My Cerclage

In September 2005, I was pregnant with twin girls. I lost my pregnancy at 19 weeks apparently due to my "incompetent cervix." I became pregnant again and wrote all about it on this blog. I now have a wonderful son. Since bed rest, anxiety and cerclage were so much fun, I've decided to do it all again.....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Sturgeon King

When I first started dating husband over 7 years ago, he insisted that we frequent this famous oldschool Jewish deli called Barney Greengrass, The Sturgeon King. Back then I didn't quite understand why people waited hours to sit at the cramped tables and suffered the not so friendly service. My only excuse is that maybe I didn't get it because, you know, its not in the blood (I am sure that I am the only gentile around when inside BBG). However, over time I have embraced the husband's culture in the best way I know how. The food. Chopped liver, gafiltafish, bagels, lox...bring it on!! We always make time for Barney Green Grass when in NY, and these days, I am the first to excitedly ask about non-menued items, "any ladkes today??"

It wouldn't be a trip to NY without a trip to The Sturgeon King. This picture was snapped on Quinn's maiden voyage. He doesn't look impressed. But I wasn't impressed at first either:)

Monday, November 27, 2006

I Left My Heart....

I will admit that the weather was not really so bad, and that despite purchasing a snowsuit at REI, the boy had little reason to wear it. Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, it was practically San Fransiscan weather it was so warm. We had lovely walks in Central Park, and I even wore my "must-be-with-me-at-all-times-because-a foggy-day-will-turn-blindingly-sunny-at-any-moment" sunglasses. These sunglasses are very stylish, but never cost more than 13 dollars since they are reincarnated at least once a month. I have a very bad habit of losing everything that is not attached to me. In fact, in my high-school yearbook the "where will they be 20 years later" section said I would be "looking for her wallet."

I can often be found waxing nostalgic about NYC. Despite growing up in the suburbs (which for some reason when talking to a "real" New Yorker, feels more shameful than say, growing up in Omaha. For some reason 20 miles a way gets you much less credibility than 1000 miles a way), I lived in the city for a few years. It started with a summer in college. After college I lived in the NorthWest for 3 years, but then decided to move back closer to my family and attend graduate school in NY. 3 years of living in Manhattan and Brooklyn and it was time to try the West coast again, this time with my now husband. That was 2002. I have more or less been in California since, with frequent visits to NY several times a year to see family and friends. So. The husband’s entire family lives in Manhattan. Husband grew up there. My mom is still in the (gasp) suburbs. I have 3 brothers in and around the city.

These factors often contribute to my wondering why we live thousands of miles from home--especially now, with the new guy. I am often heard talking to the husband about how, with Brooklyn, we could have a lifestyle that is okay and all the help of the various grandparents. Quinn would be close to his multiple cousins and NY is so great!

We hadn’t been back for a long time. We were back a year ago, June, for my father’s funeral. Before that it was April for Passover with husband’s family (mentioned only because the funeral week hardly counts as a fun trip to NY). That September, we lost the pregnancy and had already planned on being in California for the holidays since I assumed I would be hugely pregnant with twins. By December, I was pregnant again, and there was no traveling for this pregnancy given my incompetent issues! So, the mighty Q is now 3 months old and we decided it was high time for a visit.

I found out I like California. We had such a wonderful time seeing everybody. We were nuts, but it was great. And we saw life in NYC in its easiest possible incarnation (read: people who can afford to make it comfortable) and I left thinking, “you don’t have to live this way! I’ve been to the West coast!!” (I know! I know! I don’t have to live on a coast. Places like Chicago exist. But I feel it’s too late to complicate things even more…). No yards, crowded all the time, even a movie at an off time is guaranteed to have every seat filled just because of how many people live in NY. Even when I went to Brooklyn, where a friend has her own brownstone, with a yard, I was surprised by my reaction. She has the same square-footage as our house here in SF. I held my tongue when I called her from the Upper East Side and she said she’d see me in a hour. I used to live blocks from where she lives and I should have known it takes an hour by subway, but when you live in NY you start to think things are normal that are actually insane. Like taking an hour to meet someone for lunch. I exited her stop expecting to feel very nostalgic for my old digs, but instead noticed that it is packed in Brooklyn too. I remember sighing with relief when I got to Brooklyn when I last was a New Yorker because it was so mellow. I guess it is mellow compared to Manhattan, but compared to SF? Not so much.

