Blog

Post on Her View from Home

HVFH published an essay I wrote about one of our more trying times this winter.

Middle one falls asleep in my lap as I read him a story, rooting me to the ground. My oldest wants to play. Baby cries for her pacifier. I can feel the germs crawling on my hands. I can’t reach it anyway. They each get a third of me.

Read more here.

Advertisements

I, writer. Or am I?

Sometimes I still wonder what I should be whenever I get around to growing up.

It’s hard not to question what I am doing when I kiss my husband and preschoolers good bye. I sip coffee in my perpetually sticky kitchen, bounce my baby on my knee, and debate how I should spend my morning. I should fold laundry, but first that would necessitate washing it. I have a few work assignments I should stop putting off. It would be prudent to get a jumpstart on dinner, but frankly a workout sounds more enjoyable.

Invariably the baby then fusses, and I spend the rest of the morning in my rocking chair, awkwardly twisting my wrists to type on an iPad.

Around my thirtieth birthday, I finally settled on a profession. I should be a writer. It was, after all, what I had dreamed about becoming as a child. A handful of publications had featured my work, and it gave me something to do while my husband watched Game of Thrones and other shows I didn’t have the stomach for. I even eventually began to earn an income.

But still, the words choked in my throat every time I had to answer the “So, what do you do?” question. The vast majority of my time was still spent changing diapers and cooking dinners. To call myself a writer seemed to be a deceptive description of how I spent my time, but to commit another point of fraud as well. I wouldn’t be simply naming a profession, I would be claiming a talent – an act I wasn’t sure I had the right to do.

I asked a few writer friends when they thought someone could call themselves a writer. “Oh, instantly!” they all cheered. “As soon as you put pen to paper, you are a writer!” I appreciated their encouragement, but I knew it was just that. My ten year college reunion was nearing, and I imagined standing among my accomplished peers and trying to tell them I was a writer.

“Oh, I’m just staying at home with the kids!” flows out much more easily.

Recently, I lost one of my writing gigs. The website folded, taking a good chunk of my credibility along with it. I understood. Even the internet could only hold so many “I’m get my pants on just like any other mom, half an hour after getting out of the shower while begging my kids for just five minutes’ peace.”

I know I can’t write about parenting forever. There is a perpetual wealth of articles decrying “Mommy bloggers” for sharing about their children’s lives, and while the points are not without merit, I cannot help but notice it is this female dominated genre that takes the most heat. I have tried my hand at other areas of writing – health journalism, tax policy, a few failed attempts at children’s poetry, and even a science fiction short story which will never gain an audience larger than my husband.

This is what I hate about freelancing. I am perpetually wondering. “Am I doing this right? What am I doing? Should I keep this up, or move on? It is to forever be dating, without any hope for commitment.

Perhaps I should’ve grown up by now, and decided on a profession before I had children who have begun to tell me what they want to be when they grow up. Or perhaps this is the path I’m meant to be on, one of wandering without destination. After all, what else is writing but an account of the journey.

Every thought I had after hearing “it’s a girl!”

Months 1-3

I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy.

Months 4-9

That’s stupid. Healthy or not, I will still love it.

Week 39

I don’t care, as long as it gets the #$&@& out of me soon.

Friday

6:10am: @#$#$@!

6:12 am: If I push hard enough, I can find out.

6:13am: It’s here! And healthy!

6:13:01am: SOMEONE MOVE THE DAMN CORD OUT OF THE WAY.

6:13:02am: It’s a girl! A girl! A girl? I’ve never had one of those.

6:15am: It is a girl, right? Can someone double check? Did anyone else get a good look?

8:07: Family knows now. Everyone is excited. Too excited? Did they all really want a girl? What’s wrong with my boys?

8:08: I can’t believe I have a girl. I don’t know anything about girls. That’s absurd. I am a girl.

9:01: Guess I’m not a #boymom anymore. That’s a bit sad. Gotta admit, I kinda liked being Queen Bee of the wild ones. But I suppose it’ll be nice having some company in the testosterone zone my home has turned into lately.

9:36: Crap. I’m going to have to explain how to use a tampon one day.

9:45: I get to plan a wedding! Go prom dress shopping! There’s no way those will be emotionally fraught and stressful events because we will have a perfect bond because the media only makes mother-daughter relationships seem stressful and strained because sexism and OMG she’s going to hate me.

