secret pregnant blog

hush...

From BabyCenter: Your baby's hit the 2-inch mark (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce. Her face is beginning to look more human. Her eyes, which started out on the sides of her head, have moved closer together on her face, and her ears are near their final positions on the sides of her head. Your baby's intestines, which have grown so rapidly that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into her abdominal cavity about now. Her kidneys are secreting urine into her bladder. Her nerve cells have been multiplying rapidly, and synapses (neurological pathways in the brain) are forming. Your baby may have acquired more reflexes by now, including sucking, and she'll even squirm if you prod your abdomen, though you still won't be able to feel her movement for several weeks.

2004.11.02. of exercise and sadness, and history and prognotication, and raising children in the midst of it all

Boy did I take my exercise program a little too far. With the twin goals of getting Everett on a regular nap, and keeping my tush in some semblance of shape that might translate into marathonability next October, I've been walking.

Yesterday it was a nice two-miler to the post office and back. I started late and Everett was asleep as soon as we got to Gladstone (two blocks away). I huffed and puffed up the long, long hill, later measured by car at over a third of a mile (pushing about 60 pounds with child and stroller). I felt great. Everett slept for hours.

Today, instead of being "rainy" it was firmly "raining." And instead of the post office, for my destination I chose the Holgate library - 2.1 miles away according to Yahoo!. I had two goals. One was to go to 2:15 story stop. The other was to drop off my ballot.

Of course, I left with barely enough time. I booked up the hill. I speed-walked across Foster, into the 60s, the 70s. It was a downpour, and I was getting soaked.

I made it a few minutes before story time (which turned out not to be on election day). Everett was sound asleep. I left him at the door with my wet coat (which had leached pink onto my favorite sweatshirt) and sat to figure out a few final measures. I chatted with Anita and Ethan, who'd come for story stop at my suggestion, and we hoped for good things to come that night.

Come 6 p.m., I settled down with some new yarn and TV news. I began to watch as things got worse, and worse, and worse. There was a bright spot - my favorite mayoral candidate won, and the Multnomah County tax for schools was preserved. Portland is still an oasis in a world of madness.

As the night wore on, things got worse, and worse, and worse. Measure 37 failed first, in essence sewering land use planning for decades. Measure 36 went down next, sunk by people who don't understand, obviously, that they're protecting discrimination, not marriage. (A discussion with my mom about the topic left me dully recognizing that there's just no communicating between the two sides of the issue.)

I could see it in the cards. It was inevitable. Brokaw had already called it, pretty much, when I went to bed and the solace of NPR. They were less certain but I knew there was no hope. Bush was winning.

I didn't let myself get worked up over the failure of all my political dreams. I'd feared the worst, which wasn't much different from what I got. I'm happy that those around me (with the exception of my family, I guess) think like I do. Although Everett and little Olive will grow up in a crazy world, at least we'll be safe in our little corner where everyone's accepted and the churches support Kerry and public schools are good.

I'm actually looking forward, eagerly, to sending my offspring to their public schools. I have dreams of little children like Beazus and - whose fictional home was less than a mile from my real one. At first, I'll walk them to school, then they'll walk themselves on the lovely pedestrian parkway my neighborhood is championing. They won't think that their mama worked so hard to make sure trees were planted there, or that their daddy patrolled the park so it would be safe for them to walk through, or that their president was once George W. Bush and some people were really mad about it.

But later, when they're older, they'll read about the Civil War and about Jim Crow and about genocide and about Chinese being rounded up and about gay marriage being defeated soundly all over the U.S. And then, they'll be mad. They'll be mad when they hear about how women weren't allowed to vote just 100 years ago, and how people made up impossible tests to exclude black people from voting 50 years ago. They'll read about the Supreme Court decision in 1999 that let George W. be president and about how Halliburton got paid out of our taxes. And maybe, they'll be smart enough to be mad about that, too.

When I think of Everett and little Olive sitting in their freshman English class and reading Elie Wiesel for the first time, with tears in their eyes, tears come to my eyes, too, and I mourn their future pain at the inequity and cruelty of it all. I'll tell them that some people just don't understand how to see things from the perspective that we do, that very probably relatives of ours - even our ancestors - were involved in some of these horrors. It's not inconceivable that Gruens (my maternal grandfather's name) were Nazis. And even though we sit at our desks, in our living room, sobbing over the way that little boy felt as he saw his family rounded up onto boxcars, we can't know that we wouldn't have been that soldier guarding the door, if things had been different, if we didn't know what we now know. How did that soldier know what he was doing, then, with the righteousness sold so convincingly by that charasmatic, horrible man.

And then I think, despite all the wrong-headed decisions made by basically good people, the world today is so, so much better than it was in 1904. And maybe in 2024 it will be just a little better. And maybe we are headed - ever so slowly - two steps forward, one step back - in the right direction.

And I put one hand on my belly and one on the head of the little one sleeping next to me, and I tell them about how much they will learn to love, how big their hearts will grow, and how I will keep them safe but not sheltered, loved but not spoiled, and I will wrap their worlds with knowledge so they don't make historically tragic mistakes. The world will be better.

