Wednesday, June 27, 2007

introducing . . .

My unborn kid's profile, with right hand bonking forehead.

Between the pointy nose and the "oh DUH!" gesture, I'm sure it's mine.

Other details:
- I was relieved to see a normal spine, ten fingers and ten toes.
- The kid appears to have wide feet (like me).
- Either the kid is slightly small, or I'm closer to 19 weeks pregnant instead of 20. I'm hoping for small!
- Mr. Hubby is a bit honked off that I didn't change my mind and try to find out the sex of the baby. I told him that he can be the first to tell me the sex of the baby after it's born.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

20 weeks to go

junglebetti-trivia-buffs already know of my photo-posting-paranoia; I admire people who are comfortable with posting photos of themselves and their families on the internet, but I'm still convinced that the boogieman/stalk-o-monster will find me if I do so myself. Or maybe I'm just too damn vain for my own good.

In any case, I've come to a compromise that was inspired by how bad my hair has been looking lately, how kind my coworker was to take the time to coax data off of my digital camera then copy it for me, and the chaos involved in getting Mr. Hubby to snap these photos before dashing off to work.

With no further fanfare, I present you:

Sexy, no?

Monday, June 25, 2007

~~ fuming ~~

Just a quick public rant:

I've kept up a positive attitude about my crawlspace needing major repairs, even to the point that I was still considering making some improvements to the inside of my house before the baby arrives. I'd figure out the ca$h end of the equasion somehow - I'm a smart, creative gal in control of my finances . . .

I've hit ANOTHER roadbump and am having a hard time staying even keeled about it, because it is, in part, my fault for tempting fate.

I've never backed up any data on my home computer.

My harddrive died.

I have thousands of photos (dating back to 2002) and two weeks worth of music on that computer. There is a POSSIBILITY that specialists can retrieve that data for me but it is going to CO$T me. IF I had purchased an external harddrive, this wouldn't be as big a deal - I'd still need a new computer, but wouldn't have the added you're-a-dumbass data-retrieval fee added to this disaster.

My excuse for not backing up my data?
My computer was less than a year old.



** UPDATE **

I had FIVE days left on my original coverage plan! At least the price of replacing the hard drive is covered - I'm still responsible for the data retrieval fee, but every little bit helps . . .

Friday, June 22, 2007


How's this for a sentence I never thought I'd type?

Yoga completely kicked my ass yesterday.

I made a point not to over-exert or over-stretch myself, but I became overheated and lightheaded to the point that I sat like a lump on my mat and watched other (bigger) pregnant ladies assume various poses. PeacefulMama usually only teaches on Saturdays, so I was being taught by SilverMama, a middle-aged woman so calm and nurturing she could surely talk the craziest cat out of the tallest tree -or- assist a laboring mother through a drug-free birth.

True to my spazzy form, the first time I took a yoga class from SilverMama I did a klunky job and referred to sciatic pain as "that pain in my ass" and followed up that impressive display of tact by not being able to stop myself from grabbing the foot of the woman in front of me. We were balancing with one knee on the ground, the other leg stretched out straight behind with either both hands on the mat or one hand (opposite of stretched leg) reaching out. Her foot was right there! My hand was right there! I (accurately) judged that the gal wouldn't mind; she chirped at me in a friendly sarcastic voice "I'm trying to concentrate on yoga" and I panted back "I'm helping you concentrate!"

SilverMama seemed less than thrilled with my clowning around but continued to be patient with me. I was relieved when she actually seemed happy to see me return to her class yesterday.

But back to whining.

Although my midsection doesn't look very big, I feel immobilized by it; I can only guess that my ligaments have lots of stretching to do still. The best I can describe, it is like being Thanksgiving-afternoon level stuffed full of food, but add a horribly hollow hungry feeling with a dash of heartburn AND random stabby pains most likely to be triggered by *daring to* twist one's torso or sneeze without lifting up one or both of your knees first.

I know that stretching will help in the long run, but in the short term, I think I'd be more comfortable couch-surfing with my pets.

