Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the eyes the eyes arrgh the eyes

If you suddenly switch places with Finn and find yourself my son all of a sudden, might I ask you please to please, for God's sake SUCCUMB TO THE NAP, PLEASE?

If you don't succumb to the nap, we will all die a little during the rest of the afternoon and evening. What will happen will be that you'll be working the premise that it's actually sort of cool and interesting to hit your uncle and your dad. And then I will have to leap at you all afternoon and pull you away and try to make eye contact with you and talk about how seriously against the rules it is to hit. And you'll be all ducking your head and wiggling out of the way and grunting, and my blood pressure will be all rising and shit like that.

No fair springing the pop discipline quiz on your unprepared parents like that, man. We don't know what the F we're doing. We're like, you hit your uncle?! OKAY I'M SUDDENLY GOING TO PUT AWAY ALL YOUR TOYS FOR AN UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF TIME AND ACT VERY CRANKY! And then we're going to watch a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD and eat chocolate chip cookies. So, that'll learn you. That'll do it.

Also, you will need a little advice: all of the chocolate chip cookies I made are basically the same. To have a bite of one and then want to abandon it for a fresh one is, just, NOT. There's just no need, man. If you stay with the cookie you came in with, you will find the same cookie satisfaction through the rest of the cookie. Don't be having a midlife crisis with the cookie, like after one bite of the cookie the cookie is now your frumpy wife of twenty years. Don't be looking at the other cookies like they're your new trophy wives. You and the first cookie have a good thing going on. Don't throw it away. You're lucky, frankly, that you have that cookie, after your sleepless hitting spree. Seriously, man.

Some of you people out there have children who know how to go to sleep without the special Brigadoon magic of breastfeeding. That to me is beyond the beyond. It would be like if Finn suddenly revealed that he can drive an eighteen-wheeler and also do our taxes. Most days our clunky jalopy system of breastfeeding-to-sleep works, even if it means our hands are tied. But some days, the eyes just keep looking up at me unwaveringly. I breastfeed and wait for the eyelids to droop a little, wave the white flag a little. Then I know we're home free even if it's going to take a while. But when Finn keeps twitching his arm around and his eyes stay superthefuckopen like that, I know that I'm screwed. The eyes. THE EYES. It's like he armwrestles me with his eyes and he wins.

In case you have good advice for me about this, I'm going to have to pre-empt you and hang up the TOO CRANKY FOR ADVICE sign. You're going to have to try to get it to me telepathically. I'm the asshole who needs a nap.

P.S. But when he finally does go to sleep in my arms come evening, when he goes limp like a little soft moon and tumbles on to the bed...I am also screwed. Screwed, blued and tattooed. Finn 4 Ever. (I actually am considering getting a "Finn" tattoo. I have a big black heart on my left shoulder covering up an old, ill-advised Cat-In-The-Hat. Thinking about getting Dave and Finn under there. They're not going anywhere. I love them. Might as well tell the world via my left shoulder. My blog AND my left shoulder.)

P.P.S. It is ridiculous, ridiculous, frigging ridonkabagonkers how much sweetness and support you beauties who are reading this have given me in this last week. I feel like I'm recovering at an amazing rate, and I blame you guys. (Blame good nice love blame.) I believe in the power of words and the power of thought, and you guys are wielding your powerful power powerfully on my behalf. I'm deeply grateful. And we're doing really damn well, considering.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

finn and oona

Even more, even more. I guess you don't process this sort of loss in two posts. Right. It's only been a week. Right.


Finn first. I loved him so much already, but now I'm loving him with such a piercing keenness. He's brighter and sharper and more poignant in all my senses. His skin is so soft and real when I kiss him, which is constantly.

Things I love:

-His giggles and wild sounds when I'm holding him out horizontally to eat him and make funny noises at him. Apeshit, he goes. I am providing him with the best time humanly possible.

-His pointy fangs that somehow appear the most clearly when he's laughing. The fangs are unreal. He's like a Swiss army knife. I had no idea the Rowleys were actual wolves.

