects never completed, never given. I furiously knit socks, organize receipts, finally straighten out my student loans, make appointments for Truman and Everett. I am not a flake!

But I am, as I watch emails go unanswered in my personal account, as I look at piles of photos needing a sort, as I watch the toys pile up under my desk, as I watch dishes create architectural wonders in the sink.

I am a flake. But at least I'm a pregnant flake, which makes it all o.k.


2007.01.03. feeling the baby

all hands on baby
Late at night, all is suddenly still and, lying on my side, I feel it. That hard something pressing toward my belly button, the baby, who's the size of a fig now. It's a movement that wakes me up sharply from my state of constant drowsiness, I think to myself, could it be the baby moving?.

I am still, present, snapped out of my TV-and-breastfeeding-induced fog. I put my hand on my belly, wondering, communicating quietly. Hello there, I think. How are you?

And my belly button seems heavy, like an iron ball has moved toward a magnet in my hand, and I am filled with wonder.

2007.01.05. wake up. wake up!

euro breakfast at sip n kranz
I was surfing some of my most-watched flickr contacts, and came across a quite lovely breakfast photo. I clicked, and then clicked again. Oh what a wonderful idea! Two friends, thousands of miles apart, who love mornings.

Urp. Sure mornings are lovely, but I? I can't love mornings lately. No, instead of loving mornings I dread them, wake up around 7 a.m. to feed Truman and guiltily think how badly I need to get up. Instead, I fall back into a head-weighing sleep, dragging myself out of bed a few minutes to nine or worse, some mornings, 9:30. My eyes swim with the never-enough-sleep heaviness, my stomach gurgles, my newly-developed head cold fills my nose, throat, cheeks with solid angry sickness, I wish I could go back to bed and do it all again another day.

I long to tell all my colleagues so they'll understand, yet I want to wait until the right time, until my magic 12-week hurdle has passed. Even then I hardly think the "pregnant exhaustion" excuse is really a smart one to use when you drag yourself to the computer to see a dozen emails of stress and corporate intrigue, im windows blinking, your big boss asking you to call him... immediately.

It's not that I'm ever in trouble, that my job is in danger, that I'm not working hard. It's just an awful feeling, that I just can't wake up, that there's no way of explaining it in terms that make one feel well.

Wake up! Wake up! Mornings could be so lovely.

2007.01.07. no movement

my feet in my socks -- the only movement on saturday
What happened? A few weeks ago I was feeling so, well, generally good. I was going on and on about my mild on-again, off-again pregnancy symptoms. I was even mentioning a relative lack of exhaustion.

And then this happened, this thing, this mind-filling exhaustion. This weekend, I had plans, I was going to clean and organize and find all my paperwork for my taxes. I was going to knit and blog and catch up on work. I was going to ... maybe even ... go somewhere.

And I did, for a bit, managing to do breakfast with the boys (Schavone's on Division, nice people but inconsequential biscuits and gravy), and spend an hour at Powell's before sinking into my couch. But the rest of my weekend found me sleeping, lying on the couch, and occasionally trudging listlessly to the kitchen for more to eat, struggling to inhale chapter after chapter of the book. I thought about cleaning one of the pans in the kitchen sink. I thought about picking up my new sock. I thought about walking upstairs to my computer...

Instead, I tried to sleep as the boys watched Little Bear and Jay Jay the Jet Plane. I tried to fill milk cups proactively so I would have just a few minutes longer entirely without movement.

And at the end? I wasn't rested or rejuvenated at all. I only wished for long, long hours in my bed, I only longed not to move.

2007.01.08. never mess with a pregnant woman's hamburger

it's a mcgriddle that i *did* get to eat on my messy desk
Jonathan has been working the most insane schedule, getting up every morning early for Army duty in Vancouver, and over the weekend, coming home only to leave again for a long night at the bar. On Sunday night (luckily, he'd been spared Army duty that morning), he called me late. I was exhausted but sleepless. "Do you want something from McDonald's? Wendy's?" he asked, expecting the usual "no."

"YES!" I said. "Hamburger and fries." I couldn't wait to taste it.

When he got home, it was so late and I'd finally gotten into some semblance of restful sleep. I thanked him and asked him to save it for me. When I woke up to use the bathroom, about the time Jonathan was leaving for Army duty yet again, I put it in the fridge, imagining how wonderful it would be for breakfast.

Yum. I went back to sleep dreaming of ground beef and fries crispy from the broiler. A few hours later, rubbing my eyes and feeling guilty for having missed the 7:30 a.m. call yet again, I turned on the oven and reached for the...

Oh. My. God.

There on the dishwasher was the McDonald's bag, the one I'd put in the fridge hours ago. I looked inside, trembling, hoping it was a dream that I'd put it away. The Big Mac box was open, empty.

[At this point, I realize that you all likely don't know the history, that my husband has a habit of adopting hard luck cases who live in our basement and collect unemployment checks while sleeping odd hours and failing to do much in the way of self-help or Sarah-help until, at last, my husband comes to grips with the poor prognosis for self-betterment and makes leaving a good option. I typically fight by playing NPR loud on Saturday mornings (in my stereo right above the basement spare room) and letting the kids stomp and jump as loud as they want to. The current hard luck Joe has reached the ends of my patience and is now being subjected to lots of late-night and early-morning stomping.]

Here's a good rule of thumb if you're living in the basement of a family's house: Never mess with a pregnant woman's hamburger.