mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week fourteen, from BabyCenter:

2007.01.23. my life of leisure

"Do you really live such a leisurely life?" asked the woman a few seats away at the airport waiting area, in front of concourses "D" and "E". I was knitting and watching Truman and Everett play pirates on the play structure there (there was a sea serfance -- not serpent, no -- who was trying to get in the way as Everett steered the ship towards his princess, guarding a treasure). We'd been there for nearly two hours; a little while saying good-bye to Jonathan, who was off for a week at Camp Parks, in California, and the rest watching the boys wildly play.

"No!" I said, marvelling at how it could be that, really, I'd been able to take hours from my day to sit, and knit. "I work from home. I'm assuaging guilt."

And, really, I'm too tired to rush things right now. Too exhausted to fight with Everett over leaving; I'd rather just wait it out, as the afternoon turned into evening. These days, I've discovered, I can either do something in the afternoon and evening or work, none of this "I'll go out on errands 'til 6:30 then come home and finish three projects." No "please come over for dinner, and afterward, I'll finish my spreadsheet." Uh-uh.

eleven weeks pregnant, with my new camera
You see, I'm pregnant. Again. I've been writing about it on my "secret" blog (that I know many of you read, so it's only a little bit secret), so you may have caught a whiff of nausea, exhaustion, struggles to eat fruit.

I'm thrilled to be headed toward "mother-of-three" status. Naturally, I'm having trouble keeping up with life. I'm becoming more of a flake, even, than usual. And I'm developing a life of leisure. Hours lying on the couch watching TV because I can neither (a) get up nor (b) fall asleep. Long weekend afternoons knitting or drinking coffee or (always) eating and eating and eating, and going nowhere because... how can I?

If I don't email you back, be patient, the second trimester is here and will, God willing, give me brilliant rushes of energy one day soon. And I'll write more soon, about knitting and coffee and parenting and life in Portland. I'll keep the pregnancy stuff to the secret page (although you really should check out my new page on ways I'm trying to eat better during pregnancy, I'm terrifically proud of it, even if I'm not exactly following every single tip on there).

If you see me, with my feet up somewhere, knitting or reading the paper or just staring into space, well, now you know. I'm living a life of leisure.

2007.01.25. life is good (comparatively)


I've been feeling pretty depressed about my oh-so-much-more-than-morning-sickness nausea. It's annoying, it's uncomfortable, I never know when to stop eating and when to start. I don't know what will make it better. Then I read this, about 'horrible' morning sickness, on urbanMamas (please note I comment as "sarah gilbert," not "sarah" or "sara" -- there are a ton of sarahs and saras out there feeling awful!). After reading through those comments and offering my not-really-that-useful advice? I felt even worse.

Not because I was nauseous, mind you, but because I'm whining, complaining and carrying on when it could be (is for many women out there) so much worse. It's a nice reality-check ... for me, life is, comparatively, good. And when I look back to pregnancy with Truman, well, at least I can eat most everything! Even herbs, which disgusted me for weeks in my first trimester. HERBS. My sister's friend, Laurel, was deathly nauseous throughout both of her pregnancies, and had an awful aversion to salsa and coffee. I think she mentioned having threatened to divorce her husband when she found he'd snuck salsa (which she could smell through walls) into the family fridge.

And thank goodness that, most days, I don't have to get up early and can get away with lolling about in the late afternoon. Thank heavens that I'm relatively well-capitalized in the grocery department and can afford to buy my favorite whole-wheat bread and bags of avocados. And yay for health insurance! For disability pay that will allow me to stay home for six or eight weeks without much financial impact! For great bosses who don't feel the least bit cheated I'm soon to take an extended-but-not-restful vacation! For already having told them. Phew.

My thoughts are with you, Murphy, Kristen, Jen, MJ and the rest of you who've suffered so much more than me. Here's hoping the babies are easy to make up for all the pain!

2007.01.27. fear comes softly


It was a lovely day, really a gorgeous, perfect, special day. Truman and I woke up around nine and ate toast and bars while Everett slept in. I read a little bit of Larissa's book and it was wonderful, perfect, it made me cry (I promised to buy a copy the very day the books go on sale in spring 2008). I eagerly perused the Arleta Library menu (you'll have to go look) one last time. I packed my bag with trains, tracks, a little baggy of chocolate, and a sippy cup of watered-down Koolaid for Truman; and the brand-new Disney Princess sticker book (present from Aunt Erin) for Everett. I showered. I got dressed in the cutest outfit, the one that had appeared to me in a moment of fashion brilliance (the jacket and shirt were hanging next to each other in the closet), my belly looked adorable, I turned each way looking at myself proudly in the mirror. I found just the right bus schedule, one that would get us there early but which would drop us off a few doors from the restaurant.

Everett woke up late and feeling happy, and I got him dressed and soon we were out the door. I'd remembered everything, the sun was shining, a nice bus driver picked us up in the middle of the block when he saw Truman falling down, depositing us a block-and-a-half away at Walgreens, where we were going to get stickers to put in Everett's book. We got stickers for Everett, and Thomas baby toothpaste for Truman, which he excitedly carried the whole seven blocks' walk to the bus stop, saying "tsoo, tsoo!" happily every time he looked at it.

We made the bus, we got off, everyone was happy and eager. Everett noticed that there was a park sign (the Arleta Library is across the street from Mt. Scott Park), and was absolutely perfectly-behaved when I told him we'd go play there after we ate.

