02 July 2009

Not a Mommy Blog

I keep trying to write about this baby, and I can't. I don't know why, but the words don't come. Maybe I'm just not a Mommy Blogger, or maybe this isn't a mommy blog, or maybe I'm just too darn tired from growing this little squib to string words together about what I'm thinking and feeling. So here's some completely unorganized thoughts about the baby and parenting and life in general, in no particular, coherent order.

1) We call the baby Squib (from Harry Potter . . . we're fairly sure it won't do magic), Squiblet, Osito (little bear), Little One, Littlest, Small One, The Child (or, when I'm trying to tell Dave that his baby is hungry again, "Your Child"), and The Baby. We'll come up with more conventional names once we know the gender, but that's not until August and I refuse to call our child "it" until then.

2) Pregnancy is, so far, much less fun than I had been given to understand. I'm not sick in the puking sort of way, but I've had at least 4 different infections in the last month, some of which I've never even heard of before. The immune system needs to kick it into gear, here, or I might be nuts by January. Also, my stomach doesn't like being pregnant. I don't think you want any more details on that. And I'm tired. They told me I'd be tired when I got pregnant, but I had no idea how true that would be. I think I've watched more television in the last month than in the year before that. Yuck.

3) Pregnancy is definitely a chance to trust God more. Ideally, pregnant women don't take medicine, especially during the first trimester. Um, yeah. All those infections? Required medicines to get over . . . some of which could hurt the baby. But there's not much of a choice, because the infections will amost definitely hurt the baby if I don't treat them. So I take the meds and hope for the best, but it's been hard. God knows, though, and more importantly to me, he knew before he made this baby that my body would struggle to adjust and that I'd require drugs, and he still chose life for this little one. That's what I rely on, when I swallow the pills and hope for the best. People tell me that most of parenthood is like this. Yikes.

4) Expectant mothers get sick of talking about being pregnant, or at least I do. Sure, it's important to me, and near the front of my mind much of the time, but it's not the only thing going on in my life. I'm still me, back here behind the pregnancy veil. I know people are trying to show me how much they care and how excited they are for us, and I appreciate that so much, but sometimes I feel like the rest of me is just supposed to disappear. (If you've asked me about the baby recently, please don't feel bad--I only posted this because I couldn't think of anyone who I know reads this who has made me feel that way. It's mostly when acquaintences ask, "How are you?" and mean, "How's the baby?" or people who don't usually talk to me feel like I should share all my pregnancy details with them. Um . . . no.)

5) Sarah's Pregnancy FAQ, in no particular order: No, I don't know if I'll continue working after the baby comes. Yes, I'm still exercising, though I'm careful of my heartrate. Yes, I still wear heels and eat soft cheese, salmon, tuna, and lunch meat. No, I don't have an exact due date yet. I've grown out of some of my clothes but many still fit. No, the baby will not have its own room, at least, not from the get-go. And no, the idea of making a nursery doesn't make my heart go pitter-patter. No, I don't think I want your carseat/breast pump/stroller/2-year-old toys/crib/etc., not yet. Thanks for offering, but I haven't decided what I want yet, but I know I'll keep it minimal, and I'll let you know if I want yours. Yes, I still loathe the terms "bump watch" and "preggo," though "preggers" is starting to grow on me. No, Dave and I haven't talked about parenting styles yet. I think we'll figure it out as we go along. And yes, we're going to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl, mostly for our own sanity. No, I don't really plan to do a baby book, but I do have a journal that I'll give my child someday, if he or she wants it. Yes, I realize that's strange but pregnancy journals are so cutesy they make me want to gag.

I think that's it. If I missed a question that burns at you, let me know and I'll do my best.

6) I don't have any deeper thoughts that are ready to share yet. Things come up, but I'm pondering them in my heart for a while yet. Lately, my mind seems to chug along at about 75% capacity which makes daily life liveable but deep thoughts extremely slow.

7) I don't think I mentioned this here, but I'm going to the Glen Workshop at the end of July. It's basically a combination retreat and seminar for creative types, and I'll be doing the fiction seminar. I'm excited, though I hope I have a little more energy by then. Yay!!

Grow Baby, Grow!!

*returns to gestating assiduously* (Yes, I stole that phrase. If you can tell me where from, I'll buy you coffee if we ever meet IRL.)


Tammy said...

ummmm Sarah
I am over here trying to come up with some really crafty annoying question to agitate you and I can't think of one right now. So, i need to be off the hook here. But, I'll get right on that one.

heather said...

You're going to the Glen Workshop! Oh dear. Now I have to hate you from jealousy. Well, it was a nice friendship while it lasted.

Stephanie S said...

Lol, I can tell you where. But you KNOW I can tell you where. I'd give you chapter and page, but someone has my copy...

Jessica said...

quoth Cordeila. And I could find you chapter and page too. Gotta admit, in my current life, her delighted chortle "HERDS of little Vorkosigans!" is what keeps going through my head.

As for you disappearing . . . you shouldn't and won't, completely, of course, but I've found one of the best (and hardest) things about parenthood is that it does require you to give up yourself on deeper and deeper levels. Very much a "my life for yours" and "he who loses his life, for my sake, shall find it." I don't know how much of your daily conversation with strangers is part of that, but it might be a head's up for what's coming.

Laura said...

This post makes me smile.

