I have decided to find myself a home in the mountains, somewhere high up where one learns to live peacefully in the cold and silence. It’s said that in such a place certain revelations may be discovered. That what the spirit reaches for may be eventually felt, if not exactly understood. Slowly, no doubt. I’m not talking about a vacation.
Of course at the same time I mean to stay exactly where I am.
Are you following me?
–Mary Oliver in A Thousand Mornings
after a wonderful trip to florida with ramona and my mother (three generations of spunky olson women!) followed by a babymoon getaway to texas hill country with jp, it is time to hunker down, settle in, nest, and prepare myself mentally and emotionally for the arrival of little bug. i’m thankful i got to jet away for a little bit before life plants me firmly at home, where i ought to be. and where i want to continue cultivating as a sanctuary of peace, serenity, intention, and calm.
the diapers and burp rags are washed and folded. i’ve gone through all of ramona’s baby clothes, from 0-12 months, laundered and put them away in a new spot for baby #2. my birth kit is stocked and ready to go. i have been taking my vitamins, watching what i eat, drinking tons of water, constantly sipping on red raspberry leave and nettle tonic, and snuggling ramona whenever she will let me. home feels good and right. we are ready to meet this little girl.
time with ramona is precious. it’s important to me her and i keep connecting as much as we can since things will be changing so soon. i make eye contact with her, dance w her, hold her when she needs, take our sweet old time with tucking into bed and nap time, sing her a million songs, and always say yes to one more book. man, she sure is my little lady.
we accept any good vibes and prayers sent our way as we enter into this next stage of family. love to all of you.
this above photo is from when we finally arrived in denver on our way home from florida. ramona, who has been potty trained for the good part of a year, decided to empty her bladder in her plane seat while i was reading her a book. just like that. soaking her pants and dress on the first of our TWO legs home. and of course i didn’t have any extra clothes bc, well, she never has any accidents. never say never, right? luckily, i had one stray diaper, which was intended for our second leg where i was hoping she would take a snooze (she does wear diapers for bed time). i asked her why she did that. “because i do that,” she said matter-of-factly. i couldn’t have put it more succinctly myself, miss minka. the pilot on our second flight offered her a t-shirt from his suitcase (god bless southwest airlines) which she wore for about 10 seconds. she just loved being able to be mostly naked out and about. silly girl. this is one for the books.
pregnancy brain is a real thing. and it has set in hard for me this past week. well, i think it set in earlier but it’s just now i’m realizing what is happening to me. i’m both glad to know there’s a reason for this madness and anxious to see how the next eight weeks pans out with a brain for mush.
what is pregnancy brain?
one pregnant friend of mine due this week, described it best: “i feel like somebody pooped in my head.”
amen, sister. amen.
it’s a mixture of fuzziness and lethargy and discombobulation and unclear thinking. mine is accentuated by a complete lack of motivation (how long has it been since i wrote a blog post?!) and i have zero ability to concentrate. i’m not sure if it’s an inevitable part of pregnancy for every woman but it sure has been for both of mine. call me crazy, but i’m super looking forward to a newborn who doesn’t let me sleep through the night more than this soupy brain bc i can operate a lot better on little sleep than i can with fuzzy head.
it can be desperately lonely at times, this pregnancy-brain malady. it’s my hormones and my changing body growing a human, surely, but messing with my head?! just leave me be. being present with ramona in the last weeks we have together, just the two of us, is becoming increasingly hard, and my patience is tried bc my mind isn’t thinking straight. and i don’t quite have the enthusiasm about getting out of the house but then, of course, i feel so cooped up and that brings me down as well. i’ve already had to stop doing yoga and i have intense ligament pain that prevents me from walking long distances. i feel like a beached whale and already weigh more at 32 weeks than i did at 40 with ramona. woe is me.
the upside to all of this is that i am understanding it is my body’s way of telling me to sloooowwwww down. take it easy. rest up. there is a baby about to be birthed and a complete change in schedule and life and dynamic. and it’s best if my body is ready for this. so i’m nesting like a maniac. trying to keep the house clean and organized. cutting back on social commitments. emotionally and mentally preparing my self and my heart for this new bundle of craziness that’s about to be a part of our family.
admittedly, i don’t do pregnancy very well. certainly not this second time around. i was far better at embracing all of the changes my body and mind went through the first time as it was all so new and magical to me. i remember gushing and glowing to jp and my midwives about being pregnant with ramona and they would lovingly listen but gently remind me that it gets harder the further you get along and the more pregnancies you have. i scoffed at them. don’t rain on my parade! but, yes, my body is not handling this as well as the first time. i am not glowing and gushing. it is very very hard for me to embrace how this pregnancy is making me feel. it still is completely magical (growing a baby inside of my body, what?!) but i’m over it. i know what happens. now i just want to meet this little girl and have my body and my clarity back.
have you experienced pregnancy brain? how did your pregnancies compare between your first, second, or more?
photo of me at 30 weeks by miss ramona bean.