10:32: What will the boys think? One wanted a brother, one wanted a sister. We are in for some tears.

10:35: The big brothers are both excited, thank God. Life will be good.

10:37 They now have lost interest in her and now just want to make my hospital bed go up and down.

1:00 pm News alert on my phone. Harvey Weinstein is a terrible person. Having a daughter is terrifying.

1:36 I am still in so much pain. I wonder if she will have kids and give birth one day. Most likely. Poor little SOB. Well, DOB.

2:57: News alert on my phone. Harvey Weinstein is a terrible person. Update: Worse than previously thought.

2:58: Having sons is terrifying. Am I doing a good enough job? Which is harder, keeping a daughter safe or a son good?

3:31: Visitor time! Wow, that’s a lot of pink. And flowers. And pink. Man. Don’t they know I want her to grow up to be empowered?

3:49: Okay, she actually looks really good in pink.

3:50: Remembering I actually really like the color pink. Well, certain shades anyway.

5:16: She’s asleep. Dang, this baby is easy. Girls must be easier. Am I stereotyping already? Maybe she’s easy because she’s my third. Or because I’ve just gotten to be a really good mom. Or maybe I just deserve an easy baby for once.

6:47: Nursing again. Time start doing a little Christmas shopping on my phone. Does she need a Women of NASA lego set? Husband says she’s a bit too young. STEM-themed dresses with dinosaurs? YES, NEED. Okay, but maybe that can wait until she knows what a dinosaur is. Pippi Longstocking? Heidi? Harriet the Spy? Ramona Quimby? Anne of Green Gables? Having a girl is going to be SO MUCH FUN.

7:54: I should email clients and let them know I’m gonna be out of commission the next few weeks. How can I work AND have three kids? How can I have three kids? Maybe I should take more time off. No stop, I’m leaning out already! Quick, lean back in! Be a good role model for your daughter!

7:56: Eh, screw society’s expectations and lean out if you want to. No, lean in more! Maybe this is why moms are always rocking back and forth whenever they see someone holding a baby.

9:03: Look at her. She’s so beautiful. Is it okay to say that? My boys were beautiful too. Still are. Ah, happy tears. And she’s asleep! Easiest baby ever.

11:32: Maybe not the easiest baby ever. Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry, don’t let the weight of the world’s expectations grind you down, go to sleep pretty (and strong and empowered) baby.

Saturday

1:45: Husband, can you swaddle him? I need some sleep.

Husband: Who?

Me: You. I’ve done enough today.

Husband: Change who? You said him.

Me: Habit. The baby. Whatever I’m tired.

Me: We have a girl, huh?

2:24: This diaper thing is easier than with boy- oh wait no, apparently girls also pee during changes. Great.

6:00: The phlebotomist wants to know if I’m excited to have a girl. Everyone wants to know that. I want to know why the phlebotomist needs to do blood draws at 6am in the morning.

6:17 One day and four minutes old! I missed it. Should’ve sat an alarm. Am I excited to have a girl?

As long as she’s healthy.

Nope, that’s still stupid.

I’m just happy she’s here.

Captain’s Log

Day 38 of exile. I’m not sure how much longer I can last.

Earlier this year, we had heard the enemy had infiltrated our community and took the initial precautions. I placed tanks of elderberry syrup, tea tree oil, and hand sanitizer at every entrance. I stood guard, threatening to dump buckets of Purell into a moat built out of placebos and denial should the enemy approach our gate. But it stayed away.

At first we laughed. It worked! How clever we were, never touching bathroom door handles with our bare hands and foregoing any public gathering. Sure, we hadn’t seen anyone who didn’t share our last name in eons. But I had my ways to communicate across enemy lines. “OMG THIS WINTER IS THE WORST!” I posted. My friends sent back faces showcasing a variety of emotions and we patted ourselves on the back for having achieved some sort of human interaction for the day.

Daily, my husband tunneled through the snow into the battle zone. Each morning, he texted me the casualty report. “Three people out with the sniffles. Two reports of the stomach flu. One suspicious sounding cough down the hall.” In the afternoon, I would survey our rations. Our total sun exposure for the past month came from the amount of time it took to bolt across the parking lot to the doctor’s office in sub-zero weather. It was quite possible the children were developing rickets and/or scurvy. But milk and oranges were housed in an encampment set squarely in enemy territory.

We decided to make do with our store of goldfish crackers and multivitamins.