When I returned home, I ate some leftover pasta, had a bowl of cereal for dessert then flopped in my recliner for a while in the hopes I could avoid slamming myself with heartburn by going to bed at the rock-n-roll hour of 8pm. Taking into account several bathroom breaks, a few snack breaks, and gathering my thunderstorm-paralyzed cat to hide under the covers with me, I didn't get out of bed until 8:15 this morning - and I STILL think a nap would be fantastic.

Over 20 weeks to go folks - I don't think I'm going to become more graceful (physically, mentally -or- socially) any time soon. This is gonna get interesting.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

19 weeks

Not understanding the true sucky qualities of early pregnancy, I formulated a plan 13 weeks ago:

1) I honestly thought I'd have the kid's room cleaned out, repainted, and ready to fill with baby schtuff by the time I was half through my pregnancy.

2) I would have money saved up by now to pay all my hospital (birthing) bills so I'd have one less thing to be concerned about while recovering from the birthing process.


Instead, the computer room remains a computer room, although much of the contents have been dispersed all over the rest of the house in a random manner. The bookshelves I planned on building by now haven't even been drafted up - I do know I'm using knotty pine with a linseed oil finish, that counts for something, except that mental plans don't hold physical stuff. Although I've hauled a few carloads of crap out of the house, it seems that the house is more cluttered than ever.

Peh. Money? It seems that soon as we tightened the 'ol budget belt we had more repairs than usual to make and new expenses began cropping up, drastically slowing the saving process. My most recent bitch is needing to spend $$$ on the crawlspace of my house, apparently they built 'em dumb in '78. Good news is that we don't have a mold problem yet, bad news is that the situation won't fix itself. If we knew for a fact that we were going to move away from this house in the next 5 years (not likely) and would definately find starry-eyed-newbie-dumbass-first-time-homebuyers (like we were) to purchase our house, we could let the situation fester. I guess it is important to focus on the positive; at least when we DO sell the house someday, we can say "crawlspace renovated in 2008". Sexy selling point, eh?

I highly doubt that I'm going to accomplish my stated goals within the next seven days, so I'm recalibrating my goals instead. Any suggestions??

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Average" never sounded so fantastic

A normal fetal heart rate usually is between 120 and 160 beats per minute, the average rate is 140 beats per minute.

At 18 weeks gestation, I don't know much about my baby, but I DO know that (at least this afternoon) the kid has an average heart rate. I'm surprised at my reaction: I'm PROUD - as if the kid is accomplishing something by not having a fast or slow heartrate.

Perhaps I'm well on my way to developing a snobby "my baby is supreme" attitude, or more likely, I'm very relieved to know that things seem to be going well in uterus-land.

In other news,
When I asked my midwife how busy she was in the middle of November, a flash of panic crossed her face. So I got more direct "What's the likelyhood that you'll be there when I give birth?" From her answer, I got the impression that she will be there, but she may be running between many rooms at the hospital. Eeeep!

I nearly spiraled into pout-mode to think I might be sharing my midwife and won't get all her attention, but instead I came to a solid decision that I'm going to hire a doula to take care of me during birth.

A qualified person will:
help me feel safe
boss me around if neccessary
not mind if I scream at her
be great at massage
have a sense of humor
and not mind if I accidently puke on her

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

aren't I professional?

Yeah . . . so I just got off the phone with my sister (as I sit in my cubicle at work, 'cause I'm a SINNER like that) first laughing like a goon as a told her about a ridiculous dream I had (involving her as a child) and then irritably using a variation of the "F" word to express my displeasure that I'm going to spend (less than?) 2.5 days with her during my entire pregnancy.

I followed up that classy recommendation-letter-builder by taking a call from my husband, who like the sweetheart he is, likes to offer me analysis and peptalks when I'm discouraged - except that I was not in the mood to hear it, and had to repeatedly chant the phrase "I'm done talking about this, I'm done talking about this" with an increasingly irritated and increasingly loud voice.

