Monday, February 25, 2008

And I Like To Take Up Space, Just Because I Can

I wasn't sure how I would react to my growing belly at first. I've tried to stay as small and out of the way as possible for as long as I can remember, and suddenly my whole life is about getting bigger and bigger and bigger, both physically and emotionally.

The title of this post is the line of a song that's been going through my head all day, and it's got me thinking...

I'm quite charmed by my belly. There's something terribly efficient about carrying my future family around with me everywhere I go--it's multi-tasking at its very best, which makes the Virgo in me positively ecstatic.

I feel like kicking some ass lately, and I swear it's because of my belly. I'm telling you, this thing has power. I'm more confident with this belly. This is a side of womanhood I've never known before.

I like it.

As women, we're often taught to shrink ourselves so as not to disrupt others. We learn early on to apologize. To smooth over. To make nice.

Well, I'm not in the mood to make nice anymore. I suppose this is something I could have decided with or without my pregnant belly; it just took me 31 years to work up the courage.

So that's my pledge to myself, and to this mysterious little person swimming around inside of me: To demand a little more space, to see all the ways I can grow, and to embrace them without apology.

Monday, February 18, 2008


There is a terrifying moment while lying atop the crinkly paper on the exam table with cold goo all over your belly, the doctor standing over you with the Doppler wand pressed to your skin, when all you can hear is an empty crackling noise, like static over the loudspeaker in the subway, or recordings from outer space.

This is the vast universe of your belly.

And the doctor's face is carefully blank as she moves the wand around, and you think, oh if there is no heartbeat, this will be hard. This will be the hardest thing I've ever faced.

But then the doctor smiles and nods, and through the static, you hear it, a miniature thumping.

Fast, fast, fast.

For some reason, you think of a frog. You imagine a pulsing white light in the center of a vast darkness, and your entire body is tingling as the doctor adjusts the volume. She is smiling widely. She is so young, and graduated from Pitt medical school, and it pleases you that you have the same alma mater. Only your job is delivering books and her job is delivering babies. You are so close in age that, when you lived in Pittsburgh, you might have shared a beer together at the Squirrel Hill Cafe, or cheese fries at the O.

The doctor gets your cell phone so you can call your husband in Pittsburgh, and you do. And his voice is thick with anticipation, and when you hold the phone up to the Doppler, you can hear his tinny voice through the earpiece: "Oh my god!"

"Oh, my god," he breathes again, and your eyes fill with tears at the awe in his voice, and you can tell that he is smiling. Then he says:

"It sounds like techno music!"

And a few hours later, after you've happily eaten the foam from the top of a cappuccino and you're standing on 14th Street and waiting for the light to change, you hear the rhythmic thump thump thump of techno music from a passing cab.

And you can't help but smile.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pregnancy Glow? Not So Much.

Full disclosure: I'm not a very perky pregnant lady.

Before I got pregnant, I had these fantasies of being a glowing, energetic, healthy, Zen-like pregnant woman, gliding down the streets of Manhattan in my cute maternity dresses, flaunting my clear, glowing skin and shiny hair.

But most days, I feel less like I’m pregnant and more like I’m suffering from some sort of weird, debilitating ailment that’s making me fat, sleepy, and pimply. As a result, I've felt pretty detached from the pregnancy process. It's more like I'm part of some bizzarre science experiement than someone who will become a mother in less than 6 months.

But then my mom sends me packages containing tiny little baby booties that she crocheted for me.

Or Spiceboy puts his face to my belly and says, “Hi, baby. How are you? What are you doing in there? I can’t wait to meet you.”

And in these moments, the pregnancy starts to feel real.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Pregnancy Haiku

Here is my belly!
Oh, glorious half-moon shape
Welcome to my new world

Thursday, February 07, 2008

This is What a Relationship Looks Like from the Inside

It's evening. We are settling down on the couch to watch a movie.

Me: Is this movie in English, or is it subtitled?

Spiceboy (farts loudly, then turns to me with a proud grin): What about that? Was that in English?

Me (with a sigh): Luckily, the languange of farting is universal.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Conversation

We started talking about having a baby long before we actually got down to the business of having a baby.

It was a crisp fall Sunday afternoon in 2006. We took Betty for a walk in Central Park. We did our normal route to Bethesda Fountain, where we sat in the sunlight and people-watched for awhile.

I’m not really sure how it came up. But all of a sudden, there it was. This new thing between us. This thing that had, until that moment, remained unspoken.

I remember holding hands as we followed the path out of the park and back onto Fifth Avenue, feeling on the brink of something new, something so exhilarating and frightening I couldn’t hold it still in my mind for more than a few seconds at a time. It was as intense as that very first kiss, as amazing as the first time you say, “I love you.” That rollercoaster woosh that begins a new phase of your life.

The sun was bright and we stopped and faced each other, breathless. The light changed, and the traffic whizzed by. I could see my reflection in Spiceboy’s sunglasses.

“Are we really talking about this?” I asked.

“We are!” said Spiceboy.

We squeezed hands and headed toward home.

Friday, February 01, 2008


To be honest, I always thought all of the talk of crazy pregnancy cravings was a gross exaggeration.

Pickles and ice cream? Come on. I like ice cream. I like pickles. Both have their place. But not together.

But I ocassionally find myself consumed by strange cravings that grab hold of me and don't let go until I satisfy them.

A few weeks ago, it was buckwheat pancakes.

Then meatball subs.

And right now, I'm filled with the urgent need to consume whole milk mixed with seltzer.

If I can't have whole milk mixed with seltzer within the next 1/2 hour, I will self-destruct, and that would be both messy and embarassing.

I'm putting on my galoshes and running down to the bodega. No one can stop me!

Viva La milk and seltzer!