Eleven Weeks, 5 Days ~ May 13, 2004
~ A change of scenery
This week has been a bit crazy. Friday was the Mother's Day brunch at Gabe's school. Then there was the weekend Mother's Day breakfast at my mom's, and then I was off to a conference (for Technical Communications) Sunday evening, through yesterday evening (Wednesday).
The Mother's Day event at school was the usual - designed to make mommy hearts melt into complete mush. Pregnant mommies beware! Or at least bring tissues. The kids baked scones, and made fruit salad. They also made us each a card that was waiting at our place at the table, and the tables were covered with paper that they'd colored placemats on for each of us. Gabe has realized that I like flowers, so mine were covered with flowers, mostly tulips. Oh, and one pretty scary-looking ant with more legs than strictly necessary. He was very proud of the ant.
The kids led us to our seats, and then served us. Being dairy-free, no scone for me, but I had plenty of the fruit salad, which was quite good. The kids also carefully served tea (no caffeine for me). Then they sang us some songs they liked - this year no smooshy mommy songs, which was just as well, because I was close enough to the emotional melting point as it was, from sheer maternal pride. Gabe enjoyed making sure I could see him while they performed, though he barely sang two words in the process of keeping eye contact and grinning at me. Then they gave us little plants they'd sprouted from seeds - Thyme, because mommies never have enough 'time'.
I did tell a few of the moms that I was pregnant. It kind of felt safe enough - not outside the 12-week zone, but closer to safe. Plus, with the movement continuing, I was feeling more stable and solid and real. I was still cautious about it, but there were a few moments when it seemed right to tell.
I left feeling fine, but by the time I got to the car, my body demanded something more substantial than just fruit salad. PROTEIN. NOW. So I headed for McDonalds, and felt a bit better by the time I got home. I still had some work to do for work, and some preparations to do for the conference, but it was a fine day.
Pregnancy brain makes it even harder to remember the details of my life - without a cue card, I can't remember what I did on Saturday. I've tried back-tracking. I know what I did Sunday morning. but the day before is gone. Sometime in there the college guys brought us leftovers from their roast pig, and we spent some time outside playing.
And then Sunday. Quakers don't 'do' Mother's Day much. But my mom isn't Quaker, and the school isn't Quaker, either. So we had breakfast on Sunday with my mom, and my sister-in-law, and one of our 'friblings' (friends who have become full family members, whose kids are called cousin by my kids, who call my mom 'Mom' because she is, in many ways, their mom, too). Plus their families - kids and spouses. Again, the hungries set in before I was expecting them to, and I ate about a quarter pound of bacon before it reached the table. Sigh. And then I ate rather a lot when breakfast was served, too.
Afterwards, we mulched my mom's back yard. Her yard is a nature habitat, so most of it is nearly woodland, with some meadow. There's a nice deck (designed and built by Will), and one half the yard is English Garden theme, the other half is Japanese. It is a dream-garden for kids - complete with a child-sized tea house under a huge white pine, and a little Victorian cottage past a bridge, tucked behind some birch trees. But the ground needs mulch for the kids to run on, and we were there to spread it out. Unfortunately, mulch isn't a smell I tolerate all that well during morning-sickness surges. It was a bit dicey a few times, but as long as they guys were working away, I wasn't about to wimp out. There were some priceless moments, like Brendan riding in the wheel barrow, and Gabe and his cousin competing on how many weeds they could pull up, how fast. But most of it for me was an exercise in not gagging, finding the breeze in the right direction to cool off my overheating pregnant body, and spreading the mulch without kicking up too much mulch dust - another exercise in not gagging.
Then, Will and the boys were off to his parents', where his brother and their kids were having dinner - and play time. That left me to do the grocery shopping and prepare for my trip, alone. I realized it has been a long time since I've packed alone. More than a decade of marriage means that trips are usually tandem affairs, or at least backed up by one or the other of us. This time, I was doing it without the net. But I managed, just fine.
I stayed with a friend, who was also one of my doulas with my first son's birth. Not surprisingly, talk turned quickly to labor, birth, pregnancy, and the various things we hope for this next birth experience. Still a very general theoretical talk, for me - I'm only just getting used to this being 'real' - even though my journal shows that it has been 'getting' real for a while, it isn't all the way there, not all the time.
And then there was the conference. I felt pretty good, morning-sickness-wise. I managed to not throw up the entire time I was there. And I started telling people I was pregnant, without that hesitation I'd felt just a few days before. My coworker and friend with whom I was attending the conference also began to just announce to people that I was expecting. I found I didn't mind at all when she did.
I don't know what made the difference in how I felt about telling people
- just the transition past 11 weeks? Or was it more that I'd had enough movement, enough times, to feel like it was safe to tell relative strangers? Or was it the presence of my old friend and doula, somehow pushing my mind into more acceptance that this was going to end with a birth, a baby, not another loss? . if she thought it was real, did it become more real to me? Was it just the change of scene - the fact that I had time to just think about being pregnant, just BE pregnant, and not also be all the other things I must be on a daily basis, just for a few hours?
I'm not sure what factored into it, really. Maybe all those things, plus the warmth and congratulations and excitement of complete strangers for this blessing I'm carrying. Whatever it was, it was nice. I'm still nervous, but I'm feeling more comfortable about this pregnancy every day.