Buddhism, dating, gratitude, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC, writing

closer

Well, this is exciting–I sat down not knowing what I would write about and we’ll just see where it goes.

Before this blog, I started a blog years ago called “I should be writing.” I know it, I feel it, it’s that thing that comes up for me when people ask–what do you really want to do? what’s your passion project? what’s your dream? Yet I somehow resist Annie Lamott’s advice: “butt in the chair.” So many things that must get done first–from enough sleep (which lately is #1), to work, to errands, to keeping up with friends. And no, I won’t get on my own case right now while I’m 30 weeks pregnant and am doing a generally impressive job of balancing it all. But, let’s be honest–this is an interesting time to write about. And, even though I have no visceral sense yet of the sleep deprivation and bodily fluids and overwhelming love about to take over my life, I hope I’ll keep finding the energy to write. Blogs, books, miscellaneous projects that lead in cool directions.

Right now, I’m watching Arcade Fire on Austin City Limits while the baby makes ripples on my belly.

I like it when I put my hand on my belly and it feels like the baby is feeling around on the other side, curious as me about who’s out there. Sometimes he does a booty shake. Sometimes it feels like he is purposely tickling me on the side. I think he already has a sense of humor.

He is my passion project right now, obviously. Nothing at all competes with that. I just watched an interview with Anna Daveare Smith, talking about her goal of making the world better. What am I doing to make the world better? I am working on putting another lovebug into the world.

I know it’s all bigger than my to-do list–I need less doing and more being as my due date approaches.

I visited two dear friends in the suburbs over the weekend, both with big houses and husbands and three kids each. I sometimes get so used to my alternative path that I forget how alternative it is, hanging out with my single mom friends, comparing notes on navigating the challenges of our expensive city. This is my new normal, the life I created, the life the universe provided. No, my son probably won’t have the backyard and excellent public schools and laundry rooms of my youth as long as we stay here. But he will have an incredible city full of opportunities at his doorstep, his own room (a miracle), and so much love.

Someone asked me recently if I felt miserable and couldn’t wait for the pregnancy to be over. I don’t even speak this language. Yes, I’ve been super lucky with an easy physical experience. But after all it took to get here I wouldn’t trade in one minute. I’m happy to be here, exactly here, with 2+ months to go. I have a bunch of visitors about to flood in over the next couple weeks. They will help me move furniture and organize closets and celebrate. This celebration feels bigger than all previous ones combined.

So, yes–we’re back to gratitude. We have everything we need. “The love you seek is already here.” good night xo

 

gratitude, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

29 weeks

Why can’t every weekend be a 3-day weekend?? I feel so sane and organized and rested and checked many things off The List.

However, it is now 10:07pm and I have not checked off writing a post, yet must get to bed so I will be rested for an early morning swim. I meant to have my friend KC take a belly shot of me at the Emeryville Marina earlier today where we walked in the warm sunshine with a backdrop of the SF skyline. But I forgot.

So here is a selfie on my iPad. I had an ultrasound last week and the placenta moved up as expected and he is still a boy! Have a great week and more soon. xo

29 weeks

acupuncture, anxiety, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

intuition

Today is the beginning of my third trimester: 28 weeks. Baby boy is the size of an eggplant and I’m starting to slow down and focus.

My doula came over today and we talked a lot about holding a sense of peace and clarity and connection with the baby amidst all that life and well-intentioned people and Google may throw at you. An interesting case study on this subject is that I recently got off the fence and got a flu shot. I had been abstaining with the idea that I would rather not inject anything I don’t absolutely have to, especially when they specifically tell you that studies haven’t been done on pregnant women. However, my acupuncturist made a gentle but strong case to me and the risk of getting really sick finally outweighed any potential risk of the actual shot. I’d been unsure and getting mixed messages for weeks and months, but finally I got clear.

I got the shot on Wednesday night, and on Thursday I developed a paranoia that the baby was quieter than usual. I knew that it was a manifestation of my anxiety and probably nothing more, yet I somehow felt like I gave him the flu. Then, he woke me up at 3am that night with unprecedented tumbling somersaults–the first time he ever woke me with his movement. My doula took this as a sign of good communication–he let me know he was OK.