Normally I'm moderately good about keeping personal calls short and professional, but I reeeeeeeeeeally blew it today. Mysteriously, no one has asked me to assist them with anything, and I suspect that no one will for quite some time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Today I found out that my health insurance will not cover the cost of an ultrasound - and that an ultrasound costs more than $300.00.

Craaap - this whole "saving money for baby" gig is turning out to be tougher than I anticipated.

I'm going to discuss the *possibility* of not having an ultrasound with my medical professionals; I need more information before I can make a solid decision. I have friendly aquaintences with women who did not have ultrasounds while pregnant, and they didn't regret it - but I don't know what criteria they based their decision on.

I decided to cut all caffiene out of my diet when I found out I was pregnant because, although small amounts of caffiene don't *seem* to hurt the unborn, no doctor or nurse is going to tell me "Miss, you really MUST consume some caffiene!"

Since there are suggested limits to the number of ultrasounds you expose your unborn child to, does that imply that the are possibly damaging, or at minimum disturbing the unborn? Would a medical professional tell a pregnant woman who was not experiencing any suggestive symptoms that she MUST have an ultrasound?

Guess I'm going to find out on Thursday.

P.S. I was already "iffy" on non-necessary ultrasounds before finding out about the $$$ involved. I'm more interested giving my kid a healthy start, and I'm all too aware that the accepted norm is frequently not the healtiest option.

Monday, June 11, 2007

pink or blue . . . pink or blue?

I'm really not sure I want to know the sex of my unborn child. I've heard so many "they thought they were having a girl and then their baby boy was surrounded by pink for months" stories, that I have to wonder if it is worthwhile to try to find out. I also cringe when I hear people speak of unborn babies as if they know what their personality traits will be; "My feisty little guy . . ." "My stubborn little girl . . ." What the hell? Can in-utero kicks be translated like Morse code?

Also? I like magenta (duh), but I'm not a big fan of pink.
As a tiny tot, my *favorite* outfit was colorful sneakers, blue jeans and a red turtleneck. My favorite dress was grey with horizontal red stripes, and I threw my first prissy hissy fit in kindergarten when (during a birthday party) someone accidentally spilled my raspberry sorbet punch all over it: my dress is soggy and perhaps ruined, AND there is no extra punch to refill my cup?! I think I was given a cup of orange juice as a consolation prize. But I digress.

I'd like to avoid pink frilly presents. I've been told I should just state my preference to anyone who might buy presents for the baby, but I'm not sure that would be effective, and I'm not so bold (or wealthy) that I could reject presents for the baby.

On to "boy" stuff. It seems to me that tiny boys are doomed to look like little sportsnuts, little hunters, or little business men. Projecting a "manly man" image onto a non-verbal, diaper-bound, breast (or bottle) feeding individual is a very very strange concept indeed. What's next, little toupees and bibs that read "future Viagra user"?

So I've sorted all the baby clothes that have already been gifted to me: the "neutral" stuff is already in a dresser, and I have separate bags of "boy" and "girl" stuff.

I guess that means, at the moment, I'm choosing yellow and green.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

a day of extremes

I may be developing an addiction to yoga - yesterday at 10am I found myself at back on the mat, listening to PeacefulMama's instructions as her baby boy (YogaBaby) happily gurgled at us from his pillow perch nearby. You'd think it'd be disrupting to have a three month old in class, but so far he's been nothing but a happy focal point that occasionally needs to be fed. I stayed nearly an hour after class, enjoying not being surrounded by projects I should be working on at home (nursery? what nursery?). PeacefulMama, YogaBaby and I just lounged around and swapped stories. Since she usually only teaches on Saturday, I'm feeling really good about the classes I took with her earlier this week, and looking back am glad I had a stumbly start: to know me is to endure my often-stumbly social skills, I am a foot-in-mouth guru.

