Happy 2011! So I took a little sojourn of many (many) months – I’ve been thinking of this space and wanting to write again, so here I am. Life has continued apace since February 2010 and D and I brought in the newest year feeling extraordinarily lucky for so many things. Lots of love, good careers, happy apartment, healthy family, nutball cat . . . and (drumroll) I am stupendously, enormously, pregnant. Huzzah!
To recap the last year from my pregnancy-centered viewpoint: we had a loss at 9 weeks early last February that knocked the wind out of my sails in a big way that month – and frankly, March wasn’t so great either. By April, though, we were running out on the Westside highway, going fast, and I looked out over the water in the hard, spring sun and felt good. Strong. Healthy. A good, thumping song came on my ipod and I started sprinting, stretching out my legs as far as they’d go, and just running, like you do when you’re a kid, with abandon.
May came and I was suddenly so slammed with work, I cried in the mornings that my window of ovulation was ruined, ruined! because of the late nights, early mornings, no sleep, bad timing. I brandished my calendar at D accusingly (very enticing, as you can imagine). Having mentally crossed out April as a dud baby-wise, we went away to Vieques for our anniversary and swam in the ocean at sunset the night we arrived, shouting out over the waves, “THANK YOU JUDGE ____, THANK YOU [PARTNER WHO DRIVES ME CRAZY], THANK YOU [CLIENT], THANK YOU STUPID BRIEF!” (all of without whom such trips would not be possible). We drank many rum drinks and read by the pool and ate like kings. It was one of the best trips we’ve had in a long time.
Ten days later, on June 1st, during a run back home, I actually said with annoyance to D because I was ready to start charting anew: “It’s totally weird I haven’t gotten my period yet.” Yes, gentle readers, I was an idiot. Very happily so. A few weeks later, we got to hear the strong hummingbird heartbeat and see a wiggling little mass on the sonogram screen and it was a moment of perfect unalloyed joy.
This all feels a little Hallmark, but things have been smooth as pie. No vomiting, no strong food aversions, no overwhelming smell issues, no stretch mark, no sciatica issues, no heartburn. I took some EPIC naps my first trimester, but have been feeling remarkably good as this girlie has grown from a speck to a welter weight five pounder. That being said, at 36 weeks, I am REALLY READY NOT TO BE PREGNANT ANYMORE. I can’t believe my stretched-thin belly. I can't believe how hard it is to put on tights in the morning. I can’t believe how strong she’s gotten – those kicks and left hooks are not messing around (and is that an actual heel protruding through my skin?) Mother nature is very wily: while the prospect of labor is a little terrifying and being, gulp, parents even more so, pregnancy is so damn long that the anticipation ultimately outweighs the worries. I’ve taken to asking the kicking one is she’d do her mama a solid by coming a week or so early. My doctor yesterday, however, informed me that while things are “softening up,” I’m not dilated at all. And she is still chilling up high in my uterus (head down, but she has not dropped, leading all sorts of random strangers to inform me knowingly that I am having a boy) (“A girl!” I insistently chirp, but they just smugly shake their head at me) (see also: people are nuts). Sadly, my doctor told me he doesn’t even need to see me for another two weeks. Well, shoot.
I suppose it is for the best – the girlie can pack on some more pounds, develop those lungs – and we can actually prepare for her arrival in meaningful ways, like setting up the crib that is still in an enormous box in our hallway. The problem is that the now-to-be-nursery has been D’s study and thesis-central for the last few years. This translates to there being roughly 1000+ heavy art books housed therein. So last month we finally pulled the trigger on ordering some bookshelves to install around our apartment and made an elaborate plan about how the fiction section will get moved to the bedroom and the reference to the column nook and the longer shelves to replace the shorter shelves and blah blah blah. But apparently these super-special shelves are only available in Europe (of course they are) and are being shipped via candle-powered canoe and will arrive whenever they arrive. I exaggerate only a little. We’ve done what we can in the meantime – moved D’s clothing from the now-nursery/storage closet into my closet (meaning . . . we are now SHARING A CLOSET) and making sure we have the requisite mountain of stuff I have been informed is necessary for the care of a 8 lb lump of baby. The breast pump arrived yesterday and we both looked very dubiously at those suction attachment thingies.
It’s the big unknown, parenthood. D and I have talked a fair amount about big picture philosophies and the importance of keeping our bond as strong as possible and I’m reading this book and that book and getting this piece of advice to weigh against that piece of advice and we’ve been to the classes and watched videos and asked questions. All of it makes me think that at the end of the day, it’ll be some mix of instinct, the baby’s personality and trial and error of some of the proffered techniques.
We have thrown caution to the wind in one big way and are committed (agreements signed, money wired) to up and leaving NYC to live in the south of France for two months when she is about two months old. It’s something we’ve talked about for years and after talking to our doctor and spending hours upon hours to find what we hope is the right place (2-bedroom + office + big terrace in the center of Avignon), we are going for it. Foolhardy? Probably. But I don’t know when we’ll have this type of opportunity to be so foolhardy again. So? Done and done. Southern France. Two months. With our infant daughter. Whee! Hope you are well and 2011 is merry and bright.