mama's secret pregnant blog

of bellies and belly-achin'

Gestational week twenty-three, from BabyCenter:

2007.03.29. of movement and names

my name is odin
Tonight, sitting on the couch with the boys, I felt the baby moving around energetically. Did Everett want to feel it? Yes, and although he seemed unimpressed, I left my belly exposed and watched the always-startling kicks and stretches disturbing the smooth roundness of its home.

No matter how many times you've been pregnant (I imagine) the first time you see the baby, it becomes far more real.

And suddenly I'm hit with the realization that I have no name for a boy. "Alden" is first on my list, but I don't feel Alden, and when I told Jonathan about my first choice weeks ago he said, "oh, I like Aidan!" and I was crushed. (My general rule with names: if I know another baby in my circle with the name, it's off the list; if I know several, it's not even an option. There were four "Sarah's" and a "Zara" in my 7th-grade social studies class. My sister's husband is "John," mine is "Jonathan" and at one point my baby sister Abby was dating another Jonathan. That's not happening to my child if I can help it.)

That night, I listen extra-close to the names of people on the BBC. Ian... Alexandar... no, no. I scan the 'froms' on my spam. Reginald... Geoffrey... Mallory... Henry... no, no. *sigh* I keep thinking that the baby must be a girl, because I can't come up with a boy's name, and feel sure that, were I pregnant again with a boy in three years or so, I would already have a boy's name.

2007.03.30. creepy crawly ouchy

everett fighting bad guys, mt. tabor
It was in the shower. I took one a little after 1 p.m., having felt stinky all day as I conference-called. I let myself take a long one, luxuriating in the hot water, but my mom and brad were doing dishes and laundry, and forgetting about my desire for peace and not-scalding cleanliness. I was about to get out when suddenly every part of my skin was itchy-crawly-creepy. I stumbled out, wishing I could jump out of my skin, too, and dried myself off, feeling as if the towel was teeming with tiny wiggly creatures. Soon, the feeling passed.

It was at Trader Joe's. I hadn't had time to go before my mom left, so I took both boys; Everett rode his tricycle and agreed (after much negotiation) to lock it up outside Limbo. I put Truman in the jogging stroller, which I haven't used for months, probably. The jogging stroller takes careful and particularly ab-flexing skills to turn around Trader Joe's without running into any of the other dozen customers in a given aisle, and Everett was trying to ride on the front part, over the single wheel -- making it impossible to turn and requiring me to argue and cajole every few feet. It was getting less and less physically bearable (not to mention mentally), and suddenly as I was turning around one of the last corners I felt a stab of pain in the underside of my belly. I winced and wanted to cry out, but instead took several breaths and stopped using my stomach muscles to turn, as much as possible. Soon, the pain subsided.

When I got home, I just wanted to go into a quiet place with myself, to sit quietly, put away the groceries slowly, and drink tea calmly, but the basement dweller had decided to launch into a "helpful" crusade of epic proportions and was taking bottles and boxes from me ("I can do it myself!") I wanted to cry, asking me if I was ok. I didn't want to talk to him about the awful twinge of pain; I'd barely want to talk to Jonathan about it were he here. I just wanted to rest and hope it passed.

Eventually, I did, and *it* did, and the creepy-crawly-ouchies were forgotten in the usual struggle to get boys to settle down. And Truman kept kicking me in the belly, and I thought, oh, the irony!

2007.03.31. forgetting about the boy (or girl)

everett and truman, occupying my time
Today was busy and spent mostly away from the house; I had lost one of Everett's ballet slippers, so we bussed to Lloyd Center, then to ballet (with lots of wall-walking and Truman-chasing between destination and bus stop, bus stop and destination), during which I did what errands I can fit into 45 minutes (the photo shop for film, the bank for cash, the coffee shop for an inferior palmiere and a good coffee -- all within a two-block radius, but all rushed).

After ballet, the three of us headed north to Angela's to visit her very, very cute chickens. Angela and I sat on the preschool floor and chatted while Everett, Truman and Rowan played, and played, and played with the amazing toys there (I wished out loud for a preschool in my basement, if only I could do it without the responsibility...) and we compared and contrasted our experiences with attention-arresting older brother/sweet and calm younger sibling combos.

