Sunday, March 30, 2008

This is What a Relationship Looks Like from the Inside

Spiceboy and I are lying on the bed.

"Your baby is moving all around in there," I tell him.

"Really?" he says, placing a hand over my belly. We are both quiet for a few moments, waiting for that phantom kick.

I take a deep breath, and when I exhale, I accidentally fart. Spiceboy's eyes widen as he feels the movement in my belly. The expression on his face is so sweet and full of wonder that I almost hate to ruin the moment.

"Um," I say, "I'm sorry. That wasn't the baby kicking."

"Then what was it?"

"I farted," I say, then burst out laughing.

Spiceboy throws me a look, but surprisingly, he doesn't take his hand from my belly, so we lie there for a few more minutes, waiting.

"I just felt something!" he says, his face jubilant.

"Sorry," I say. "Farted again."

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Ever since I found out I was pregnant, we've been calling Spicebaby by various pronouns. He. She. It. Or sometimes, just Baby.

But today is the beginning of my 20th week. For you non-prego readers out there, that means I'm officially halfway through with this crazy incubation period called pregnancy.

And today, I had big-ass ultrasound, which looked at pretty much everything from the baby's heart to its brain to its femur and fingers and toes and spinal cord. The baby was swimming all around in there--kicking and stretching. We even got to see it sucking its thumb!

After a quick scare (more on that later), it was determined that the baby was A-OK.

The ultrasound also revealed the baby's sex, which means that Spicebaby finally has a permanent pronoun.

And even though I have a terrible case of the flu that has caused me to lose my voice entirely, preventing me from calling family and friends with the news, at least I can shout out our fun discovery to the blogosphere:

It's a girl!

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I steal into the kitchen like a thief, open the fridge, and peer inside. I am starving, as has become the norm ever since Spiceboy knocked me up.

I pretend I'm searching for a snack, but I know what I really want: the thinly sliced French ham Spiceboy picked up from the market yesterday.

Ham, along with all deli meats and soft cheeses, has been sanctioned as a harbinger of evil by the Pregnancy Police, as supposedly it can cause infection and disease and other unpleasant issues for my lovely unborn fetus.

But lately, ham is all I can think about.

And there it is, all wrapped up in pristine white deli paper, just waiting for me to eat it.

The Pregnancy Police have a caveat to their no-deli-meat rule: as long as you heat it until it's steaming, it's okay to eat.

I take the ham from the fridge and open it up, inhaling the heavenly aroma. I tell myself that I will heat the ham in the microwave...but surely it won't hurt if I tear off just one little piece and eat it cold?

So I tear off a small piece of ham and pop it into my mouth.Then I tear off another piece. Then another. Then another. I relish the fabulously hammy taste of it, ehnanced by the secret, seductive notion that I am doing something bad.

In my mind, I see the Pregnancy Police coming for me, guns drawn, desperate to stop my flagrant disregard of their silly rules and save me from my evil food urges.

But in this moment, the French ham is the best thing I've eaten in my life. It is the food of the gods, the pinnacle of delectable deli meats. I tilt my head back, chewing the ham slowly and letting the sweet, salty flavors wash over my tongue. Then I square my shoulders, look the Pregnancy Police in the eye, and flip them the bird.

If I'm going to go down, I might as well go down eating ham.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Proof That I Am A Slob

Spiceboy and I are standing on the subway platform, waiting for the 6 train. I am wearing a red scarf with gold stripes that I haven't used for several months.

As I fiddle with the scarf, I notice a series of very small, very strange brown pods attached to it. I try to brush them off, but they cling to the fabric.

“Ew!” I say. “Look at these weird things on my scarf.”

Spiceboy looks. “Maybe it’s some kind of insect egg.”

We both peer at the tiny pods and I try to brush them off again, but they cling to the fabric. I flick at them, and finally one comes loose.

I hold it on my fingertip and examine it, fearful at first that it's going to burst open and reveal some kind of strange little bug. Then I realize what the brown pod really is, and I start to laugh.

“What is it?” Spiceboy asks.

“The last time I wore this scarf, I ate a Tasti D-Lite.”

Spiceboy looks at me like I’m crazy.

“A Tasti D-Lite with chocolate sprinkles,” I clarify.

“Oh my god, you’re so gross,” says Spiceboy.

I laugh again. “You love me. Don’t even try to deny it.”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Baby Talk

Me: What would you do if we found out I was pregnant with twins?
Spiceboy: I'd see what I could get for one of them on the open market.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Barefoot and Pregnant

I'm in the kitchen baking chocolate chip cookies (my favorite sport) when Spiceboy chuckles.

