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

camping

Since before E was born, I imagined that he’d be an outdoorsy type; someone who felt at home in nature, sleeping under the stars, exploring in the woods, scanning for wildlife. Our travel together would be to national parks. I can’t remember if this took hold before or after I was pregnant, but it’s been my dream for him. What tiny person wouldn’t be thrilled to explore the great outdoors?

I also imagined that I’d be camping with a baby sooner than I did. It sounded easy and fun since babies don’t move and sleep wherever you put them. When it came down to it, though, it didn’t feel right to take a tiny baby out into the elements, and a trip never materialized.

I finally got it together to plan something for 4th of July weekend, with my friend J and her daughter S. We went to Samuel P. Taylor State Park, a gorgeous place less than an hour from the city with giant redwoods, a calm, meandering river, and steep hikes that take you up to expansive views of Marin County and Tomales Bay. I’ve been there many times on major day-long hikes as well as my 39th birthday.

Since it was my first time going with E, plus since J isn’t an experienced camper, I took it upon myself to plan carefully. I started a google doc days beforehand. We planned meals over text. On the day of, I packed the car to the gills with camping gear, a cooler of ready-to-eat food, and several bags of stuff.

Upon arrival, E wandered around the campsite, thrilled to explore and instantly covered in dusty dirt. It was nearly impossible to set up a tent or really do anything productive given that he was constantly toddling off and I had to redirect him away from potential poison oak, the river, and/or the few cars that drove by. J showed up and it was equally hard with two babies and two adults although at least we could take turns watching the little ones while the other accomplished something. She got so frustrated with her borrowed tent that she asked the couple across the street to help her, which they did, while I kept the kids occupied with bubbles.

At this point, I was pretty proud of how it was going. The tents were up and we had an amazing spread of food. There was no way we’d get out on a hike given how long it took us to set up camp, but we’d go in the morning. I patted myself on the back for not forgetting anything major. (I even commented to J that I was pleased to have prepared so well.)

Well, the black bean burgers would have been better with mustard, which I forgot. Then I realized we didn’t have a corkscrew for the wine, which we were able to borrow from neighbors. THEN I realized that I hadn’t packed the gas to fuel the camping stove, so breakfast of oatmeal and coffee was an impossibility.

Finally, once I was getting ready for bed, it dawned on me: I hadn’t packed anything for myself. I’m actually not exaggerating. I packed comprehensively for E–many, many layers of clothing and extra clothing to account for possible spills or extra cold or wet weather. Toys and books. Diapers and wipes. Etc. I had focused a lot on the food and all the necessary tools for eating.

For myself, I packed a bathing suit (which I didn’t need). I did not pack extra clothes of any kind. I didn’t pack contacts or bring my glasses. I didn’t pack a toothbrush or face wash or even think about a cosmetic bag. I pretty much had the clothes on my back, and that was it. I simply forgot.

It was nothing tragic and did not ruin the trip. But I have to say–hugely eye-opening. At what other time in my life would I forget to pack anything (at all) for me?? It would be impossible. Such a shocking reminder of how mom’s needs go last and sometimes are utterly and completely overlooked!

Thankfully, it was just a reminder and I was not terribly uncomfortable except for the sleeping. I figured E would just share my sleeping bag and Thermarest but he’s gotten big and can sprawl out in his sleep. I lost a lot of Zs making sure he was always on the Thermarest with some sleeping bag over him while I made do with whatever was left (not much). Good thing it wasn’t cold. The kid needs his own sleeping set-up–a second Thermarest and a second sleeping bag. Or whatever you get for someone who’s 25 pounds. We will hook this up for Round 2!

Otherwise, he slept according to his normal routine, and the moms got to roast marshmallows and make perfect s’mores, accompanied by great conversation and red wine. In the morning, he woke up and said, in his own language, “Wait, we’re still here? We’re outside? In the woods?! We’re in a tent! This is awesome!”

We did some hiking, met some kids, checked out the river and some dogs and birds. Now he’s saying “tee” (tree) and “bow” (pronounced like the kind you take after a performance = ball).

