There's lots to love about the French. Yummy pastries, fantastic art, great wine and killer skiing. But who knew they also have fabulous baby clothes? Our friends Shane and Karen sent us a great little outfit for Avery from Lille - replete with velvet pants and a purple rugby stripe baby poncho. It's a little big for her just yet, so we'll have to post pix of her in it when she's 9 months old and can wear it. But trust me, it's divine. Quite sophisticated for petite person apparel. Leave it to the French to pair great style and with layette. Plus, when someone asks where it's from we can say France. Can't really beat that:-)
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
My mother thought the concept of a push present was hilarious. I think our friend Jake found it slightly appalling. I thought it was rather expected. Maybe this is a generational thing, but to me it makes perfect sense (after seeing so many of my close friends go through the experience of pregnancy and birth over the past couple of years) that after almost a year of toiling, growing, aching, pushing and the requisite stretch marks a little gift is in order.
That said, I didn't want anything extravagant. After all, we've just spent a small fortune preparing for this blessed event and will spend the next 12 weeks (and 20+ years) playing financial catch up as our disposable income goes to daycare and diapers, 529 plans, preschool, tennis lessons, prom dresses, ridiculously expensive auto insurance and so on and so forth. Who can think about jewelry?:-)
My husband can, evidently. On our last pre-baby date night, as we sat rocking on the porch at the Linden Row Inn looking at the sky on a beautiful starry night, he handed me a little blue box. (I never tire of the little blue box. It could have fossilized dinosaur dung behind that white ribbon and I would still think it was magic. Way to brand magic Tiffany). Inside the robin egg box was a tiny envelope with a tiny note that said:
First we had each other.
Then we had Avery.
Now, we have everything.
Tears followed, as I unwrapped a beautiful necklace with a delicate A - a tender reminder of our daughter. I can't wear it, of course, until she's actually arrived. But I know it's something I'll cherish eternally nonetheless. All in all, I'm a very, very lucky girl.
It's 4am. 4:06am technically, but I've been up since 3:35 or so. Waking up at this hour is utterly unsurprising. In God's grand design, I've become accustomed to waking every 2-2.5 hours in the middle of the night, with increasing frequency over the past 10 months. So at this point, the girl who formerly slept 8-9 uninterrupted hours upon penalty of extreme crankiness has become entirely functional at short intervals. I have to imagine this is by design. But normally, I can go back to sleep after a trip to the bathroom or an effortful roll over. Not tonight. This is, after all, quite possibly my last normal night. Tomorrow at 3:30p my ob will do a procedure called cervical ripening, designed to get my body to start dilating on it's own. Then at 6am on Thursday (or approximately 26 hours from now) I'll head into the hospital for induction. One would hope I would relish this last little bit of sleep. But rather, I'm up in the wee hours of the morning thinking about everything that's about to change.
In 26 hours nothing will ever be the same. Granted, that's been true for a while. From the moment I saw the word "pregnant" on a plastic stick (in a bathroom at a beach house roughly 40 weeks ago) I've known everything was going to change. Operative words "going to." And in many ways they already have. Who would have guessed on that humid summer day that I would learn (or actually care) about things like breastfeeding, cord care and tummy time? Or that Doug and I would trade in our vacation fund (bye bye Costa Rica 08) for nursery furniture? Or that I would find a bugaboo stroller the single most exciting thing since my Monique Lhuillier wedding dress? Yes, my friends - change is not upon us. Change has already come.
But I ain't seen nothing yet. It's an interesting season. I haven't spent that much time anticipating or trying to really envisage what life would be like, as I've been keenly aware that it's an impossible task. I think I'm used to little uninterrupted sleep? I ain't seen nothing yet. I think I've become accustomed to misplacing my car keys (my laptop cord, my ever-loving mind)? Child's play for what's to come. Yet here I am at 4am - on the precipice of the earth's plates shifting and I find myself wondering what life will look like a few short hours from now. So much for my last restful night of sleep.
I've been told that I'll adore Avery more than I could possibly anticipate. That I will understand new depths of love and understand new dimensions of myself. What will that look like? I've been told my relationship with Doug (for good and for ill) will never be the same. Will he be able to see me as a sexual being after an experience like childbirth? Will I bite his head off repeatedly over the next six weeks over things like taking out trash pails that smell like diapers? The things I've been meaning to do for the past year, but haven't gotten to (like having our shower curtain monogrammed) - is there a snowball's chance in hell those things will EVER happen now?