-His cuckoo hair that's 75% straight except for a swath across the back of his head where it curls up and tangles as though that part of his head belonged to some old lady with a curler'd hairdo who was left out on a desert island.

-His long, kicking legs like a tiny male Rockette.

-How he's taken to saying with extreme enunciation, apropos of nothing, "I. Don't. Know."

-How he's suddenly averse to wearing pants. No pants. NO PANTS!

-How, when we looked out in the garden this morning and saw a big fat orange cat in our yard sitting still and staring at the front gate, Finn said, "She's going to go get the mail." This was a good guess! Nobody who lives in our house ever uses the front gate unless they're getting the mail. We leave via the carport. Finn put two and two together. That cat didn't go get the mail, though, because a.) it didn't have the mail key and b.) it's Sunday.

I have a child! He made it! He lived! He's mine! Miraculous.

We're really in love, Finn and I. He throws his arms around my neck and smashes his face against mine until our bones are crunching painfully together, and he has these crazy love eyes and this wild fangy grin. Nothing is ailing me ever in that moment. I could be dying in an earthquake and if Finn were smashed into my face grinning like that I'd be having a wonderful time in my impenetrable bubble of joy.

If an upside to the miscarriage is that I'm seeing Finn more clearly and loving him better, then it gave us a gift and I would go through it again. But I don't want to go through it again.


It feels weird to call the miniscule babylet who visited us for a split-second "Oona", but my head is tingling in a supernatural way that tells me someone is saying BUT I AM OONA. So, good, good enough for me. Oona is sitting on my shoulder while I type. Good. Hello, sweetness. This is wonderful.

If I only ever have a hypothetical daughter, I can't exactly say that it will be enough for me, but it will definitely be something. I'll take it.

On the night that I miscarried, when I was sitting with Dave and my brother and talking, I became aware of something beautiful happening underneath the pain and sorrow. No, not underneath them - right inside them. It was related to womanhood. I was being given a fuller understanding of womanhood. I could feel it happen, like, vooom. Something dropped in. I don't even know if I can verbalize it. I go back to the Jim Jarmusch movie Down By Law, where Roberto Benigni's character says, "It's a sad and beautiful world." Men know this, but women know it differently, I think. Not better. Differently. Motherhood escorts you to a room where you're given a perspective unavailable elsewhere. And then loss connected with motherhood, even a gentle loss like mine, takes you to a room within a room. There's a room within that room where I haven't been, and hope I never, ever go. I don't want that much understanding.

There are women of my acquaintance, and friends of mine, who have had losses many degrees more severe than mine. I have a drop in my cup now that tastes like what their cup was overflowing with. It makes me love all women more, makes them all newly precious to me in some strange way. Oona gave that to me, which makes me long to meet her.

I have this invisible person in my head who's criticizing this as she reads, like a non-ideal reader who's saying to me, "Oona didn't give that to you. She's not real. She wasn't here. She isn't here. You had a few cells gather together for a minute. You're romanticizing this and it's irritating. Get off it." I don't know what to say about that, what to say to that person, except that I'm the one providing the meaning around here.

Lots of free-floating defiance connected with this miscarriage, looking for a home.

Back to what I was saying before I so rudely interrupted me. That drop of the experience I had around womanhood makes me feel like I really should have a daughter - even I only get a hypothetical one - so I can plumb the depths and explore all the corners of this female experience. But I'll say it. I want a daughter. I want a living, breathing daughter. What a festival of teaching and learning that would be! I may never have more of a daughter than my imagination and faith have given me here in this small form, but I hope hope hope. I listened this morning to the mix of songs I made for the baby, and I felt this longing in my chest to meet this person who was coming. It tugged my heart so directly that it felt like there had to be someone on the other end of the string, pulling.


You know what's weird, also? With that mix of songs...many of them sound sweet and tender on top, but on closer listening they could have almost foretold what happened. I put the song "Fallen from the Sky", from the Once soundtrack, in the mix. I hadn't gotten to know the song well but I found the music sweet and joyful. I had just dazed out, lyric-wise, after the opening phrase. You must have fallen from the sky. Sounded good to me! Sweet baby coming down. But then it goes on.