And I’ve updated my packing list to include a section for “Mom.”

xo

spt1 spt2 spt3 spt4

anxiety, family, gratitude, outdoors, parenthood, single mom by choice, SMC, writing

“getting stuff done”

I’m in super mama blogger mode as I sway back and forth on my feet standing at my parents’ bistro-height dining room table, baby in the Ergo, willing him to stay asleep long enough for me to churn this post out. He just had perhaps his biggest tantrum ever, alarming even the neighbors. Why? I really don’t know. This morning, I took him on a relaxing, 3-mile walk in the stroller–he looked up at the trees with big eyes, napped, woke up happy. When we got home, I thought we’d do a nice nurse-ourselves-into-a-nap together. We’ve done it many times before, and I was predicting that our sleep schedules would align. We got upstairs and he nursed on one side. When I switched to the other side, he kept getting distracted–looking up at me with big eyes and bursting out in big smiles (and then doing it again, and then doing it again, etc., adorable)–and eventually I gave up and thought–maybe we’ll just drift off to sleep together. There was a moment, maybe 30 seconds, when we were both still and I actually started falling asleep. That’s when he began the gradual but steady ramp-up to five-alarm fire mode. I tried everything: shushing, swaddling, walking, bouncing, nursing again, every position, giving him to my sister, giving him to my brother-in-law (both of whom were impressed by the force of his crying despite their own significant experience with five-alarm gila monster), giving up and eating a cookie, etc. This doesn’t often happen with E. But every baby will have their moments!

I stepped outside with E in the Ergo and ran into the W’s who were worried they had triggered the ordeal by playing their music too loud (I never heard the music) and asked me how they could help and I requested an iced coffee to replace the nap I didn’t get.

I woke up today feeling like I’m not “getting anything done.” Everyone else around me has projects, events, outings, work calls, errands, and I recently wore the same clothes from one morning, overnight, and the next day till the following night and hadn’t showered and was just flowing with the baby’s needs and feeling like I needed to wash my hair and change my underwear and breast pads. I really feel like I can’t (shouldn’t?) complain, yet I simultaneously I felt like I couldn’t quite manage the basics. A little downward spiral. I perhaps underestimated how much the mom has to do no matter how many willing helpers are surrounding her. (My family is wonderful and will do anything I ask–I probably should be doing a little more asking.)

So I complained to my mom this morning that I wasn’t ” getting anything done”  which obviously is crazy when I have been caring for my baby boy 24/7 for 10 weeks, and she said, ” honey, what do you feel like you’re not getting done?”  and I said quietly, “like washing my hair,” and at that moment the baby fell asleep and I bounded upstairs for a shower and straightened up my room, put sheets in the laundry, and prepared for a stroller walk. Man, sometimes all you need is 15 minutes to feel like a new person.

So–biggest tantrum ever, no nap, small showering victory, and we’re still moving forward incrementally on the bottle. Let’s be glad for progress–yesterday, he took 1/4 ounce, today he took 1/2 an ounce. He’s willing to give it a shot but not really sucking on the nipple, kind of gumming it and pushing it in and out of his mouth. I probably should have started this process weeks before I did but it felt overwhelming. Then he starts arching his back (a new move–he can practically make a bridge when on the floor, j/k but not really) and we do that a few more times. It stresses me out though because I feel like I will never be away from him for more than 1.5 hours without putting someone through the torture of this afternoon (on top of the stress of actually leaving him for any length of time), and I wish there were a third option. But let’s focus on the progress–progress! We’ll keep trying again each day and he’s a bright young man and he’ll get it figured out. I have a few months still before I go back to work (so grateful, truly a dream come true).

And then there are recent days that flow so well that it’s truly easy–and seriously guys, that’s been most days. We wake up and he gives me a series of good morning smiles. I feed him, wipe the green stuff out of his eyes with a warm washcloth, change his diaper, put on his clothes. He stares up at the ceiling fan lovingly. Sometimes my mom does the diaper and clothes. Then he’ll play on the activity mat and then go down easily for a nap. I have to be well-rested and have clarity on what’s top priority in order to use those nap windows efficiently. And somehow the past few days I’ve not felt well-rested. And I think the young sir has had some tummyaches (a sizable spit-up preceded his outburst today).

