mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week nine, from BabyCenter:

2006.12.19. terror in the skies

airplane wing over new york city, october 2006
I got on the plane early, after an exhausting night at home in which I tried to be all Christmassy things to my family and failed utterly, ending in a 10 p.m. screaming argument with (a) my husband and (b), once my husband went on a bike ride to escape my chaos, my four-year-old son. A tree-trimming disaster of the highest order (this goes way beyond shattering those white and blue globes on our tree).

Late at night I kissed and hugged Everett, telling him I loved him even though he was impossible and refused to put on his pajama pants for nearly an hour, though I was so angry, though everything seemed like it would never work. I told my husband I loved him even though he was grumpy and still angry with me for my children discipline iniquities (but I just wanted us to have a happy family time together! ... nice work mama)

I hadn't slept much, and I boarded the plane a little sad at our argument but mostly eager to knit and watch movies all day. First up was Invincible, a football movie I adored, and snuffled through far more than the sappy family drama / fantasy / therapy movie, Neverwas.

Near the end of Neverwas we hit some major turbulence. It went beyond "roughness" to the kind where everyone clutches his beverage and stops knitting, or reading, or doing puzzles and waits it out. Naturally given my state of pregnancy-induced insanity (I'll admit, it could just be life-induced insanity) I started praying. Please God let me go home to my children. Please don't kill us all. We deserve to live! Truman needs me! Everett needs me! I want to raise this baby and my boys, grow old, become one-half of "grandparents" and look out over my granny glasses at a full rich family. Oh yeah, and I want to write books. I imagined the oxygen masks tumbling out of their barriers, I imagined the screams and the pitching and praying. I wished the captain would get on and tell us everything is ok.

The captain never came on, not until much later, not until the people had put down their soda cups and everything was fine, not until I'd already started worrying about the next thing (money? all the work I'd let slide while I knitted? A Christmas-cookie baking party I wished I had time to plan? who knows), and he never said, "everything is ok."

I think this world could use a lot more comfort. I know I need it.

h4>2006.12.21. growth chart

the incredible growing belly
It's days like today that the mixed feelings really come tumbling one after another, until they're all tangled up like so many tiny balls of leftover yarn, some luxurious, some all garishly-colored and scratchy. You know?

I've been having fun "sharing" my pregnancy with my boss, who's having her third baby in April. She was excited to hear the news that I was pregnant, and we spent hours talking about c-sections (we've both had two), not-entirely-planned-for third children, how we'd fill in for one another while on our successive maternity leaves (we'll get eight weeks, each, in all likelihood ... our company policy is six weeks for uneventful vaginal birth, eight weeks for c-sections).

I don't know what it was, though, maybe a feeling of protectiveness for a certain new launch we're planning (it's kind of being handed to another employee to manage and I'm feeling territorial -- he can't do it without me, there's no question, but I know exactly why our group manager wants him to be in charge -- a long story that doesn't really belong on this blog ;), maybe a bad reaction to the marginalization experienced (quite happily it seems) by another woman in the group who's chosen to work part-time, maybe just a feeling that I think right now that I can do more than I'll be able to come September.

Whatever it was I suddenly felt sad about the pregnancy, mixed with happy, mixed with excited, mixed with utter and complete starvation. I couldn't stuff my face full enough! We were at lunch with a huge extended group, at a delish tapas restaurant in D.C. (one that I've enjoyed thoroughly in the past), and I ate everything I could get my hands on, scarfing down beet salad with cabrales and bacon-and-date fritters (Larissa, you've got to get to D.C. and try these) and pulpo and wild mushrooms and shrimp and apples with manchego cheese and bread and olives and calamari and so, so, many patas con aioli y romesco. Yum. And for dessert, it was flan and I ate the whole thing.

When I got back to the hotel three hours later I filled my plate at the "reception" (awful compared to Jaleo, or anything, really, broccoli-cheese fritters and carrot sticks and generic potato chips with blue cheese dressing, all courtesy Sysco Foods) and then bought two candy bars for dessert.

All night, I've felt this filling tautness in my belly and I swear it's growing by the minute. Not just growing an infinitesimal bit, but growing hugely. By the end of the night I looked four months pregnant again.

I'm large, I'm all belly-achey and anxious, I'm very much pregnant, and I don't know what to think about it tonight.

2006.12.22. argument

knitting in the dark
It was a long flight, it was a late flight. The airport was packed with holiday travellers and I, just on my way home, was bemused. A man and his teenaged son pushed in front of me in a long line, I said something snarky under my breath and let him have it. A woman from Romania sat next to me in the waiting area and we wondered whether she would make it for midnight services at the orthodox church she was going to visit in Portland. As I wandered through the airport, starving and nauseous, I stood for nearly 10 minutes at the "quick service" counter at Subway without even a glance from the staff making sandwiches for food-free airplane flights, before discovering a gorgeous and obviously stuffed-with-cash-and-cards wallet. I gave up on my banana and headed to the nearest United ticket counter. The agent seemed unimpressed with my offering.

I'd been at the airport for nearly three hours before our flight boarded, and we were off for six hours in the dark, across the U.S. The plane was full and I was sitting next to two men in their fifties, both of whom seemed nice. I settled in with my knitting, hoping I'd enjoy the movies.

While I did enjoy the movie, I kept overhearing bits of my seatmates' conversation. They were both diabetic; seat A controlled his through diet and exercise, while seat B used insulin. I was mildly interested.

Suddenly I was not interested. They were arguing now, about Christianity and communism and capitalism and oh dear. Religion *and* politics *and* money, all wrapped up into one. Seat A was born again Christian, Seat B was an agnostic? communist, who basically believed that belief in Christ was a sign that one is a greedy capitalist bigot. So true. Ahem.

I most definitely agreed with A, but I wasn't about to get involved. We had three or four hours to go! Finally they stopped arguing, fortunately not having come to blows. But the argument stayed with me, disturbing my calm. I knitted as fast and as hard as I could, building up yarn walls against the strife.