The inhabitants of the fort grew listless, but no one had resorted to cannibalism yet. Fine, just one or two cases of cannibalism but it didn’t break the skin and toddlers just explore the worlds with their mouths so don’t judge, OKAY? We kept up our training with fitness exercises such as “run around the couch three hundred times” and “pile everything we own that’s stuffed into the hallway and jump on it” and “barricade the bathroom door shut so I can eat a piece of candy in peace.”

Those were the first casualties of the winter. Those poor chocolate bars and stuffed animals never stood a chance.

I tried to keep my plans a secret lest the enemy discover them. It became a game of cat and mouse. We scheduled play dates only to promptly break them once one party had been infiltrated. When a rendezvous absolutely needed to occur, we would ask a series of questions to ensure the other party hadn’t been compromised. “Are you sick? Are your kids sick? Have you been exposed to anyone who has been exposed to anyone with an illness in the last six months?”

Then we cancelled anyway, just to be sure. This was war. You didn’t know who you could trust.

All communication became virtual. We texted friends, video chatted family. Then we took a Lysol wipe to our phone screens, just to be sure. You can’t be too careful.

But alas. No fortress can withstand powers such as these. Our walls were breached.

It might have something to do with that enemy training camp I send my kids to three days a week. They come back singing their ABCs and covered in hidden combatants. I had considered installing a decontamination shower in our doorway, but the department of common sense ruled it unnecessary. #MakeWinterGreatAgain. I regret that decision now.

All the great houses fall eventually and ours was no exception. Air raid sirens rang out hourly from my children’s beds. Buckets and humidifiers were stationed in critical combat zones. We pulled out every device that could show a purportedly educational cartoon and set it at full blast. Tissues were also left at strategic places, but my soldiers regarded those as torture worse than the enemy itself.

Eventually, we struck a deal. The enemy would retreat from our fort if we agreed not to leave the premises until winter ended. It was quite possibly a trick, given the several feet of snow outside threatening not to melt until the spring after next.

Beer supplies are low. Attitudes and temperatures are negative. Send in the damn robins already.

Hey Mamas, it’s not about you

I don’t mean to brag, but my three month old slept through the night three nights in a row.

I promise you I’m not bragging, because my three year old did not. No, he crawled into our bed, slept their for an indeterminate number of hours before being discovered and returned to his own room. He then returned at an ungodly hour, repeatedly yelling, “Guys! It’s morning! Wake up, guys!”

It was, according to the sun, decidedly not morning.

Our middle child simply does not like to sleep, unless it is in his car seat at a decidedly inconvenient hour. Or on the couch right before dinner. Or in the middle of the hallway, mid-temper tantrum. When he was a baby, and well into his toddler years, I read every article on sleep possible. I soaked up every bit of advice I could. Nothing worked. When he was about eighteen months old, our sleep schedule looked like this:

* Put him to bed at 8pm.

* Comfort him when he woke up several times over the next two hours.

* Rock him in rocking chair from 11pm to 1 am.

* Put him down in his crib from 1am to whenever he woke up, 2 am, 3am, 4am.

* Switch with husband who would sleep with him in the recliner from then until about 5:30 when he would be awake for the day.

It was not ideal.

He has gradually gotten better, but I still wouldn’t say he sleeps through the night on any consistent basis. We tried everything to help him do so, from cry-it-out (fail) to co-sleeping (also fail). All he wanted to do was sleep in our arms, while we stayed awake.

When this baby was born, we braced ourselves for the onslaught of fatigue that was sure to hit. We went to bed each night, fully expecting to wake up never having slept. But it never came, and not because we have tried some new fantastic method (unless you can count giving up all hope).

Because it has nothing to do with us. Mamas, if you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and wondering what the hell you are doing wrong, let me tell you: Nothing. It’s got nothing to do with you.

We like to think it does. All day long, all of the parenting advice I’ve read from leading child psychologists and experts swims in my head. “Acknowledge emotions without condoning bad behaviors.” “Tell your child when you need them to do something, don’t ask.” “High iron foods are best absorbed in conjunction with Vitamin C.” “Children need at least 1 hour of active time a day, but 15 minute spurts are best.” “Calling girls beautiful hurts their self esteem.” “Overexposure to branding limits creativity.” All these tidbits of advice and rules I’m supposed to follow are harder to remember than formulas I was supposed to memorize during that semester of organic chemistry in high school.