So, that’s me today. My back hurts from standing here with my 16+ pounder on my front and my feet hurt because we already did 3 miles and someone doesn’t want me to sit down. The iced coffee was just delivered by my dad (thanks, T!!!), and the sun is shining, and my baby is the most precious, beautiful boy in the world. And I am grateful to be a mom and see what this is all about.

Three days ago, I turned 41, and Baby E’s gift to me was: he laughed. Like, we made each other laugh back and forth a bunch of times. It made my heart grow ten sizes.

Lots of love to you!

PS: Sad addendum is that today we lost our dear friend H, at 86 years old. We got together with him many times in SF over the years and played many Scrabble games (he was a master of the two-letter word and kicked our butts most of the time). He followed my story, not through my blog but through his niece A on the east coast who reads the blog.  If it was a girl, he wanted me to name her “Perseverance.” He came over just last month to meet Baby E and hold him and I’m so glad I have photos of that day, so glad that day happened, and that we got to know and love H in the last years of his long and full life. We will miss him so much. xx

anxiety, family, gratitude, outdoors, parenthood, single mom by choice, SMC, writing

8 weeks

OMG I am having the hardest time getting time to write! It’s been more than two weeks and the topics are piling up. When I get a little free time I usually want to nap or take a shower. Or get outside. See how I hit the trifecta this morning? Baby sleeping, I’ve already showered, I’m well rested, and it’s pouring rain!

Ever since my last post I’ve been meaning to write about our placenta-burying ceremony–so San Francisco, right? This came about thanks to multiple factors. I had written in my birth plan that I wanted to take my placenta home from the hospital. Maybe to have encapsulated (i.e. dried and put into capsules to take as pills) and maybe to consume in smoothies, but I didn’t have a precise plan and hadn’t researched it at all. As a result, when we got home from the hospital I kind of forgot about it in the fridge (not the freezer, oops) until Day 5, which seemed a bit late for any kind of consumption. My doula, A, agreed, and she suggested that we bury it.

Since M had given birth the same day as me just five hours later, A suggested that we have a joint placenta-burying ceremony in her Secret Garden, a beautiful garden space in the Mission to which she has access. We both loved the idea as a way to thank the placentas, return their nutrients to the earth, and to commemorate the end of the first 40 days–the sacred beginning. So, on a hot and sunny SF day 40 days after the day our babies were born, we met up at the Secret Garden with our placentas in tupperware buckets (mine, which caused the hemorrhage, was as big as a cherry pie–no exaggeration). A was at a birth, so she sent her dear husband and kids with a well-researched kiwi plant and detailed instructions. M and her husband P brought a pitcher of icy lemonade. The kiwi was to be buried next to a trellis where it will climb and climb into the future!

We said a few words and dumped our placentas together into a hole in the earth, covered them up with dirt, and put the plant on top. A lovely way to give our children “roots”  in San Francisco forever and a way to mark the intertwined beginnings of babies E and E. Grateful for our connection to these two families! (After polling a couple of key blog readers who happen to be in the room with me, I decided not to include a photo of my placenta, even though I am grateful to it for nourishing baby E in the womb and think it looks awesome! Proud of my pie-sized placenta!)

photo 1

photo 2

 

About a week after that, I flew to Michigan. Flying with a baby is a rite of passage for any new parent–especially a single mom who is likely doing it on her own. I spent that week planning and plotting and accumulating everything we would need in a flurry of Ziploc bags. Miraculously, my sister in Chicago brought a bunch of key items that she had from her babies (breast pump, my brest friend, diaper changing pad, etc.) so I didn’t have to ship anything. I got everything to fit in one big suitcase (44 pounds), the Snap N Go stroller in my other hand, a carry-on backpack on my back and the baby in an Ergo on my front. I set the alarm for 3:15am for our 6:30am flight. I was admittedly nervous. I just kept picturing myself covered in sweat and milk and clutching a screaming baby.

