it’s a recurring theme of my bad personality that i often begin ill-conceived projects with unabashed enthusiasm only to discontinue them almost immediately with equal enthusiasm.
i started this blog when ian and i first got serious about planning a pregnancy, and stopped updating shortly after our joint venture became one year old human being. in retrospect, it’s a shame i didn’t keep up with ~ * ~ mommy blogging ~ * ~ because the years after the initial shock and adjustment period have genuinely been some of the most fun i’ve ever had without video games or alcohol.
james is nearly 3 years old and i’m proud to say that none of my early agonizing over formula temperature or nap lengths amounted to very much beyond the rapid recession of my postpartum hairline because by the magical momentum of nature and luck, my dude grew to be a happy, healthy little guy who has given us very little to fret about.
and this is where i fall easily into the tropes of mommyhood, marveling over his abundance of personality or rejoicing in toddler-isms that feel so unique and significant to me. i have to give myself a pep talk, remind myself that it’s not feasible or rewarding to parent under a layer of irony and obfuscation, that it’s okay to bask in james’ precocious moments, that falling back on maternal platitudes isn’t tantamount to a complete overhaul of my personality.
aaba, can you read the coco book? can you sit on the bear? can you sit criss cross applesauce? james asks ian while we settle down for bedtime reading. hello my sweetie pie, my honey bun, he greets me brightly as i take off his shoes. when we share an overripe peach, sticky juices dribbling down his chin, he muses slimy, yet satisfying. then adds an aside for my benefit, in case i have not caught the reference- simba says that, mama.
it feels like nothing short of miraculous that the tiny jostling sidekick tucked away behind my ribcage became this bright-eyed pile of cheeks became this goofy, giggling little boy who can identify animals swiftly and loves slapstick humor. i have loved every minute of this transformation, and i’m incredibly excited to experience it for a second time.
last year, unable to stave off the reality of my withering eggs and a rapidly increasing age between james and a future sibling, i opted to remove my iud yet again and embark on the vaguely bureaucratic process of trying to conceive. this is complicated slightly by my unabashed desire for a girl and the pressure of realizing that this may be my last chance to have one because who on this cruel earth can afford 3 kids. so i veer towards the pseudoscientific shettles method of sex selection and also concoct a hairbrained scheme to increase my magnesium and calcium intake. this all culminates in a particularly bleak point of my carefully scheduled timing during which it is go time but i am sidetracked by cursed amazon product photos of men’s underwear with dick pouches.
haha look at these, i foist my phone upon ian. i have truly mastered the art of seduction. but despite my consistent and total inability to inspire ardor in anyone, a babby is formed.
pregnancy tests turn positive almost immediately, such is the strength of this cursed conception story. and almost as rapidly, symptoms surge. more specifically, they surge out of my mouth. morning sickness, which i so smugly dodged during my first pregnancy, strikes a revanchist and prolonged campaign. it sucks. it is worse than fatigue and sore breasts, worse than my omnipresent sacroiliac joint pain. but i am one of the lucky few- a sugary breakfast immediately upon waking helps mitigate the nausea.
the downside to this is obvious- i have consumed my body weight in banana bread and sweetie drinks and am now roughly the size of a dwarf planet. i also somehow came up with the boneheaded idea to proceed on a painful course of orthodontic work during this pregnancy, thinking that i’d just double down on my ugliness and get invisalign. this is coupled with a motion appliance and elastics that i lovingly refer to as my adult braces and the miserable grind of timing all my meals and drinks around the foibles of both pregnancy and orthodontics. i begin every day with the intense aching of my gums and end every evening with the trenchant pain in my sacroiliac joint.
but the prospect of completing our little family, of raising another child with my role model and best friend is worth every ache and discomfort.
10 weeks into the pregnancy, the three of us lie on james’ bedroom floor after trying unsuccessfully to wrangle the kid into an afternoon nap he has no intention of taking. i open my email from sneak peek, an early blood test to confirm the baby’s sex. a gif unfolds the test result like a fortune cookie. ian and james both huddle around my phone to see it.
congratulations, you’re having a baby girl!
clinical non-invasive prenatal testing and ultrasounds confirm this further, and we are beside ourselves with joy. though the truest hope for any pregnancy is a healthy and thriving baby and gender is an arbitrary social construct, i still feel a deep sense of completeness. finally, we’ll get to use the name i’ve been wistfully hanging onto for years.
we tell james about the imminent arrival of a sibling, but his comprehension and interest vacillates. is it my baby sister? he asks, prodding my rotund belly. when i nod, he asks can i get her out? i think that he gets it in these moments, or at least vaguely grasps some concept of pregnancy. but then he taps on ian’s leg and announces i’m knocking on my little sister! and i quickly reassure my husband that his thighs are still looking very athletic and not at all like they’re pregnant.
delivery is slated for october 6th, by repeat c-section. it’s the day after my 32nd birthday.
a girl in october, my mother muses fondly. just like you.
i hope she is only like me with respect to full head of hair. i hope in much else, she will be like ian- the best person i’ve ever known. and in some ways, i hope she has james’ intrepid spirit and love of food. but most assuredly- and significantly- i know she’ll become her very own person, with all the idiosyncrasies, strengths, and foibles that i can’t wait to discover.
hang in there, little j2. ian’s brainstorming some cool ideas for ensemble halloween costumes.