Coming home was relatively painless; we were eager to see and check on the chicks, I was worried that their water wasn't fresh enough, Everett had a couple stories in mind to tell his princesses. Then we watched movies (Ghostbusters and the amazing Spirited Away) and at some point I looked back on my day and wondered, when did I think about the baby?

With everything my attention's focused upon, my times to be internally focused are few and rare. Perhaps this week of vacation will be a chance to remind myself, even if it's just for a bit each day, to connect with all my children.

And I type that, and prepare to roll over with my back to the finally-calm boys, put my hand on my belly, and think baby thoughts for a moment before I fall into the sleep of the exhausted.

The baby, pleased, launches into a set of bed-shaking hiccups. There you are, little one.

2007.04.01. i don't love the nighttime!

It hit me, tonight, or last night. I hate being pregnant at night.

During the day, what with my cute belly and the occasional burst of hiccupp-y activity from the baby, and the general feeling of energy and well-being that goes along with the magic time (aka second trimester), I love being pregnant.

During the night? A whole other story. It's not just the discomfort while lying, the impossibility of finding a truly comfortable position (and if you did, you'd be sure to put your muscles permanently to sleep), the pangs of hunger that keep you wondering, should I get up and just get a Tofutti Cutie so I can get to sleep again? But I already had ice cream, won't that be awful for me? I can't possibly eat a banana right now... etc. No, it's the endless need to use the bathroom.

It's especially disenchanting in my house, what with my bedroom on the main floor (in the dining room, still, after 5 years... sigh) and my bathroom on the 2nd floor. And now, with the baby chicks in Everett's room near the bathroom. Every time I get up to use the facilities, I'm forced by maternal instinct to check on the chicks. One morning, I find Mathilda outside the tub and have nightmares of losing the chicks for the rest of my oft-interuppted sleep. Another morning, I find the water too unbearably poopy and change it; the chicks' frantic water-slurping when I do has me changing the water every morning at 5 a.m. from then on.

It's especially, especially discouraging when you remember that it's only going to get worse, that two months from now the visits will be occurring every 90 minutes, and then it will be every hour in that last agonizing sleepless month. Only preparing you for the sleepless time to come after the birth.

It's easy to forget how magical a new baby is, when you awake in the middle of the night, exhausted and too achy to get up, but you have to: the toilet calls!

2007.04.02. whiny mcwhinesalot

everett and truman in the backyard, playing with wagon
Oh, the aches. Oh, the pains. This pregnancy stuff is the pits! [Standard disclaimer about how excited I am to have a baby, how I usually love being pregnant, here.]

Today was a very good day, from a getting-stuff-done perspective. I have my fence all planned. I nearly finished a baby sweater for Amey, who's having her baby on the 11th so I'd better mail it tomorrow. I cooked oatmeal for breakfast and pasta and artichokes for dinner. I took photos! I picked up garden boxes! And most of all, I created a fearsome four huge wheelbarrow loads of blackberry vines and the odd prickly dandelion.

Everett was loving it, and I had to nearly drag him in when the sun had passed so far behind the horizon that "dark" was no longer in the future. It was here. I was so proud of myself for my energy. We came in, I cooked dinner and sat on the couch to finish my blogger pay stuff.

One or two hours later, I tried to stand up and nearly fell over. Either from the extended periods of sitting, or the exertion, but probably a combination of the two, I felt as if I'd pulled something in one of my buttocks. I spent the rest of the night hobbling around and trying to find a comfortable way to sit.

When it was past bedtime for the boys, and I still wasn't done with my work, I took the laptop into the bedroom and discovered that, no, there isn't a good way to lie in bed with laptop, and 20+ week-large belly. Grrr. Especially not when (a) your almost-two-year-old is licking your belly (cute, but I dropped my laptop off the bed twice when he bit my belly button -- something he's been doing lately despite my loud protestations -- causing extreme maternal disapprovement) and (b) your bottom hurts.

The baby wasn't about to have me going to sleep without reminding me about the magic, though. At some point mid-spreadsheet he began thrashing about wildly in a never-before-(since the last pregnancy)-felt gyration that shook my belly all around. It was a little cute, and a little scary. Another wild one, aye?

I have plans to awake tomorrow early-ish (for me, that means pre-9 a.m.) and clear the rest of the blackberries along the north side of my backyard, and start digging out space for the boxes. I suppose we'll see how I do!