Friday, May 25, 2007

Of Moving Mountains

By popular demand*, above is a picture of my pregnant belly (my "Arabelly!"), several weeks before the end of my pregnancy.
Yes, it got even larger.
Early in the pregnancy, when I found out I was carrying twins, I frantically did at least three or four Internet searches using variations on the term "twin skin," sobbing all the while. I brainstormed ways to raise thousands of disposable dollars so that I could get a tummy tuck. I purchased several jars of Tummy Honey Butter (highly recommended, by the way) at $20 a pop, and slathered it on religiously, morning and night. I lost about as much sleep over the anticipated condition of my stomach as I did to my shrinking bladder space.
As the pregnancy progressed, various other concerns began to overshadow my stomach worries. I stopped obsessing, and was pleased to discover that, at 32 weeks, I didn't even have a stretch mark. I was extremely fortunate; I managed to complete the pregnancy without them. I still feared, however, for crepey skin.
For a week or so after delivery, like many other women, I still looked pregnant. Gradually, my stomach went down. I got back into (most of) my prepregnancy jeans at about a month postpartum.
Now, at 12 weeks, my stomach is within spitting distance of where it was before. The skin isn't as firm as it was, but it's pretty darn close, and will probably continue to get more so. Surprisingly enough, what bothers me the most about the way I look now isn't the size of my stomach, or the condition of my skin, or even the cesarean scar that I dreaded and feared. What bothers me the most is my still-present linea nigra, and the largest scar from my laparoscopy, which, unfortunately, is located right in the path of the line.
It's strange; these two things bother me quite a bit. Yet, at the same time, I've never been more pleased with or proud of my body, and the astonishing feat it accomplished.
It's pretty easy for me now to post a picture of my large pregnant belly, even though I was fairly sensitive about it during my pregnancy. I'm still working up to showing my postpartum belly. Part of me really wants to; I'm proud of the pregnancy, and I'm proud of my recovery. All things considered, I look great. But I don't look the way I used to, the way I spent nearly thirty years of my life. I think I may try writing a short piece about it for The Shape of a Mother. If I do, I'll post the picture here. In the meantime, I'm just trying to make sense of myself as this new person. This mother.
*When I say "by popular demand," I mean, "My lovely friend Tammie asked me for this picture."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


If you haven't already, please head over to Mean Girl to the Rescue! and congratulate my good friend Mrs. Harridan on the birth of her gorgeous baby boy!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Free Time

When not cooking, watching the Yankees, or frantically mopping spit-up off the quasi-new, light-colored Crate and Barrel couch, Ty often makes up little songs. He's been doing it for years. His subject matter used to include, among other things, people who traipse through freshly-seeded areas in the park, ham-based food items, people who honk their horns loudly early in the morning, his cat's posterior, and my posterior. Now, of course, he has a wealth of new subject matter. Here are the titles of some of his recent selections:

It's Not Food, But Your Daddy Loves You

A Baby With Clean Genitals Is A Happy Baby

If You Stop Crying, I'll Buy You A Pony

And the catchiest of all...

We're Gonna Go To Bottleland (Where All The Babies Get Bottles All The Time).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Conversation with C.S.

While discussing my children...

Arabella: They're so much better than anything I've ever made before.


Arabella (wistfully): Even better than the clay puppy mug I made in third grade.

C.S.: And that was some mug.

Arabella: It really was.


Arabella: So what, it couldn't hold liquid. It had little ears.

C.S.: Ears trump usability.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Now With More Letdown!

Having lost all sense of decency, I am requesting your assistance, dear readers, in selecting the most professional-looking outfit from the list of items below.

Please choose one item from each column:

Column A: Tops

1) Pink Brooks Brothers No-Iron shirt stained with melted green tea ice cream;
2) Yellow Brooks Brothers No-Iron shirt stained with a large circle of breast milk;
3) Blue Brooks Brothers No-Iron shirt stained with melted green tea ice cream AND a large circle of breast milk;
4) Crisp gray blazer stained with spit-up and tears.

Column B: Bottoms:

1) Prepregnancy gray tailored slacks that I no longer fit into, requiring that the top button remain undone;
2) Maternity khaki pants that, thankfully, are too large;
3) Forgiving brown tailored pants stained with--honestly, I have no idea;
4) Impeccably clean black sweatpants.

Column C: Accessories:

1) Medela Pump-in-Style Backpack;
2) Bella Band;
3) Comfy shoes;
4) A smile, complete with poppyseed bagel bits stuck between the teeth.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thank God, and How Awful

Last night, while intermittently reading about two-month-olds and the things they do, I was noticing how much fuller Sage's cheeks look and how much smoother Thyme's skin is. They've recently started sleeping during the night for four-or-five-hour stretches at a time. It occurred to me that, while they still bob their heads up and down while being held against my shoulder, looking for the breast, they no longer root around like baby birds while simply sitting in their baby seats. They're smiling up a storm, and they're almost ready for the Size 1-2 box of diapers that my mom bought for them at Costco.

My reaction, of course, was, Thank God, and How Awful.

We have lots of fun stuff to look forward to--babbling and crawling and walking. In the coming weeks, they will get increasingly smiley and interactive. But they will never again be newborns. Soon, the fontanels in the backs of their heads will begin to close. They will never again need their umbilical cord stump cleaned. They no longer fit into their first stretchies, and have long outgrown the hats they wore when we brought them home from the hospital.

So help me, this is hard. And wonderful. And unbelievable.