mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week ten, from BabyCenter:

2006.12.28. days in, days out

i wish this sounded good
I know it's bad to leave you all hanging like this. Early in the pregnancy, if everything goes silent, you all (much as I would, were I you) are sure to wonder, has she had a scare? Is the baby ok? WHY WON'T SHE BLOG?

But everything's fine, well, despite my general first-trimester malaise. Some days I think this pregnancy is so easy! and immediately head off to worry that it's true: easy pregnancy = hard baby and vice versa (it's certainly been my experience, two pregnancies as different as night and day, and the boys, one a challenge every instant, one sweet and simple). Other days I wonder, why does it have to be so hard?!? as I suffer through waves of dull, seemingly endless nausea.

The nausea in this pregnancy is torpid, ubiquitous, sneaky, dismal. It creeps up on me, hits a few minutes after I eat something inconsequential. Toast with peanut butter. A baked potato. A not-too-ripe banana. A sugar cookie. Chocolate.

I'm never run-to-the-bathroom nauseous, and many times, I'm able to eat everything I normally eat without my stomach turning. But other times I look at a fridge full of food, a restaurant menu, a table laden with Christmas dinner, and want to cry because nothing appeals to me. I know I'm hungry. I know I need to eat. But it's all ... ick.

The days go by quickly, too quickly, I feel that the pregnancy is speeding by unremarked, unjournaled, without spending time noting the specialness of this tiny being inside. This tiny being, he's still so little though. Perhaps he doesn't even notice the blood pressure rising when I yell at Everett, the turmoil when I eat green beans (oops, guess those are on the black list, too), the lack of special attention.

I fear that I'll blink and suddenly the pregnancy will be over, the baby will be born, I will have forgotten to knit my maternity sweater lovingly out of purple cabley Noro Silk Garden, I will have skipped the blessing way, I will have a boy as big as Truman and Everett, running in the street and poking his fingers in all the most dangerous holes, and I'll barely have written about it.

So I promise, I commit to myself, I vow to write, to remember, to hold dear these moments. Even when I just want to crawl into a big hole of yuck.

2006.12.30. not okay

calm before the storm
Someday soon I'll write about Everett's meltdown today. When I'm ready. When my back no longer hurts, maybe, and my hip no longer twinges with fear and anger.

It was our second outing of the day; the first had gone quite well with the exception of Truman's short attention span, breakfast at Detour Cafe and a bit of knitting at Mabel's afterward. Everett had been almost entirely good, and we'd gotten on the bus to go home without any argument, really, at all.

The second outing was less fun: our furnace's igniter had broken, and the boys and I took two buses to the only heating store open on Saturday afternoon. This was fine, absolutely fine, something I expect as a woman who's determined to succeed at giving up her car. Truman had been in the sling most of the day, and I'd been carrying him a lot, but I wasn't feeling that tired or achey. I'm strong and used to it.

Afterward, we walked across the street and past the big window of Bipartisan Cafe. Special: pies. Two women were eating cherry pie in the front and I couldn't resist, Everett promised to be good, and soon the boys were playing with trains while I inhaled marionberry pie and coffee.

But the train tracks did not make a complete circle and Everett's frustration went from annoying to total freakout. I had to drag him out, trains and blocks scattered everywhere, and sit on him on the sidewalk in front of the only empty retail space on the block.

After an hour of screaming, where I very literally had to hold him down, with Truman falling out of the sling on the cold concrete, Abby arrived to pick us up. Truman had falled asleep despite the extraordinarily loud drama and Everett was soon snoozing, too, in the back of the borrowed Jeep.

I was not ok.

I'm still not ok, I had to take a bath when I got home, a long long long one, just to work away the pain in my hip from god-knows-what. The side of my back is pulled somehow, I think it's just stress. What's worse is the fear that either (a) this is mortally damaging the baby or (b) I'll get another one like Everett.

It's not that Everett is a bad child, no, he's a lovely sweet boy with a big frustration problem. But as I said to myself on the way home, sitting in the dark backseat while Abby drove us through the cold Portland streets, I can't do this again. Not just this one meltdown but this child, I can't do two of them.

I think back to my family, remember how we were affected by my brother, who suffered outbursts much like Everett's throughout his young childhood. I was above it, the older sibling, although my psyche is still filled with echoes of his screams, my dad's attempts to deal with him, closed behind a flimsy door in his room in our house in Montana. The next youngest, Hannah, was blissfully easy-going, always the good one, in my imagination she's giggling over her dolls as Daniel screams. Jenny, the fourth child and closest to Daniel, was serious and, my mom thought, depressed in her childhood. She grew to be mature far beyond her years, responsible, spiritual, maternal when only just a teenager still. Abby, the baby, never seemed to pay it much mind, escaping all our family's troubles through youth, shyness, and later, music.

I try to fit Everett and Truman into our family's roles, Everett is my brother and me combined, headstrong, outgoing, explosive, overachieving; Truman is Hannah but stronger, more soulful. Will the baby be Jenny? Sad, serious, too old for his age? How will he cope?

I make a note to call a parenting counsellor on Tuesday, I order this book. I hope I can figure it out, I hope I will be ok.

2007.01.01. fruitless

even *this* fruit i barely touched
I love fruit. I love apples with peanut butter, I love pears and strawberries in salad with gorgonzola crumbles and tart dressing, I love marionberry crisp and pumpkin butter and banana cream pie and juice of all kinds. When I have chocolate fondue at hand (as I did last night, thank you Olivia!) I dip pineapple into it, not pound cake, and I'd rather have mango or peach salsa than that prosaic tomato kind.

Here's the thing though. I hardly ever eat fruit.

My poor little baby, who's the size of a fig effective tomorrow (I learned thanks to the all-knowing Babycenter), is struggling along with no more than the tomato in my pizza sauce and the occasional swig of Everett's orange juice. I chalk myself up for every teaspoon of blackberry jam, every few inches of banana (what's left when the boys have finished).

I am wracked with guilt and buy fruit at every opportunity. My cupboard is packed with unsweetened applesauce and pineapple in its own juice -- both of which I'll happily eat if someone else opens them. I buy bananas every time I shop. I buy apples and pears and oranges.

Most of which rot in the bowl.

How can I force myself to eat the stuff? My baby clearly needs a balanced diet, not just dairy, carbs, meat for dinner, and the swirl of frozen spinach, the chopped carrots I cook into everything, the handful of peas or corn (I'm not great at veggies, either, but I make more of an effort). If only I had a sous chef! Someone to slice apples for me and serve them with a caramel-peanut butter sauce (awesome) or sprinkle pineapple chunks on my pizza.

Last night, there were apples to dip in cheese, pineapples to dip in dark melted chocolate, grape tomatoes, carrots, and I stuffed myself with the vitamins. But today, hungover from first-trimester inability-to-deal-with-late-bedtimes and child-rearing stress, I am listless and eat slice after slice after slice of sourdough toast, potato chips and brie.

What. What. Am I going to do with myself.