Pregnancy + Writing Don’t Mix

Well my brain has picked up and moved out. Beyond getting through the regular motions of my day there is nothing going on upstairs right now… I’ve gotten sick of staring down blank pages and empty computer screens.  By the time I muster up the mental power needed to put a few words down I’m so exhausted with the effort that my pregnant body shuts down and instanap.  I fall asleep with my laptop balancing on my belly. I’m trying to accept that it’s where I’m at today, as hard as it is.

While I wait for my mind and my ability to write anything at all to come back at least I get to look at cute baby stuff.  That helps a bit.

Bunny Lovie

Bunny Lovie

This stuffed bunny has a nice story.  When my mom was pregnant with me she bought a stuffed animal the very day she heard my heartbeat.  She had a funny feeling about the bear when she saw him sitting on the shelf at the toy store.  On her way home, she couldn’t even tuck him all the way in the shopping bag.  She left his head peeking out.  Mr. Bear became my most beloved toy when I was young. Of all the stuffed animals I had I picked him out especially.

Back to this little bunny… My mom bought him at a bookstore over the summer on a whim.  When she saw him she had the same funny feeling she had when she first saw Mr. Bear.  She decided she had to buy the rabbit for her future grandchild.  My husband and I hadn’t mentioned that we were even thinking about having a baby.  My dad of course told her it was crazy and that she shouldn’t pressure us into having kids and so on.  But she bought the bunny, vowing she’d stash him away for whenever we did decide to have a baby.  It turns out that I was five weeks pregnant the day she bought him.  My mom’s intuition is uncanny.

Things that come in size tiny are also pretty adorable. It’s still hard to imagine that we will be putting these little booties on teeny feet that are already growing.

Booties

Booties

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Finding Bliss

Morning View from the Lanai (c) Open Hearted

Morning View from the Lanai (c) Open Hearted

I found pure blissed out heaven this morning. We woke up to this view from the back porch of the tiny cottage we rented in Kauai.  H and I planned this trip with about five days notice deciding on a whim that we needed to get up and out of San Francisco for a while.  H is in between jobs and headed in to a challenging work environment. We’re staring down the last three months of my pregnancy before our family becomes three. Time keeps rushing by us at breathtaking speed.  We needed to create a calm moment for ourselves. I’m hoping we find even greater joy on the other side of this birth, but the uncertainty and total relinquishment of control is stressful.

We came to Kauai for our honeymoon a year and a half ago and it was less than a perfect trip.  The hotel was like a parking lot in the middle of a golf course (stay away from the Westin Kauai).  We hadn’t done much research on the weather and weren’t prepared for the dramatic thunderstorms common on the North Shore.  The emotional overwhelm of the wedding made it really hard for me to relax and enjoy. I was overjoyed to be married to H, but the sheer overload of feelings around the wedding left me a little shell-shocked.  Ever since we finished that trip, I’ve wanted a redo on our honeymoon.  Now became the perfect time.

Coming back I had a completely different attitude, open to whatever experience was in store for us.  This morning I found the peace and stillness that I usually only get for a moment or two at the end of a really great yoga practice.  I wish I could find this kind of joy and stillness in the midst of my every day life in San Francisco – tap into gratitude and find the beauty and joy in the every day.  We’re only on day one of the trip and I know I’ll come home restored, my well filled up again to overflowing.  It will be more than enough to sustain me through this next transition and I’m very grateful for that.

Every Day is a Good Day

Every day is a good day.  I try to remember that as often as I can, but I usually only remember it on the really wonderful days or the really terrible days.  Thankfully today was a wonderful one.  I don’t know exactly what it is, but I feel like I hit my stride today.  I’ve found some level of acceptance with all of the physical changes brought about by the pregnancy – nonexistent energy, an increasingly round body, psychotic hormones, brain fog and more.  With a lot, a lot, a lot of mindful practice I’m doing a better job of staying in the moment too.  If I don’t, I get swept up in all of the uncertainty of not knowing what my life is going to be like in four months when our family of two becomes three.

I have to learn over and over again that worrying doesn’t actually accomplish anything.  I read somewhere (and ha! just remembered where) that worrying is meditating on a bad outcome.  My first thought was well of course. This simple way of framing worrying has changed things for me so much. It helped me get over it by seeing how much energy I pour into things not working out how I want them too.

I think the other big piece of feeling so good lately has been tapping back into gratitude.  I read this woman’s story the other day (be warned it had me in tears).  It’s a really powerful example of finding the gift in a really hard situation and tapping into the gratitude.  When I remember to be thankful, I remember that I have enough of everything I need, that I am enough just as I am. It helps everything.

