The Morning Ritual: Month Six

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The Morning Ritual looks something like this:

  • Alarm goes off.  Evaluate bladder.  Hit snooze.
  • Hit snooze.
  • Hit snooze.
  • Finally admit I need to get out of bed.  Start wondering when she’s going to kick.
  • Shower, slather on moisturizer like frosting on a birthday cake, eye my closet and decide — do I want to wear the maternity pants that constantly need adjustment, the leggings that probably won’t fit in a month, or the skirt that makes me look like a walking pregnancy monolith?
  • Wake up the grumpy half with a smooch. He grumps. I smooch some more.
  • Greeted by noisy, demanding cats who are all WHYYY WHYYY WON’T YOU LET US INNNN?  Evaluate cat excitement level to decide if they’re being whiny about their bedroom exile or whether they actually need something.
  • Start coffee.  Put away dishes while it brews.
  • Listen to upstairs creaks to make sure the grumpy half is actually getting his grumpy self out of bed.
  • Worry for the twentieth time that I haven’t felt a kick yet.
  • Set out everything I will need to take to work: banana, phone, coffee travel mug.
  • Heh.  “Bananaphone“.
  • Eat hardboiled egg.  Take redonculous amounts of vitamins.  Eat cottage cheese with a tablespoon of sunflower butter.  Wonder if I will ever eat anything ever again for breakfast.
  • Feel a kick.  Yell out to the empty kitchen, “Good morning, young lady!”  Startle cats.
  • Get in car, decide if I’ll call mom to tell her for the umpteenth time that we felt a kick.  She can’t be sick of it yet.  Right?  Right?
  • Forget {coffee|banana|phone} and only realize it as I’m pulling into the work parking lot.
  • Begin workday.

The morning ritual doesn’t apply during weekends.  Pretty much I stick to the script during workweeks because if I don’t, I’ll forget something vital, and that’s how you get to work with a banana but no phone.  Or heaven help if I don’t take the vitamins.  The baby needs the vitamins, people.

Lately I’m wondering how it’s going to change when she’s here and I’m working.  I’m guessing I’ll be up earlier so I can feed her and get her ready for the day, but how much earlier?  It all depends on what kind of baby she is, I guess.  And whether or not breastfeeding works for us.  And other things.

These discoveries (and more) will have to wait until then, though.

On the Failure of Analogies

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On the 15th of November I felt twitches.  I thought they were muscle twitches.  I was still in the headspace where I didn’t want to fool myself.  Just muscle twitches, I thought.  Nothing to be excited about.

But the twitches kept happening, and kept getting stronger.  A few days before Thanksgiving I told my mom that I wasn’t sure, but I thought I felt the baby kicking.

“What’s it like?” she asked.  Not because she didn’t know what it’s like, but because she wanted to help me verify.

“Well, you know how when you go for a long, long walk and afterward, when your muscles are ‘cooling down’, they kind of twitch?”


I paused.  “What do you mean ‘no’?”

“I guess I don’t exercise as much as you.”

I pulled on my hair.  I kept trying to come up with an analogy that worked.  No dice.  We finally decided to be optimists and pretend it was baby kicks.  I then tried my analogy on Mike.

“Nope,” he said.

“You’re kidding me.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.  Muscle twitches?”

I took a deep breath.  “Okay, you know how the skin under your eye sometimes twitches?  It doesn’t hurt, it just…ticks?”

“Oh, yeah.”

I flung my hands in the air in a victory “V”.  “Like that!

“Ah. Okay.”

It’s still like that.  She’s been kicking all through this post, in fact.  That’s my girl.

Zoe’s First Story, part 2

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Here is the thing about miscarriage: it strips away confidence.

All the optimism, all the nonchalance I breezed into my first pregnancy with got completely blown out of the water by that loss. So when the second pregnancy happened, and happened so quickly, I spent nine weeks with a mixture of disbelief and dread.  I just didn’t want to go through that heartbreak again.

And even though I knew better, I found myself questioning how “real” this one was.  Did I have enough symptoms?  I didn’t, I couldn’t, I wasn’t nauseous or tired enough.  I didn’t “feel” pregnant.  I felt like I was holding my breath, expecting it to go wrong.  Mike and I agreed not to tell anyone this time, though we did reveal it to our parents.  We pinky-swore them to secrecy.  I had a bit of gallows humor about the whole thing, though I did continue to take vitamins and eat “right”, as defined by me.

I slept poorly the night before my nine week appointment.  Anxiety had me waking up three times.  When we got there, the CNM didn’t spend much time asking questions — she knew I’d had a miscarriage two months before, so we got straight to business.

We started with the fetal doppler to try and listen for a heartbeat.  Not the CNM’s idea, but she was interning a woman that day, and the intern wanted to try.  Nothing.  The head midwife brushed this off — too early, she said.  Then the ultrasound gel got applied, and the monitor came up, and —

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