E woke me at 2:45am to eat, so that was my official earliest wakeup time ever. I got myself ready, got him ready, got us and everything into the car and headed down the highway. E just took my word for it that it was time to start the day and was perfectly happy except for when his hat fell over his eyes, easily fixed from the driver’s seat by reaching back. We parked by the airport, felt like badasses as we rolled backpack and stroller to the airtrain and checked into the terminal and went through security. It was all super smooth–didn’t have to take off my shoes or the baby carrier. And when we got to the gate, the agent had the same name as my mom, so I chatted gaily with her as I attempted to be her BFF and get a good seat. She complied by giving us an ENTIRE ROW at the very back of the plane. Relief!!! I laid him down on a blanket beside me, and he happily kicked his legs and napped and had diaper changes right there. Only a couple of times did he get revved up into crying mode and I was able to walk up and down the aisle and rock him to sleep pretty effectively. Plus you forget that the white noise of the plane drowns out a lot.

The people who helped me most on the planes happened to be men (probably because by chance it was men, on both flights, who were sitting nearest to us). On the first leg, a guy across the aisle said to let him know if I needed any help, that he liked babies and that his baby was now the morose teenager sitting beside him engrossed in a video game. He smiled and said he preferred them smaller. I took him up on it when I couldn’t wait any longer to use the bathroom and handed E over. The second I shut the bathroom door, I heard E wailing and peed as fast as possible.

On the second flight, E was already wailing and hungry when we got on board (my moment to be covered in sweat and milk and clutching a screaming baby). For this flight, they gave us the more-leg-room seats by a window, with two guys in the inside seats. I’m sure they were full of dread when they saw us arrive. I tried everything possible to balance E in a way that I could get my hands free to put on my seatbelt but no dice. I asked the guy next to me to buckle it for me and he obliged! E settled right down once eating, and by the end that guy said, “Does he always fly this well?” Success!!!!

And now we’ve been up north for a week! I would have thought it would be easier to get time to write with all the help but we’ve had pretty nonstop activity. My sister D and her girls were here when we arrived. Then two dear friends and their families came through on different days. Then J decided to fly in from NYC (with literally one day notice) and is here now! Amazing how many friends have come through when we’re in such a remote place. Baby E draws many fans from all over!

We’ve also taken E on his first restaurant outing (he was an angel) and also to a Joshua Bell concert at Interlochen (he stayed outside with Chacha and J until I was summoned 45 minutes in and sent my dad in my place). These outings push me outside my comfort zone. Taking such a little baby into these loud and bouncy and completely new situations full of strangers can be stressful. But it’s good for us–with some balance. Now we’re enjoying a little down time, thanks to the rainy day.

J just said, “Are you writing?” from where he’s working on his laptop around the corner. He knows I’ve been trying to get to this for days!

It’s wonderful to be surrounded by people who love E and are delighted by his every teeny step of development (not to mention all the help!!). He is smiling a lot now and my mom got him to laugh! He’s eating less in the night. He loves to look up at the trees and feel the beach air. Once in a while, he’ll suddenly look at you with big, intense eyes and start telling you something critically important through pursed little lips, “Brlll.”

He’s almost always easily placated, so when he’s not, I get rattled. We came home early from a dinner party with our dear downstairs neighbors after everyone tried their magic with him and he was just over the edge. I really can’t stand listening to him cry! It’s awful! We came home and he calmed down right away. A side-lying nursing sesh and he was out. Aw, baby. Wish we could get a memo on what you need when you cry. Next up: getting him to take a bottle. We’ve made some progress on that but he’s so far pretty (understandably) offended by the idea of a bottle vs. the boob.

He’s a beautiful boy and growing fast–probably around 15 pounds now and I need to graduate the sweater he wore yesterday which looked more like a midriff top with 3/4 length sleeves.

J caught this photo of the little love the other day. Lots of love to you!

photo 3

family, gratitude, homebirth, meditation, outdoors, parenthood, single mom by choice, SMC

a slight delay

So when I got up this morning I had two voicemails from UCSF letting me know that they needed to postpone my arrival because all the laboring rooms were full and I should call back at noon.

That felt great–I requested an omelet and sausages from my dad, drank a Recharge, did an hour or so of pumping (just in case), and went back to bed for a couple of hours.