You must have fallen from the sky
You must have shattered on the runway
You've brought so many to the light
And now you're by yourself

There comes a point in every fight
When giving up seems like the only way
When everyone one has said goodbye
And now you're on your own

Etcetera. Oh. Could have given that one a closer listen. And, of course, the Alicia Keys song, which transposes neatly to a miscarriage situation. Mmm.


Long ago, Dave and I picked out the names Finn and Oona for our hypothetical children. They took on a life of their own, our children, and they seemed real to us long before we took steps to make them. We imagined that Finn and Oona were floating in the birch trees watching us get married in my mom's front yard. (And then! A dear friend gave us a wedding present - completely unknowingly - that she had commissioned: a fabric hanging of a scene of birch trees with two fairies hovering among them.) Later we found out that Finn and Oona were already a famous pair in Irish mythology. Finn McCool was a giant and Oona was his clever wife who always bailed him out of trouble.

Yesterday morning when Finn woke up, he looked at the shadows in the curtain and said, "That's a cat right there." And then he said, "I want to see Oona."

My heart stopped. We didn't tell him about the pregnancy, didn't ever tell him Someday you might have a baby sister named Oona. At Christmas, we did have a group of porcelain figurines that were like a caroling family: a mother and a father and a son and a daughter. We named the son Finn and the daughter Oona. So he didn't pull the name out of his ass or anything. But he hasn't talked about those figurines at any point since Christmas, and it wasn't like he was particularly attached to the little girl figurine. It was truly bizarre.

I just said, "Yeah, I want to see her, too."

Later I was telling my brother about this, when Finn was in the room, and he asked Finn, "Who's Oona?" Finn said, "She's a little girl." I asked, "A little girl?" He continued, "Whose mommy is Tina." WHAT? I still can't even quite believe he said that. David asked him, "Where is Oona?" But he just got quiet and went back to his Legos.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

more about it

I am going to clean out this miscarriage closet in real time. The minute a fucking tennis ball goes in there, I'm cleaning it right out. It's compulsive, this leaving no stone unturned. I feel like it's my job at the moment - like I have to get good chi flowing in my mind and heart and womb so we can try again when we have clearance, which isn't terribly far off.

First of all, first of all. You commenters. Deb, Eve, Hil, Grammy, Boo, Erin, Shannon, Kyano, Theresa, Beige. And friends who are reading this who have gotten messages of love to me through other avenues, you know who you are. Thank you. I've been so grateful and greedy for all of the love and sweetness you've lobbed in my direction. Your messages are the ice cream sandwiches of this loss, with vitamins hidden undetectably in their creamy insides. I feel nourished and uplifted from all of the goodness you've given to me. What a silver lining it is, to feel like I'm a part of this glowing web of kindness. You're good advertising for any future babies who might choose to lodge with me. They'd look at my world and see all this light in my neighborhood. They'd be so right.

So, I'm going to keep talking about it. I don't know, it might be weird to completely process my miscarriage on my blog. But you know what, I - clearly - don't have the negative feeling for blogs that a lot of people do. I don't feel like putting this here trivializes the loss. I feel like talking about the loss here elevates the blog. A blog is what you make it. I'm just working this out for myself, giving myself permission to do this. I think I have some idea that it's undignified or something, to do this. But then a very defiant part of myself rises up and slams a fist on the table. A gavel. Bangs a gavel. And delivers a verdict with a statement to the effect of On the contrary, this is all dignity. All dignity. Not guilty.

Okay, so, onward. Closet. Throw things out.

