Last night we had dinner with our friends who birthed their first child, a darling baby girl, just three months ago. These are the friends we were wary to tell about the miscarriage, afraid that things would get awkward in the chasm between their bright future and our gloomy past. I don’t regret not telling them–it didn’t matter much either way–but I am glad we told them that we were on the baby train, had pulled the goalie, were strapping in and buckling down for the crazy coaster of pre-parenthood, because they’ve been great cheerleaders since. They have been 100 percent enthusiastic for us–no “really? are you sure?”s or “when are you getting married?”s–and there’s not even a hint of smugness behind the experiences they share as people who have been there and done that, just excitement that we’ll soon be sharing our stories with them too. Their refrain is “You guys are going to have so much fun,” and that, take note, is the perfect thing to say to any parents-to-be.
Simon first told them about our wombat while making dinner plans with them on Wednesday afternoon, and when we walked in the door Thursday night, they had a card and a gift for us–our first real baby present. My mom has already sent a big box of amazing stuff, some of which she had been saving for years, but this was the first thing given to us for this specific little being, and I felt so lucky, so loved, so flattered that not only we but also our child have two (and now three) such kind and generous people in our lives. (They gave us a sleepwear set of classic Pooh garb, and oh my lord wait until you see the tiny little hat with the tiny little Pooh ears and the tiny little topknot. My first thought was awwwwwwww! but my second thought was Labor will be a whole lot easier if the baby’s head is actually small enough to fit into that miniscule beanie.)
Once upon a time not too long ago, Simon and I didn’t have many friends. He tragically lost a huge, close-knit group of confidants in a breakup, and I have never been social enough to venture much outside the circle of folks I run into every day between my desk and the water cooler. Slowly, though, we’ve built a stable of people we can call up for dinner or a movie, and every time we’ve had a party in the last year, I find myself in awe and disbelief that we can not only fill a house with people but that those people are so interesting, smart, generous, and thoughtful.
At my surprise party, there was a large contingent of people I’d met over the internet, and every time I think about the friendships I’ve forged through this site, it kind of blows my mind. Emily and Dan flew out to California specifically for my party. That’s crazy! They also brought me a birthday gift that pretty much can’t be topped. And Sara, who I’d only met once before, handmade the most brilliant personalized cards, and brought enough fresh chocolate-on-chocolate cookies to last through the party and well into the next week. That same weekend, we had a great, talkative dinner with Leandra, author of the first blog I ever stumbled upon, about a million years ago. When I announced my pregnancy, two of my very favorite bloggers offered to send me their old maternity clothes, which, GAH, I don’t even know how to thank them properly because GAH. Yesterday Sweetney may have proposed marriage to me over email (and I may have accepted), and of course Angella reminds me constantly that we are finally going to meet each other in person this July at BlogHer. HeatherB has been in our hot tub. I’ve had pizza with Moose and Holly and May. Jemima sends me fancy gourmet recipes and then helps translate them for me and my kitchen-challenged mind. This is not to mention all of the countless emails and comments I get from all of you–especially about this baby, but also about everything else–and, I don’t know, maybe I’m all hormonally overemotional, but it just makes my heart swell to have so many connections after living twentysomething years thinking one (1) boyfriend and one (1) best friend would suffice for the duration.
On the one hand, it’s true: am hormonally overemotional; instead of watching the t.v. I sit on the couch and gaze lovingly at Simon until he tells me to stop because I’m “being weird.” Good thing I’m not on Twitter or my tweets would be an endless string of “I love you, man”s to the entire Internet. But I can’t help it! I LOVE YOU, MAN!
On the other hand, though, the mushy stuff is all justified. You guys are great and it’s entirely my pleasure to call you friends, and seriously, how cool is it to have a space where I can come and talk about my bloating and sciatica, and eventually my painfully engorged chest and sleep-deprived mental breakdowns?
I haven’t edited my sidebar blogroll in almost three years. That’s disgusting. Help me out, will you, and leave a comment here so I can add you or update you. As much as I want to show you off, I also want to share you with each other because you’re too good to keep secret any longer.
You’d think I’d have a lot to say these days, what with all the exciting gestating going on. Whenever I used to go through a blogging dry spell, I’d think, Gee, if only I had a kid, then I’d have something to write about. Those kids and their eminently bloggable shenanigans! (You know you’re taking blogging too seriously when…) I thought pregnancy would be the same way: every day a new symptom to document, every day an update, but that’s not how it’s been at all. Aside from the fact that wombat is, we assume, still thriving in there, safe and cushioned behind the bloat, there’s really not much to report. At eleven weeks and change, I’m pretty sure I missed the morning sickness boat completely (huzzah!) and were it not for the absent period, I probably wouldn’t even know my body was a full one quarter done with the business of person-making.
