Apr 30, 2013
I try hard to not care what you think, really I do.
But there’s an underlying understanding that I need your approval. I need to be thin enough for you. Or pretty enough. Or smart enough. And you are everyone and you are everywhere. Even when I’m alone, you are still there looking through my eyes.
I want you to think I’m a really good mother. While today I might doubt I’m very good. My humanity, vulnerability, self-doubt, and need to get it right makes me easy prey for your thoughts that I am sure I can read.
How doubly heinous the world expects anything from you when you are pregnant. Like how many pounds are acceptable for you to gain during your pregnancy. The rule book ceased to apply because my body decided that in case of the plague, flood, or famine, I needed a belly fat pad the size of Norway.
When people were rude enough to point out my enormous gift of girth for my child, I proclaimed I was building a lounge for my baby. And tried to ignore their insensitivity. Now Fiona’s left the building and the lounge is still standing.
The entire time I was pregnant, I did not know how much I weighed. I just put my back to the scale and thankfully the nurses kept my secret.
I’m an approval seeker in varying degrees. I need you to like my writing enough to keep reading it. And I need friends to want to have lunch with me and to have me listen to their lives. I’d also tell them that my opinion of them didn’t matter. What they think of themselves is the most important thought out there.
If we are dependent on the opinions of others for our happiness, we are prisoners of perceptions. Their perception and your perception and her perception of us. And we have forgotten or never knew we hold the key to freedom from this bondage. By the mere admission that we can not read or control the minds of others.
My opinion of me is the only one that matters. Your reassurances are however kind. I will be out strolling when the weather breaks. Say hey to me. And try not to look at my barf stained clothing. I’m not.
Apr 21, 2013
I am a secret style stalker. For years I watch shows, look at magazines, and fiddle with my own interiors, dreaming of my own spaces to play in. Although a friend and I agreed, blogs are for saying, “Look what I did !” , I was gathering the confidence to show you. Because, when you see all these beautiful design blogs, it’s a little intimidating.
Last summer I found out I was having my miraculous Fiona but we didn’t know she was a she. And unable to redecorate the baby’s room, I decided it must be a revamp of the little boys room from baby’s to big boy’s room. So having postponed long enough, the time has come to show you the results.
Eamon’s room redo was started last summer to turn his baby room into a big boys room. It was a long and painful process. Fraught with Chevron challenges, some of which I teased/summarized here in this preview post entitled Chevron Pregnancy.To recap. Pregnant ladies like to paint, especially wacky things like chevrons.
I got a notion for a design scheme from Pinterest. I researched how to do it. After I’d taped the room out the first time, I begged the help of a friend because my chevron’s scale was too small and at the wrong height on the wall.
We had a heck of a time marking out a level line since the room tilts. After that, I mistaped half of the room a little higher. Then I retaped. Then I had to do multiple layers of tape and paint to get crisp lines that didn’t bleed.
The color Eamon chose for the ceiling was Forgotten Secret from our Ace Hardware store in town. The wall color is Wishbone. And it was that super thick stuff which smells like hell but covers well.
After painting the stripe, I knew it needed an accent color stripe. So I enlisted another friend for some extra paint to mix my color and received her professional painting hand to paint that final freaking stripe.
Thank You Amanda Lewis for your support and professionalism. The paint dribbles on the floor were due to my sloppy laziness. You would never have let that happen.
And so here it is, the new and improved Eamon’s Big Boy room.
Mark built the desk/bench for Eamon last summer. It’s an exact replica of his work bench. And you could tap dance up there and it would hold you. I made the tree from a piece of masonite and was designed to go into a window display and has another piece that slips on to make it stand.
The sleigh bed we acquired from our neighbors and used to belong to a maiden auntie. It’s a 3/4’s and will hopefully contain his length for a while.
The comforter cover came from Goodwill, otherwise known as Mommy’s playground, and has pictures of cassette tapes and reel to reel players. The blanket was a recent gift of a big boy blanket from a far away aunt.
Chalkboard paint on the door is awesome.
And this mirror has sat in my closet for a really long time. My awesome neighbor is a carpenter and my ever-growing bellied self wheedled him and my husband into building the frame. After which I mixed my own stain with paint and glaze so that you could still see the frame’s grain.
I’m extraordinarily pleased with how the room turned out. The wrapping of the color up onto the ceiling ended hiding the crookedness of the house so incredibly well. I would highly recommend this technique to hide your crooked house lines. No chevron necessary. But I do like the chevron as it reminds me of Charlie Brown’s sweater. It’s dear and kinda quirky.
And now you’ve seen the room. And it won’t become a forgotten secret like it’s paint’s namesake.
Feb 28, 2013
Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out the way you and your sonogram technician have planned it. I thought she was crazy when she said I was due on February 27th. And today I wanted to apologize to her. I am now overdue for having this baby make his/her exit from my body.
I feel as if I’m living in some alternate universe fantasy land. While everyone around me frets about their schedules permitting the delivery date, I have no choice but to sit her and wait. And try not to feel nauseous.
I am completely done with being this way, of course. And rather tired of the line all are compelled to deliver. “Get yourself to the hospital and deliver that baby already, will ya?” If I could I would people. But baby delivering is one of those acts of nature that our wills have no apparent control over.