Melt Down – Week 6

Well the first week of pregnancy was all joy and excitement and perfect physical condition. No symptoms I thought to myself my body is totally made for this I got this, no sweat.  This week I’m having more of a melt down. The fact that our house is in complete chaos because we’re moving has left my head spinning.  I can’t quite catch my breath.  That coupled with the fact that morning sickness kicked in today was enough to send me into a small melt down.

The hormones they are raging today. I’m tired.  I’m nauseated and I’m scared.  I’m scared about being a mom as much as I’m excited about it. Will I be any good at it? What will it look like? What will our life be like?  So many questions and no idea what the answers might be.

Part of me feels like I’m going to be all consumed by having a baby and become a parent instead of a person.  Another part of me fears that my husband won’t be able to give me the support that I need, or that I’ll need too much.  Not to mention, I don’t have a strong support system of friends here. I have friends I can call and keep in touch with, and who knows maybe this experience will bring me closer to other moms.

I felt so good, so light last week on the joy of finding out I had a little soul holding on to me. I convinced myself, alright, this is going to be easy sailing. I got this no worries.  Even at the relief I felt knowing that I can do this, the little voice in the back of my head said, “this feeling too shall pass.” Well it’s always a Godsend when I’m going through a tough time, but it’s harder having to remember that the highs are also impermanent.

At some level I’m thankful I touched the joy in a way I haven’t in a really long time.  Yes it’s true though.  Those feelings passed, but I feel the current anxiety and fear that swept me away this evening dissipating too.  I think this is also passing.  Accepting where I am – will probably always be one of my greatest challenges.

Sometimes I really wish I had a best friend. Someone whose house I could invite myself over to for a cup of tea and to talk.  Maybe after her kids were asleep or in bed.  A place to cry and grumble about our husbands and laugh with each other. Another woman to understand and empathize.  I’m confident that I’ll find the friendship I’m looking for some day.  Though, there’s no magic trick.  Finding that sort of friendship won’t make all my anxieties and fears disappear.  It might help me wade through it more easily.  For now though, it’s up to me to meet my own needs, stay present, and not get too swept up in waves of feelings.

Originally written the week of July 9.

We Loooove the Babies – Week 5

Though I’m married, and at an “acceptable” age to have kids, whatever that means, I’ve neither heard my biological clock ticking, nor have I had an inexplicable urge to snatch a baby from the nearest stroller to snuggle him in my arms and smell his head.

I’ve always wanted children and so has the husband, but the when part was very hazy.  Anytime I saw a movie or read anything about a woman giving birth I went into a complete tail spin.  Hard to breathe, thinking: “Ah do they really stitch your private parts up, for real? No thank you.  MmmMmm not happening until they figure out pain-free child labor.”

Then a bit sooner than we expected, we were blessed with a baby.  I’m officially five weeks pregnant. We’re excited and overwhelmed and experiencing a whole bucket load of emotions.  BUT, my hormones have turned me into The Dude, Jeffrey Lebowski.  I just kind of go with what comes along now.  My brain used to freak out at the thought of giving birth.  The hormones are a really powerful, really good drug though. Now every time I  think, “Ah I’m having a kid!” and what that means, I get to the verge of panicking. Then, “Hey, hey you. Remember? You looovee the babies,” this new voice says to me, sounding mysteriously like Barry White (huh?). “Oh… right, yeah, I love the babies. But, but, but… “No you reallly loove the babies.” “Oh yeah, I really do love the babies.  Guys, guys! I really love the babies! Child birth, it’s cool. I’m cool, I got this.”

Everything feels fine, everything  feels easy.  It’s like I’ve hypnotized myself, or the baby-growing hormones have completely and totally taken over.  My body keeps saying, “I got this we’re good. It’s all good baby.” My hormones are making me feel in balance and awesome all the frigging time and I loveses it. Of course I don’t expect this to last more than five minutes. I know there will be lots and lots of ups and downs over the course of the next nine months or so.

Tonight, though, I was cooking dinner and It’s Hip to Be Square came on my iPod. What can I say I’m a sucker for 80s music.  I felt this little rush of joy dancing around the kitchen, and I had this sense that I wasn’t alone.  I was dancing with my new little one, sharing a little secret with him or her that’s it’s cool to shake your booty, just smile, and enjoy.  So thanks little one, for picking us. We can’t wait for you to join us out here.  I already feel your little soul hanging around and I know this is going to be one awesome adventure.

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I debated for a while whether to post about having a baby.  I decided that I love writing here because I write about whatever I want. So here it is.  I wrote this entry on July 2 and will be posting a few other backlogged posts this week.