Saturday, May 28, 2011

Who Let Me Make a Human?!

Dear Sprout,

This is our last post until ultrasound day. Apologies to all of our friends and family who look forward to the updates on Saturdays. I can only imagine what next week's post would look like. I imagine it would go something like this:


Even I'm not that masochistic. So instead, I plan on spending the day with your nini. We will put together your crib and get your room in some sort of order and I will ignore my nerves about the ultrasound to the best of my ability. I will desperately cling to the last remaining shreds of sanity I have left.

I keep having the most horrible dreams. I know it's a normal side effect of all the raging hormones but they just don't help my mental state. Between losing either you or your father every night in a horrible dream I have to shake myself awake from... more waiting to know you're okay is driving me mad. How do people not spend 40 weeks in a sheer state of panic while pregnant?

I want to be one of those calm, relaxed pregnant ladies who just love being pregnant and the idea that they are growing another human. I really do.

Not happening.

Don't get me wrong, kid. I love you. I love that we made you. I love that you get to be a part of both me and our dude. I love that we get to spend the rest of our lives getting to know you.

The idea that I am your current housing unit and that I am ultimately responsible for bringing you safely into this world... the pressure is overwhelming. You are a person thing and I (ME! of all people!) am entrusted to be your mother.

Holy. Crap.

Do you even know what this means?

Not only do we have to make it through another 20 weeks (20 WEEKS), I have to then remember to feed you and entertain you and teach you. I have to teach you to laugh and share and never to be a bully. I have to help mold you in a full-grown human who loves and treats people fairly and doesn't make your parents' lives miserable during the teenage years. (Karma. I know it's coming.) I have to help you with homework and make you stay in school and somehow support you, even when you make terrible decisions. I have to try to instill patience in you, when I have none myself. I have to fill you with a sense of self-worth and personal responsibility and, holy crap, I am barely there myself.

All of this and you're not even born yet.

I wonder if everyone has these hysterical fears or if other people just have their shit so together they know they are going to be awesome at making babies. I hate those people.

My complete incompetence to raise a child without serious bodily harm is probably best illustrated by this story:

At work, I have a phone charger to keep my phone plugged in while I'm working. For a few weeks now, every time I picked up my phone I would be shocked. For weeks. I never even bothered to contemplate why... just went on getting myself shocked. Just yesterday I happened to notice that there were multiple wires sticking out of the part that plugs in to my phone and threw it away. Who knows how long I would have to just allowed my fingers to be shocked without regard if I hadn't seen the wires?


It looks like you're stuck with us and all of our shortcomings. And a ridiculous amount of love. And a promise to try our best not to let you get shocked or run into walls too much.

All of my love and numb fingers,
Your mama

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Of Neuroses and Waiting

Dear Sprout,

We are now finishing up our 18th week, the week of the sweet potato. Our 18th week started off with a wonderful visit with your nana and grandpa. I think they are as excited to meet you as we are. There is a rumor that your great-grandma Betty is a little excited about your arrival, as well. You are causing quite a stir, little sweet potato.

You've become big enough that I can feel you move. It's not constant and it hasn't been for a few days now, but you're there. Just a tickle here or a soft punch there and if I blinked I'd miss it, but you've been persistent enough that I know it's you and not just gas.

I feel pretty lucky to be doing this baby thing during the age of so much information being so readily available with just a few strokes of the keyboard. This is definitely a blessing, but also a bit of a curse. For everything I Google, there are millions of responses and most are reassuring. Then there are the ones that are all gloom and doom and dismay. For every 100 responses that say everything is normal and everyone goes through the same issue, there's the one that says "Nope. Sorry. You're going to die." Guess which one sticks with me?

If anyone were to check my browser history, I'm sure they'd be shocked into stunned embarrassment. My searches generally include something like "pregnant and my nipples ____________" or "pregnant and <insert some gross bodily function here>" or "why am I burping fire?"

I would be embarrassed but I'm not even close to the first person who's ever turned to Google for the answers to those questions and many more. I am not the first person who's had to run to the internet to find out why her boobs have turned into huge, blue veined balloons. I feel much better about my neuroses thanks to site like Yahoo! Answers.

And speaking of neurosis... I just am absolutely out of my mind waiting for our ultrasound. The days are just crawling by. I cannot wait to see you, so much bigger and much more human and our big, awesome baby. This waiting is absolute torture. It makes me want to run to the doctor and beg to hear your heartbeat JUST BECAUSE I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE. I've been so lucky with all of our ultrasounds and dopplers, I've barely had to go a month without seeing or hearing you and we're rounding out 6 weeks with no baby spotting. It's nerve-wracking.

I worry a lot. Get used to it, kid.

I love you so much, sweet potato.
Your mama

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Still Feeling Perfect. Dammit.

