New Mama Musings

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Like a Rock

I just realized something...for the first time in my life, I have rock-hard abs.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to say that again?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Guided By Voices

They say that fetuses can hear things in utero and learn to recognize their father's voice to the point that when they're born they can identify his voice and are soothed by it.

My husband makes a point of talking to the baby, and we talk a lot in general, so I'm sure our baby will know his voice.

Of course, he may be confused about whether his daddy is actually my husband or Billie Joe Armstrong, Robert Siegel or Homer Simpson. But it's all good.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Where's the Reverence?

While my husband is out of the country I thought I'd share with you the idea he has for a maternity shirt. Keep in mind that my stomach has grown to shelf-like proportions.

Are you ready?

He wants to sew a coaster onto the front of a shirt.

He came up with this brilliant idea while we were visiting friends and he was looking for somewhere to set down his beer.

I'm busy growing a human being and he gets tired holding onto a bottle. Sheesh.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

My husband departed for Toulouse, France on a business trip today. The poor guy left the house at 3pm, has two layovers and arrives in Toulouse at 3:30pm Sunday (their time). Then he has two long days of meetings with the people at Airbus before he turns around and heads back home Wednesday starting at 6:30am Toulouse time. He won't get home until almost 4pm on Wednesday.

The really sad part is that he turns forty on Tuesday and he won't be home for us to celebrate on his actual birthday.

I think this is the longest we've ever been apart. I don't know how other couples deal with long-term separations. I miss my husband already.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Love to Love You Baby

The other night my husband and I were watching the series finale of "Everybody Loves Raymond." (Yes, I like my pop culture. You wanna make something of it?)

When I rolled over onto my side to relieve the pressure on my back, the baby started moving around like crazy. My husband laid his hand on my belly, leaned down and started talking to him as he often does.

And that's when the moment worth blogging about happened: I felt my first surge of love for this baby.

Not that I didn't love the baby before, or want him, or hope that he was healthy and well, because of course I did.

But you know that feeling you get when you love someone so much that suddenly your chest tightens and it's hard to breathe? (I certainly hope you have. It's one of those things life is all about.)

That's what I felt, watching and feeling this baby move around inside me, with his daddy looking on. And from what I hear, it only gets more intense, more full of joy and pain, as time goes on. I can't wait.

Monday, May 16, 2005

What's in a name?

My husband and I pretty much have a name picked out for the baby. The first name is actually one he wanted to use for his second child, but he couldn't get a consensus on that.

I really like it, though, and it goes well with the middle name we've chosen. But there are still two-and-a-half months left in this pregnancy and there's always the slightest chance we'll change our minds.

Most people are pretty cool with us saying, "We have a name in mind, but we're not 100% certain, so we're not telling anyone until the baby is born."

Most people except my husband's sisters, that is. We saw them last weekend and they would not let it drop. They were trying to guess -- Is it a really strange name, or is it traditional? Give us the first letter! -- and then one of my sisters-in-law actually guessed it.

My husband doesn't think this is so terrible, but I was a bit peeved. I mean, if we want to tell people we will, and if we don't want to tell people, then let us surprise everyone after the baby arrives. Don't ruin it for us by guessing.

On a lighter note, my stepdaughter continually asks what the baby's name is, too. I keep telling her that we don't know yet; her dad and I will decide when the baby is born. One day after receiving my pat response she said, "How 'bout...Tweety Bird?"

The funny thing is that she wasn't joking. Hey, maybe we could call him T.B. for short.

Friday, May 13, 2005

"The BeBe"

So, I'm 28 weeks along, and I've been feeling -- and seeing! -- the baby move a lot in the past several weeks. I can't tell you how fascinating I find this. It's better than TV.

I just read on that around this time the baby is about two-and-a-half pounds and measures 12 to 16 inches. That seems impossible, although I know he's all curled up. They don't call it the fetal position for nothing!

Last night I was watching "The O.C." (what can I my mind at least I'm not too old for Adam Brody or too young for Peter Gallagher) and I kept feeling the baby poking me in the ribs. I felt around for him and came across something hard and pointy. When I pressed down on it, it moved.

For some reason this seemed much different than the times I lay my hand over my stomach and feel the little twitches and bumps as the baby moves underneath. This was like, "Hey Mom, quit pushing on me!"