We ordered pancakes, coffee, and biscuits and gravy. The bakery was very pleasant and the waitress was sweet; she brought our food quickly. The co-owner (I assume), however, was a bit less eager to please; he looked highly grumpy when Truman (having shown admirable restraint, in my opinion) finally headed toward the very small kitchen. "He can't be back here!" he said in a high-strung voice, although I thought it was obvious I was retrieving him with every bit of speed I had in my pregnant body.

The biscuits and gravy, despite my frequent trips to grab Truman from some impending danger, were amazing. Brilliant. Beyond perfect. The biscuits were buttery and just the right balance of crispy-flaky; exactly like the ones I make, but maybe just a touch better and filled with hearty chunks of sweet potato. Awesome. The gravy was perfect, salty, sausagey, creamy enough for me. Yum. It was topped with slices of roasted pork, yummy but really? Could have done without the pork. Ahh well, still the best I've had in Portland (close seconds: Mother's Bistro and Gravy on Mississippi). Valhalla!

(Note: I have been on a quest for the best-in-the-world biscuits and gravy and, though I haven't been writing about it much, I've been searching tirelessly.)

Though Larissa and her mom didn't arrive 'til we were done eating (my fault, being early and all) and Truman had by that point become completely unmanageable, we were lucky to have the window seat open up, and Larissa and Elaine and Everett contentedly plastered stickers in his book while I got Truman down to sleep. I even got to drink two cups of coffee.

By park time, we had a huge one hour and ten minutes before the bus I'd planned to take home. So we played in the ever-more-cold afternoon, Everett never getting out of control, Truman eventually waking up and playing madly with him, seemingly unaware of the temperature. I was getting tired.

When I realized it was time to go, I managed to bribe Everett to get on his way (more stickers at the Walgreens -- they were only 99 cents a pack and I had a dollar left in my pocket), but he fell down as he gathered himself to go. By the time we got him together, we were very nearly late -- I wasn't about to wait another hour for the next bus, so the three of us ran, me dragging Truman along.

When we got off the bus and started walking the eight-or-nine blocks home, I started feeling the twinges in my belly, no sharp pain but the echoes of it. And I've felt those before, and it ended in disaster and near-loss of the baby inside. Juggling Truman (who wants nothing more than to either (a) climb up every house's staircase or (b) walk straight into traffic, and never wants to hold hands, requiring me to either keep a death grip on his wrist or just continually re-direct him) and Everett (who's bound to fall now and again, meaning I'll have to pick him up), when I'm already tired and my bag is heavy ... well, it's not so easy. One could even call it "over-exerting myself."

As we walked down the narrow, narrow sidewalk, cars zooming past us, threatening Truman's life at every step, a great fear gripped me. A fear of another placental abruption. It happened once... couldn't it oh-so-easily happen again? And this time, it might not be partial. I might, very well, lose this baby still.

In my pregnancy with Truman, I was riddled with fear from the moment of conception until the 13th week, every minute sure that it would be my last. I counted the hours 'til each doctor's appointment, gritting my teeth with the baby's heart very well could have already stopped beating.

This time around, though I thought about that long-ago miscarriage from time-to-time, the fear never seemed real. I lost track of the days, even the weeks, never sure if I was 10 or 11 weeks' pregnant, never truly frightened for the baby's life.

Now, I am afraid. Later I'd tell Jonathan that I wished not to go out, by myself, with the boys again until 26 weeks -- until the baby was viable, were I to abrupt. He'd agree, in a rare instance where our worries coincided. We can't do Las Vegas again.

2007.01.28. i want kozmo


Do you remember Kozmo.com? It very well may have been the most brilliant of all the ridiculously-well-capitalized dotcoms. The company worked 24 hours a day, and would run and get you almost anything important -- from Haagen-Dazs to Baby Tylenol to a good book -- for nuthin. Just order online, and presto: in an hour, you'd have what you most needed.

The company went out of business somewhere around the end of 2000, although it was breaking even in New York and D.C., according to reports I'd heard. They expanded internationally too quickly (a cautionary tale I'll always remember), and couldn't secure enough funding to cover their considerable loss. I think I'd only used them once or twice, both times with great, untrammeled pleasure. I could stay in my jammies in the cold of winter, secure on the 23rd floor of my New York condo, and have coffee ice cream and a trashy magazine to while away the hours.

A dastardly blow, as I was still single, un-pregnant, and energetic in 2000 and never appreciated its beauty. Its perfection.

Having now been pregnant-with-children-and-without-husband for a week (not even counting the rest of the month, when he's been mostly absent), all I want is Kozmo. I've very nearly picked up the menu book for Delivered Dish a half-dozen times, even though the delivery charge is a whopping $6 (and my mind works quickly, adding in the $10 minimum, the extra $10 or $12 I'd want to order to make it "worth it", the outrageous tip I can't resist leaving...). I know I can't really afford it.

Because all I really want is ground beef. I picked up the copy of Fast Food Fix I got as schwag at Blogher, and earlier today I made a version of Jack in the Box's Extreme Sausage Sandwich because, well, I found some pork sausage in the freezer. But all I really want is a juicy, bacony, tomatoey, cheesey, saucy burger. I know that the-one-that-I-want is not to be found at a local joint and (really) I don't nearly have enough energy to get me and two boys to, well, anywhere beyond the living room. In a pinch I might be able to get us outside, you know, if there was a raging fire, or something. But walk three or four blocks? Get groceries? Take the bus anywhere? Are you kidding?

If only, if only, Kozmo hadn't expanded to London. I'd have a tummy full of burger instead of tater tots with special sauce (I had the ingredients for that, too...