I then drove to the location my rollergirl friends were preparing themselves for a photo shoot; they've got bouts coming up soon and need to look sassy in the programs. I was happily greeted by many people I've slammed into and been slammed by, and was laughed at for my baggy pregnancy shorts since I still look like a kid playing dress-up when I wear maternity clothes. I intended on taking a quick "what do you need me to pick up for you" order then return in my old derby shirt so I could sneak into a group photo, as "support staff" on home bout days.

My day took a nosedive and didn't get back to "good" until much later in the evening.

To summarize,
I was stranded at the mall for hours becuase my ginormous light blue 1990 model land-yacht of a car needed a new battery installed, which turned into also needing a new starting mechanism, which means I've now spent over $600 on my vehicle while I'm supposed to be saving up baby money.
I arrived to the group photo incredibly late; I also had aspirations to have makeup on and my hair fixed, especially because everyone else was looking freaking fantastico, but I looked about as sexy as a pork chop since there was no time for me to slap on any eyeliner, much less actually do my hair. I did manage to get some lipstick on between photo 1 and photo 2, but it was of little consolation to me.
Two friends of mine (one I've become very attached to over the years, one I hope to get closer too soon) have been in really poor health lately, and are not getting better yet. I want to DO something about it, I want to fix their problems, and I can't. I'm encouraged that yet other friend of mine is on a steady path to recovery from her own health issues, but I won't be a completely happy camper 'till everyone has the energy to make it through a gentle day.

Then my day returned back to happy; I spent the evening at a pitch-in barbeque with Mr. Hubby, my dawg, friends I hadn't seen in many months, and friends-of-friends who were fantastic company. The neighborhood cats were very entertaining, the weather was gorgeous, the bugs weren't biting, and I ate and ate and ate and ate . . . . I hope that I'm actually on my way to gaining some weight on the kid's behalf - if I get another "you lost weight?!" speach from my midwife I'll be disappointed.

Mr. Hubby headed off to a birthday party and I headed to bed with the dog and a "so you've got a baby on the way" book - before falling asleep, I *think* I felt the kid move, but it may have been food gurgling around?

Friday, June 8, 2007

are you calling me an elephant? / return to yoga class

On Wednesday morning, I reminded Mr. Hubby that he needed to tell his supervisor at work that he'd be taking a half-day's vacation next Thursday so he could go to my 18-week prenatal appointment with me.

"Oh, she's at home on bed rest, problems with blood-pressure I think".

I know that his supervisor is pregnant, but don't know how soon she's due: "That bites - how far along is she?"

"Um . . . I dunno . . . like 45 to 48 weeks?"

I grabbed the nearest door frame for support - my sweet, good-natured, talks-to-my-belly Mr. Hubby doesn't know how long human gestation takes? "Honey, that's impossible - most people give birth by 40 or 41 weeks . . . do you know how far along I am?

"15 weeks?"

I was relieved that he was close, but a little ticked off that he didn't know: "Nooooo, that was two weeks ago - besides, I have week numbers written on our dry-erase calender!"

"I wondered what that was all about . . ."

* ~ * ~ * (Elephant gestation takes 22 months) * ~ * ~ *

I planned on attending a water-aerobics class after work yesterday but left my towel and bathing suit on a table in my garage . . . oh garage, I used to sit in you all the time drinking vodka-ed generic lemon-lime soda and playing cards or darts . . . but I digress.

I mustered up the nutz to go back to prenatal yoga, and got there early enough to talk to a childbirth educator about the best way to bring Mr. Hubby up to speed; she had a good-natured laugh about it and reminded me how abstract all of this is for someone who isn't experiencing any symptoms, and that between watching me change shape and taking the childbirth class with me he'd be in great shape by "birth" day.

1) Thank goodness Mr. Hubby isn't the only pre-daddy goober on the block.

2) Hey waitaminute . . . I have changed shape already . . . these inflata-boobies and pooch belly are new - do I need to carry a "before" picture?

