Writing

Parting Thought(s)

I come to this nearly abandoned space without apology.  This election has been too big to remain a silent participant.

I have been sitting with my thoughts for two days.  I have so many it’s hard to make sense of them.  But I process with words.  These are just a few.

There is so much grief.


For the nearly 9 years I’ve been present in this space, I have yet to overtly voice my political opinion.  I seem to be able to wax on and on about design, dinners, and days in the sun.  I’ve alluded to my political leanings with quotes and hints at how I volunteer my time.  I can say the same for my religious affiliation.  I believe this quote; but now is the time for words. Words matter; they have weight and meaning. In this space I’ve not wanted to offend nor seem intolerant, never wanting to be lumped into one group or category and labeled just a demographic box.  But every day millions of my fellow citizens who are anything other than “white” wake up to such a reality — a demographic box.  And they are terrified…. as am I.

In recent weeks I heard someone say “liberals take Trump literally but not seriously and conservatives take Trump seriously but not literally.”  I’m still processing this pithy summary.  But how are we NOT supposed to take him literally when he seemed to repeat the same horrible things?  History will be the final judge; however, that is little comfort for those of us here and now.

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Greetings From 9 Months

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I’ve been searching for my words in others’. I know they won’t be there; but somehow my thoughts are still a jumbled mess of syllables inside my mind. Much like my little monkey learning to babble, it’s how I feel about trying to articulate just what exactly has happened over these last 9 months.

The overwhelming love and joy that I have begun to experience since Heston turned 7 months is white-washing the nightmare that was my daily routine from day 1 – month 7. Everyone says you’ll forget the hard times, and maybe they are right. But it’s not that I’ve forgotten…but I can’t quite remember it, rather articulate it… it’s still so foggy and yet I can’t believe that I actually have “hindsight”.  We were in the trenches.  And then we weren’t.   I may not have the words for it, but I feel that I’ve been marked, branded, in some unique way.  And I’m talking about more than the permanent dark circles under my eyes and the severe postpartum hair loss (how did I not know this was a thing?!); nor is it the mark of general motherhood — but it is the mark of mothering an un-well baby, battling the demons of expectations and comparison, and digging down to a very deep, personal place to find the strength to get up again and again — for 7 months straight.

Color 9.21.05 PM

There are things I spontaneously remember that I’ve clearly already forgotten about…. My mantra for so long was “don’t forget about this,” but the way PTSD works, you’re supposed to forget, to be able to move on.  So while my pen had no fortitude and my memory no energy, nothing is more telling than my google search history; my digital legacy paints quite the picture.

  • what’s wrong with my baby
  • newborn won’t stop crying
  • newborn choking
  • what to do with a newborn
  • does my baby hate me
  • baby poop by color
  • how do i know if I’m going crazy
  • how long can I go without sleep
  • sleep deprivation as torture

And let’s not even go down the google rabbit hole of the breastfeeding problems I was having.  Oh Lawdy.

But I keep waiting to be able to articulate my experience to write in this space, but I think what’s needed is a fresh page, starting now.  So I’ll start with the present.

At 9 months, my little monkey is finally mobile.  He still breastfeeds, so eating is more about trial and error and tactile experience rather than nutrition.  But he loves almost any flavor food I’ve tried, spices and all.  But things with texture… not so much.  Because I’ve never been around babies I’m not sure what is unique to his personality, but I’m picking up on what others say about him. One of the most common comments I hear when we’re out and about is, “he’s so serious!”  And he is.  Whilst out in the world, he likes to be worn in my ring sling.  And he’s SO contemplative.  He sits straight-faced, soaking it all in.  But when we’re at home, he’s all squeals and giggles.  He’s definitely my kid.

His head is finally becoming more proportionate to his body and is in the 71st percentile (down from 92nd!), while height is 47th percentile and weight is 24th.  Watermelon on a toothpick.  And he’s wonderful.

 

My Birth Story

Prologue:

I don’t have the “Pinterest Perfect” images I thought I might capture during my labor and delivery (you know, a la Kate Middleton).  But these images are invaluable to me and was all thanks to my amazing doula for being able to multitask.  They are raw and real and capture the energy of the experience. What I’ve written here is not everything I remember from that amazing day; I could write more about expectations, conversations with my nurse and the choice to encapsulate my placenta. But those are stories for another time.  

Day 1

Well, I should clarify, this is not MY birth story, but rather, my son’s!  *insert some serious side eye*

Like any lover of good stories, I love me a good birth narrative.  It’s got great story structure built right in: an obvious beginning, middle, climax, and then an end.  Even when I adamantly didn’t want children, I still loved this narrative. And it’s time I add mine to the history books.

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Coming Up For Air

Struggle Quote

I think we’ve finally emerged from the fog of newborn days….20 weeks later!  I think I’ve finally caught my breath.  I seem to not only have my nose above water, but I’m actually treading water over here.  I’ve got a lot to say.  I hope I can find the words to adequately capture the last 20 weeks of my life.  Maybe it will all come out all at once, maybe it will trickle slowly.  But words are what I need right now to keep this experience in perspective.  And I want to remember; I want to not have rose colored glasses when hindsight is all I have.  I feel a new strength has surfaced…and lord knows I’ll need it as I find my new pattern of life.

*Mediterranean Sea Moraira, Spain, 2014*

The Day Is Near

Waiting

How do you describe the day before you know you’ll meet your child?  I am being induced tomorrow.  My mom texted me today and said that today feels different for her; for me it feels the same as the last 39 1/2 weeks — completely normal and completely surreal.

My last post at 34 weeks seems like yesterday and 100 years ago.  Maybe this is the entirety of being/becoming a parent: a constant paradox.