2004.11.03. drowning my sorrows in...food?

I woke up with an election hangover. Everett and I both slept poorly, with nightmares about ghosts (that's the last time I let Uncle Matt pick his TV shows) and presidents.

We went to take Jonathan's grandma to meet her friend, and I was hungry. We walked into one of our favorite spots and I...wanted coffee.

I drank the first cup without thinking much about it, and went for a second before I realized - I was hungry! I was drinking coffee and loving it! My aversions...could they be gone???

After having consulted my ovulation calendar, I've realized that my technical due date should really be three or four days earlier. And as I'm three or four days from the "official" end of the first trimester, I'm bong! just on schedule.

I ate breakfast, and we stopped just to check out the scene at Urban Grind. I had more coffee (decaf this time, promise). It was noon, and I'd already eaten more than I've eaten in some whole days lately. I stopped for Burgerville.

Mid-afternoon, I was gulping down Everett's "treat", peanut butter playdough. I ate the bowl of soup Matt made me around 5, then cooked up macaroni and cheese for dinner at 7.

This can only mean one thing: it's the end. The first trimester is over, not "officially" according to my calendar (I have four more days), but officially according to my body. I can drink coffee! I can eat pumpkin pie! (sounds of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus rise to a crescendo)

While this wasn't how I dreamed of it - somehow, if I was going to get nausea, I expected it to last for months - it certainly is welcome. Thank you, heavens above me. Thank you for the gift of hunger.

2004.11.05. target dreams

Today Everett and I went to Target after having lunch with Grandma ("my gramma! i want my gramma!" he cries as we drive away. I suddenly feel so, so sad for him, having always to leave the people close to him, to never get a really good explanation, not even one that I can understand). I suppose I was feeling especially emotional.

As we walked down aisle and up aisle, picking out little things and counting my pennies, getting a huge pack of stationery to write Jonathan letters, wondering if I can afford color ink for my printer (I finally decide, no, it's just not practical), I happen upon the Christmas displays. I walk slowly up and down the aisles, dreaming of Christmas, planning our schedule. Jonathan will return on Saturday the 18th, and the greening of the church will be the next day (the Sunday before Christmas). We'll have to go chop down our tree the next day, Monday, and decorate it. I'll have everything ready - the living room arranged with room for the tree, the ornament laid out, a few new special ones for this year. I'll have gifts purchased and wrapped and ready to be put out. I'll have our special Norwegian Christmas menu planned and shopped for.

I look so, so forward to that family time. My belly will be protruding handily, my bank account won't be totally empty, I'll have all the love and good feeling I need. This aching sad feeling I experience in these times will go away.

Later, after a beyond-major meltdown over boxes of Thomas trains and an excellent bargain maternity top find, I calm Everett down with a bag of potato chips and take out my hat. I'm close to the end, I have a goal of wearing it tonight. A woman, who looks sweet and generous and has two adorable daughters, she's obviously gained lots of weight from childrearing but she wears it so acceptingly that it almost looks good on her, comes up to me telling her daughters that she has to check out my knitting. We chat for a few moments and she wonders if I go to Mabel's and I say "of course," and I feel not quite so lonely. I tell her as we leave later that I'll see her at Mabel's. It feels good.

On the way home Everett falls asleep and I stop along the side of the road to write a letter to Jonathan on my new stationery. The loneliness comes crashing back. And it wanes when I go to yoga, and it flows back again as I get home and Matt is dashing out to spend the night with Destiny. I have no man in my house, even a TV-addicted brother-in-law, and I have nightmares about intruders and wake up often.

2004.11.07. delay from daily

I wanted so badly for this to be a daily pregnant blog. I've been composing many, many posts in my head, but have you ever noticed how it's hard to entertain out-of-town guests, work part-time from home, keep up with your friends and your hundreds of "just one more thing" obligations, take care of a toddler, eat, hang out with your family, and oh yeah - write?

In the meantime I've gone to yoga, knitted a hat for myself (oh, it's a lovely hat, if I ever could get my bargain digital camera to work I'd show you), cooked a gigantic and delicious family dinner (two hamburger meatloafs to die for, one veggie loaf, mashed potatoes, tomato sauce, pear, blue cheese and baby lettuce salad - enough to feed eight adults, two children, and one sleeping Everett), remembered my dad's birthday when everyone else forgot, helped the kids at church sew book bags for the Afghani children (ok, I'll fess up, it wasn't so much "helping" as it was "doing"), gone out with the mamas, driven my husband's grandma about 50 miles around town, gone to the Catlin Gabel rummage sale (too late for the good stuff), and watched a lot of TV. Oh yes, and typed a bunch of letters in for Jonathan's basic training blog. Which is excellent stuff, by the way, you should really check it out.

One of the things I wanted to talk about was that suffocating loneliness I feel when I'm all alone in the house with Everett and it gets dark. It's about 5:45 p.m. and I look at the clock and the long, long evening stretches before me. I wonder if it will ever end...if I will ever be done with the evening, if the silence will ever be broken, and I long, long, long for my husband to return.