Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I'm halfway through my 3-week goal of writing Morning Pages 5 days a week, and I wanted to share my progress. I've done it! I've done my 10 minutes of "brain drain" writing 8 days. It hasn't always been in the morning, and I'm okay with that. Doing morning pages sometime during the day is a habit/practice that reminds me that I'm a writer. It's especially important on the days when that's the only writing I do, and my little guy is clinging to my leg all day.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
I'm thinking a lot lately about the idea that I am creating my own life everyday, with every choice I make. This way of looking at things doesn't come that naturally to me. I feel like so much of my life since becoming a mother is about reacting to circumstances - my son's behavior, my husband's work schedule, how much sleep I got the night before. My reactions can be very emotionally-driven: I tend to get easily frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, worried. I am an emotional person; I keep reminding myself that inside my emotions, I still have a choice about how I react.
The truth is that though I deeply want to be a professional (paid) writer, I have not yet found my path to that goal. This course has got me thinking about how to fully take the leap upward into a new kind of career success. And how to do that with one small child and another on the way. Since my miscarriage last year, I have felt like the time is now. And though it is beyond intimidating to think about making new career commitments, even if only to myself, while expecting a baby, this is my year of courage. You can't spend your life waiting for the perfect moment.
It is such a blessing to be emerging from twelve weeks of brutal morning-sickness. You know how, when you have a bad cold, the kind where your sinuses are filled with gunk and your nose is totally clogged, you fantasize about when you'll be able to breathe normally again? You think about how much you'll enjoy taking a nice long, deep, clear breath. And then you feel better, and for a day or two, you do enjoy the simple act of breathing. You feel grateful. But then you forget and you get busy and you take feeling good for granted again, until the next time you're felled by a vicious virus.
Well, I am still in the grateful phase. I'm grateful everytime I walk into a grocery store and don't immediately feel repulsed. I'm grateful for not having to think about food constantly, while simultaneously hating the thought. I'm grateful for 3 weeks with no dry-heaving episodes. I'm grateful that the boat is mostly staying in port, and I have only sporadic episodes of nausea. I'm grateful for having some energy and not just wanting to be in bed all day, even if walking a few blocks uphill does point out to me how startlingly out of breath I get. But most of all, I'm grateful for the clearing of my mind that's happened. I'm grateful for not feeling so darn depressed. Because, out of all the effects of the crazy hormones, just feeling so down is in some ways the hardest for me to deal with.
Speaking of pregnancy and first trimesters and Kelly Rae, all in one rambling post, Kelly Rae is about a month ahead of me in her pregnancy journey (this is her first). She wrote a post about how difficult her first trimester was, and I found a little comfort in reading it while I was in the midst of my awful first trimester. I could totally identify with everything she says, especially about feeling none of my usual spark or zest for life. At the time I read it, I couldn't imagine that I would eventually feel better, even though I had done this same thing twice before. So that's part of the trick, I suppose: holding how you are currently feeling, honoring the difficulty, while holding fast to the belief that it will get better.
I'm enjoying my emerging. I'm making lots of plans and confronting lots of fears. And I'm looking forward to sharing the journey here.
And today is my mom's last day of work as a teacher; tomorrow marks the official beginning of her long-awaited retirement.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The RELIEF is incredible!
I wasn't that nervous going into it - nervous, but not extraordinarily so. But there was a moment when the tech, who had been chatty while she gave us the guided tour of my uterus & our baby inside it ("look, baby is sucking the thumb!"), got quiet and started focusing carefully on the screen. She was looking at the heart. And my heart started beating as fast as the baby's. I saw that road open up before me, that other path, the one I so do not want to go onto ever again. I looked away, to Mikhail, and just started thinking how badly I want to stay on this path, the healthy pregnancy/healthy baby one, the one that ends in October with a gorgeously alien-looking baby in my arms.
Then the tech got her pictures and moved on, and I noticed that sometimes her face just did that, got kind of serious, and I should breathe and not read into the poor woman's every expression.
And then she said the doctor would come in to see us now. Well. I was trying to keep myself calm, while at the same time the path, the bad path, it loomed up in front of me. I asked why the doctor needed to come in - did everything look okay? And she said everything looked normal; he just liked to do a quick check. And that's what he did, talking constantly in a somewhat-soothing tone of voice. There's the head, there's the profile, the spine, the kidneys, the heart...
And in the end, fine, everything looks fine.
They gave us some pictures of the outrageously cute feet, the beautiful little profile. We left. I still feel like I am calming down from the experience, like I can't quite believe yet that it is done and all is fine. Like a part of me is still looking back at the intersection of those two paths, not realizing that the fear would be quite that acute and sudden.
I really want to go for a swim and just stroke it out under water -- the lingering sensation of that moment, contrasted with the overall relief that makes me want to lie down and take a nap. It's hard, this getting attached when you've had your heart broken.
Oh, and we chose to not find out the sex. We're going to wait and be surprised. Seep ourselves in the mystery of the unknown for 20 more weeks. Taking bets!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I was going to have a nice relaxing evening to myself while Mikhail was at soccer, and I was going to write a post about... well, you'll have to wait to see what that one was going to be about, because my evening was hijacked by my 3.5-year-old. Who has been in bed for two hours, and is still screaming.
The stories I could tell about sleep and Elan! Blood-curdling tales that would scare off any sane person from parenthood. However, I'm not in the mood for that particular trip down memory lane. Suffice it to say that when Elan was about 8 months old, Mikhail and I had several "dates" that included each of us poring over sleep training books, then comparing notes and coming up with a strategy, which always had to be written down so that in the middle of the night, desperation could not triumph The Plan. These strategy sessions were held in restaurants, over dinner on weekends when my parents were in town, which is the only reason you could call them dates. And the fact that we were willing to do this rather than go to a movie was a direct result of the fact that when overly sleep-deprived, I become a different person. A frustrated, depressed zombie-mama who cries too much over every small thing.
But we did it. Over time, and with much crying (Elan) and emotional trauma (me) and hearing loss (Mikhail), we managed to train our tough-sleeper into a kinda-mostly-decent sleeper. Except for the 5:30 a.m. wake-ups. Early wake-up time we've never managed to influence much, though he generally makes it to 6 a.m. these days. The problem is that every few months, for his entire life, we've had a bad sleep run, which requires crying it out again. And as he gets older, the crying sessions get louder, longer, and overall less effective. This is probably the primary reason we kept him in his crib until a few weeks ago: we were scared that he'd never sleep again once he was in a bed!
Lately, we've been having a tough time with Elan, and of course, sleep is at the forefront of the troubles. He's in that awkward phase of nap-dropping, when most days he doesn't nap but sometimes he still does, and it's almost impossible to wake him up. And then he won't go to sleep at night. For most children, not going to sleep means staying up chatting and singing and playing. And for Elan, it means one thing: screaming. Lots of it. Tonight would be a perfect example. And even when he does go straight to sleep, he wakes up so early, screaming again (I'm not sure what it would be like to wake up to a happy child, it's only happened a few times ever in our house), like someone has tortured him into waking up. And he's over-tired and difficult all day long.
I'm pretty sure the baby will be a better sleeper than Elan. Not right at first - I'm not that unrealistic. But I do believe that God, or creation, or the universe, or however you want to characterize that force-larger-than-us - I don't think that force gives us the same challenge twice. And for all the challenges that my son embodies, sleep has always and continues to be the absolute biggest one.