Apr. 19th, 2011 10:42 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I want to do better about documenting this pregnancy, because there is the possibility that I won't have another one.  And I should be writing in here more often anyway.  Otherwise my life just goes by and I barely notice, or I don't remember, or reflect or something.  I'm not sure.  

Still pregnant.  I wonder how many days I will say this before I stop.  Maybe until I go into labor.  Or maybe just until I finish the first trimester.  Much like when I was pregnant with Tai, every time I go to the bathroom I check everything out to make sure there's no blood.  At least this time I'm never hoping that there is.

Though for the first time today I had a moment of 'holy shit, what the fuck have I done?'  I was thinking about how things are going to change for Tai and I felt unaccountably guilty.  And a little nostalgic.  I'm not going to be able to hold him in my arms again like I used to when he was a baby.  Sure, I can still hold him and cuddle him, but not the same way.  Even though he's been wanting a sibling (a sister, specifically), he doesn't know exactly what this will mean.  (Of course, I guess I don't know either.)  

What if I love Tai more than the new baby?  What if I love the new baby more than Tai?  What if Tai doesn't get any attention from me anymore?  I will miss him when I'm busy with a new baby!  I know, it's all normal stuff.  It's just what's on my mind.

I've also been considering what I want to do for this birth (assuming all goes well).   On one hand, I would like to try for a home birth again.  On the other hand, Tom may not be willing to try that at all.  I'm also considering going to UCSF - I've heard good things about one of the midwives there (she helped a friend deliver her baby, and my friend had a really good experience with her).  Lisa points out that I don't have to decide yet (obviously) and gave me a good suggestion - call the midwife that I'm interested in having for my birth and talk to her... and I can see when I should decide by, to make sure her schedule doesn't fill up!  I can also go to UCSF and see what I think about it there, too.  

I'm getting ahead of myself, too.  First I need to have the baby decide to stick around.  So far so good... but I'm nervous, of course.  I know that I can't control it (thank you for the reminder, Lisa!  Also, I typed that as 'can control' first.  Ha!) but it's so hard to let go.  So hard to have faith.  Fits right in with what I'm working on at AA, too.  I'm on the Third Step, and one of the big things is to turn my will and my life over to the care of God (as I understand God).  I know I don't have control, but it's hard to get that through my heart.  God, grant me the serenity.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Last night was the 31st Annual Sing-it-yourself Messiah and even though we were tired and we hadn't planned ahead, Mom and I managed to go.  It was our fifth year (though we skipped 2006 and 2007 because Grandma was sick, and then dying).  Every year we say we're going to take the classes to learn our vocal parts, but we never do.  Even so, I think I'm making a little bit of progress both keeping on the alto line and not getting utterly lost in the notes.  This year it was held at the Mission Dolores Basilica instead of Davies Symphony Hall.  It made it harder to see the conductor, but there was something about singing in a church that felt perfect.

Every time I participate (in whatever small way) in performing this piece, I find something else that speaks to me - even though I'm ambivalent about Jesus and Christianity.  Every time, I feel called back to my roots (though they are slight) as a Christian.  This year I was moved by the alto's air that went: " He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief".  I am drawn by an aspect of God that has lived as a human, one that is 'a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.'  This is and aspect of God that I can relate to.

The air that struck me as most beautiful was where the soprano sang, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is the righteous Saviour, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen.  Rejoice greatly."  The tempo slows as she sings "He shall speak peace" and she repeats 'peace'.  My heart opened and softened.  Peace, yes.  This is what I need - heathen, or no.  Please, speak peace unto me.

All I hear, however, is Tai speaking 'boobie' unto me.

Bad Mood

Sep. 13th, 2009 09:24 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I'm not sure what it is - maybe it's the weather - but I have been in a most foul mood this last week.  I'm starting to wonder whether I might be depressed.  I've stopped writing, mostly.  (Even for my class.  I missed one week of writing and the week before that I only wrote 5 new pages, double spaced.)  I've found myself hiding out a bit more than usual.  Not avoiding people, in particular, but not seeking anyone out, either.  Part of that is because Tai was sick for half of last week, then Tom was sick the other half - so I'm still worried about passing on the flu.  (Possibly swine flu, but we aren't sure because neither of them was sick enough to warrant testing.)  I'm irritable with just about everyone, especially Tom.  

I'm having a hard time deciding how much of my mood is situational (not enough solid sleep nights, not feeling supported by Tom pretty much regularly, not getting many breaks in toddler care, etc) and how much is possibly a recurrence of depression.  I've started talking about it with Wendy, but I also need to make an appointment with my psychiatrist.  I might need a med tweak.

