Your baby is now 5/8 of an inch long, about the size of a kidney bean. She's constantly moving and shifting, although you won't be able to feel these womb wiggles for several weeks yet. Her embryonic tail is disappearing, and her eyelids practically cover her eyes. Still slightly webbed, her fingers and toes are growing longer. Her arms have lengthened, too, and her hands are now flexed at the wrist and meet over her heart. Her knee joints have formed, and her feet may be long enough to meet in front of her body. With her trunk straightening out, her head is more erect. Breathing tubes extend from her throat to the branches of her developing lungs. The nerve cells in her brain are also branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. Though you may be daydreaming about your baby as one gender or another, the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl.
2004.10.06. middle-of-the-night woman
It's actually .10.07.02:38 as I begin this. Despite my exhaustion during the mid-day I hit 12:30 a.m. and I'm wide awake. I'm writing, I'm changing my life, I'm making career plans that seem ridiculous by the light of day.
Here's the problem, folks: I don't want to go back to work. I don't want to, at the very least, report to an office at 8 a.m. each day, having dropped Everett off crying and clinging at a groggy-for-us-all 7:45. I don't want to, ever, use a breast pump again while I check my email behind a locked office door. I don't want to be the one always lifting those huge water bottles (into my ninth months with Everett, I would change the water bottle and the lazy sales associates nearby would dash in as soon as I had finished).
Most of all, I don't want to work for passionate, wealthy CEOs who rarely take my advice and therefore never pay the bonuses with which I was wooed. If I could even receive, today, 10% of the riches I was promised by wonderful salesmen (yep, they're all men), if I would only be their right hand gal, I wouldn't be having this quandary 'cause I'd be spending my time worrying about how to invest my portfolio.
So I wonder, why do I continue to believe these men, continue to follow their yellow brick roads, continue to end up bitter and broke 16 months down the road (yep, it's always 16 months)? Can I find that perfect mix of job and life? Can I stand to sacrifice through another pregnancy? I'd be sacrificing for three, this time, which makes it ever harder.
I wondered on Blogging Baby if I could make the sacrifice of working-while-pregnant, "neglecting Everett except for a few hours a day when Iím about to neglect him round-the-clock once the babyís born." I want to work, if I'm doing something I care about, if that passionate man I always work for isn't asking me to give up life for the promise of future riches.
If only I had some of those future riches I'd be making my own perfect job. If only I could get it together enough to market myself into freelance positions that would make me my own perfect boss in charge of my own future riches. If only I wasn't staying up all night sending off resumes to positions that, in the light of this blog, seem ridiculous beyond words.
Then I'd be that pregnant woman on the cover of some womanly workingly magazine, instead of the pregnant woman whose triple-jump-wearied knees are now weary from my usual typing position. I'd be the pregnant woman in all the best Japanese Weekend and Diane Furstenberg (too tired to link) maternity wear instead of the pregnant woman in pajama pants 'til noon.
I'm too nauseous to knit and too preoccupied to market myself the way I say I should. What's a nauseous lazy unemployable pregnant girl to do?
2004.10.07. military mama
In a move that will shock and awe you all, Jonathan today signed and swore to pledge allegiance to the Army Reserves. He leaves in two weeks, exactly, to go to BCT (basic combat training) followed quickly by AIT (advanced individual training) and will be gone for over three months whilst I am SOL (s&*t out of luck) for pampering, laundry doing, and general companionship.
I'm happy, very much so, that he's finally following a dream, any dream, really. He's been in such a funk since last October - a whole year now - when his department at BK Direct was eliminated. It was his first best job, he was so well suited to manage a department and did it brilliantly, making tons of money for the company (I know, I had been his boss for part of the journey), retaining his employees, and making his clients happy.
But since then he's been adrift, out of shape, never committing to anything. I tried to push him into real estate, into going back to school, into government jobs of the more civilian nature. But in the end, it was the siren call of the military - with its war possibilities and its money for school - that had him smitten.
He'll be gone my entire second trimester (the happy sexy part!) except for a few days around Christmas. He'll miss my first doctor's appointment, my ultrasound, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the holiday bazaar and babysitting on Monday nights. He'll not see my belly growing imperceptibly each day, and not be amazed that one morning it seems inches larger than the night before.
He'll miss the (hopeful) end of my nausea, he'll miss Everett getting bigger and stronger and faster and learning new words and telling better jokes. He'll miss carrying heavy things for me and getting water for me at bedtime. He'll miss going out for milkshakes when I can't eat anything else. He'll miss all that.
