Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week Twenty-Four

we're just skipping straight to week twenty-four here, as i've been down for the count with a nasty seasonal cold. of course, being pregs, i can't take any of the "good drugs" so i'm making do with hot lemon juice & honey, steaming my head, gargling with salt water, and quietly whining to myself. i can't really whine to the husbanator, as he's also been laid low by this virus. it's good parenting practice, i'm telling myself, taking care of a sick and crabby human whilst also being sick and crabby. anyways, i need to make another pot of chicken soup soon.
i do, however, want to acknowledge that yes. yes. we are very, very thankful this Thanksgiving. and not just for our Tummymuffin IV. you see, it was around this time of year that the Cascade of Loss began some time ago, turning Thanksgiving into It's The Most Awful Time of The Year. i lost my grandmother, a close friend, and Tummymuffins I & II during these days, so i can't really get through the end of November without thinking of all the loss -- especially our two first babies -- but at the same time, ah! i am so filled with gratefulness for them too. i am thankful that my life was so blessed to be so full of love, and at the same time i grieve the empty spaces that are left behind.
some nights ago, after one of my now-regular middle-of-the-night bathroom trips, i settled back into bed in my now-usual position: on my side, hand resting on my rounded middle. it took me a little while to drop back off to sleep, and as i lay there in the quiet darkness, i thought about how not so long ago, as Thanksgiving approached, i'd be lying awake in the dark for a competely different reason, a hand on an empty belly, trying to cry as silently as possible. that grief is still there, but muted -- and as i felt around its edges, Thomas rolled over and flung an arm over me, just as he used to when he'd somehow magically sense my soundless tears. and i realised that the peaceful happiness coursing through me as my hand and his hand rested on our growing child, the three of us for now safe and warm together, is shaped and sharpened by this past pain, and made stronger. it's as if all the salt of all those tears now flavours this miraculous joy that i often despaired of ever experiencing, and makes it savoury and full.
so yes, this Thanksgiving, i am indeed grateful -- for both all that i have been given, and all that has been taken away.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week Twenty-Two

first of all, a huge thanks to those of you who have been e-mailing and commenting with practical suggestions to my baby gear overload confusion. it is HIGHLY appreciated. keep 'em coming. i'd always rather go on personal tried-and-tested recommendations than some website that probably got a kickback to recommend an overpriced product.
i literally have actual muffins baking in my actual oven right now -- some diabetic-friendly oatmeal applesauce creations that already smell delicious. i'm feeling the Tummy variety of Muffin in my personal body oven somersaulting around so i think he's excited about them too. is this nesting? probably, since i'm going to overhaul the bottom kitchen cabinets later today. woo, exciting!
but this is what i've wanted, and told myself i've wanted for awhile now. after almost a decade and a half of a very rewarding career, i've "retired" from it and made successful transitions in another professional direction. i'm relieved and thankful that changeover happened before Tummymuffin IV came along, but now that he definitely seems to be sticking around, i've been very aware of how the rhythm of my life has changed. i checked out a book from the library about making the shift from full-time professional to full-time parent. i'm being added by friends with small kids to online groups with names like "Booby Brigade" and "Raising Baby L.A." on one hand, it feels utterly disconcerting, but on the other, i've already had three tries wrapping my little brain around potential parenthood. i don't need to wonder if this is really what i want. i know -- we know -- this is what we want.
however, i am still somewhat perturbed that with today's deal-of-the-day bulletin (by the way, if you like Groupon-style deals, i highly recommend signing up with aggregator of all such things at, i totally bypassed checking out the "French lingerie" offer and went straight for the "baby accessories" offer instead. *sigh.*

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week Twenty-One

it dawned on me the other day that i was actually devoting more Worry Brain Cells to things like:
-how to deal with a baby registry when you just want people to give you their kids' used stuff and not buy anything
-learning you get massive cankles after a walking epidural (my neighbour just had her first baby and is being very honest)
-if i get a footstool for the new easy chair will that work for nursing?
-where will we put my desk if we get a crib?
-you mean we have to find the best crib/carseat/stroller/nursing pillow/changing pad/cloth diapers or not/MY BRAIN IS EXPLODING
-argh, i need to get new bras...again.
-what do i want for a baby shower? how would i know? this is like my wedding: i didn't start thinking about it until it was actually needing to happen.
- oh dear, i need to record the husbanator talking to the baby in German and play it through headphones against my belly every morning. this should have happened yesterday!!
-will i really be able to eat rice again once Tummymuffin IV is here?

okay, sure. maybe these are typical concerns for a woman who's passed the halfway mark in her gestation. but this all feels kind of surreal to me, because it means that somehow i'm not spending as many Worry Brain Cells on:
-is Tummymuffin IV still alive?
-will i see a heartbeat again at the next ultrasound?
-did i somehow just do something obscure that will massively compromise TM4's health/life?
-can i really possibly still be pregnant with a live baby?
-will i ever stop feeling that jolt of fear when i think about loving this baby?

the transition from these deep-seated fears to more mundane, chittering worries is almost amusing to me as keep-you-up-at-night anxieties are stealthily replaced by crap about things called Boppy or Graco. i'm not so naive as to think that those fears, so familiar to any woman who's carried and lost a child, will ever be gone or replaced. but it makes me realise that an emotional place i formerly saw as unimaginable is happening to me now.
meanwhile, any suggestions about essential baby gear is appreciated. and any explanations as to why someone would pay $1200 for a stroller. (!?!?!?!)


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