One of the reasons I’ve been so excited to go through pregnancy is that I’ve been curious about how it would manifest itself in my body. Would my hair change color, would my boobs get porn-y, would I crave pickles and ice cream? So far, I’ve gotten off easy. My skin might be a little flusher, my hair might be a little bouncier, my fingernails might be growing a little faster, my boobs might be finally filling out a bra they way I always wanted them to. But all that other stuff? Sore and veiny chest, persistent constipation, significant cravings and aversions, sudden weight gain, congestion, headaches, insomnia, frequent urination, mood swings, crippling fatigue, and on and on–most of what I’ve experienced is so incidental that if I didn’t know better, hadn’t actually seen the fetbryo and heard its racing heart, I would have chalked it all up to normal fluctuations of the human body. Even the bloating has gone down and my pants, albeit my largest ones, are all zipped and buttoned for the first time in weeks. The only ailment of any note is the tailbone pain, which has taken a turn for the more sciatic in that whenever I move my left leg forward an electric nerve pain shoots through my butt cheek and I grope for a crutch. Don’t get me wrong: I’ll take that over barfing any day, but it is putting a cramp (har) in my free-time activities, and hence, I do nothing and have nothing much to say.
With our combined lumbar ailments, we spent most of Memorial Day weekend on the couch. Simon’s back x-ray came out looking like a section of the Cauto River and so we lounged accordingly. We did get out on Saturday morning, however, for a birthday barbecue in the redwoods that forest the hills of Oakland. Just a ten minute drive and you’re in the wilderness, out of cell phone range and up where no one can hear you scream when you slip on a rock and wrench your back and fall to your knees in the dirt and squeeze back the tears. This happened on the gentle walk from the car to the campsite, when Simon was wearing Chuck Taylors (aka canvas and rubber lace-on banana peels) and also balancing a blanket and a camping chair and a mug of tea, the combination of which made the scene exceptionally pathetic because he just sort of crumpled to the ground in a heap of outdoorsy detritus while I stood above him helplessly, unable to offfer even a pat on the shoulder because I was carrying a camping chair and a mug of tea and a full and really heavy pitcher of homemade lemonade, and I also couldn’t really bend down that morning without groaning in pain, so I just sort of stood there while he writhed in the dust at my feet. It was really sad.
But the party was lovely, and the barbecue sauce flowed like wine down my gullet, and there were so many cupcakes that I had to have two. Also, aside from the hosts and a couple of others, we didn’t know anyone at the party and you know what that means: they got to hear all about the baby. Word is spreading slowly through friends and family, but I still haven’t told the people I spend the bulk of my time with: my coworkers. I’m not really waiting for the twelve-week mark so much as waiting until I have an ultrasound picture I can post inconspicuously on our Wall o’ Babies so that I don’t actually have to try to slip the news into casual conversation about time sheets and galley schedules and who didn’t refill the printer paper. Also, this brilliant passive-aggressive technique will improve the chances that as people find out about the baby, they will come congratulate me while I’m sitting behind my desk, thereby avoiding the awkward coworker hug. I fear this because I once perpetrated it myself. A coworker told me she was pregnant while we were standing at our mailboxes and, before I knew what was happening, I had her locked in a firm embrace and I was squealing into her ear like a freakin’ girl. I don’t know what happened after that; I may have blacked out. All I know is that I’m not really on hugging terms with my coworkers and that’s probably best, so let’s just forget it ever happened, okay?
That said, I’m so ready to tell people. Reasons include:
1. I’ve been keeping it a secret for almost two months already and it’s hard, yo
2. I keep missing work for doctor appointments and I feel the wrath of the stinkeye whenever I say I’m going to miss a meeting for “personal reasons”
3. I want to welcome back into my wardrobe some form-fitting pieces because the billowy smocks are getting tiresome and just make me look sloppy
4. I have to prepare for a maternity leave that is a mere six months away! Six months! I can’t even wrap my mind around that.
5. I simply! can’t! wait! to be barraged with inquiries as to when I’m getting married already, GAWD. You’d think they had money riding on it or something. Sheesh.
So, that’s that. The NT scan (ultrasound! woo!) is scheduled for next Friday and this time we’ll be prepared: a digital camera in case they don’t print out a screen shot of wombat, and a wide-mouthed jug in which to take an emergency pee in case they put me through the full-bladder water torture again.
Tenish-week belly looks much like eightish-week belly, both in and out:
But larger clothes make all the difference, and so does being in the double digits and every moment one step closer to the end of the first trimester. Amazingpregnancy.com tells me I’m 23 percent through, and that makes me feel like time is flying. Time does not fly, however, when you tally up the number of times I’ve read the “Week 10″ page (and the Week 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 pages) expecting there to be some new nugget of information for me to glom onto and ponder. Wombat has fingers! Wombat has elbows! Wombat has gonads! TELL ME MORE! I can has daily updatez now? If there were a screen on my belly like Tinky Winky, I’d get absolutely nothing done; pregnancy has brought navel-gazing to a whole new level.
That’s all for today. Gotta get my work done so’s I earn my reward: seeing the new Indy while eating some Red Vines in the dark with my baby daddy.