"What?" I ask.

"Right now, you are barefoot and pregnant-- in the kitchen!"

I open my mouth to protest. After all, I'm a modern woman, right? I work hard! I have a career! "Barefoot and pregnant" carries with it a connotation I've worked very hard to avoid.

Then I look down at myself. I am wearing a tattered flowered skirt and a blue tank top, through which my ever-more-noticable belly protrudes. My feet are indeed bare, and I've got a spatula in one hand.

For a moment, I am horrified.

Then I giggle at the absurd truth of it and help myself to a cookie.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

House of Mouse, Part II

There are few things that fill me with more dread than waking up in the middle of the night to see Spiceboy standing dead still in the middle of the living room, his head cocked to one side, as if listening for something.

This is Spiceboy’s “mouse in the house” stance.

Now, the last time this happened, I may have freaked out a little bit.

I resolved to be calmer about it this time around.

The mouse had, conveniently, found its way into a large bucket under our kitchen table. This made getting rid of the mouse quite easy. Spiceboy would carry the bucket down to the sidewalk and set the mouse free. I would help by opening doors for him.

See what a good wife I am?

So we made our way down the steps. Spiceboy held the bucket away from his body as though it contained a toxic substance. I held the front doors for Spiceboy, then jumped out of the way as soon as possible, so as not to get too close to the toxic mouse bucket.

Spiceboy put the bucket down. “Here, come look,” he said.

The mouse was tiny—just a little baby mouse, really. He was kinda cute. Not threatening at all.

Spiceboy tipped the bucket, and the little mouse scurried away into the night.

We returned to bed. I felt calm and good. The first time there was a mouse in the house, Spiceboy was out of town a lot more, and we both dealt with problems in our own way--separately from one another. Back then, the thought of facing something without him was both terrifying and frustrating.

But being apart has taught me to deal with problems on my own, which has made me better at dealing with problems when we're together. Whether it's bigger stuff, like money. Or silly stuff, like mice. Or simple stuff, like me helping Spiceboy find his keys when he loses them (which is often).

But I'm still damn glad Spiceboy was there to take care of the mouse, and I turned to him in the darkness and told him so.

Spiceboy put his hand on my cheek. “Ew, don’t touch me with mouse hands!” I said.

“I washed them.” I could hear the smile in his voice.

“So tomorrow you’ll secure the perimeter?”

“Yes, tomorrow, I’ll secure the perimeter.”

We both drifted back to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by a scurrying sound. Spiceboy flipped on the light in time for us to see the same little mouse scuttle along the living room wall, then disappear behind the bookcase. How he found his way back to us on the 4th floor, I'll never know. Perhaps he finds our tiny apartment as cozy as we do.

We were both quiet for a moment, then I laughed.

"So much for securing the perimeter," I said.

“I guess he likes us,” Spiceboy replied.

Monday, March 10, 2008

This Is What A Relationship Looks Like From The Inside

Spiceboy (pressing his face to my belly): Hi, baby! How are you today? What are you doing in there?

Me (smiling): I love you.

Spiceboy (Looking up at me with his cheek still pressed to my belly): I love you, too. But your bellybutton smells like a foot.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Cravings, Part Deux

So this week, everyone has been asking me if I'm ravenously hungry all the time, as apparently this is one of the many symptoms of the lovely 2nd trimester of this wondrous human science experiment known as pregnancy.

Well, I've just hit week 17, and let me tell you: I'm hungry as hell.

I've read accounts from women who said that when they got pregnant, their bodies craved healthy food like brown rice and vegetables.

I have to ask: who the hell are these women? Because the last thing I want is brown rice.

Ten minutes ago, the only thing in the world I wanted was ice cream. So I got some. And now I'm sitting here eating it, and it tastes good. But as soon as I took my first bite, I realized that what I really wanted was...

An egg roll!

Happy Friday!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My Soapbox Moment

If you are pregnant, you should watch The Business of Being Born.

If you know someone who is pregnant, watch this movie with them.

If you're not pregnant, watch it anyway.

We should all have choices about the way we give birth, and we should give birth in the way in which we feel most comfortable.

But the more women I talk to, and the more literature I read, the more I realize just how little we know about what will happen to us once we go into labor, and how little we understand our choices.

Birth should belong to women, not doctors. And it's up to women to make it that way.

Ask questions. Explore your options. Make smart choices.

I have to go make a lasagna now. Happy Saturday.