When I called at noon, they told me to come in at 8pm tonight. Whoa!

So now we have the whole day, which honestly feels like another gift. It felt jarring to go from trying trying trying to get labor started yesterday to packing for the hospital. Now I’m catching up with myself. And, given that today is my last day for a legal midwife-attended homebirth (in CA it cuts off at 42 weeks, which is tomorrow), it’s nice that I won’t have to wonder what might have happened if I had just waited. The birth tub still stands at the ready in case something crazy happens.

This timing means that maybe we can get a decent night of sleep during the first phase. My mom will stay on the pull-out couch, and my doula and midwife will join whenever I need them, probably tomorrow morning.

This moving starting line is quite the mental trip! When I think about the road that got me here it just seems so surreal that the culmination of the whole experience, my baby’s birth day, just keeps getting pushed out–he is now bordering on the cusp of Taurus and I never considered that his birthday could or would be as late as 5/18 or even 19! Or that my parents would be here 2.5 weeks before his arrival, or that my blog would receive its all-time highest number of hits, or that he would not already be a weeks-old baby upsetting the quiet of my apartment by now. He seems perfectly happy in there although sometimes it feels like he’s rapping on my belly saying, “Hey, help me out!”

Today, we will eat, walk, do yoga, meditate, consider any last items to pick up. Have a nice dinner and enjoy the breezy, cool fresh air.

And then it will be time to have a baby, right universe? 🙂 (Meanwhile, OK to pause on lighting those candles!)

I forgot to tell you this yesterday: I’ve been pulling Goddess cards each night for both me and the baby. Two nights ago, I pulled the following cards, which are now added to the birth shrine:

For me: Aine–Leap of Faith. “Take a risk, and put your heart’s true desire into action!” Message from Aine: “Procrastinating about your dreams won’t make them go away. Neither will it make them happen. Indecision is the death of the soul’s burning passion to improve, grow, and learn. Don’t worry about making a wrong decision. Instead, worry about making no decision at all! Then take time to pray, meditate, investigate, research, go on nature walks…and make your decision. Once made, the universal energies will immediately support your decision, and doors will successively open as if by magic. The magic, you see, is that you’ve set your mind to accomplish something. And this intention is what sets you on your magical journey. Trust that the universe will support you in all ways. Trust that your intention is clear and right for you. And then take a leap of faith and jump fully and squarelyinto the midst of putting your dreams into action. Don’t hesitate or delay a moment longer!”

For the baby: Cordelia–Go Outside. “You have been indoors too long. Go outside and get some fresh air.” Message from Cordelia: “Being cooped up is not the natural way for inhabitants of this exciting planet to live. Believe me, there’s plenty to see and experience when you exit your four walls and roof. A daily venture outside will not only revive your spirit and soul, it will give you hope and faith in this planet’s very existence and future. You’ll see all of the goodness that’s in store within nature: the flowers ready to unfurl, the leaves that are sprouting, the birds that hop about, and even the wind that affectionately caresses you. Don’t let another day go by without stepping outdoors into this most entertaining and exciting of environments!”

All is as it should be. xo

family, gratitude, homebirth, meditation, Mother's Day, outdoors, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

Happy Mother’s Day!

We started the day at UCSF for our first non-stress test to check on how the babe is doing. It was a little surreal to be in the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital after all the expectation that I’ll be doing this at home–felt very busy like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone was very nice. Every single nurse and doctor I saw was a woman. They put me in such a tiny room that my parents had to wait in a (tiny) waiting room and it was really hot and I thought for a moment I might be too claustrophobic to stay in there. They strapped on the big belts and I heard the baby’s heartbeat for 20 minutes, as well as big static when he was moving, which was often. They came back and said his heartbeat was ‘perfect.’ Measured the amniotic fluid and it was a 9 (they want higher than 6). The doctor said his head is “massively down.” So, everything checked out and we were sent home. It felt great to get a good report. I have another appointment on Wednesday.

In the afternoon, we took a nice urban hike in the warm sun with a cool wind. We got a picnic’s worth of food at Bi-Rite and headed up to Alamo Square to lay around and eat and people watch. It was so relaxing and lovely. I am so BIG. The cashier at Bi-Rite said it looks like I’m “about to explode.” It’s nearly impossible to put on my shoes and makes me out of breath. When it was time to go home, I almost pulled down my dad who was trying to help me get up off the ground!