Do you memorize formulas in organic chemistry? I don’t even remember.

We start to think that we can craft our children, making them exactly who we want to be if we just follow all the rules correctly. It’s a lie modern parents are sold (often by writers just like me, who want to share with you the latest research or interesting study). But we can’t craft them, because in reality, parenting has so little to do with the parents. We only get to guide our children down the path that nature has chosen for them. We don’t get to choose it ourselves.

Because I know you might not have chosen for your kid to be the biter in the preschool class, or to refuse to eat anything other than crackers (but the RIGHT crackers), or to scream uncontrollably every time it’s time to get in the car seat. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen for my kid to wake up approximately 37 times every night.

That’s not all to say all that research or advice is useless. For instance, I absolutely believe that early exposure to vegetables, not exclusively serving “kids food,” and only making one meal for dinner does make your kid less likely to be a picky eater. It just doesn’t guarantee it. Otherwise, my kids wouldn’t fuss every time I served a meal that doesn’t include ketchup as one of the sides. And I’m sure there are a good number of babies that can fall asleep if laid down “drowsy but awake.” And there are a good number who will scream bloody murder if you come within three feet of a crib before they are comatose.

But we don’t get to choose. We get to nurture, guide, influence, and hope. We just don’t get to choose.

Five

I never understood why parents made such a big deal about turning five. Or ten or eighteen for that matter.

“I can’t believe how much you’ve grown! Just yesterday I held you in my arms!”

As if the passage of time were somehow a shock. Of course he was going to turn five. He was always going to turn five. And I’m not surprised at how quickly it came because I have lived each and every one of those sleepless nights, unending tantrums, and days that we just simply had to survive. And I know they equal five years. Not one day more, not one day less.

I remember holding him when he was a baby, as I did for almost every single hour of my maternity leave. For months we sat on the couch, nursing, watching tv, and getting used to the idea of each other. I studied his hand, the curve of your ear, and thinking that no one on earth knew him as well as I did.

Now he surprises me. He tells me facts about dinosaurs I did not know. I look them up and find out he is correct. He has preferences and opinions that I do not know, and frankly, do not always understand. His interests blossom and we connect, and diverge. He has grown into his own person.

Occasionally when I think to, I check his wrists to see if the little line between forearm and hand, the hallmark of baby chubbies, is still there. It’s been a while since I last looked, seeing as how I’ve come to the realization he is no longer a baby. I don’t believe it is.

I see his hand, and wonder when he became.

I had a baby and everything went to hell

Having a baby sucks.

To be clear, the baby doesn’t suck. Well, actually, the baby does suck – all night and all day. But that’s not what I’m referring to. The actual having of the baby is not a fun process.

For the first six weeks after birth, you are basically wet.

Sweat. Tears. Milk. Blood (yes, of course there’s blood. You didn’t know that? Neither did I until I had a baby). Spit up. You rock the baby and read sweet articles about letting laundry slide and cherishing this time, then you go do three thousand loads of laundry because everything you own is wet.

And that’s how I expected everything to go with this last baby, number three. A couple months of misery mixed with joy and then you know, you get on with your life. But of course that’s not how it went down.

For one, I had a really slow recovery. My OB basically put me on bed rest after delivery. (“Modified couch potato status” she called it.) I couldn’t unload the dishwasher without starting to bleed again.

Sorry, is that too much information? I’ve got a few things I need to get off my chest today. Moving on.

I had a hernia and a torn muscle in my stomach. I couldn’t walk across the room without holding everything together.

Then I got an ear infection. Because I’m four years old, apparently. I don’t even think I had one when I was four, but I got one, one week postpartum.

Then I got a stomach bug which is just one heck of a post-baby diet plan. “HOW TO LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT: Don’t keep anything down for 24 hours.” Not exactly what you typically see advertised. Also, it doesn’t work. I still can’t wear pants.

The next morning I shattered my iPhone.

Luckily, my mom was here for all that. And we did a lot of sitting around and talking about what an unlucky month it’s been and thank goodness everything was on the upswing now before she left.

And then she left.

And I decided that was a good time to go back to “work.” And I say “work” because I only work like 5 hours a week, so I need to emphasize it’s not like I’m punching in 9-5. I also say “work” because I’m self-conscious and self-deprecating and I don’t want anyone to think I think too highly of myself.

The next week my ear infection came back.