As I get closer to becoming an actual mom, I wonder–how do you trust that you know what is right for your baby even when your trusted experts may disagree with each other and/or you? The flu shot was a relatively low-stakes version of this scenario but the question still looms large.

Last night, my mom asked me what has surprised me most about being pregnant, and I told her that it’s the intuition, the sense that I do have an open line of communication with this little guy, even as I’m on conference calls and scrubbing the bathtub and riding the bus. I couldn’t have anticipated this. No one else knows what he’s saying through his interpretive dances. I get every single email. Now this extra sense is a part of every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment. I used to think it was a sci-fi alien experience to have a baby in your belly but in reality it feels like an extension of me, my new normal. I love his presence. I do have a sense of what’s right for him–yet I know it won’t always be black and white, and I will make lots and lots (and lots) of mistakes. I also know that I want to keep developing this intuition because it’s probably always right.

Today, my doula drew this for me:

photo (13)

Lately I do have a stronger sense of what I need, a tighter focus on what’s important. My former mentor once said, “Saying no to others is saying yes to yourself.” Saying no has always been tough for me. I won’t be able to be as accommodating as I’ve been in the past. No–I can’t make it, I can’t commit, I can’t say what I’ll be doing over Labor Day weekend. Even if I know that setting boundaries or opting out or canceling plans is really good and healthy for me, it’s still hard. Because it represents a fundamental shift in behavior–I won’t be so easygoing, flexible, no problem I’ll come to you. Some people won’t like it and will reflect back a note of disappointment. Most will completely understand. And I feel like this shift is something I’ve been working toward for a long time, and the baby is giving me a boost. Which is one of his first gifts to me.

The lessons just arrive one on top of the other through this journey. You know what you need. Trust it. Trust the emails from your baby. Trust that your body knows. Stay here.

This trust will serve me in the third trimester and in labor and through motherhood. Dropping the ‘shoulds’ and comparisons and what ifs and just being with what I already know, deep in my reptilian brain, ditching the frequently unhelpful neo-cortex. (As my doula noted, we are the only animal who attends birth prep classes.)

This week’s photo was taken outside the Kabuki Sundance theater where my sister and I saw “American Hustler” (good!) and ran out of interesting backdrops on this rainy night. The belly is now getting me a seat on the bus and my belly button is threatening to invert.

28 weeks

Have a great week, wise ones. xo

gratitude, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

heading home

I’m on the flight back from Florida and pretty fed up in all respects. My flight was almost 3 hours delayed. I couldn’t get online to do work despite trying for 1.5 hrs and calling the help desk. My computer died and the outlet wouldn’t work unless I held it in with force. I had to sit on the ground next to the outlet. Once on the plane (yay), I bought headphones thinking maybe there would be some good TV, but with the exception of a snippet of Sex and the City interspersed and brief glimpses of a totally one-sided Superbowl (right?), there was really only garbage. So then I signed up for an hour of sloooow internet, tried again and failed with the work connection, and now I realize that no matter how simple the web surfing, every click costs me 2-3 minutes. So, I’m going to blog and spend the rest of the flight reading Harry Potter on my iPad and sleeping. Screw it!

It is 11:18pm on the east coast and I won’t be home for 3 more hours. On the TV next to me, they keep showing montages of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and I feel so sad about this loss. As hunger rises and the cold leftover pizza in a bag sounds unappealing, I’m contemplating ordering a snack box. The bright spot in this moment is the baby who is rumbling around without a care in the world, doing interpretive dances and heralding our return to San Francisco.

The trip went smoothly. I had a 30th-floor ocean-view suite that was pretty spectacular. I love my team. We did a good job on the event and then got rewarded with a gloriously sunny afternoon together on a line of beach chairs. J and I went out later for Cuban food and then he shared my suite (or, as he calls it, my “suit”). He agreed to be el padrino (the godfather), although we agreed that this would be without religious connotation. Every time he put his hand on my belly to feel the baby, the baby totally got calm. I didn’t sleep very well but basically enough. I did my neti pot every day.

As I write my way out of my cranky mood and my eyes get heavier, I am just so grateful to be going home with no more big cross-country flights on the horizon. I am definitely having the impulse to be home. Home feels delicious. I will be glad to reach home whenever that hour arrives.

I will leave you with your belly shot zen from the beach in Hollywood, FL. I call this one, “Sun on my Bun.”

xo

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