My questions range from petty to profound, yet they are all perplexing and intriguing nonetheless. I guess I rambling at this point. Just wanted to share all that's swirling in my head.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
On Friday afternoon (the day before Valentine's Day, two days before miss Avery was due) I came home from work to find Douglas packing the manwagon with our hospital bag, the stroller and my snoogle. He confiscated my laptop and iPhone and we jumped in the car for a surprise prebaby evening on the town. He booked us a room in an historic B&B downtown, then we saw an Oscar contender at The Westhampton Theater and had dinner at Edo Squid. All in all, an amazing (and thoughtful) evening out - just the two of us.
When we got back to the inn, we sat on the porch off our room where Douglas smoked a celebratory cigar and we talked about what life would be like with a baby while we drink the left over Chianti on the unseasonably warm February evening (don't worry - just a single glass for me). But my favorite surprise of the evening? My push present:-). Of course, I can't wear it until after Avery is born, so more to come on that.
All that is to share that it was an incredible surprise from my incredible husband. The only thing more exciting than our romantic night together is the thought of what a great dad he is going to be. I'm sure that won't be our last date night by any stretch, but it was a nice way to spend our last weekend before Avery is born.
We decided that instead of the traditional baby dedication, we're going to throw a big party for Avery in the spring. Doug will still do a mini-teaching and of course there will be music and the other components usually involved when consecrating a baby both to God and to His community. But there will also be a cookout and probably a beer or two (not for me or the baby, for the boys).
And part of that plan is to have a friend of ours sing the little one a song Doug and I both love and want dedicated to her. Okay, so we changed the name in the song - but we think Ben Folds will understand. So with no further ado, our song for Avery.
You can't fool me, I saw you when you came out
You got your momma's taste, but you got my mouth
And you will always have a part of me
Nobody else is every going to see
With your cards to your chest walking on your toes
What you got in the box only Avery knows
And I would never try to make you be
Anything you didn't really want to be
Life flies by in seconds
You're not a baby, Avery you're my friend
You'll be a lady soon but until then
You gotta do what I say
You nodded off in my arms watching TV
I won't move you an inch even though my arm's asleep
One day you're gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl
My Avery girl
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Why in the world am I so stubborn? Perhaps its because the woman on the package was wearing footie pajamas as an adult. Perhaps it was because the thing looks ridiculous. Or because I thought myself far too practical to buy a curly q pillow that was surely no more effective than just strategically aligning 3-4 regular pillows at night. Or because I thought $52.99 was better spent elsewhere (like dinner out with Douglas or a cute post-maternity skirt for when I get my ankles back).
Whatever my reasons, I went approximately 39 weeks without a body pilllow. People really started recommending i get one in the past month or so when I started showing up to work looking like death warmed over because I make approximately 3 bathroom trips in the middle of the night, plus the obligatory wake up, role over, readjust and go back to sleep another 3-4 times a night. This is not to mention the pathetic cat-like moaning sounds I've been making. Doug said I sound like a house pet that's been hit by a moving car. Clearly my overly pregnant body and sleep seemed incompatible.
But no0o0o0o0o... I only have 4 weeks to go... 3 weeks... 2 weeks... 1 week and finally I couldn't take it anymore. With only one week until my due date I broke down (so much for will power!) and bought the stupid pillow. Only it's not a stupid pillow. It's a miracle pillow. Silly Elizabeth. I'm officially buying one for every good friend who gets pregnant from now on. Yes, an expensive congratulatory gift, but can you really put too high a premium on a decent night's prenatal sleep? I'd say no... no you cannot:-)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I read a poll in Parenting Magazine last weekend that asked a rather provocative question. Readers, would you would be willing to breastfeed another person's child? Unsurprisingly, the majority of moms said no. But slightly more surprising? Roughly a third said YES! Now, maybe it's because I'm a baby neophyte, but I wouldn't have guessed that was appropriate under any circumstances short of apocalyptic conditions. Yet almost one out of three women said they would. Does anyone else find that somewhat disconcerting?
I can't imagine this is part of the "mom bonding" I hear so much about...:-/