mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week twenty-two, from BabyCenter:

2007.03.21. alone time?

I find myself wanting, more and more, time to myself. Not so much away from the boys, but away from the incursors. Away from the call of (interesting but all-consuming) work blogging. Away from those who might live in my basement or knock on my door. Away from the things brought into my house, my yard, my life by people like brothers-in-law and the people walking past, leaving trash in my grass and letting their recycling blow into my driveway.

"Alone" doesn't mean alone so much as away from the stuff I haven't asked for. Friends stopping by unexpectedly is wonderful. My husband calling is great. Telemarketers? The neighborhood meth head who occasionally asks my husband for beer money? Not so much.

The more pregnant I get, the more I want to protect my little family -- not so much from everything, just from the stuff I didn't specifically choose. I love that we ride the bus and have the occasional chat with a minorly crazy adult; I love that the baristas at my coffee shops and the other customers at Limbo chatter with me, complementing my hat or the boys' dino rainboots.

Even the mail makes me angry, with all the offers for consolidating my student loans and coupons for second-rate pizza, the catalogs from mail-order companies I'd never dream of patronizing, the offers for credit cards or home equity loans. I don't want any! I want to shout, as I smile at the very nice and efficient mailman, scooping 2/3 of my haul into the recycling bin unopened.

Let's face it, for a pregnant woman with two children and a full-time from-home job, there is no alone time. Even the bath, my refuge in my last pregnancy,is disturbed by Truman, who loves to dump his ducks in and hand me all the soap he can find. My bed is shared by two large-and-strong-kicking boys (when Jonathan's away, and then it's three). No part of my house is sacred or off-limits to anyone. I go out in the yard, and am frightfully disturbed by strange screaming from an apartment across the street (I am so disturbed that, despite the assurances of several people running toward the apartment that everything's ok, I call the police). One morning I get up around 6 to use the bathroom and find it's occupied by my basement dweller (he had a nightmare, and wanted a bath -- though there is no sitcom moment, I still feel violated. I am the only one who should be cursed with strange wee-hours dramas!)

This baby has so little time to just be with me, to poke his or her little legs around and have me press back, to writhe and hiccup and have me say "hello," to read a poem, to even be present in the knowledge that, it's just you and me, kid. It's never just you and me. And I suppose that must be o.k.

And some days, when I sit in the backyard with my laptop and my camera, when I watch the boys running around catching plum blossom petals in their hands, when I feel the sun through the trees and the baby kick-kicks, I feel alone in the wonder and I am ok.

2007.03.23. ick, sick

the culprit?
Let's play identify-the-pregnancy-symptom! So, yesterday in the car (the little white Miata) on the way home from mama's group with Larissa, I suddenly started feeling quite sick. I wondered if it was the cramped environs, the somewhat bumpy (no, let's call it "tactile"!) ride, the fact that I really just don't ride in cars very much. It passed so quickly it wasn't worth mentioning, let alone asking her to pull over so I could, umm, express myself.

Then I remembered that I'd felt the same way for a bit in her other car a few days before. And today, I felt it again. A thoroughly awful nausea feeling, but not just nausea but also the tight belly, both side hurting, maybe as if I ate too much.

Also: this seems to be somewhat, but not always, connected to overindulgence of Robin's Eggs. (Now with zero grams trans fat! I checked!) Worry, or not so much? I can't decide.

2007.03.24. pregnancy hormones or the real me? (play along at home!)

me in mirror, close knit
If you've checked out the 'main' blog lately, you've seen that I'm about to become an urban chicken keeper. And it's not just the chickens. The chickens go along with a fence for the yard, and a coop, and a playhouse for the kids (if the hens get a house, the kids should get one, too, right?), and a vegetable garden, and composting (I'm keeping my first scraps for Renee's special straight-from-the-Phillipines composting method). I've decided that I will downsize my wardrobe -- there are some things I haven't worn since we moved in! -- so we don't have to expand the house (the prodigious extent of my clothing is always the number one reason Jonathan cites for needing to make our 'footprint' bigger and, the way I see it, never finish our house). I've been doing real, honest-to-god crafts with the kids and going to the park more. I've measured the round wire table frame in the backyard -- the one that's been empty for four years, ish -- so I can ask my dad to cut a round piece of plywood to go in the middle, so we can make a broken-tile mosaic on the top.

Is this the pregnancy hormones, or the real me?