Which doesn’t sound like a big deal until you’ve had an ear infection that you’ve been treating incorrectly for two weeks go haywire. I believe the doctor’s words were “horrible infection” and that was before a week of using the incorrect medication. Pro tip: if you ever want to get in to see a doctor right away, sobbing so hard on the phone that you can’t make an appointment helps.

So that came and went and things were finally on the upswing!

Until we totaled our brand new-to-us-minivan.

While driving it home for the first time.

Obviously this is a bigger deal than an ear infection and warrants more space in this essay but I don’t know what else to say other than WE TOTALED OUR MINIVAN BEFORE EVEN BRINGING IT HOME.

(Everyone is OK by the way).

And everything is fine, except my ear infection then came back and I got another stomach bug. This time I had to go to the hospital for fluids which is a fun way to get much needed away time with your husband except that I couldn’t stand up or see straight.

And everything really is fine. My husband bought a lottery ticket because just what are the damn chances.

On the bright side, we have a baby. And a fun fact about parenting is that no matter how many babies there are in the world, and no matter how many you personally have had, every single one is the cutest in the whole wide world. It’s a scientific marvel I tell you. Mathematical improbability. Schroedinger’s parable or something. That’s not a thing. I don’t know, I haven’t slept in five years and had two cups of coffee like a wild woman this morning so I’m not liable for anything I say.

But the baby really is awesome, and occasionally, in spite of everything else going on, we remember to change and feed her. Also the other two kids are around here somewhere.

She started smiling recently which is basically a baby’s way of saying, “I know everything is awful and I’m partly to blame but isn’t life AMAZING?”

And she’s right. Because yes, yes it is.

Easy Postpartum Halloween Costumes


The internet abounds with ideas for cute Halloween costumes – for pregnant ladies. But if you’re due just before the big costume party, a little more creativity is required.Here are nine costumes you can rock immediately postpartum with little to no effort.

1. Zombie

No makeup required! You already have the gray skin, bloodshot eyes, and dark circles to pull it off. The stained, ill-fitting clothing that you are already wearing will really finish off the look. Stumble (or limp) around aimlessly with a vacant look in your eyes to truly scare those around you.

2. Stripper

If you can time it so that your milk comes in right as it’s time to party, you might be able to pull this costume off like never before. And you don’t even have to get dressed! Like you were planning on it anyway. Of course, once those super-grande knockers make their debut, you will be too sore to cover them up with anything that would make it legal for you to go out in public. And wearing pasties will leave at least one person in your life sorely disappointed.

3. Shadow

Aww, would you look at the baby! So beautiful! So sweet! So picture perfect! Um, but what is that dark figure hovering in the background? It’s The Shadow (dun dun dunnnn!). Where the baby goes, the shadow goes. No matter where innocent bystanders (or not-so-innocent great aunts who haven’t washed their hands since coming into the house) are standing – its gaze follows. Quick, someone try to snatch the baby away so we can snap a picture without it in the background.

4. Water Fountain

Think a plump and curvy Roman Goddess fountain in an Italian piazza. You’re already mostly naked, with just a sheet covering half your breasts in case your mother-in-law walks in. Without that pregnancy glow, your skin looks stony-gray already. And to really finish off the look, you’re leaking fluids all over the place! From your eyes to your boobs, you’ve got the waterworks down.

5. Throw Pillow

You spend so much time on the couch feeding the little one that you might as well become part of it. Plus, you’re pleasantly soft and squishy, a fact any older children you might have are constantly reminding you of. So just fade back into the décor, and hopefully close your eyes for a minute or two.

6. Frankenstein’s Monster

Have you recently been torn apart and stitched back together? Do you feel vaguely undead? Are you not quite sure if any of your body parts are actually where they are supposed to be anymore? Are you a sickly shade of green? Perfect! You’ve already got all the makings of Frankenstein’s Monster, no bolts-in-the-neck required. Please delegate handing out any Halloween candy to someone who can formulate full sentences easily, lest you start scaring the villagers.

7. Pregnant Lady

Well, you’ve still got the belly. And for whatever reason, people think that bump is way cuter the day before you deliver than they do the day after. There’s no reason to stop flaunting it. Proudly get a little extra use out of those maternity clothes you are wearing anyway. So slap on some makeup (remember when you cared about that?), brush your hair, and tell people that the baby you’re carrying around is one you are just borrowing for practice.