Like all things like this, if we lived in New York again, we would make it work and it would be fine. When I moved back for grad school from Seattle, it was a tough transition, and when I left for California I was hooked on NY again. There is nothing like a beautiful fall day walking around NY. Nothing. Still, I when we walked into our home last night, and I opened the door to our back yard, I ushered the husband to our deck to smell how fragrant the air is here in the city of San Francisco. I am so relieved to be home, and glad to get away and appreciate it again. For months it was a bedrest prison, but now it is a happy and (literally) sunny place. I think I’ll stay a while.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

If You Can Make It Here

We are in NYC for Thanksgiving. I don't know that I can make it here because, despite growing up around these parts, I am fa-reazing!! The people here make ridiculous comments about the weather, "it hasn't been very cold" or "it's good it's not that cold." When these fantastic statements are made, I gather Quinn close and I whisper in his ear, "it's so cold. I know it's so very cold." My blood has thinned. I have truly become a Californian.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Working My Way Back to Work

So I have a start date to go back to work. March 1st. Quinn will be a little over 6 months old. I have so much ambivalence about this, but somewhere in my gut I think this is right for me. I have learned, since embarking on this process of figuring out my new work life, that this is one of those controversial parenting subjects. It’s right up there with breastfeeding and sleep. I mention that for two reasons. One, it causes me more anxiety as I figure it all out. And two, I understand that this is totally personal and my feelings on it apply ONLY to me.

It seems the way I make the big decisions in my life have nothing to do with logic. I am not a terribly analytic person. Usually if a decision is wrong, it feels wrong, like bodily wrong. I usually stay in good touch with my body, my sense, and wait for something to feel right. And sometimes it takes a long time for something to feel right, and sometimes things that feel wrong are right and vice versa. So, it doesn’t always work for me, but it’s a system that I’ve grown accustomed too.

Before I had Quinn, I used to happily spout that I would be a better parent through having work in my life because I would be more balanced and therefore give him a more satisfied contented version of me to hang with when around. You know, the take care of yourself in order to take care of others mantra. Now that I have met Quinn, I am not sure that I can use that as an excuse. I don’t know that being back at work will make me a better parent. Plus, I will probably come home from a work day pretty tired, and maybe not the best me I can be. I don’t know that spending less time with me will be better for him. So why go back?

It all boils down to a need to feel like I have a purpose in life in addition to parenting. I feel like this last year and a half, my entire being has been given over to trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, losing the pregnancy, trying to get pregnant again, high-risk pregnancy and now parenting. There is a part of me that wants to stake a claim that all of the “must be a parent” energy isn’t the only part of who I am. Had I worked right up until my due date, I might feel differently. But at this point, it will be a full year out of work by the time I go back and sometimes I wonder what happened to the other me, who was good for more than the baby effort.

There is also something else. Again, this is totally personal. But it might be important for me to work to keep up with the version of me I imagined I’d be as a younger woman. I can’t help it; I am a product of a liberal arts education, where men and woman were totally equal. It’s not to say that the husband and I are unequal, it’s just that I envisioned a life for myself that wondered less traditional paths. I figured for a totally egalitarian relationship in every way. And, much to my surprise, I find myself in a position where the husband pays the big bills (I can’t help it if in our society the job title, “social worker” earns far less money than the job title “attorney”), and I do the bulk of taking care of Quinn (mostly because I have the boobs, but also because husband is out bringing home bacon—don’t misunderstand, he is very hands on and takes care of Q as much as possible considering he does not have breasts.) I am mostly okay with this surprise, but there is a part of me that feels a need to fight entirely becoming my parents. Again, I don't mean to suggest that taking care of a baby is any less important a job than a bacon job. In fact, I am sure it is more real/meaningful in the most important ways. It's just that I start to freak out when I am covered in spit-up in my pajamas and the husband comes in with his suit and breifcase and someone says "honey."

I also get incredible satisfaction out of the work I do. It’s a place where I feel successful, valuable and responsible in an adult way--a professional way. It’s not that I don’t feel successful with Quinn, but let’s face it; it’s a bit overwhelming, and frankly, sometimes boring. No one is saying “great job” when I am rinsing spit-up out of my hair. When some colleagues asked me if I was coming back, I heard myself say, “definitely.” That decisiveness tells me something. It's informatiton for me (given how I make decisions).

So, on March 1st, at least for 20 hours a week, I will say good-bye to seeing my guy during the day. And here, my friends, is the rub. No matter how I decide this, how much I do actually analyze this, no matter how much I feel like this is the right decision for me and okay for him, it just doesn’t change that I get less time with the boy. The little guy seems like he grows napping, how can I leave him for 8 hours at a stretch??? But I will. On Mach 1st I will.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy Happy

I was looking at my blog considering whether I had a post in me, and I somehow got sucked into the "previous posts" section. As I looked over some of the bedrest posts, I realized how truly difficult bedrest was, and how truly unhappy I was during that time. I had a physical sensation which I can only describe as "icky" as I read my previous rants. Despite the sometimes overwhelming issues with parenting, I understood clearly as my body remembered how I felt then, that I am also much happier. I will even dare to say that I am very, very happy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Raider Nation

Last weekend we took Quinn on his first airplane trip for a short, short weekend to Seattle to visit some old friends. It seemed like a good trip to take, especially since we will be plane bound to NYC for Thanksgiving and wanted the plane practice.