Can anyone tell me what happened in Orange County last night?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Maybe the Subconscious Naps Occasionally...

Because last night I dreamed that I had four separate cesarean sections (on the same day) and during each procedure the doctor pulled out four golden retrievers. (Not puppies, mind you, but full-grown dogs.)

When all was said and done we kept them under the kitchen table and were considering how many to give away and how many to keep.

Anyone looking for a dog from a good home?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What in the Hell is Going on Here?

The other night as I was changing clothes both my husband and I looked down at my body at the same time and said, "Whoa."

It was as though we were examining something outside of either of ourselves, a separate entity. That's what it feels like sometimes. I can't believe this is my body doing all these crazy things.

I thought maybe I should catalog a few of the changes for posterity...hopefully things will go back to normal to some degree when all is said and done.

My breasts. Sure, why not: let's start with the twins. I won't go into too much detail here, but things that were pigmented before have darkened and expanded. Things that used to defy gravity no longer do so.

My face. I was breaking out a lot but started using a benzoyl peroxide cleanser, which helped considerably. However, now that my skin is clear, I've noticed the "mask of pregnancy," which sounds way cooler than it is. (I was thinking of getting a cape and some Wonder Woman boots and starting a fad.) It's basically a skin discoloration common during pregnancy in which pale brown blotches appear on the face.

My stomach. It's large (and only getting larger). I actually bump into things, like you would knock into something with a purse you didn't realize was hanging so far off your body. It's also getting more and more difficult to bend over, so I've taken to squatting down whenever I need to pick something up...which happens a lot more than I would have thought.

I also have the "linea nigra," a dark pigmented line that runs from the top of the abdomen past the belly button to the top of the pubic bone. And the skin around the belly button itself is blotchy and dark. I'm still obsessively checking for stretch marks (which I heard one woman describe as "flames of love," but who is she kidding?); nuthin' yet.

Also, the baby started moving in earnest (Ernest...there's a name we hadn't considered) a few weeks ago. You can actually see the movement sometimes, which is seriously freaky. Something's in there, that's all I know for sure.

A few people have asked me if I've had any cravings, and I really haven't. Well, I've been loving the chocolate lately, but that's not unusual for me. Which leads me to another comment I've gotten that's surprising in light of the chocolate consumption, which is that I'm carrying the weight (all twenty pounds, y'all) mainly in front.

What a strange turn of events. I never would have guessed how happy it would make me to hear that my weight gain is mostly in my stomach.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Subconscious Never Sleeps

A few nights ago I dreamed that my husband was supposed to meet me at a family gathering on Christmas Day but never showed. My feeling (in the dream) was that he was intentionally ignoring me.

In real life my husband is very considerate of my feelings and would never play on my abandonment issues. He's learned to always kiss me goodbye in the morning before leaving for work, even if I'm sound asleep.

Then last night I dreamed I was back in high school (you know this can't be good) and my two best friends at the time finished up senior year early. They didn't return to school after spring break and never bothered to contact me. They just left.

Unlike my husband, these two women did hurt me in real life. In the ten-odd years since then I've come to believe that their actions had more to do with them than with me. But the trajectory of those relationships nevertheless helped shape who I am today.

I've heard that pregnancy and childbirth can sometimes cause unresolved issues to bubble to the surface. I don't know if it's the stress on one's body, the surging hormones, or the impending life change, but maybe it's true.

My friend Andrea told me about a tribe of people who have a ritual surrounding when a couple want to start a family. The man and woman come to the tribal leaders and tell them they wish to have a baby. The leaders then send them off, separately, to stay at the family homes they grew up in to work through their issues and resolve any lingering problems they may have.

The idea is that once they shed themselves of past hurts the man and woman can begin raising a child free of any baggage. (Though I'm pretty sure they don't use the word baggage in their culture.)

Maybe dreams are a way for the subconscious to force those of us in "civilized society" to deal with things from the past. I know that I have a fear of being left out, left alone and left behind, and my dreams sometimes reflect that. I guess I need to do some thinking about why I feel this way and what to do about it.

Either that or I'll have to see about slipping that pesky subconscious a mickey so it finally takes a break.