Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pregnancy Photos 18 Weeks

I may be a week late in getting this post to you, but nevertheless here it is.  It's odd how the uterus has a good memory of previous children that it bore.  Either that or it's just like a wet sock and once it's been all soggy and stretched out, it pretty much just stays that way.  In either case, I look about three times as pregnant as I did at this point last time.

I have heartburn almost constantly, run to the bathroom nearly every half an hour (on a good day), and feel a potential "roid" coming on, but dammit my skin is FLAWLESS.  Of all the weird and disgusting things that happen to my body during pregnancy, the glorious, glowing skin is by far the best.  I can heave my lunch while breathing flames of indigestion into the toilet, and as I'm wiping the flecks of vomit from my cheeks in the mirror I am still able to marvel at the unnatural twinkle to my eyes and the miraculous shade of peach I have become.  If  there were a song dedicated to my skin during pregnancy it would be called, "A Darker Shade of Tan".  Please, click that phrase, or it just won't be as funny.

So, without further ado, here is my first public photo of my pregnant belly.  18 weeks
And now Dear Readers, here's the one you're really waiting for.  The one of my butt.  Make no mistake, we WILL be tracking the growth of my derrier along with that of my stomach, and I think you will be amazed at how my hiney is like a black hole for excess calories.  It is the climate controlled storage unit for baby weight.  And no, you cannot bounce a quarter off of it.  But  it sure is fun to slap it and watch it jiggle.

Be careful kids, this is what happens when you don't use protection.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mommy Makes It Better

*I know I said I would post a pregnancy photo yesterday, and I WILL I promise, but first I have to get motivated enough to take a shower, change out of my sweat pants, and possibly brush my teeth.  And then I have to convince Jeremy to photograph me in all of my chubby glory.  So, perhaps tonight will be the night.  

As I mentioned in my previous post, Elsbeth has been very sick.  In fact, I cannot remember a time when she was this sick.  I have been home from work since Thursday, and one (or at least me) would tend to think that I would have gotten much accomplished in that time.  But that is not the case.

The Dilettante has had her first case of experiencing the magic medicine and its convalescent powers that only Mommies posses.  I can give this child Tylenol, chicken soup, soothing Vick's and a hundred humidifiers, but none of these things would compare to the comfort and respite she finds by simply being close to me.  So, while my plans of having a sparkling house have been put on the back burner, I have been taught a valuable lesson on the powers of nurture versus nature.  And for that I am very grateful.  Because while I am usually a very judicial and objective person, my personality can tend to be cold and insensitive to the needs of others.  

This is not something that I do on purpose, it's just my makeup.  This experience with Ellie has taught me to slow down, pump the brakes, and tune in to the emotional needs of those in my care.  It is a something I will have to continue working on, especially with Jeremy, who is much easier to brush off than a pitifully sick toddler crying for Mommy, even though he does have the same soulful eyes as his daughter.

For the past several nights we have allowed Ellie to go to sleep in our bed because she's been so sick.  This has been a new and unpleasant experience for me.  It's like trying to sleep with a two foot tall ninja.  Silent, but able to deliver deadly kicks to the gut with skillful precision.  I was about to kick her out last night when I felt her tiny hand reach for mine and slip itself into the palm of my own.  She rested it there and was then still.

As I lay there holding her hand; relishing the softness of her skin, I told myself:  remember this moment.  Remember the moment when your daughters hand fit easily into the palm of your own.  And remember when it's skin was unblemished by time and the wear of life.  I looked at the back of my own hand there in my bed, and saw the wrinkles beginning to form on my knuckles, the blue blood mapping its way under my skin, and I remembered looking at my own Mothers hands as a child and all that they meant to me.

They possessed the tickle monster, who could spring to life and into attack tickle without a moments notice.  They became my silent entertainers when I became restless in church as my Mother would use two fingers to ice skate across the back of my hand or pretend to be jumping on a trampoline.  They were so many things to me, but they all translated into one word: love.

As I looked back down onto my own hands holding those of my child, I said to myself,  I am the mother now and this is my child.  I will use my hands as one of many tools to express and  pass down the love that was given to me by my own Mother and so many others.  Because while banks may fail, one sure safe investment is love.  Love into the hearts and souls of people.

And that Dear Readers, is your dose of sap for the day.  Please enjoy and pass along.  The thing you're really waiting for, chubby pregnant booty shots, will be along shortly.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Elsbeth

On this day two years ago I was tearfully begging someone to give me DRUGS, anything, hit me in the head with a hammer, just MAKE THE HURTING STOP!  And then sometime around five o'clock, after 15 hours of labor, I summoned reserves of strength from somewhere unbeknownst to me and with my Mother holding one leg and my Husband holding the other, I shot Elsbeth Asher Hayes into the bright, shiny, world of people.  And then I nearly passed out.