The trip was great and Q was a champ on the plane. We had received advice to take BART (SF’s excuse for a subway) to the airport, and therefore back home. We flew out of the Oakland Airport, which happens to live next to the Oakland Coliseum where the Oakland Raiders play.

On our way home Sunday everyone was exhausted. I was suffering from my first hangover in years and hadn’t slept well with all the nerves of Q’s first trip. We arrived in Oakland so tired and so ready to be home. After exiting the airport doors, we noticed a number of people in the telltale black and silver Raiders colors wandering around. I knew this might indicate something ominous, but I decided to firmly ignore the instinct. However, arriving at the BART station, it was clear my denial had to be denied. Who would think that a BART platform would be crowded on a Sunday afternoon? Not me and that is why I bought the cheap tickets for our hour and a half flight to Seattle rather than coughing up an extra hundred bucksto fly out of SFO (a mere 20 minutes from our house).

There were hundreds and hundreds of drunken Raider fans EVERYWHERE. The entire BART station was crawling with them. There were a few miserable travelers like us, suitcases in tow, but mostly, it was Raider Nation.

Quinn’s eyes were like saucers as he sucked the life out of his pacifier Maggie Simpson-style. We got to the platform and a group of fans descended. And actually, thank god for Quinn because Raider Nation was quite taken with him and demanded to know his name, his age and his football allegences. Weirdly, one of them said, “he looks like a Jets fan.” I looked up sharply because my family has had season tickets to the Jets for years and really are very big Jets fans. I said, “He is a Jets fan.” The Raider fan said, “I knew it. I can see it in his eyes.” His opened his eyes wide to demonstrate. After that odd exchange, the guy didn’t say another word to us, but everyone else started yelling at us to not ruin his life by making him a Jets fan. The husband smoothed things over by saying that since he’ll grow up in SF, he’ll likely become a Raiders fan regardless. Luckily that made them happy enough to continue their friendly interest in Quinn.

All the trains were coming slowly, and it felt like it would take a miracle with the crowds to imagine actually get ourselves inside a train, especially with all of our crap. Again I say, thank god for Quinn because for whatever reason, these drunken guys decided that Quinn needed to get on the train, and that it was their job to make it happen.

When the train finally came they announced they would “block” for us. They actually did not let anyone on the train until stroller, wheelies and Quinn’s parents where safely inside and settled. They yelled “Go Quinn!” when the doors opened and they “blocked" anyone else from entering as promised. I must admit, it was sort of sweet. Despite the fact that it took two and a half hours to get home, I am feeling like maybe we will consider becoming Raiders fans after all:)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Mighty Quinn

Fatty Fat Fatty

I had a post on Quinn's amazing two-monthness. I also had a great post about how brave he was during vaccinations. I had another breast feeding post (I still think it's a pain in the ass) and I could do a very cute Halloween post. I am not doing a Halloween post because, as cute as he was in his pumpkin hat, it's not really what's on the brain. The other posts, they are lost to time gone by.

What's on the brain these days? I will just say it. I hate being fat. I know, 2 1/2 months post partum don't expect much, it takes time, yadda yadda yadda. A long time ago, I was a normal girl. Then I got pregnant with twins, lost the pregnancy in September a year ago at 19 weeks. I was pregnant again two and half months later, this time with an extra 10 pounds from the previous pregnancy. Add 40 pounds and 6 months on bedrest and tada!! There is a new me wondering around compliments of this last year, and I am not so psyched with my new physique. Luckily, I don't own a scale (because I would be on it 10 times a day if I did), so I have no idea where I am now in terms of weight gain (or weight loss).

I don't care about all the disclaimers, it just sort of sucks to not be able to fit into any of my old clothes. When I am able to get to a yoga class or try a run, I have lost so much muscle mass, and my body responds in such strange ways to previously known entities that it all feels a little defeating. I have the new body I don't like, and the inability to enjoy excercising like I used too. It's a bummer.

I know that other people can relate to this. I have never gone down the eating disorder path, but I admit to having some lifelong body image issues (leftover from high school, I am sure) that rear their ugly heads in times like this. And maybe I am wrong, but show me a woman who grew up in this country without any, and I will be very impressed. I hate being fat.