I'm far enough out that I can think fondly on all these things. These 12 years later, the good parts of pregnancy are easier to remember than the bad, though I do remember a sinus infection I carried with me through most of the first pregnancy and a constant low-level nausea through the second.

Love the nicknames for your little seed.

Joelle said...

Sarah, a woman after my own heart! I've never had the nerve to tell people that I HATE scrapbooking. It seems such a ridiculous thing to hate. But it is just too darn cute. So I'm all for your journal idea. If I were your child, I'd MUCH rather receive that than perfectly color-coordinated pages with pictures and stickers and fancy paper. Your words will be a wonderful gift. They are gift to me today....

Manda said...

Cordelia of course. And I had every intention of scrapbooking for Will...but alas, no. I have the supplies, just not the drive. Every time I sit down to do it...I have this odd block where I simply can not finish. Selective ADD. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not such a bad mum after all. And guilty as charged for trying to foist three years of accumulated kid "stuff" upon you. Simple, minimalist...an excellent plan; now if you can only restrain your mother. :) And how are YOU?You...as in: the novel, the running, the hubby,etc. The worst for me was the touching! How I hated the touching. People you don't know; people who are normally nasty to you...all of them believe that it is perfectly normal for them to be putting their hands on you. I hope that for you the touching is limited to people you at least like.

christianne said...

Loved this post, Sarah. Loved how honest it was. Loved how much you just shared "you" in all of this with us. Loved how utterly normal and sane you are. Love that there are parts of this journey you're not really into. Love that there are parts utterly touching you to the core.

And after all that, love you. Always.

PS: Still so stoked for you to be going to Glen!! Can't wait to hear about it. :)

Sarah said...

Tammy--you? can't think of a question? are you ok, girl? ;)

Heather--aww, that's a bummer. I hate it when people hate me.

Stephanie--yeah, but I'm not sure you count...though I can't think of a good reason why.

Jess--you know, I think I'm more likely to fall into the opposite--that I should totally give up myself for my children. I realized that what I'm trying to figure out is how to be me without making it about me. I can do it in other contexts, but child-rearing makes me feel so much like I ought to disappear that I want to keep proving that I AM and WILL REMAIN me. I don't need to do it, but I sure feel like I do.

Laura--thanks so much for your comment. Yeah...I'm hoping that all of this will fade...and the sooner the better, in my book ;) We're having fun giving the baby names that aren't real names and aren't "it."

Joelle--Glad to know I'm not alone. I don't think I have the attention span for scrapbooking (let alone the ability to match things that well!). So my children may get more than they ever wanted to know in a journal, but at least it's real.

Manda--I still may want some of that kid stuff (and you didn't offer me anything...awkward). So how am I? Let's see...writing is slow (I think it has something to do with the fatigue. When all I want to do at the end of the day is crash, it's hard to write and what I do write sucks), I'm not running (got shin splints) but am doing some other exercising, and Dave is well. That's the short version. Thanks for asking!!

Christianne--and I love that you loved it. Thanks for hearing me.

kirsten said...

oh geeze. when christin was here for peder & annie's wedding, we were talking about how when a woman is pregnant, her bulging belly and every detail of her developing pregnancy seem to become public property. little old ladies grabbing the belly, some people wanting to know every little detail of the little peanut's development.

sarah, you are far more than a uterus. :o)

thanks for being frank. so utterly refreshing!!

sojourner said...

I read this post already and thought I had left a comment. Hmmmm perhaps I had trouble posting the comment as I often do. I enjoyed reading all of these thoughts and they are about the baby because they are about you!

Jessica said...

I guess what I'm saying is that it's not necessarily a bad thing to forget about yourself for awhile when God puts a big task in front of you. Sure, come up for air now and then, but serve the work, and then a while later, come out of it, take stock, and see how you've changed. It can be a really good thing.

You're enough of a thinker, from what I've seen, that your back brain is going to be processing it all the time. I don't think you'll go through motherhood without noticing what it's doing to you - you'll ponder it. Plus, early infanthood gives you acres of time for prayer - all that time rocking and nursing. (Though to be honest, sometimes it's such tired time that all I could do was the Jesus prayer. Though, again, this is no bad thing.)

Just another way of looking at people's comments . . . I think you can see them as joy that another person is coming into the world. They see the two of you, and they want to welcome you both. The truth is that, at the moment, you're living a strange, dual existence. There really is another human being inside of you. And you might even say it'd be rude if people who greet you ignored the extra person in the room!

I admit that it's a tricky dance, this taking care of yourself and taking care of your children. But most of us can use a bit more self-sacrifice. Next to marriage, parenting is the best thing I've found for knocking off my narcissistic rough edges. I'd urge you to find the few things you really need to keep your self healthy (for me it's exercise, silence and writing, not in that order) and try to get those in regularly (it'll take awhile to get a good rhythm, and the rhythm will constantly change as your child grows), then give yourself up to this great work God's put in your path. It's a good thing.

I think you'll blossom in motherhood, Sarah. You love to look and to muse, and I think your heart will overflow with joy at all the new vistas that open before you. Not that you had nothing to look at before, just that this (like any big life change) brings with it more to see and to hear, and to an author, an artist, it's all raw material. And to a Christian, it's all more opportunities to see the glory of God. I think the two will be entwined for you. But you have to be willing to step aside for some of it. Or, at least, I have been. I'm still learning to. It's hard. But (here I am, the broken record) very good.

All in my experience, of course. I know my story's not yours. Looking forward to hearing yours though, as it progresses. :)