I'm just not finding as much pleasure in things as I had been.  I don't feel light.  I've been more anxious.  Angry randomly.  And so lonely.  It's silly - I have friends, people I could get together with if I'd just pick up the phone... but I mostly don't.  There are things I want to do, I just can't seem to get up the initiative to do them.  I want to finish the scrapbook of Tai's first year.  I want to start doing more with my photographs.  I want to start sewing for Tai (and maybe for other kidlets).  But I find myself in front of the TV and the laptop and books night after night. I'm diving into books, and hiding out from the rest of the world.

Fortunately I haven't been taking it out on Tai - at least not much.  I am a bit shorter of temper, less willing to put up with the whining and the tantrums which have been plentiful since he was sick.  But some of my best times and best moods are with him.  We were sitting on the porch one evening recently and he was playing with a new bubble gun Tom's mom bought him.  We were watching the bubbles float across the street and up into the sky.  It was simple, but fun.  And there have been a couple of nights that I'm rocking and nursing him to sleep, or for naps, where I finally feel myself taking deep, full breaths and I am so deeply content.

I actually went to church today - an Episcopal church (I was raised *very* slightly Episcopal).  It was different than any church I'd been to before.  It felt like a family sitting together, more than anything.  I was awkward, as usual in a new setting, but I think I'm going to go back.  One of these days I'm going to find my spiritual home - I think that will help.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I've been feeling unsettled lately.  Like I'm in the midst of a transition and unable to land on either side of things.  I'm not sure why, maybe because I am still trying to figure out who the heck I am other than Tai's Momma (and I'm still discovering exactly what that means).  Maybe because I don't have a job other than being homemaker and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  Maybe because I haven't been writing that much lately.  Maybe because I've been feeling the need for more friendship in my life.  More community too - for instance, I'd like to find a spiritual community. Probably it's a mix of all of this stuff and other stuff too.

I am taking steps to work on this, though.  I've signed up for a 'finishing your novel' course.  I'll be meeting with my classmates in person once a month, then in between I'll share progress with the teacher and one other classmate online.  The class will last for six months and I'm hoping that I make some decent progress with more structure in my writing life.  I'm also hoping that I do better about making writer-friends this time.

I've been trying to do better about getting together with women from my Mom's Group.  I'm hosting a second meeting tomorrow, hoping that with our toddlers confined to the house, we'll actually be able to talk rather than just race after the kidlets.  I'm trying to figure out how to invite one or two over with their husbands some evening, too.  It would be good for Tom and I to have couple-with-kids friends.  Especially since they would have kids Tai's age.

I'm reading a lot of books about Buddhism lately.  Meditation would probably do me some good, especially working with the transitory nature of life.  I think I can be a better Momma when I get more deeply in touch with this.  In fact, I bet it would be good for me, as well, since my anxiety tends to make me think that I'm going to be stuck in a shitty position forever.  That's not so much a help community-wise, though I'm considering going to the Zen Center here.  

I feel like I've been spending so much of my life waiting, waiting to know what the right thing to do is... waiting for someone to give me permission.  I don't want to waste my life waiting.  I want to live.  I just have to figure out what that means.

God talk

Jan. 22nd, 2009 11:33 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
We'll see if Tai sleeps long enough for me to get this whole post out of my brain and onto the intartubes. (He's been sleeping since 8:30, but he just started crying a couple of minutes ago. Then he stopped. This is unusual - the stopping without someone coming to rock him back down. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and counting it as progress in the sleep department.)

Tonight McGee was in town unexpectedly so he joined Mom, Tai and I at dinner while Tom was out with work-folks drinking many expensive margaritas. I happened to mention to Mom that I'm thinking about going to the Unitarian Universalist service this Sunday and she sort-of laughed and asked why the heck I was thinking of doing that. She apologized for the snarkiness later; she's totally stressed about things right now, so I understand. Though I was a little hurt. Usually she supports my spiritual wanderings. But she did have a point - I tried the UU church a few years ago and it wasn't a good fit for the place I was in. McGee asked why it wasn't a good fit. I said that my experience with it felt very social-action focused without a lot of God or Higher Power involved. If I wanted to hear a sermon about various social issues, or a basic lesson on one religion or another then it would be exactly right, but I was looking for something else.