While I was gently mocking my husband, the yoga instructor arrived with her three-month-old boy - and she seemed genuinely amused with my ranting request for emotional support. . . did I detect a spark of snark in her also?? I told her that I enjoyed my first class, was surprised at how inflexible I was, and that my previous forms of exercise have been roller derby, water aerobics, and (years ago) martial arts - so I was having a little trouble getting use to being quiet and still as a form of exercise. Then I bit the bullet: "And I wanted to apologize for acting like a smart ass, I shouldn't have been disruptive like that".

Her face went blank.
"Wha . . . OH - you were fine, I encourage a sense of humor in class".

The heavens opened and it became clear that I was going to get along with this dreadlocked peacefulmama after all.

Perhaps to humor me, I did not hear the phrase "heart light" during yesterday's class, instead she said "let your chest shine out" during an appropriate pose. Also? No "I'm surrounded by strong women" affirmations - in fact the talkey-break in class was about making me sit down for a while 'cause I looked (and felt) like I was going to faint. Followed by a speech (directed at me) about yoga not being a competitive sport, and that especially while pregnant it is important to respect your body's boundaries.

Normally? I would have been sad or ticked off to be singled out.
Perhaps it was the light-headedness, perhaps it was the endorphins, but I didn't care. I sat there like a bewildered child and just took it in.

After the rest of class had cleared out, she apologized to me for singling me out like that, and said that another new participant also needed to hear that information, but she didn't want to potentially embarrass her by getting direct with her. AND she went on to say that she had fallen victim to her own stubborn over-achiever streak and injured herself while pregnant because she didn't honor her own limitations. As if I wasn't already feeling 100% better about everything, she timidly asked me to keep an eye on her baby for a while so she could use the bathroom before driving home.

And now to convince you that I haven't already morphed into a kumbaya-singing mess-o-horomones, I'd like to call attention to a fantastic comment I received from Min yesterday:
I think the next time your Yoga instructor says "I am surrounded by strong women" you should respond with "knock the b*tch down". I would think that would be very therapeutic.

I think I've found my birthing phrase folks - most people choose something along the lines of "ohm", "peace", or "I trust my body".
My most likely candidate at this point is.
"knock the bitch down"

Thank you, Min!

I hope my doula understands.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

perhaps my "heart light" needs new batteries?

I attended my first prenatal yoga class yesterday afternoon, and discovered a few things about myself:

1) I'm *mostly* inflexible.
I have a few idiot-savant joints in my body, but that's where my stretchy-talent ends. The yoga instructor said "now flatten your palms out on the mat" and my fingers were dangling several inches above, with no chance of even swiping the mat.

2) I'm a giant smartass and really need to learn how to behave.
I'm assuming that a normal part of this prenatal yoga class is for the instructor to say positive birth-related "affirmations" to the class, to rev them up for labor. This is new to me, caught me off guard, and I was really afraid I'd start giggling at the relative crunchy granola-ness of it all.
I managed not to giggle. Score.
- and yet -
When the instructor repeated the phrase "I am surrounded by strong women", I heard myself mutter "well, smell isn't everything" loud enough that everyone could hear me.
Now I HAVE to go back to her class so I can apologize for acting like a brat.

(Before yesterday, I probably already secured my spot in the "unenlightened" section of hell - I am the same gal who while sitting in the front row of church snuck tic-tacs to my friends after we took our first communion)

3) I really miss roller derby practice.
My favorite phrase from roller derby practice is "knock the bitch down!" - it gives you a rush and the confidence to purposefully slam yourself into another human being while trying to keep your wheels beneath you.
The phrase I heard repeatedly in this yoga class was "let your heart-light shine out".
Umm . . . I'm attending class because I'm yoga-curious, my ass hurts, and my new-mother friend at work loved it.
To quote Stan and Kyle from Southpark, "I'm all about peace and love and all that hippie stuff" - but I was not prepared for that phrase. I was concentrating on not falling on top of another pregnant woman, and now I had to concentrate on not smirking too?