Seems everyone has a helpful hint on how they think I should hurry this process up. A kind Italian man offered today, “Make up a nice dish of angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil (region not specified) with some oregano (not too much cause it can be strong) and then take a nice long walk.” The walk’s a perennial favorite. And has absolutely no effect on baby conjuring.
Only one thing can effect the onset of childbirth and it’s a special hormone the body releases when it’s decided the popper has popped. Physicians can also introduce that hormone to the cervix to “let the games begin”. That’s called induction and is what I’m scheduled for on Tuesday if this weekend doesn’t produce babe in arms. It would seem that the placenta has an expiration date.
And as one last act of craziness, I wanted to record a video of me in this unbelievable state. The first attempt was thwarted when equipment and software wouldn’t cooperate. On borrowed time, I re-recorded myself sharing the thoughts on this pregnancy and last year I felt were most important. And then a “fatal error has occurred to thwart me again. So visit my Facebook page here.
TURN THE SOUND WAY UP BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY as I talk softly in the beginning.
I appreciate you giving me whatever break you can here and know that I’m doing it all for the love of the art and the family.
Thanks for all your generous support and kind thoughts. I look forward to sharing the next chapters as they unfold.
Feb 15, 2013
In an effort to save the moment, I “videotaped” my belly a couple of times. And just like when I’d do the “grab your hand and put it on my belly for you to feel that” maneuver, Twitchy would stop twitching. I believe this is the only time I got a good twitch on tape. Watch the mole on the right dance.
And of course, now the lurching and poking is monumental but my camera got sent back for replacement. Don’t worry, there’ll be no more naked parts videos. Seemed to make one girlfriend squeamish ( Sarah). But I do have another video coming that needed to happen before this body becomes two. Ready or not, my next video installation will be entitled “I Got Your Pregnant Right Here”. And you get to see the real me.
Dec 10, 2012
Recently, conversing with an acquaintance about her last pregnancy, I admitted I was so unaware of her even being pregnant until she had strolled with her newborn past my house. I’d thought, “Wow that was quick”. She said wryly, “Yeah, your pregnancy is going really well for me too”. I bet my pregnancy is going really well for everyone else too.
There’s great irony in describing pregnancy as a delicate condition. There’s absolutely nothing dainty about the state I’m in. The sound of my footsteps when ascending stairs is like the stomp of an attitudinal elephant. As the floor has gotten further and further away, my verbal utterances to attempt to reach objects landing there are louder and are occasionally profane. You may say my body is in the midst of a beautiful and natural process. I say I‘ve been reduced to a messy and odoriferous machine.
Between the multiple trips to the potty to pee and a possible need for an extender arm to properly finish the other job, I surely smell like a homeless person (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Underwear has become problematic too. A shortage of clean underwear on a recent vacation had me “freewheeling”. Although I was happy not to have the waistband digging into my belly, my bodily cleansing process made me wish I had some fresh undergarments even on the drive home
The unconstitutionality of my constitutionals is like the instability of a third world nation. Despite the multiple products I ingest daily to ensure a smooth transition of power, these constipational bowel coups and dictatorships can stop the nation’s democratic process and I just continue to swell, hoping for imminent Red Cross relief.
I am finally finding it easier to compensate for the extra ballast on the front of me but getting out of bed in the morning is a sideways roll and stand. If I try sitting up normally, my stomach muscles prove to be non-existent and I’m like Humpty Alexander Dumpty, legs flailing.
I was also horrified to discover the now protruding belly looks like a marble with my translucent skin laced with a tangle of blue veins. Husband casually said it did that last time too. I’m now awaiting the racing stripe known as the linea negra to form from my belly button southward.
The effects of the multiple hormones are fascinating, if you’re not the one being affected. These encompass random nose bleeds, bleeding gums, morning sickness, reflux, and constipation. I don’t even want to be reminded of the inevitable post partum depression as the hormones steer you towards an emotional train wreck as you are also suffering sleep deprivation. And the actual loosening of all your bone joints is the body’s allusion to your destiny as Pretzel Girl, the star of your own freak show finale coming to a birthing scenario near you.
Pregnancy and childbirth are full of disgusting body fluids oozing forth in undignified ways. The latter is a horrifying ritual fraught with scary side notes of excretions to be cleared away, gristly umbilical cords to be cut, and gelatinous globs of placenta issuing forth asking to be dealt with.
And everyone, including myself, needs to just get over it because those are just the gritty “natural” by-products of the gift of miraculous life emerging and taking his or her first promissory breath. “What happens in the delivery room stays in the delivery room” is what I told my spectators the last time. And I allowed a full house and a once in a lifetime opportunity for the grandmothers.
At the dinner table the other night, my 7 year-old said “our baby” in passing conversation. Music to my ears. I willingly do it all again because the details will quickly fall away into funny stories. Not forgotten, just forgiven. What I’ll be left with, in addition to scar tissue and a screaming baby, is the unexpected expansion of my capacity to love. And that sneaky joy I am apt to feel when I see the recycled love within the connections of my family as I love them more for loving each other.