Dear Sprout,

Again this week, we're totally boring. Nothing is going on. Absolutely nothing. Lots of simple, everyday life. This is both pleasant and dull.

I know this won't last. This week you've been the size of an onion. It's only a matter of time until I can feel all of your acrobatics. While I really love sleeping, I can't wait until the first time I'm woken up by you kicking me in the liver. I'm a masochist that way.

Pregnancy brain is setting in. I notice my mind drifting off into space more and more frequently. The other day at work, I was typing some numbers into the computer just to realize I was typing them into the phone instead. I was doing a report for the boss and once it was complete, I deleted it entirely, having to do it all over again. I forget things, I daze out, I generally feel pretty ditzy right now.

The past few days have been so gorgeous, so clear and sunny. It makes you truly see the beauty of this area when the sun is shining on the water and you can see the mountains that surround us. Yesterday was so perfect that for a moment I was genuinely ecstatic that your life will be here.

You get to be born in the most amazingly enchanting part of this country. You get to grow up surrounded by unbelievable natural beauty. All of it, you probably won't appreciate the way I do with you seeing them every day of your life. Someday you'll grow up and want to live somewhere new and I'll scoff and think you'll never find a place so magical. But I do hope you'll try.

When the sun was shining in my eyes and I was looking at the mountains yesterday, I wasn't thinking about all that you'll be missing out on-- away from our families. For those moments, I was thrilled to be able to raise our child in this place, so full of culture, excitement and a world of things to find wonder in. I like to hold onto these moments... ones so filled with hope for your future. The keep me sane, keep me from wanting to run back to the home I come from and then family I so desperately need.

Since I have nothing else to write about, I'll leave you with this. It's aimed towards girl children, but I think the pronouns can be changed and it applies to you if you're a boy. (Minus the tattoos, just be smart about it, kid.)

I love you, little baby...growing all big in there.
<3 from your mama.

"The Mother's Prayer for Her Daughter" by Tina Fey

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered,
May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half
And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.
Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes
And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.

Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For Childhood is short — a Tiger Flower blooming
Magenta for one day –
And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever,
That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,
For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,
That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck.

“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget.

But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

We Have Nothing to Write About. Stop Being Such a Good Fetus.

Dear Sprout,

I feel like I may have to phone it in with this week's post, kid. We've settled into a pleasant sameness where I feel good, nothing has changed, and our days are just business as usual. It's both comforting and boring and I can live with that.

The other day my boss asked me how far along we were and when I told her we were finishing up our fourth month, she gasped. She couldn't believe it and said the time was just flying past.

Is it?

The constant feeling of how our lives are about to change drastically and forever mixed with the excitement of keeping you healthy and eventually meeting this great kid... it feels like forever to me. Each day just drags by. I think about you so much and worry about you and I feel like this is just never going to end -- You'll just be in here forever and I'll never get to meet you.

I suppose I should enjoy my days of blah and boring and whatever, because those will be going away.

I've also been dreaming about you. A couple of nights ago, I had a dream that you were a lovely little boy and when I woke up, I realized I was far less gung-ho about having a girl. Coincidentally, I have fallen madly in love with the name your father picked out for if you are a boy, so that probably helps. Let's not tell him that though. I can't handle all of the "I told you so" for the next eternity.

Thankfully, we get to have some quality parent (your grandparents) times the next few weeks. Next weekend we get to have your nana and grandpa for the weekend. We get to see your nana fairly frequently and we are so thankful for that bit of home, especially me right now. Your Grandpa Randy, on the other hand, we see less often and his trips are definitely a treat for us.

Something you don't know, but will find out soon enough: Your Grandpa Randy... he loves being a grandpa and he's really good at it. I think the two of you will have a lot of fun.

Your nini will be here in about 4 weeks. I feel like I might explode waiting for her to be here with me. Thinking about it brings me to tears.** I want to show her our new place and set up your room with her and make her dinners and on June 6th... show her you. I have missed her so much through all of this. I never imagined I'd do this without her and your aunt with me.

Also, our dog? He's officially lost his mind. I doubt highly he knows just what's about to happen to his leisurely days on my lap the next five months or how seriously his world is about to be rocked, but he's become very protective of me. He's always been a sweet, cuddly puppy, but right now he can't bear to be more than three feet away from me. He must (MUST) sleep on my belly or curled around the belly. He's also taken up being on high alert and every strange noise results in a a jump to my lap, some barking and, at times, growling. I don't know that he understands that a new human is cooking in there, but he does know that he must protect the belly at all costs.

I love you, boy or girl child, I love you so very much,

Your mama

**I'm not trying to make her feel guilty. Other things that have brought me to super sad tears this week: Episodes of Super Nanny, when your dad kisses you through my tummy and tells you good morning, not being able to decide on a Chinese restaurant, forgetting my wallet, a rainy morning, and missing the crap out of my own mama.