Read more... )

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Without Holidailies to keep me honest, I'm just not so good at getting journal entries together.  Add to this the fact that I forget a thought almost as quickly as I have it, I'm going to stick to bullet points in this entry.  We'll see whether I come back to any topic or not.  I'll do my best!

Read more... )

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tonight I went over to Mom's to help her bake Christmas cookies.  It's a lengthy process, with meticulous rolling and cutting and careful decoration with colored sugar and nothing else.  It's the same recipe she's used ever since I was a kid, and the same one my Grandma used, and my Aunt as well - though each makes it a little different.  I love these cookies - pure butter and sugar and they are so light and crisp they practically melt in your mouth.

While the cookies are being prepared and decorated we always listen to Christmas carols.  We do the Peanuts Christmas album, the Harry Simeone Chorale's Little Drummer Boy, the soundtrack to Rudolph (though we didn't have that this year since Mom only has it on cassette) and the Messiah (during which we sing along, all the parts, all the solos and even some of the orchestra parts).   It's a routine we've had ever since I can remember.  Mom does most of the rolling and cutting of the dough - when my brother and I do it, we eat too much of the dough.  We each get to decorate at least one tray of cookies which are then our own to eat later.  The rest are to share.

Tonight was one of the better years.  We started decorating cookies late and got things rolling with a little glass of red wine.  We sang, we laughed.  And we talked.  One of the things I love most about my relationship with my mother is how we can talk about everything.  We talked about how things are going with our husbands.  We talked about how we're dealing with the anniversary of Grandma's death - and the first Christmas without her.  (It's tough, Christmas was a holiday that was more her than any other.  As Mom said, after Grandma died, the traditions of beautiful wrapping of presents is going by the wayside.  I think she's wrong - she and Aunt Chris might not be quite as anal, but paper, ribbon, bows, tags all match and coordinate. )  We both feel that life is more precarious.  And more precious.

We spent a lot of time talking about religion and trying to find one's way with that.  We're both searching for a spiritual community where we feel at home, but we are both having a hard time.  I'm still trying to figure out whether I'm Christian or Jewish or what.  I'm wishing for a place where I could explore the questions, but I'm not sure where to look.  It felt good to talk about it with Mom.

And I got a whole evening without Tai.  Tom came home from work early-ish and he had a Daddy-Son evening.  Everything went smoothly, but Tai drank the two and a half bottles I left for him, and part of a third.  He was looking for the comfort of nursing, but Daddy doesn't have the right equipment.  After Tai cried for half an hour while Tom was trying to put him to bed, Tom realized he was making the 'nurse' sign.

Tai finally seems to have really gotten the sign in the past couple of days.  I'm excited about that.  I can't wait until he starts talking.


Dec. 14th, 2008 11:24 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tonight was the annual Sing-It-Yourself Messiah at the symphony hall.  Last time I went was 2005, so it was fun to go back, even if I lost my place in the music several times.  There were a couple of other altos in the audience near me, so that helped keep me from sliding up to the soprano part, since that's what Mom sings.  I was surprised at the sparse turn-out, especially since this is the 30th anniversary.  The conductor had a great sense of humor and seemed to be having a good time, unlike the last conductor who was irritated at having to deal with all of us ignorant fools.

The soloists were a mix of passionate and technically proficient singers.  I thought the bass was wonderful, and the trumpet soloist was stunning.  When they came together in the Air that went: " The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." I was totally breathless.  

But my favorite piece is still the Alto Air: "
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Come unto Him, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls."  I could feel myself settling down, quieting and coming to center. 

I wish peace to all who are heavy laden.

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I'm feeling all over the place lately.  Unsettled somehow.  Taking long walks helps in that my mind is mostly quiet and my body is moving.  Yoga helps for the same reason, and the stretching helps to relax me in a way walking doesn't.  I'm glad I kept going to the Moms and Babies yoga - it's getting better for both Tai and I, and they're even thinking of adding a second class.  I'm not overly anxious or depressed, so that's a plus.  (And also thank god.)

I'm just feeling a bit lost in terms of my spirituality. 
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I've made it to 37 weeks and I have to say - I'm relieved. After all of the decision making, I would have been disappointed if I'd gone into labor too early. Of course this points up the fact that it's a good thing Lis and I are going to discuss the possibility of a hospital transfer. Not that I'd argue about any emergency situation, or even any serious suggestion. But she reminded me that there's a very real chance that I'll feel some form of grief if I end up delivering in the hospital, as it clearly isn't my first choice. It will be helpful to think about that ahead of time, I think.