Ironically, since my shingles has cleared up, I’ve never felt better.  Really, these last 2 weeks in particular have been the best of my entire pregnancy.  Don’t get me wrong, my pelvis is about to completely fall apart and I walk like a 2,000 year old person, but mentally I’m finally there.  I’m finally ready to say: #letsdothis!

When I went in for my 37 week check up the doc told me, much to my surprise that I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  The adrenaline kicked in.  At my 38 week check up I was 3cm and 80% effaced.  The adrenaline really kicked in and I thought for sure I would be meeting my monkey over Memorial Day Weekend.  So last Friday at my 39 week appointment I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, my progress has stalled and I’m still the same (3 & 80).

The emotion of it all manifested at the 37 week check up.  My sis came over that weekend and helped us set up the guest room baby’s room.  She and I and B nearly all lost it a few times, but especially during another Target run when I realized that I lost my mucus plug.  It was “gettin’ real in the whole foods parkin’ lot” if you know what I mean.  But we’ve all had time to settle a bit and now I just feel calm — a really weird calm.

I feel really fortunate to have gotten a little staycation weekend with the hubs over Memorial Day weekend.  We thought for sure it was our last together as a family of two so we made the most of it.  We watched like 5 movies (even went to the theater for one of them!) and cleaned the house, played cards, cooked almost all our meals at home together, limited phone calls, slept a lot; it was magic.  Then nothing.  I was all geared up — or rather zen-ed out — and then, nothing.

So I’ve tried to keep that level of internal calm for nearly another two weeks.  I’ve tried to be present to every opportunity — including junky tv, a random breakfast date, “long” walks, watching B cook for me, listening to music and meditations, and just sitting in the quiet of the house staring at my budding lemon tree.  I know that there will never be a time like this again.  As melodramatic and cliche as it sounds, I know life will never be the same again.

But I am ready.  I am ready for this new journey; a chance for renewed self-discovery and connection with my husband and the world.  And mostly, I’m ready to get this squirmy creature out of my body so I can squish it pieces!

Wish me luck!

It Is What It Is – Thoughts On My Pregnancy (so far)

Thirty one weeks….  T-H-I-R-T-Y O-N-E W-E-E-K-S people.

31 Weeks

I finally feel like I can spend some time reflecting on this whole thing.  Time is such a strange phenomenon and concept.  Pregnancy has been one of the most unusual and difficult experiences of my life (and sometimes overwhelmingly amazing).  Let’s go ahead and add to that experience the purchase of a new home, a remodel of said home, moving, and having a husband in a major accident and unable to use one leg for 10+ weeks.

I guess I should start from the beginning… (hang on, this is a LONG one)

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I Resolve To…

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In the past I’ve been up for resolutions/goals at the start of a new year, but these days, it’s a good day if I can get pants on by noon.  I’ve had the privilege of working from home since August; this worked out well since I found out I was pregnant the first of September.  Strange sleeping hours, constant peeing, and being so exhausted that the thought of expending energy on brushing my hair was paralyzing has all been great to experience from my own home.  I’m one of the lucky ones for sure and I do NOT take it for granted.

Although I’m not up to making resolutions since I have so much on my plate right now I’m lazy, I do want the hubs to make a few!  *insert giggling emoticon*  Really, just one: standing up at work.  No, not metaphorically, but literally.  I know we’ve been inundated with “sitting is the new smoking”, but I’m surprised at how few workplace environments are doing something about it.

I read this great article about one woman’s experience and decision to stand at her desk at work.  I like that she was honest and said it was HARD at first, but eventually she’s become a convert and now she’ll never go back.  Read the whole account here.  I get really worried about the hubs sitting at his computer hunched over all day just clicking away — really that’s all architects do by the way: click, click, click.  But he assures me he takes regular breaks and he does usually walk somewhere in the neighborhood for lunch, but still… I guess for now I should probably focus on being able to get myself to go around the block at least once a day, much less stand for 8 hours!

If and when I am ready to make some habit changes, I will have to remember what I learned yesterday in this interesting article.  The premise of which is that if we want to make change/break a habit then it is not enough to just change our attitude about something, but that we need to disrupt our environment.

…our environments come to unconsciously direct our behavior. Even behaviors that we don’t want…

We think of ourselves as controlling our behavior, willing our actions into being, but it’s not that simple.

It’s as if over time, we leave parts of ourselves all around us, which in turn, come to shape who we are.

I guess it’s not just mind over matter after all.

Finally

Let’s all take a minute to deeply exhale… we made it through another summer! Fall is officially here today as the high was only 85.  I love the metaphor my friend used — “the fever broke”.

It was an interesting and full summer and I’m glad I took a break from this space.  But also, I missed it.  And my sabbatical allowed me to miss it.  While I was away I worked (and worked and worked) and spent a lot of time thinking (it’s kind of what I do) about everything that is life.  I read books, watched movies, went on (not enough) walks, took a few photos, visited family and flexed other creative parts of my brain.

But I’m ready to be back…. so let’s do this internet!

Fall 2014

Weekend Thoughts

A very dear friend text me this quote last week when I was having a brief existential crisis.  I liked it so much I thought I would share it in this space, because surely I am not the only one that threw up her corn dog and cotton candy.  And usually I’m snapping away during my weekend adventures, but this weekend my phone/camera stayed zipped away.  The hubs is still studying (testing on Friday!) and so my sister came over to the big city so we could find her a new chair and a rug for her office.  And if I was doubting it at all, summer is indeed here — hello humidity. I then finished out the longest day of the year by painting a little (and of course meditating)! On Sunday I read a hodge-podge of things and practiced my Adobe Illustrator skills and now it’s already the last week in June.  Good grief.

Life Is A Theme Park