Friday, March 14, 2014

Start of Something: Months 1-3


This is my "Start of Something" Pregnancy Journal and it will be pretty personal.  These 9 months and beyond are so uniquely miraculous for each one of us that go through it.  As an artist of many mediums, it only makes sense for me to share the most creative endeavor of my life.  So, please accept my open invitation to my journey over the next months if you'd like and if not, I accept that too!   I can promise that my entries will not be too long or too frequent, since finding the time to do it is the biggest challenge!

To start with the present, I am now 12 weeks along.  At 6 weeks, I decided to start a photo journal of my blossoming tummy, same position same day each week.  It would be awesome to make a flip book when we're done!  So far I haven't much to show, but I have gained about 5 pounds already.  I share that now… we'll see if I'm as open about it later in the game!

I naturally tend to focus on the sunny side, but I don't want to pretend that I don't have fears and worries.  9 months is a looong time to go without really knowing what the outcome is going to be.  I pray for a healthy, happy baby and do my best to be healthy and happy myself… I think prenatal clinics can be a but overboard in their testing and rather than comforting parents, it can fill you with fears of, "What if my baby has down syndrome?  What if she has some strange chromosomal disorder that I've never heard of?"  I had to travel to Long Island to do genetic testing last week, which was a 6 hour trip for a little sonogram and blood draw!  Grrrr.  But on the positive side, the LIRR train trip was really pretty and made me want to move out of the boroughs and into that beautiful area!  My worries are much less this second time around too.  I was SO paranoid with Jackrabbit about food, the way I laid at night, lifting things, you name it… now I have to carry my huge lunk of a son to get him to nap in the afternoon and fall asleep at night!  (At least he sleeps, guys!  It's been our biggest challenge!)  

Anyway, all the ultrasounds have been very promising and I feel confident that the little one is flourishing nicely, and whatever happens, I know we are blessed!  The ultrasound pix are so crazy and weird to see...

6 weeks
8 weeks
11 Weeks, 3D and very alien - Whoa!
I think it's a girl, but sure can't tell from the ultrasounds yet!  I had a very vivid dream that I gave birth to a girl and it was soooo easy.  Wishful dreaming.  And of course, if it's a boy, we won't throw him out with the baht water.  All we ask for is a healthy happy baby ...  and a natural v birth.

                                        MYSTERY SOLVED... OMG!  I'M PREGNANT!
I found out that I was pregnant while on a trip visiting family in San Diego in January.  I had a hunch, but my hunch kept coming and going, and by the twentieth negative pregnancy test, I fell for it.  "Ok, I'm not pregnant.  Carry on…"  But the next morning, Tuesday, Jan 14th to be exact, I took one more test just because I was leaving San Diego and had one left so what the hell.  It was positive!  It took 3 more positives to convince me, but sure enough it was true!

Since I have never really been "regular", it was a great mystery to me how far along I was.  Jackrabbit was now 19 months and had just weened from nursing that week, which had been a gradual process from Thanksgiving to mid-Jan.  I hadn't had the return of my cycle until Thanksgiving day (yes, actually the day of, thankfully - haha), and then hadn't had it again… so with the rumor that you can't get prego while nursing, the fact that I'd only had one period in 2+ years, and the rare occasion that J and I would be in close enough proximity for a special hug - I think it's fair to consider this "immaculate conception", right!?!?

Another twist to the miracle of timing, we had moved to NYC and had to apply and reapply for health insurance from September to January - something about Obama Care, you may have heard.  It was a scary limbo to be in, not having health insurance especially for little Jackrabbit for 5 months and thank heavens we were all healthy!  A the universe must have planned, we received insurance on Feb 1st!  I had a torturous wait of 2 weeks, but since I wanted - no, needed - to know how far along I was so desperately, I went to the emergency room at our local hospital.  It took them 5 hours to tell me the results of one simple blood hormone test to tell me that I was about 5 weeks.  The due date is September 22nd, 2014.  Phew!  So glad to have that question answered. 

Now other mysteries were coming clear, like why I loved those chocolate donuts from Peterson's in Escondido so much and why I couldn't stomach the kale salad I always liked from Trader Joe's, or why when I saw photos of myself that week I was like, "Whoa!  I have a tummy!"  Now I know you're not supposed to really show this early, but I was like 90 pounds before Thanksgiving, so with my uterus doubling in size in the first few weeks, there was nowhere for it to hide.  My skinny jeans were already making me feel not so skinny!  

J and I have never been able to keep quiet about nothin'.  When we found out, J spilled the beans immediately to his mom.  Her sixth sense had already informed her anyway.  We agreed to keep quiet until I forget how long, because it didn't happen.  I told my parents, who starting leaking it slowly but surely.  Basically I say, "Don't tell anyone, but if you can't help it, it's ok."  Example, the second person I told was a random lady in line at the airport, because the conversation just led to it.  I couldn't help it!  I told the ladies at the YMCA that week, cuz somehow the conversation just forced it out!  I had to tell my grandpa one day, because he had been hospitalized for fluid collecting in his heart, and I wanted to lift his spirits.  He went home and is feeling well - due to more factors than the happy baby news most assuredly.  

J composed a song called "Start of Something" earlier in the semester from the perspective of a baby in the womb realizing that soon will be the start of something more than what she's ever known.  I sang this song for his NYU-Tisch Musical Theater program (something I have the honor of doing quite frequently) and we recorded it.  J has a gift of expressing through lyrics and music these universal themes that are beautiful and relatable.  I'll have to find a way to share a recording of this song with you...

This pregnancy, like withJackrabbit, is no fun - I will not lie.  I am SO nauseous and it is constant 24/7, the worst in the morning and always right when I want to go to bed.  Rather than indulging in guiltless eating, I am constantly trying to pick the right foods that aren't going to make me sick.  So far it's Thai curry and Indian food.  But no one, not even a crazy pregnant person, can eat that rich intense food every day.  So, I hate food but have to eat all the time to keep the nausea at bay.  And I'm always tired.  The one respite I have is Jackrabbit's nap time, when I usually cuddle up with him and get an hour snooze too.  But I have to much on my TO DO list, so I really try to push through.  

Plus, my emotions really do get the best of me often.  I cry at everything.  I was on the subway and this trio of black spiritual singers came along singing so beautifully, I burst into uncontrollable tears!  I cried when I read someone's blog that said by now in your pregnancy, your clothes may feel like a sausage casing around your body.  How sad but true!  I cry at real things too.  The doctor said it's normal but to tell her if I'm crying every day.  Well, I didn't tell her, but I had definitely been crying every day.  LOL.  Ever since I opened up about it, the tears have subsided a bit and for reasons that seem less "real" than before.  So I'm not worrying or crying about it.  :) 

Singing always helps me feel better and singing when you're pregnant is the best!  I'm thrilled to have opportunities for performing both at NYU with Jonathan and fun La Boheme gigs with Matt.  Plus, La Boheme is planning a new album and we have most of the songs already.  I'll include these stories here as they come along.  I've been playing more piano again, which feels great!  Jackrabbit and I sing and dance our way through the day and that's a very very wonderful thing...

I'm so excited about this journey!  I'd love to connect with other moms and babies to be and anyone who like sharing thoughts, stories, songs…  

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