That said - things are going well in the ninth month. Heart burn isn't too bad - happens every now and again, but tea and Tums help. My hands get a bit swollen and tingly, but my ring still fits. I get a back ache sometimes, but not constantly. It is getting to be a bit of a pain to haul my body around. I feel ungainly and awkward... but I really don't mind. I don't worry about weight gain, I don't worry about how I look.

Truthfully, I feel proud of my belly, of my body - in a way I don't think I ever have. I've nourished my baby, helped him to grow, to become the beginnings of a person... and I've done that with my body, not my mind. I tend to over-think, over-intellectualize, get stuck in my head. But other than thinking about nutrition and watching what I put in my body, my brain could have taken a nine month vacation and I would have been able to nourish my baby. It's a strange feeling.

It's a problem when I do start over thinking. I get anxious and start one of my spins. But when I listen to my deeper self, something in me says that this is going to be okay. Sometimes things will be hard, but then they'll get easier. Sometimes things will be scary, but then I'll get over it. Sometimes things will be wonderful and exciting and perfect, and then things will change again. It all will be what it will be... and mostly it will turn out okay underneath - even when it isn't okay at first. This is not a certainty I hold usually - but lately it's something I'm coming to believe completely. I hope I can hold it even when I'm in my darkest spots.

In other news - the wiggler has moved down some and he's still head down. I knew he'd moved last weekend when I went to Home Depot with Tom and I felt like I had to pee about every five minutes. And I was waddling, too (yaow - I am such the sexay thang. Hee). It was cool to know, even before Lis confirmed it by just feeling the abdomen. He's been a bit quiet the last couple of days after several days of being quite active. I lost a pound in between last week's appointment and this week's. I'm pretty sure I'm feeling some Braxton-Hicks. All of these signs point - nowhere! But of course we're all playing the 'what does that say about when you'll go into labor' game. With 17 days to go (give or take) I put a pad on the bed in case of water-breakage in the night, and have started washing the wiggler's clothes. It's really hitting home that there is going to be a *baby* at the end of all of this. Or the beginning, I guess. I can't wait to meet him.
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
I had an interesting therapy session with Wendy today. One of the things I love about working with her is how she gets involved with whatever is going on with me. Though there is the inevitable distance - she is a therapist, not a friend - she is a participant in the sessions. I didn't work nearly so well with my last therapist, who had a much more silent, distant approach. Since I've been pregnant, Wendy's been supportive of my journey around my birth decision and she helps me to remember that while every mother makes mistakes, what's important is that we're good enough - not perfect.

I was telling her a little about my last meeting with Lis and how I was thinking about how I can tap into my sense of spirituality and God during the birth. And how I see spirituality and birth intersecting, for me. In talking to her, I put something into words that I hadn't fully done before. (One of the best parts of therapy, in my opinion - when a piece of knowledge, only previously felt in a rather amorphous way, is given words and thus verbalized.)

Earlier in my pregnancy, when Mom was in town, she took me to a store in Noe Valley where they had several different painted icons of the Virgin Mary. She wanted me to pick the one that spoke to me so I could have it with me during labor and birth. Mary has been a very powerful figure in her own spiritual search and she wanted to share that with me. While Mary hasn't been as influential to me - I see her as a powerful mother figure and a connection to all of the mothers who have given birth before me. And, as Lis suggested, all of the women who will be giving birth at the same time as me. Wendy's suggestion too was that Mary would be a connection to Mom as birthing-mother and the lineage of women who have gone before her. (Including, of course, Grandma).

But more specifically to my own sense of spirituality, I talked about how I see both birth and death as these liminal spaces - these thresholds between this world and somewhere else. In the process of laboring to bring a child into the world and to leave this world, a person crosses into this space and emerges transformed. I see labor as my journey into this liminal space, where my child waits. Then I help bring him through this space and into our own. A bit like the archetypal journey into the underworld - and then the return. My hope is that I tap into my strength, and that I can hold onto that later in my journey as a mother. During the transformation of birth, I'm birthing a new life for the baby, and for myself as Mother.

I hadn't fully understood this vision until I was describing it to Wendy. And this vision is the main reason I want to have a homebirth. Here I feel I can hold onto that vision, make it real for me. That would be much more difficult in the hospital. And I'm not certain that the nurse-midwives would understand it as fully as I feel Lis will. Maybe that's because she initiated a discussion about spirituality and birth, and maybe that's not encouraged in a hospital setting... but whatever the reason, it's another piece of why I'm pleased with my decision.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

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