My first memories of the moments following her birth are the comments everyone made proclaiming their astonishment at her incredibly pointy head. And to them I said, hey I challenge you to spend more than five minutes in my birth canal and see if you don't feel a little cramped.    And when asked if I wanted to see her, what did I do?  I asked to see the placenta.  And no, we did not eat it OR bury it.

The past two years have a way of seeming like an eternity that has sped past me faster than I can comprehend.   This amazing child has taught me so much about love and what it really means to live and I cannot imagine my life without her.

Her love for animals rivals that of my own as a child and last week we had to explain death to her after her beloved hamster Toodles died.  It brought me to tears every day as  she would spontaneously kneel down, fold her hands and ask God to make Toodles feel better.  Then she would tearfully look up at me with those huge, doe eyes and tell me she prayed for Toodles.  How do you explain the hard facts of life without your own heart breaking in the process?  I told her that if I could make him better, I would, but that's just not how it works and sometimes animals and people don't get better, but they DO stop hurting.

The joy she has brought into our lives is indescribable and Jeremy and I marvel over it all the time.  We agree that it's alot harder than we imagined, but so much better too.  He has to tell me to let her sleep in the morning because I can't bear to be up without her luminous presence to light my life.  

I view our lives as waves on a beach, and one generation ushers the next one in.  Parents are the guides that show their children the how to live before moving on.  I am honored to be chosen as her guide and relish in the moments when I can teach her life's lessons and pass along things that were dear to me as a child.

Tears filled my eyes as I read the night before Christmas to her and explained who Santa Claus is.  Her shouts of joyful recognition when she spotted him at the mall a few days later made my heart swell and I had to agree with her that no, Santa does not want you to pick your nose.

Today she turns two and she is pitifully sick.  So, I am forsaking most of the plans I had for a raucous birthday celebration and we will curl up on the couch together and watch Rudolph with our glasses of orange juice.  

Elsbeth, you are the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for.   I love you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Dilettante's Official 100th Post

I'm so glad that "my people" are keeping  track of how many posts I've completed, because honestly I have no clue.  It's just like literary diarrhea.  I sit down, my fingers start moving over the keys and whatever's been on my mind just seems to spill out of the black netherlands of my psyche.  

It's kind of on the same page as exercising...or coitus.  When I've been doing it for awhile I look forward to it every day and feel kind of off if I haven't done it.  But dare I take a leave of absence and the prospect of starting up again is more daunting than climbing up Everest.  So, please, bear with me while I flex these muscles that seem to have atrophied due to my pregnant brain.

On Monday I will post my first pregnant photo.  I enjoy watching my friends progress in their pregnancies and think it will be an adventure to document mine this time too.  Along with the growth of my stomach I will also be keeping track of my ass, because apparently, it's pregnant too.  

Before I ever got pregnant with Elsbeth I would imagine myself as an adorable pregnant woman waddling around with no more than a large belly and a glow of excitement.  Oh, what a shock I was in for.  I know that my issues during that pregnancy were in large part due to my slothfulness and poor diet.  This time though, I don't know what to blame it on.  I barely have time to eat and with the fifteen flights of stairs in this house I am getting one hell of a glute workout every day.   

I think I am just destined to be a chubby pregnant lady.  Do I like that?  No.  Do I particularly enjoy being pregnant, ummmmmm NO.  I like the end result, minus the fact that I was nearly ripped in half last time.  But hey, little secret, the honeymoon's NOT a myth.  

Being pregnant is like having your body hijacked, and by God if I didn't love my little babies so much, I'd be pissed.  Sometimes I imagine a day where I moan to them...How can you say that to meeeeee?  I gave you the BEST years of my BODY!  

All that bitching aside for now folks, I gotta say, when pregnant, my boobies would make any National Geographic photographer proud.  Their sheer mass is intimidating to any newborn about to indulge in their first meal.  Why just the effort exerted from hauling them and my growing stomach around all day...oh and a two year old that insists on being carried up and down these stairs all day should burn about 1000 calories.  

Most of my friends that have children tell me to relax and just enjoy being pregnant because who knows how many times I'll do this again.  To them I say, who are you that you can surrender your body so easily to the veins, and the heartburn, and swelling, and the gas.  You are apparently not the wanton, self absorbed creature that I am.  And I applaud your matronly asses, but no, I cannot give in.  

I will dutifully cook this baby in my womb and count the days until it's out.  And then the hard part begins.  But...and here's where I grow all misty eyed... it is the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done.  And I will forever thank God that at least I don't get pregnant in the face.  Well, not for another four months or so.  Then hello, Violet Beauregard!