First Snow

When I let Nikita out this morning I was greeted with our first dusting of snow for the season.  It's just trace amounts, really, but I take it as a sign that we are finally making the turn for winter, a season about which I have mixed feelings.  I love the snuggling in, the days spent at home, and all the things we do to keep warm (sweaters! tea! cocoa! hot water bottles in bed!).  But I do like to keep winter at a distance.  I like to see it outside my window, not to venture out into it.

We are at week 30, which sounds so advanced even though there are still at least 10 weeks to go, which also sounds like an eternity.  I have to say that the physiological changes I've experienced in the last two weeks have been more profound than all those of the prior 28 weeks combined.  I am embarrassed to admit that when we hit six months I was starting to get a little cocky.  I felt great, I was sleeping well, eating well, and pretty much felt like myself.  Pregnancy?  Pfft.  I've got this thing down.  But now...I do a lot of "oooofing" whenever I move.  Sleep doesn't come quite so easily and I feel like a parallel universe version of myself who is always in the morning after stage of some sort of extreme sport.  In other words, I just ache.  But, it's a good ache and I know that it will eventually come to a close.  I remind myself that this phase is so very fleeting.  Soon enough I'll be watching little legs kick into the air instead of feeling them pound into my rib cage.

To Grandmother's House We (Don't) Go

So often the choices that I’ve made in order to live a life that is more gentle on this earth have involved what I don’t do. I try very hard not to consume mindlessly, not to drive unnecessarily, to just use less, etc. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for very interesting or sexy reading and it can be especially difficult to practice in the current season. But, one of the things that Steve and I are considering forgoing this year is travel for the holidays...

For more head on over to The Green Phone Booth for my guest post. 

Redefining "doing"

The most frequent questions I get these days (even more frequently than questions about the baby) revolve around what I'm going to "do" now that I'm home all day.  I never really know how to respond.  I do have a very long to-do list of long over-due household tasks, like organizing the kitchen cupboards, which have been on the back burner for years.  These are slowly being crossed off and this is what I usually talk about in these situations.  But to be honest, my days at home so far have been very quiet and very still.  Just how I hoped they would be.  I am struggling a bit with being "okay" with this stillness, though.  I feel so programmed to believe that I'm wasting my time unless I have some definable, completed work to show for it.  Unless I can provide proof at the end of the day that X number of hours produced Y results I feel like time has just slipped away from me and has been lost.  There isn't much room for things like reading and quietly being in the moment in this sort of accounting, though. 

I'm trying to find ways to bring value to these moments.  Sometimes that comes by reframing my activities so that they do fit into my preconceived notions about what is a valuable way to spend time--defining the time I spend reading as educational time spent preparing for birth and parenthood, for example.  Other times I try to just let go and be.  I've always needed a fairly large amount of meditative time in order to feel "ok."  I don't meditate in any formal sense, but I need time to look out the window, clear my mind of all thoughts, and just be.  I need to learn to honor that need within myself.  Pregnancy is such a short, sacred time in any woman's life.  I am trying very hard to give myself permission to really listen to my mind and my body and do whatever it is that feels right in that moment.

Coming Home

Today marks day number four in my new life as a stay-at-home wife and soon-to-be-mother.  In some ways, the decision to quit my job was a very tough one, but mostly it was a forgone conclusion.  Both Steve and my mothers stayed home with their children and we both think that it's incredibly important for at least one of us to be a constant presence in our children's daily lives.  In some ways, I think that I've always planned on staying home with my babes.  I guess it might have been a tougher decision had I been working toward a career goal that I was really passionate about, but I wasn't.  I am passionate, however, about home.  I'm really happy.  For the last four days I've been happier than I've been in a long time and I feel like I've accomplished more than I have in months.  It's an odd place to be, though.  I don't have a community yet.  All of the women that I know who have children have gone back to their away-from-home jobs, so there is a touch of loneliness and a yearning for someone to talk to who has made/is making similar choices to me.  I know this will come in good time.  I'm stumbling to find a rhythm to my days.  I'm getting there:  my morning walk with Nikita, cups of tea, and long over due projects.  I need to allow myself the freedom to do what feels right in the moment.  And sometimes what feels right is to just be.  And that's okay too.

My Own Quickening

For me, it wasn't those early twangs of nausea.  Or hearing the heartbeat.  It wasn't feeling the first flutters of movement.  For me, the moment that my pregnancy felt "real" was over four months in when my suddenly protruding belly button caused my belly button ring to literally pop out of my body. I think up until that point I had been able to rationalize the changes I had been going through and to put them out of my mind because they had been so gradual.  So subtle.  But in that active moment, it all became concrete. Real. In some stupidly symbolic way, my body pushing out that ring (which I've had in for over a decade) was a transformative moment into a new season of my life. A leaving behind of my own childhood and self-centeredness and a tentative first step into an adult world where a life truly and fully depends on me. 
There really is a baby growing in there.