Friday, August 29, 2008

Wonder In Aliceland

The days are a blur.

We are up with her at dawn, our eyes hardly open, gulping coffee to wake ourselves, then feeding and rocking her. 

In the afternoon, we laugh at her funny faces, or call her Sugar Monkey, a nickname we gave her right after she was born. We look at one another, helpless, when we can't soothe her crying. We pull her socks up over her tiny red heels again and again and swaddle her to make sure she's warm. 

If we're not too tired, we'll give her a bath and afterwards, attempt to comb her fine dark hair into a baby mohawk. 

Late at night, we sing her to sleep, then fall into bed and whisper to each other across the rumpled sheets: "I love you. We're doing okay. We're doing okay."


Friday, August 22, 2008


Scary:  The labor pains are coming so hard you feel as though you're about to turn inside out.

Sweet: The awe in your husband's voice when he sees his daughter for the first time.

Scary: They hand the baby to you, all wriggly and wet and new, and she begins to scream.

Sweet: They bring your daughter in from the nursery, all bathed and swaddled and warm as a loaf of fresh bread. 

Scary: She begins to scream.

Sweet: Her first smile.

Scary: Her screaming.

Sweet: Your second night at home, you play her the song you've sung to her throughout the pregnancy--Glow  Worm by the Mills Brothers. She smiles and wriggles in response.

Scary: She starts screaming again.

Sweet: She conks out after a feeding, her lips glossed and milky, and you manage to swaddle her and get her down for a nap without waking her up, and in sleep, she's like an angel. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

All About Alice

We're pleased to announce the arrival of Spicebaby!

Meet Alice Spice.

Born August 16, 2008 at 2:52 am. 7 lbs, 7 oz.

She's quite prompt--arrived on her due date!

More soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Language Required

We are waiting for the notoriously slow elevators at St. Vincent’s after one of my checkups. Standing next to us is a nurse, a new baby, the new mom, and a couple of her friends. The new mom doesn’t speak English, so her friends translate what the nurse is saying. It is an exciting day; they are taking the new baby home.

When the elevator finally arrives, we all step inside, and I cannot stop looking at the little baby, fast asleep in the carseat, tiny and pink and perfect.

The mom notices me noticing her baby, so I give her a smile. Congratulations.

Her eyes flick to my belly and she smiles back. Good luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pregnancy by the Numbers

Number of days I was on bed rest: 78

Number of days I’ve been off of bed rest: 26

Number of days various doctors have been telling me I’m going to have a baby “within the next 24-48 hours”: 21

Number of bottles of hot sauce I’ve consumed throughout this pregnancy: 3.5

Number of days since I’ve stopped working: 3

Number of books I’ve read for pleasure since I’ve stopped working: 3

Number of peach tarts I have made with peaches from the greenmarket: 2

Number of times I’ve eaten pork products in the last week: 5 (that I remember)

Number of times while writing this post that Spicebaby has kicked me in the ribs: 8

Number of pounds Spicebaby weighs: 7

Number of ounces Spicebaby weighs: 9

Number of days until my due date (not counting today): 4

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


As Spiceboy and I walked Betty to the park this morning, a woman passed us on the sidewalk. She looked me up and down, took in my pregnant lady waddle and my huge belly, complete with popped-out belly button, and said, “You look great! You’re almost there—congratulations!”

Her cheerful, motivational tone reminded me of the way people cheer on marathon runners while handing them bananas and Power Bars: “Yay! All right! You can do it! Looking good!”

It was a sweet gesture, and I thanked her and waddled on my way.

Which got me to thinking—how great it would be if the general public treated all women in the last few weeks of their pregnancies like marathon runners? The next 11 days leading up to my due date would be much more bearable if every time I left the apartment, people shouted encouraging mantras at me, like: “Your labor will be a breeze!” or “You’re having a great hair day!” whilst handing me some of the foods I crave most—reuben sandwiches, ice cream, and various salty pork products.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Love on a Friday in Manhattan

The West Village is crowded with Friday revelers, and we wander the streets hand in hand. There is a man playing a piano in the middle of a square, and we laugh as we imagine him pushing his piano down Sixth Avenue every day so he can play for the crowds. “I’ll bet he lives on the first floor,” you say.

It’s been so long since I’ve been to Bleecker Street. I forgot how much I missed shuffling along the sidewalk and peering into the shop windows. It seems I can smell everything these days; exhaust and coffee and pizza and something sweet, too. I inhale deeply.

Near Thompson Street, a group of men stand outside a closed storefront, singing their hearts out for the passersby. We squeeze past a group of tourists, an old woman wearing a wig, a tall skinny girl covered in tattoos.

Later, we share a plate of fried oysters, a lobster roll. We hold hands across the table and I steal sips of your white wine. As we’re leaving, the waitress’s eyes flick to my swollen belly.

“When’s the baby coming?” she asks.

“Any minute now, according to the doctor,” I say.

Her face lights up. “A Leo baby!” she exclaims, then bids us good luck as we step outside, where dusk is settling over Cornelia Street, and everything is tinged with purple.

A contraction creeps across my belly and we both put our hands on it until it fades away. Is this it? we wonder every time.

On the subway home, the blasting air conditioning is a relief. I sit and you stand, hanging onto the bar and smiling down at me. The subway doors open and close, everyone settles into their seats. I rest my hands on my belly, and the baby gives me a nudge, which never fails to delight me. You reach out and touch my hair and we share a secret smile.

Any moment could be the moment.

Soon, we’ll be a family.