I’m sleepy after getting a no-sleep nap this afternoon because the baby was kicking so much. My mom suggested a bath which is such a fantastic idea so that’s where I’m headed.

But, first, I at least wanted to say, in a sleepy and probably inarticulate way, how much I love and appreciate my mom. WOW has she (and my dad) taken the bull by the horns in this baby-prep-mode and embraced the whole process of this waiting period. I am so lucky that my parents are here! I basically didn’t even get a card together this Mother’s Day, but I know that more importantly we are spending this exciting time together. Thank you, Mom, for all the nourishing mama cooking, for running and organizing the kitchen, for scrubbing the floors like Cinderella, for being game for any length of walk, for watching episodes of Call the Midwife while I weep over the births. And soon: for being here for my baby’s birth and all the help I’ll need afterward. I am so grateful.

Meanwhile, I must also acknowledge the equally enormous contributions of my dad, who is responsible for installing many fixtures, ordering and assembling needed items, getting the washer and dryer up the stairs and functioning, all kinds of chauffeuring and parking, omelets, Waldorf salads, expertly filling and emptying the birth tub, and more. Thank you, Dad!

Finally, without trying to be comprehensive because I’m excited to take a bath and then probably go to sleep, I am sending love and gratitude to all the mamas in my life–the SMCs, the homebirthers, those pregnant and trying to get pregnant, the dog-mamas and cat-mamas, the aunties, and those who just plain love and nurture their loved ones in a way that makes the world go round. Actually, I think that is comprehensive. I wish for all of this wonderful nurturing energy to be acknowledged and appreciated today. Love to you all.

I’ll go out with my 41 week belly shot and I know enough not to jinx it by saying it’s the last one. (Check out my amazing shadow.) I’ll be over here meditating and sleeping and buttering this baby up. xo

Image

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

due date

May the Fourth be with you!

I’ve had this date in my mind since the end of August–it seemed so far away!

I woke up feeling agitated and like I needed to finish the entire to-do list once and for all, today–clean, declutter, finish thank yous, test fill the birth tub (I heard several birth stories the day before that all featured some kind of drama around the birth tub and difficulties getting it full in time for the big event). I felt like the panicky feeling was mostly hormonal but probably due-date-related. We decided to walk to Off the Grid in the Presidio for lunch and the fresh semi-foggy air felt so good, really reset my mood. We got fancy food truck food, peoplewatched, looked out at the sailboats on the bay.

My family is so amazing. I can’t even believe how much everyone has already done to help–this is a full-on project and everyone has jobs. My parents have so much energy. This weekend, the pantry got organized, the kitchen counter is finally visible again, the bathroom got scrubbed, a beautiful new light fixture got installed in my bedroom, a new towel rack got installed in the bathroom, a new smoke alarm is up in the hall, the birth tub has been test filled and is in the process of having the water pumped out, meals got prepared and cleaned up, and I got rides here and there. The only thing I did myself was to finish my thank you cards. Big relief.

This weekend, I’ve been able to nap, walk, do yoga, attend a homebirth collective birth stories potluck, attend an SMC monthly meeting. It’s so luxurious after holding together the massive to do lists more or less on my own to this point

We were all sitting around last night talking about the whole journey, and my mom reminded me what I said to her when I called to say I was pregnant. “WE DID IT!”

This is truly a village effort and I’m so grateful. Thank you.

I’m tired after participating in a prenatal yoga video shoot today–need to get to bed. But I did want to mark my due date and share today’s belly shot. I’m so glad to have made it to my due date. I know baby boy is ready anytime and we’re ready for him. And, meanwhile, I’m glad for each peaceful day, getting readier and readier.

And smelling the roses along the way.

