mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week four, from BabyCenter:

This week marks the beginning of the embryonic period. From now until ten weeks, all of your baby's organs will begin to develop and function. As a result, this is the time when she'll be the most vulnerable to anything that might interfere with her development.

Right now your baby-to-be is an embryo consisting of two layers: the epiblast and the hypoblast, from which all her organs and body parts will develop. The primitive placenta is also made up of two layers at this point. Its cells are tunneling into the lining of your uterus, creating spaces for your blood to flow into so that the developed placenta can provide nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby when it starts to function at the end of this week.

Also present now are the amniotic sac that will house your baby, the amniotic fluid that will cushion her as she grows, and the yolk sac that produces your baby's red blood cells and helps deliver nutrients to her until the placenta is ready to take over this duty.

2006.11.15. dateline: New York City

st patrick's cathedral, new york, november 15
It was about 11 p.m., and I was walking along Madison Ave. Earlier that night I had been hanging out at an Irish pub, Finnegan's Wake, on 73rd and 1st Ave. It was an excellent neighborhood place and I'd eaten a shepherd's pie, a huge one, and almost finished it off. There had been that, a pint of Guinness, and a little more beer at Baker Street on 63rd and 1st. It was a satisfyingly fun night in the city and I had no need for more than my bed -- I'd only slept a few hours on the redeye from Portland the night before.

I love to walk in New York, and it's best late at night when the streets aren't packed with tourists, shoppers, and commuters. Especially this warm, wet night in November, when the rain was just misting into a magical fog.

Suddenly, I was hungry. Ravenously so. I arrived back at my hotel, realizing it was 15 minutes after the close of room service. Drat. I hemmed and hawed, wishing I could just go to bed and not be kept up with my yowling tummy.

I looked out the window, realizing that just next door was a touristy barbecue joint where I'd eaten dinner with the whole blogging crew a year earlier. I threw on my running shoes, grabbed my knitting, and got there 10 minutes before the kitchen closed.

I sat there at the bar, eating "fire alarm fries" or some such concoction of french fries, chili, jalapenos, cheese and ranch dressing, sipping a mini beer, knitting, and watching in amusement as sloshed tourists got cut off by the bartender.

And suddenly I wondered, could I be pregnant?

Being a scant 30 days since the start of my last period, I decided to forego the wonderment and head back to the hotel and sweet, sweet, deep sleep.

2006.11.16. dewar's, the choice of the bad mom

soul asylum at the beacon theatre, new york city, november 16
Later, I would look back on this night in a mix of regret, shame and -- ok, I'll admit it -- plenty of thrill. Who knew? Cheap Trick is a whole lot of fun. The woman who introduced the show said, "this band is the best live act in the INDUSTRY," and despite my hilarity at the description of aged rock stars as an "industry," well, she was pretty much right.

Cheap Trick was fun, and my partner in crime and host for the night, Niki Alvey, encouraged me to "party" with her. She was drinking Dewars, and after our luxe meal of lobster pot pie, oysters and my fave white wine, the fantastically expensive "Conundrum," somehow Dewars seemed fitting.

I drank it, my stomach gurgling curiously. Much later, when I (again starving in the middle of the night despite the near-two pounds of lobster I inhaled at dinner) walked around 2 a.m. to the Seinfeld inspiration, Westway Diner, I'd feel a little movement in my stomach, that phantom baby feeling.

Again, I wondered. Could I be pregnant? Instead of stopping at a 24-hour drug store to buy a test, far away from home, I quashed the wondering with head-splitting exhaustion.

A few days later, back in Portland, I told Larissa about my night out. "If I was pregnant, I'd feel awful," I said. "Dewar's is the choice of the bad mom."

We decided that should be the official motto: "Dewar's, the choice of the bad mom." Dewar's, if you're listening, I want you to know I've copyrighted this phrase.

2006.11.18. flying with the pregnant

knitting on continental airlines
Due to mistakes, mishaps and poor planning of one kind, and another, I missed my Friday evening airplane out of Newark, ending up spending the night in a strange and musty Travelodge in Union, New Jersey before taking my center seat on the 9:55 a.m. flight Saturday morning. I missed my family.

Nonetheless I got lots of great knitting done. And my seatmates were pleasant. And, notably, there were several pregnant women on my airplane, not to mention a raft of adorable and quite young babies surrounding me.

I still had no feeling of certainty that I was pregnant; in fact, I kept expecting my period to begin at any moment. Nonetheless I felt a benevolent kinship and, as one of them stood a little sadly next to the baggage claim area (who isn't sad after six-and-a-half hours in a full airplane?), I almost went up to her and offered ... what I didn't know. A hug? A mugful of herbal tea? Something.

But her bag came, and soon I was on the MAX home, full of excitement at seeing my two tangible, adorable boys.