I've been doing things better than I ever have before, managing to clean the kitchen in the morning, to make real lunches, to eat my fruits and veggies and actually get my work done, too. (It's a big reason I haven't been writing quite as much.) I've been foregoing adult shows in the evening, instead letting the kids watch 'bedtime' shows for as long as it takes for them to settle down. (This is really hard for me!) I've been consciously deciding not to buy 'stuff' I want, instead opting to clean the old one or go without.

I've been becoming the person I always wanted to be (within serious limits, I must admit), but never could organize my brain enough to accomplish. I fear muchly that, five weeks from now, it will all go away.

Even if it does, someone should bottle this stuff. Or maybe I should write a self-help book: Four months to a whole new you!. Step one: get pregnant. Step two: wait 12-14 weeks. Voila!

Now, if I make an appointment at the dentist (and go), you'll know I really have changed. Stay tuned!

2007.03.26. of vacations, and dreams

chicks at the state fair
At some point today I was on IM with Amey, my boss and partner-in-all-things-workish, who's scheduled for a c-section April 11th. "I was just thinking. Don't you want to take a vacation before I leave?" she asked.

"What a great idea! Maybe a couple of Fridays!" I replied enthusiastically. I started thinking about what I'd do... Everett had been asking that morning to go to a museum (a museum!?! awesome, but where did THAT ocme from?). I could dig a bit in the garden, or start a compost pile. I could do anything!

"Let me give you my theory on vacations..." started Amey, and went on to say that a day here and there doesn't count, you need to take a WEEK and just disappear. I haven't taken anything more than a-day-here-or-there (and half of them while felt-like-death-ly ill) since starting work for AOL over a year ago.

So next week it is. As of Friday afternoon, I'll be on vacation, and it will be (I'm sure) the single most lovely vacation, ever. Come to think of it, I've not taken a long vacation for years and years; I've gone a few months without working, but instead of relaxing I was either job-hunting or blogging-for-pay to make up for whatever wages I was out. I didn't even rest much during the time after Truman was born, what with the track coaching and the baby blogging.

Naturally, as I am in the throes of nest-ocity, I've decided to devote the entire nine days I'll be off to my garden/yard/chickeny crafty self. I'll check work email once a day (in case Amey goes into premature labor or someone threatens a lawsuit). But that will be it.

I'll finish creating all my weekly links in this blog (I'm a good dozen behind, at the very least). I'll build a fence around the yard so Truman can't escape while Larissa and I are building and planting three or four huge garden boxes. I'll get a pedicure! I'll spend most of the time outside. We will go to a museum (I think the Chinese Gardens, and maybe even the real art museum). I'll write my book proposal. I'll start the crafty blog project I've had in mind. I'll knit, knit, knit.

Most of all, I'll finally realize so many of the dreams I've had for years. I know it seems silly, to think I could do it all in a week, but really, I can, I've been finding lately that a lot of my "I can'ts" have just melted away in the energy of my second trimester and some inner fortitude I've gained. I look back to how much I accomplished in Everett's pregnancy, while working 60-hour weeks -- we bought a house and finished the basement, after all, the second a rather huge project accomplished utterly by Jonathan and my dad.

Having a job that I love and is (as far as I know) extraordinarily secure makes the free time that much more truly free. Being settled in a group of great friends; having no complications in Jonathan's immediate future; having a somewhat acceptable amount of money in my bank account; all these things give me the, umm, power to do whatever I set my mind to.

I've wanted to make a vegetable garden and create something bucolic and useful and organized and fun in the backyard since I moved into the house five years ago. The yard has so clearly needed a fence to keep little ones from running into the street forever. I'm just going to do it. I know I have the energy, the knowledge (thanks Larissa), the time, and the money (sort of); now all I need is a few backup muscles and I'm sure I can find those somewhere.

By the time Jonathan gets home for his next weekend, I'll have a garden, a fence, plans for a chicken coop, little chicks cheeping away somewhere safe-from-kitty, a roll of chicken wire and some boards, dirt dug up all over, a safe place for the children to run while I make an oasis in my little corner of the world. My house will no longer be the one others walk by and think, "someone could do so much with this place!" I won't walk by other homes and wish I had that kind of gardening mojo. (Well, I'll admit this won't cure me of my not-very-green thumb, but if I can just get other people to do the nurturing for the first few weeks I'm sure I can take over once the garden's beyond that scary newborn stage.)

It's all I've ever wanted. It's my dream. And thanks to the fearsome hormones of pregnancy, it can finally become reality.