we were surprised with ramona but wanted to have a heads up with this one. we’re only planning on having two children and thought that knowing the gender of the second would enable us to do some organizing and preparing for our ultimate family (sell old girl clothes to free up space in our teeny home if it was a boy). also, jp was pulling for a boy. but, being the amazing man he is, just knew that he needed some advance notice if he was to be fated with three spirited women in his life. so though his vision of being a father included having a son, we’ve been talking about all the perks of having two daughters and ramona having a sister. we are thrilled. over the moon. elated. my hubby will make the best father for these two young ladies.
oddly enough, (and not that i have any control over it), but i never pictured myself as a mother of two girls. perhaps it’s because my vision of motherhood growing up was one of each: a boy and a girl. and i grew up as the only daughter in the family so the idea of sisters is a bit foreign to me. however, as we’ve talked about the positives of two girls, i am relishing in the idea of ramona having a sister as many of my close friends have sisters who they are so intimately close with in only the way sisters can be. i’d love for her to have that. (for those of you that know i have an older brother –who i love dearly and admire greatly and consider a friend as well as a sibling– have no fear: i am not offending him; we’ve talked about how different it would be if we were the same gender. there would be a closeness there not possible with different sexes.)
either way, it’s a girl! and we’re pretty set on a name but you’ll just have to wait for her birthday bc there’s got to be something to look forward to.
i keep forgetting i’m pregnant. it is a really weird feeling to be moving along as normal and then all of a sudden a belly carrying a baby the size of a mango gets in your way. with ramona, i don’t think a second went by that i wasn’t aware there was a belly and a baby in that belly. but for some reason, this time around, i seem to think i can continue doing all the stuff i usually do when not carrying a child: advanced yoga, shaving my legs, trimming my toes, laying on my stomach comfortably, fitting into my favorite pair of jeans, carrying a heavy load. i go to do these things and almost every single time i find myself saying to myself, “oh yeah. that’s right. there’s a belly with a baby in it that’s in the way. better adjust your plan of action.” which is ridiculous bc i’ve undeniably got a pregnant belly.
i’m not small. i’m not huge yet but i’m certainly PREGNANT. definitely much bigger than these photos of me 18 weeks pregnant with ramona where i’m just exclaiming that, gee i think i popped. oh boy, i popped a long time ago with this little bugger. part of it is that i had a handful of extra pounds on me to begin with this time around. part of it is that my body just has decided to go straight to where it needs to go. “oh. i remember this. i’m going to need to make room for a little human. better get there now before it stretches me there.” thanks, body. i’m glad you’re efficient at what you need to do but i do wish i could remember that you’re doing it.
i’m not concerned about weight gain. i’ve never been one to shudder at the number on the scale. certainly not when i’m with child. i am concerned that it, this belly, keeps catching me off guard — it’s getting in the way too soon this time around! pregnancy was quite enjoyable for me for most of the time i was pregnant with ramona. this time? not as much. it’s just a little more, well, difficult than i remember it being. (little bug: when you read this when you’re older please be assured that this in no way takes away my love of you. babies of the family –of which i am one and you will be– are inherently a little more of a handful and i wouldn’t have it any other way). 21 more weeks of belly-ness. i can do it. i can do it!
women who had more than two, just how did you manage that craziness done to your body?! i know it can be done but it’s hard for me to wrap my head around it.
thrifted cardigan || thrifted allen allen maxi dress || thrifted moccasins (not pictured but i’m on a roll with thrifted amazingness so i wanted to keep going) || scarf from denver boutique inspyre || urban outfitters belt || [i have been living in this outfit. it’s so perfect for a bump in fall]
i am 17 weeks. we heard your heartbeat again this week at maren’s office. it thrills me every time. i can feel you moving — though distinguishing between gas bubbles and little baby kicks is still something of a challenge. i know, soon enough, your movements will be undeniable.
all of this is a relief to me since, at 5.5 weeks, i experienced a lot of bleeding. sitting at the dining room table on july 17 i felt something odd. in the bathroom i discovered my worst fear: there was bright red blood when i wiped. there was so much i didn’t think anything else besides that i was miscarrying. i called papa and nona. papa came home right away and nona just sat with me on the phone being a listening ear to my wails. resigning ourselves to this loss, your papa and i went out with a bang the next evening to celebrate our five year anniversary: an intense reflexology foot massage, martinis, wine, yummy italian food.
the next morning, commenting to someone (who has experienced far more losses of life in the womb than is right for anyone) that my bleeding had stopped and it was so weird how uneventful a miscarriage was, i was asked if i thought that maybe i didn’t miscarry. the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. so after confirmation from my midwife that intense bleeding can happen and the pregnancy can still be viable, i went to urgent care for an ultrasound. there you were, miracle baby, thrill-giver. all gestational and yolk sac. full of promise of life. but no guarantees.
another ultrasound two weeks later allowed us to breathe out, finally, a sigh of relief: a heartbeat. it was safe to be cautiously optimistic. and we’ve only grown more so with every check-up and strong heartbeat and flutters in mama’s belly. nothing is guaranteed. nothing is certain. our breath will be always a little withheld until the day you arrive. and even then, we will continue to worry and to fret and to hope big hopes for you and your life and your development.
little bug, we love you. every single little itty bitty part of you that is growing strong and big as can be in my tummy until the day you arrive.
what mama wore: vince shirt || mossimo tank from target (i own a bajillion of these) || gap maternity jeans || frye carson flats (the best damn black flats i ever did own)