Monday, August 23, 2010


Don't want to jinx myself, but maybe that second wind is finally setting in. Took advantage of feeling good and got a lot done this weekend, including a shower, a wedding and two softball games (in the stands). Even managed to check a few items off my "baby to-do" list.

1) Car seat: Installed (much easier than we expected, actually)
2) Nursery: Cleared out and vacuumed, even the closet!
3) Baby clothes: Hanging by size in the closet
4) Remaining "must have" registry items: On order. Thank goodness for and a mother-in-law willing to stop by Babies R Us for me.
5) Hospital bag: Started. At least I have a list for what else needs to go in there.

We finished our final class (breastfeeding) last week. Now that I know how to get the baby out, and how to feed her when she arrives, I'm just ready for her to be here!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Overwhelmed with love

Today was my baby shower, and words cannot describe how grateful and appreciative and loved it made me feel to be surrounded by so many people who care about us. Yes, we need stuff, and the generosity of friends and family far exceeded anything I could have imagined. But above all, I was overwhelmed that so many people would take the time to even attend a party just for me and the baby. Amazing.

I can only hope this baby grows up to have friends even half as wonderful as mine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"I'm adopted. Did you know that?"

Of course you didn't. And maybe that Margo Tenenbaum quote is only funny in the way that irony, of the unexpected variety, can be funny. Can't tell you how many times I've almost blurted that out myself. Frequently at most unrelated and/or inappropriate times.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this more often again. Especially as I've been forced to relinquish my body to the needs -- nay demands -- of this living being inside. Try as I may to retain my own identity, this large cantaloupe (according to my WTE app) growing inside me seems to dominate everything. It's the first thing people see when they look at me, and the first thing they bring up when they talk to me. I'm no longer their colleague or boss or friend or daughter-in-law. I'm their pregnant colleague or boss or friend or daughter-in-law.

If I'm being honest, it's the first thing I see about myself, too. And I don't even have to look in the mirror. I'm acutely aware of this baby every time I wake up to pee, struggle to put on my pants, break out in a sweat simply sitting in my office, drag myself up two flights of parking garage stairs ... the list goes on.

How ironic that I spent 30 years developing and becoming comfortable with my identity, and in just eight short months, this baby threatens to hijack it.

I know this sounds melodramatic. The rational side of my brain (dominated by pregnancy hormones lately) says no one can hijack my identity. This baby may redefine it. Even enhance it, if I allow her to. But as much as I yearned for this, fought for this, deliberately embarked on this, I can't say motherhood is a place I'm ready for. Perhaps it's not even the journey to motherhood, but the title, "Mother," which incites such conflicting emotions for me.

All this leads back to a single question that has lingered on my mind as long as I can remember, sometimes receding into the dark crevices of subconsciousness, now bursting to the forefront:

How does a mother relinquish her child to strangers?

More specifically, how did my (birth)mother do it? And why?

On good days -- when I watch my friends with their children, when I allow myself to daydream about the family I'm creating, when I feel the baby move gently inside of me, when I catch my husband looking at me with pure adoration his eyes -- I feel an unnerving, possessive instinct, and I think there's no way I could relinquish this child, my child, to anyone else.

But on dark days -- when it feels like the baby is brutalizing me from the inside out, when I am overwhelmed by everything I'm supposed to be doing to prepare for her arrival, when I am reminded of my own childhood, when I am annoyed by the fact that no one seems to see me for anything besides this baby -- it is easy to imagine how much I might resent my child. How depressed I could easily become if I am not overcome by warm fuzzies the moment she enters the world. How hard motherhood is going to be. How scared and insecure I already am.

And I think: Maybe that's how she felt. Maybe it was easy for her. Maybe it will be harder for me to cling to this child than to let her go.

I must cling to this child. I must love this child. I must embrace this journey to a destination denied to so many; rejected by others.

I must.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Hiccups in my hoo-ha. Yet another random thing no one warned me about.