For which I am inestimably sad. But the timing is good, I have the most awesome support network I've ever known, with two whole groups of mamas who love me and are looking out for me, sisters and parents and my great sister-in-law to babysit Everett for free, a fantastic blogosphere of supportive friends and readers who will listen, understand, and send me upbeat emails even though they're going through their own woes.
And I'm so strong, and the pregnancy seems to be going well, and the second trimester is, after all, the best time to be gone - I'll be happy and energetic and not in danger of either a miscarriage or labor. I'm not working so I can devote my time to washing dishes and folding laundry and taking Everett to all the cool local events we can think of. We'll hit the library and the pumpkin patch and the track and the church and the community center and all my friends' houses.
When Jonathan comes home, he'll be skinny and happy and flush with cash for school. While I endure the third trimester he'll be motivated and learning new things, and spending a weekend a month being everything he can be.
And I'll be praying every day that he's not one of the unlucky souls who gets called up. 'Cause I'm not that long-suffering military wife with a baby on her hip and my son's photo in the paper as he hugs daddy goodbye, with a fuzzy background of me wiping away tears. I just can't be that woman. No. I'm not going to join the military wives support group and I'm not going to get together to knit socks for our husbands' single friends.
Please, say I'm not that woman, God. Please.
2004.10.08. money money money
At 2 a.m., Everett woke up and said "I be good mama!" which is his current lingo for, mama, I want to go to bed with you and daddy! I took him to bed and commenced worrying.
I worried until 2:45 and then, seduced by the bathroom and the need to blog, got up. I blogged for a little while and then started running the numbers that had been running in my head while I tossed and turned with my two snoring boys.
I added it up. If I pay all my bills at roughly average amounts (adjusted for winter), with Jonathan's basic training income, my blogging pay, and my projected unemployment income, I'll have exactly $247 per month left for food, gas, diapers, fun out on the town with the mama friends, admission to tony community center classes, going out for chocolate milk and books, buying expensive soaps and pretty rain boots to pamper my pregnant self, yarn, photo developing, garage sales, everything. $247.
I am fairly certain that's not enough money because I can easily spend that much in a weekend on a trip to Target, a harvest festival, and a Trader Joe's run. I have at least $80 of photo developing to do. I need a digital camera and a bike seat for Everett. I promised $40 worth of donations this weekend to my church. It's just not enough. Less than $10 a day. Ack!
It's just the sort of thing to keep me up at night worrying, running through the possibilities for making just a tid bit more. If I could find a job making $12 an hour, and work one day a week, I could probably find a day care for Everett for about $140 a month, that's a net of about $300. Hmmm.
The whole thing is ridiculous. If I could just find a full-time job that even came close to fitting my skills and experiences - or finally land that ritzy well-paying writing job I've been dreaming of, this whole problem would be moot.
But staying up until 4 a.m. wondering if I can figure it out? That's not helping anything. That just makes me less coherent as I send out yet another resume.
And as I worry my belly feels achy and unsupported, as if it's falling off my body, my uterus sliding with a whooomp down my side to the mattress, or pressing so hard against my spine that I fear a hole will develop. I sit here writing my worries and it's pulling against my pelvis, trying to fall through that opening between the bones.
I wonder if a bath, a (not too!) hot one, with the bath crystals I can't afford, will make me feel warm and safe again.
2004.10.10. starting all over
It's days like today when I realize how exhausting it will be, having two children when I've been so happy with my one. I've watched my mama friends struggling with two kids each while I tell Everett to "stop" at the corner, and he does. And I've wondered, how will I do it?
Today at church Everett demonstrated the good behavior he's recently learned - he walks beside me to communion, carefully moving forward at whatever sllooowww pace the line is moving, checking up with me every few moments, and then - wonder of wonders - standing patiently, reverently almost, while he's blessed. Then, when I give the word, he runs...fast as he can...back to our seat, where sometimes he actually sits without yelling, falling or trying to escape.
It took me so long to get to this point, two years, in fact. It took me two years to teach him to stop when I yelled - so I could let him run ahead of me while we're on walks without worry, knowing he won't go into the street.
And now I'm about to start it all over again, start the wearing of loose shirts so I can nurse in the very very back of church, having to walk out when the baby starts crying inconsolably, then when the walking begins, teaching the toddler that it's not o.k. to run up the center of the aisle in the middle of a prayer, that we can't scream during communion just to hear the sound of our voice.
How crazy am I? And I want at least three of these little buggers. Oh, it will be a long, long road.