In closing:
I've got to continue with this yoga-gig, 'cause I'm about as flexible as toast and I fear that I will physically shatter during labor. I've got to scrub out the Beavis&Butthead/Seinfeld/snarky part of my brain for an hour at a time a few times a week, and not be close-minded. I already admire many things about the yoga instructor, and already like many of the participants - there is something very fun and very funny about being surrounded by other pregnant women. Good griefy, this is gonna be tough.

I received two HUGE bags of baby clothes last night and resisted the urge to dress my pets. I'm going to sort the the clothes by neutral/boy/girl then size so I can pack all the neutrals into the kid's dresser and have the other stuff either ready to pack or give away.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

by any other name . . .

My bloggie friend Alfredsmom recently asked me how Mr. Hubby feels about my plans to give our baby my maiden name.

First, I'll offer an explanation as to why I chose to keep my maiden name.

1) My father immigrated here from England as a young man, leaving his birth family behind. His older brother has two sons and three daughters, so the family name (ahem, one VERY common to England) is continuing on that side of the pond with no problem. I foresee my (handsome) male cousins' (handsome) male offspring having _no_ problem starting their own families.
Meanwhile, my father has two daughters, and my sister chose to take her husband's name when they got married. If I took on my husband's name, the "stateside" lineage of my father's family would lost, name-wise. And that would be a bummer.

2) Ever since I was introduced to the concept in my first anthropology textbook, I've been enthralled with the concept of matrilineal descent. It makes more sense: in this topsy-turvey world, when a child is born, one can always be certain of the mother's identity but not the father's. From a less clinical standpoint, it honors women's unique role in society, and I'm all about keeping women from under the collective male thumb.

3) I wasn't comfortable with changing my name in response to marriage. I really like my name, I find it melodic, and am comforted by the history attached to it. My official legal and spiritual union with Mr. Hubby changed many things about my life, but I really feel that as a woman, sharing the rest of your natural life with someone does not require that you change your name. Genetically, he "belongs" to his family, and I to mine.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

On to tackling "what last name does the baby get"

I can't offer as organized a solution, I've come to my conclusion through my own bizarre logic and by carefully sorting my emotions. THANKFULLY, Mr. Hubby is completely comfortable with his progeny having my last name, and is honoring my wishes. Our offspring are no less "his" by having "my" name, and I'm the person putting myself in physical peril in order to bring our offspring into the world. (So nyeeeeeh)

(Besides, anyone who has ever met Mr. Hubby will likely recognize his (even newborn) child in an instant; between the two of us, we're in for an atypically cute kid with a big forehead, big eyes, a pointy nose, a goofy grin and probable lack of shyness.)

PROBLEM: If I were really diligent about swaying western tradition towards a matriarchy, (or at least help the concept seem more common) I would do a metric ton of research and sort though all documents possible to trace back to my earliest female ancestor possible. Except that most of those gals have their father's last names, and then you fall into the "are you really my daddy" quagmire all over again. What if my search takes a wrong turn because great grandma somebody had a thing for hunters?

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Legally change my last name to "Eve".

I don't feel _that_ radical about it. I figure I'll see if I can start something with this generation and let my son or daughter come to their own conclusion. Perhaps I'll just piss off genealogists, perhaps I'm contributing to honoring women in our society. Who knows.

I've played a HUGE part in naming all of our collective pets, and struck gold every single time. I'm very pleased to introduce you to my girls, Suki and Lydia.
(Please excuse my crappy camera)

Suki is "guarding" her kitty-sister from thunder. Lydia is terrified enough of storms to put up with being subservient to the dog - later that evening chaos resumed.