40 weeks

 

family, homebirth, outdoors, parenthood, pregnancy, single mom by choice, SMC

in the window

It was a great weekend–birth tub is set up and is vaguely heart-shaped due to a missing clip. I took 2-hour naps each day, did yoga, got outside for a walk. The drum kit has been moved out of my apartment. My sister and I did a prego photo shoot that turned out really well. And I just did a big grocery shop to prepare to feed the birth team: snacks and a big pot of chili so far. For me, I also got a palette of coconut water and a bunch of Recharges. Also herbs for post-partum and lactation tea.

I spent Saturday evening and much of Sunday morning working on the baby’s name. Now I’ll embark on one of my favorite conversation topics recently: talking about names in general without mentioning specifics! I’m not sharing the names because I don’t want opinions yet and feel like it’s a special luxury to be able to do this completely by myself. It’s also a big job, a super-important job, and not as straightforward as back in the day when you had like ten acceptable names to choose from. (Eventually I’ll run the finalists by someone in order to prevent any snafus like Justin Case or Ann Job.)

I was just reading a blog post on “Baby Name Wizard” called “Why Your Baby Name Choice is Making You Miserable.” Basically–too many options. These days, anything goes–any made-up name or crazy spelling seems to be fair game. And that amount of choice creates paralysis and, sometimes, remorse.

I’ve been working on the name for months in my mind, and this weekend I finally created a spreadsheet. There are so many good, solid names that I have to rule out due to their association with ex-boyfriends–a hazard of having a baby at 40. I’ve decided on a first name, which has been the front runner for a long time. So, with a first and last name, it should be simple to pick a middle, right?  But while I have one middle name that I love, it has no family connection and I’m looking at adding a second middle name (because, why not? I polled my friends who have two middle names or have given their kids two middle names, and they seem to love it), but now I’ve spent enough time on the analysis that I’m getting overly hung up on trying to summarize our entire family heritage and pull together the perfect meaning–it’s like writing a poem and trying to explain absolutely everything in four words.

So, I’m going to let it simmer and evolve again for a bit. How’s that for a discussion of names without divulging any particulars? By the time you hear it, it will be as perfect as it gets.

Em came over on Friday for my home visit. I always think this must start to feel old hat to her after 1100 births, but no–she was super excited for me. We’re here, we’re in the window: 37-42 weeks. After all the work and preparation I’ve done, the baby could now easily come at any time. When she checked me, though, he hadn’t dropped yet, so we probably have some time. Even once he drops it can be weeks… there’s just no way to know.

He’ll come when he’s ready, or whenever my body mysteriously triggers labor–no one knows why it happens when it does (and if they did, they would make a lot of money). So, I proceed with my last work week (going in every other day), aware that it could be anytime and it will likely be another 2-3 weeks (and could even be 4). And please note! I will not be liveblogging the birth! But I’m sure I’ll get an announcement posted before too too long. (Who knows how long though? Hard to imagine life on the other side.)

On a walk in the Presidio yesterday with my sister Aunt B, she snapped this photo. Babies and flowers in bloom! xo

38 weeks

 

 

 

 

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

love.

Just spent the weekend with four of my best friends from college, chez moi. They rearranged my apartment and drank all my champagne. We talked and talked and talked and it was exactly like old times. Now my parents are in town for a week and my first childbirth class is tomorrow. Life is busy and full of organizing and planning and love.

I have to be at the office at 7am tomorrow so must sign off immediately!

31 weeks at Lands End. xo

week 31

 

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

unnamed

 

 

gratitude, outdoors, parenthood, pregnancy

26 weeks

No time to write! I will say I have rounded a corner on planning, having made a dent in my registry and given actual thought to things like diapers, breast pumps, and swaddling blankets. It is truly overwhelming how much there is to learn. My inventory of hand-me-downs people have dropped off reads more like a registry than my actual registry, what good fortune! The joy of having a baby when so many friends are wrapping it up and excited to free up some closet space. I have an army of consultant moms.

I’m leaving for my last x-country biz trip on Wednesday, the gentlest way I know how: a direct flight on Virgin America where I will order endless bottles of water and possibly even wear a mask. But before I go, I didn’t want to neglect this week’s belly photo gallery, shot by Dr. B at Fort Funston where I had somehow never been despite having moved here in 1997:

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Baby boy has gotten the hiccups twice!

Love y’all!