Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week Eight: Remembering

first, a quick Muffin update:
-Tummymuffin continues to demand raw vegetables and fruit. and has still not started making me barf. i continue to plead with God to allow this no-nausea trend to hold.
-the Muffinoven, me, is still feeling pretty healthy except for a total reset of my body clock. i was always a night owl, but now i fall asleep early and wake up early. and some nights i feel like i did a 20-mile hike, i'm so tired. i believe this is VERY normal. also in the normal category: constant bathroom trips. fun.
-the Muffinman, Thomas, is excited about all of this but it's still not quite as real to him as it is to the one who has to seemingly pee every 2.5 minutes, had to get new bras, and is starting to find jeans that will alarmingly not button anymore.

right now, we are in the Washington, D.C. area for Erika's grandmother's memorial services. it has been a good time of reflection and celebration -- she was 99 years old (100 in Chinese years; you are considered 1 yr. old at birth) and had an incredibly rich, amazing life. we were all able to say our goodbyes; she left us peacefully, from her own bed, and not in the hospital. even though Tummymuffin won't meet her in this life, her legacy of spunkiness, good cooking, faithful care, and love will certainly be communicated, not just through me, the granddaughter, but all the other surviving Chans who have already made it quite clear how much Tummymuffin is already loved and welcomed.
parenthood obviously makes you start thinking a generation ahead -- amazing how things you might have thrown away suddenly become potentially interesting for your potential children -- but right now i'm really feeling the importance of inheritance, legacy, etc. we've been going through Bobo's things (Bobo is the English transliteration of "grandma" in Chinese) and it's interesting how objects that might have seemed to be trash before are now infused with meaning and importance. if these blurry, faded photos that i'm now seeing are becoming so significant to me as a record of a life well-lived, suddenly all those unsorted photos in the box in the garage become The Possible Tummymuffin Treasure Trove. pieces of jewelry, decades-old letters, an old change purse, an almost-finished crochet project...all this stuff makes me realise my parents were right when they would tell me not to throw everything away, for heaven's sakes, your KIDS might want to see that old yearbook! when you're a teenager, this seems to be silly...and now suddenly i'm a mom and it all makes way too much sense.

so! my question is sort of twofold: first, many of you said in the last post to enjoy every moment of this first pregnancy. i can understand that: this is a very unique time of transition that won't ever happen again, not even if i get pregnant another time. but specifically, how did you do this? or perhaps more to the point, what specifically did you NOT do that you wish you had? i feel like one part of the "enjoy" is in savouring the small things we'll be giving up: sleeping uninterrupted, getting in the car and going somewhere without having to have major tactical maneuvers, etc.
but perhaps another part of "enjoy" is "remember & recognise" -- this is the second part of the question: what things did you do to mark the time? did anyone do certain things to create or document memories or milestones before the kid arrived? what were they? i've heard of "pregnancy journals" that have prompts/questions for the mom-to-be to answer -- anyone have any experience with these? were they fun or tedious? i'm not a scrapbooky kind of girl, but i could always, who am i fooling? i am not going to ever buy those wacky ruffle-edged scissors. the most i'd do is tape stuff in a book. maybe...


Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention the pregnancy journal, because when I first got your email I thought it was so great that you would have this record of what you were thinking about week-by-week AND the advice you were receiving (that you can laugh at and/or cherish later). I really think this here blog is a much better "remember and recognise" idea than anything I could think up.

On a somewhat related note: don't let anyone try to talk you into weekly/monthly pictures of your tummy. If you want them, great. I didn't, and I'm still not sorry.

Blessings to you and your family. So good to hear of your grandma's good life and death.

Unknown said...

When I was pregnant, all my allergies deserted me. I think I was super healthy and full of energy. I know that is rather strange. I had a group of four doctors and learned not to listen to any of them because they were giving me conflicting advice and told them so. I also learned not to count the time because after a while, especially towards the end, I began to say, "When is this going to happen?" To this day, I can't remember whether Allison was early, on time, or late. I simply stopped counting time. The day she arrived, I was clearing out an entire iris bed by the side of the house. Needless to say, the irises stayed exposed all through an Upstate New York winter but somehow miraculously survived and I divided them and planted them the next spring. I learned a lot about irises. My advice: "Do what feels right to you. As long as you don't do anything really stupid that could be harmful to either you or the baby; just enjoy life".

Jamie Lives in Tokyo said...

OMEDETO!!! I've been so pleased with your excellent news since it arrived in my inbox a week or so ago, but being preggers myself, haven't had the energy to move my fingers along the keyboard till now to tell you that I'm delighted!
To your recent question about marking time in your pregnancy, I have to agree with Jenn P.: if you are planning to post to this blog at least once a week until Baby arrives, then this here will surely be an excellent record, probably as good or better than any scalloped-edge acid-free bow-festooned tome you might force yourself to create.
I don't want to be negative, but I actually don't love being pregnant, so my favorite way to mark the time is actually more like a countdown, as is, "I'm 20 weeks which means I'm finally halfway there!" etc. And yes, that will be true for me as of this Thursday...
Speaking to your previous question regarding morning sickness, I hate to call it that. It's so not just in the morning. The Japanese word for that problem, "tsuwari" is infinitely better, in my opinion. But I suppose I'm deluding myself if I think that will come into our English lexicon in the same way that "sushi" and "banzai" have. What I was getting to is, I've never had the full blown, must pull over the car to puke variety of "tsuwari," but I'm definitely always plagued with a barfy feelign at the back of my throat. Eeww. I've found that the more times I'm pregnant the more I go crazy for salty foods and don't want the sweets at all, which is so unlike me (but I would probably do well to try and remember that idea post-pregnancy...). It's pleasing that you're not feeling sick so far, but keep resting up. I remember being bewildered with the me that suddenly needed to take a nap every day.
Hope to see you and discuss these things in person soon!


    in pregnancy loss communities,  when you have a living child after losing others, that child is called a "rainbow baby."  it&#...