Monday, June 4, 2007

party 'till ya drool

I attended my first baby-attended baby shower on Sunday afternoon. The 4 week old guest-of-honor peacefully nursed and napped through the festivies, and her 6 month old cousin (a Gerber baby doppelganger) was happy to offer free dental inspections to anyone who was interested. As improbable as it seems, neither tiny girl cried during the three hours - I'm sure it was a baby ploy nefariously, psychically orchestrated by my own gestating spawn . . . "stage one of breaking in Mom: give her the unreasonable impression that an afternoon with an infant is a leisurely affair"

I'm not sure what stage two involves just yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Or perhaps this _is_ stage two and stage one is related to the fact that most bland-tasting foods make me want to gag, but I seem to have no trouble eating spicy/greasy/wierd foods. For instance: I'm hungry. I'm staring at saltine crackers and a jar of peanutbutter, and shudder to think of the pasty taste. I'm also giving major consideration to ordering out General Tsao's chicken or trying to bribe a coworker into picking up Indian food for me.

Yet another recent mindbend is now anytime I hold a baby, I immediately think to myself "Is this a playdate? Would the kid be jealous to know that another baby is pawing at my breasts?" As a (lack of) sanity reference point, I am convinced that my unborn kid and my cat Michael are well acquainted already - how could they _not_ be when Michael so carefully drapes himself over my stomach during purr-fits?

But I digress. My point is to say that baby-attended showers are far more fun than regular baby showers. My fantastico Mother-in-law is hosting a shower for me next month in Mr. Hubby's city-of-origin, and I'm very excited about it. But now I'm giving consideration to having a baby shower in my own town-of-origin after the kid is here. . . . which will probably cause as much scandal as the fact that I kept my maiden name and plan on giving my last name to my offspring.

Any thoughts or opinions??

In other news: I was given a metric ton of pregnancy clothes by baby-of-honor's mother and would like to thank her by bringing over food, but know that her husband is a fantastic cook, and I'm paranoid that they wouldn't really enjoy my cooking. Other than free baby-watching (which I've offered and will be taken up on) what is a good (non-budget-bruising) way to show thanks for such generosity?

Friday, June 1, 2007

shades of green

If I were more open, this blog would be gussied up in shades of green, at least until I can get my head out of my arse.

If I could successfully, permanently "turn down the volume level" of one particular emotion, it would be jealousy. I drive myself batshit crazy with it, I was awake from 2:30am - 4:30am and could think of little else.

I've just finished devouring two books, "Baby Love" by Rebecca Walker, and "Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son's First Year" by Anne Lamott. I use the verb "devour" because it took me three days to finish both books and while I was reading them, I felt nourished by them. These days, I find great relief to read about other women having less-than-calm reactions to pregnancy and infants; I feel much less isolated by pregnancy, I can at least hope that I'm gathering useful information, or perhaps it boils down to just being a fantastic distraction from life.

As much as I was loving the authors as I read their books, I was also seething with jealousy towards them.

Which makes me a horrible person.

Rebecca Walker has endured a naaaasty relationship with her own mother.
My relationship with my own mother hasn't been shiny and perfect, but we're absolutely crazy about each other, and love each other unconditionally.

So why is my heart so black that I think she's got it easy because she can afford to travel and doesn't have a paper-slinging job to report to five days a week?
Why am I bothered that she spent her pregnancy eating organic salads while I don't have the means to buy only organic food?

It gets worse.

Anne Lamott is a sober recovering alcolohic and a single mother eeking out an existance as a writer by the grace of God, and because she's developed a fantastic support network. (It must also help that she seems to have a fantastic sense of humor)

(Hoo boy) I actually found myself jealous of her strong faith (!), and worse yet, I had to stop myself from counting up how many people regularly stopped by her apartment to help her care for her son. It seems that she is close friends with a cast of thousands! Where do I sign up for that? I've been blessed with happy, stable relationships with my family, my husband, and several close friends - and yet I found myself wondering "are there enough people to bail me out when I need them?"

No pity party fuel here, I think it's more along the lines of me needing more a little more sleep, a change of perspective, and/or a break from bouts of morning sickness.

All the same, I'm nearly ashamed to look at the books I so recently enjoyed; I'm going to pack them away until someone else is pregnant and needs them. Maaaaaaybe I'll find that I'm not the only person neurotic enough to harbor even temporary jealousy towards authors of baby/pregnancy narratives.