8. Nothing

Let’s be honest – you’re turning off the lights and cursing anyone who rings your doorbell Halloween night. Maybe you’ll make it to a costume party next year.

Before you begin


Little one, I have a few things I would like to tell you before you begin. 

You will happen soon, I know. I don’t much understand, or probably believe in, fatalism or determinism or pre-ordination or other fancy terms I vaguely remember from philosophy classes. But at some point, the future will become the past. And then, there will have been a finite number of days between this one and the one you were born. 

I will go through a certain number of contractions before you enter this world. I will remind myself of that as they pass. Each pain is one I can check off and never have to live through again. 

And there will be a number of breaths you take on this earth. Millions of billions of trillions I assume. I’m sure there’s a way to calculate an estimate but the thought is too painful and so I won’t. 

I do have a few hopes for those breaths you take. And for the ones your brothers are taking now. They are only a few steps ahead of you. 

I hope you fall in love. I personally have enjoyed the marriage-and-babies path, but the world is large and there is much to fall in love with. So find a passion – art, earth, music, beauty – and love it. But I will caution you – true love is born in service. Whether it be to your spouse or children or cause, you must give yourself over if you want to fall in love.

I hope you know that there are things I want to do in addition to being your mother. I’m not saying besides, or other than. And when you find someone or something you wish to serve and love completely, I hope you stay yourself as well.

I don’t just want you to be happy. I hear it all the time, “I just want my kids to be happy.” I certainly hope that you experience happiness, an abundance of it. But happiness is too often brief and shallow. 

Instead, I hope you are fulfilled.

I hope you are passionate.

I hope you are good, and kind, and just. 

I hope you leave me one day. Your oldest brother likes to tell me he never wants to leave me and that when I’m old, he will take care of me just like Grandma takes care of Great-Grandma. And I love it and it makes me smile, but I hope he is wrong. The world is wonderful and it is large and I can’t wait to hear your stories of adventures I could have only ever dreamed of. 

I hope you are wrong. One of the best things I have ever been in my life is wrong. Of course, we are all wrong many times over, but it is in realizing that we grow. Relatedly, I hope you forgive me for the many times I will be wrong. It is inevitable, my dear, and I hope my mistakes will only serve to make you a better and stronger person. 

I hope you know how much I love you. It is an impossible ask, because you won’t know until you find something to love as deeply as I love you. And even then, you will be looking ahead and not behind. So I suppose it will just be my little secret, a secret you may share one day. 

These are things I hope you know, before you even begin. 

Pins and Needles


I’m 38 weeks pregnant, and sitting on pins and needles.

I didn’t want to make the same mistake I made last time, when my son showed up a month before he was due. I wasn’t ready, and was left scrambling when we brought him home. 

This time came with additional complications that could have resulted in another premature birth. I figured it would be best to avoid a repeat performance. So the bag has been packed for over a month now. The box of newborn clothes retrieved from the basement, washed, and put away. Diapers purchased and tucked in a corner.

And I’m just here, sitting on pins and needles. 

Every time my back aches, I wonder, “Is this it?” Every time I feel a tad off, or a little more tired than usual, I convince myself that it must be time. Week after week ticks by – 35, 36, 37. I know I’m supposed to be happy to still be pregnant.

But I thought I’d have my baby by now.

Pins and needles.

My hands keep finding something to do. I finish sewing a baby blanket. The boys need new winter hats. Baby will need a Christmas stocking, too.  The kids should get some new pillowcases. My husband finds sewing pins sticking out of the carpet. This is not ideal when we have young children, he reminds me. He buys me new knitting needles.  I cast on a new project, wondering if I will finish before the baby comes. 

I hope not. 

Pins and needles.

I wonder how many pins and needles of my own I’m going to need to get through this. My OB celebrated each milestone with me. The “you won’t need to get life-flighted to another city if you go into labor” milestone. The “we won’t try to stop your labor” milestone. The “baby is full-term” milestone. I know how lucky I am.

And I know that the whole thing is mostly safe, mostly uneventful, mostly routine. 

Mostly.

I also know I’m about to walk through death in order to bring new life into the world.

Pins and needles.

I know life is about to get a whole lot harder, which makes me wonder why I am rushing to get there. I can’t sleep now, and I won’t sleep then. I worry now, and I’ll worry then. Right now, life is quiet for a beat. 

But I’m sitting on pins and needles.