Item: Calling the doctor on Monday, when I was at my worst. I've got it together for the phone call, though. On hold for the ob/gyn my doctor referred me to. The hold music is Pachelbel's Canon in D. You must be fucking kidding me. This music might be great for women with healthy babies floating peacefully in their perfect wombs. Countdown: two cherry-blossomed months until the arrival of our little flower! Tender smiles, all anticipation. Pachelbel, Pachelbel. Well, this is SHIT hold music for people who have miscarried. Word to the wise. I burst into tears during the hold music. Fucking Pachelbel. (Note: I really love Pachelbel, but the thing is that it kicks my heart's ass under normal emotional circumstances.) I remember there was a commercial about the American Cancer Society when I was very little. Old people were walking slowly in a park under a stone bridge on an overcast day, past a cherry tree in bloom. This is where I first heard Pachelbel's Canon in D. And then there was Ordinary People. And then there's every wedding ever. You just can't have this music as the hold music, doctor's office. It's too FULL.

Item: But! I had to call the ob/gyn's office today to confirm the results of my blood test, and they had Pachelbel playing again and I was totally cool. Totally didn't lose it until after the phone call. So I may not have conquered the miscarriage, but I may have conquered Pachelbel.

Item: When the ob/gyn got on the phone, she said, "Good news!" And for a split second I thought she was going to say, "You're still pregnant and everything's great!" But the good news was that the miscarriage was complete. I understand why that's good news compared to an ectopic pregnancy. But she sounded a little too psyched when she said "Good news!" I would give her a different line reading for that. I would read that line with hesitation if I were playing the ob/gyn during this phone call.

Item: After the blood test on Wednesday, I went to the bookstore to go buy myself a book as a treat. I was going to buy this book I've read about recently called I Was Told There'd Be Cake, by Sloan Crosley. I really had my heart set on it. I went to the information desk and asked for it. She said there was only one left in the store. And I was like, Are we going to go get it? And she said it was probably on hold for someone. And inside I was like BUT LOOK I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE CAKE. I stood there for a second, and realized I was not able to handle not getting to buy this book right this second. I started to well up. And I said weepily, "The reason I ask is....." and then did total battle with myself right there. Because I was going to be like, "You have to give me that book out from under whoever you're holding it for because I just had a miscarriage." What I said was, "Never mind." But then I said even more weepily, "I just got some bad news, you see." And she said, "Oh, I'm sorry" but continued to look at me like I was an asshole because I hadn't left the help desk due to what appeared to be a teetering hissy fit about an unavailable humor book. I couldn't blame her, but I absolutely blame her. But I did leave the help desk. And then I asked the help desk upstairs. But I was like a normal person when I asked up there. When he told me it was on hold for someone, I just walked away like it was no big thing.

Item: I think Alicia Keys would be surprised to learn that her song "No One" has become my miscarriage anthem. I don't think she wrote it to be a miscarriage anthem.

Sometimes I feel really, really calm and peaceful. Weirdly so. Like I'm totally over it. I'm totally over this miscarriage I had less than a week ago! Weird but true! And then it strikes out of nowhere with a quickness.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I said I'd deal with this openly here if it happened, and it has. Late Sunday/early Monday, soon after I put up the post about Finn's birthday, I had a miscarriage.

How much do I tell about it, and when do I tell what I will tell? How do I make that call? What do I factor in?

On the one hand I want to tell you everything, so that the record will exist properly. As I write this, I'm understanding why I, in fact, have to tell you everything. The only thing that would stop me is shame or embarrassment, and those things have no business hovering near me right now. I have to tell you everything so this child will exist as tangibly as possible in the world.

It doesn't matter how not far along I was. This is a life that began, and for me that means there is some soul connected to that grain of life, if not embedded within it. And that is the soul of my child.

While I was pregnant, I would be nursing Finn and I would feel so good as I thought to myself, "Look, I have both my children with me. I have both my children so close to me." This is a road where if you go down it an inch, there's no turning back. I don't regret going down that road. Absolutely not. I understand why some people will not allow themselves to go down that road. It's reasonable to gird yourself against grief. I don't mind the grief. I don't mind anything that acknowledges that this baby was real, really here, and I was the mother of it. I completely claim that.

I demand it.

I have to do something imperious with it. The powerlessness in the moment I realized I was bleeding (yes, I will be talking graphically about unbeautiful things) - how do I say what it was? It was like a person suddenly faced with an opponent, and the opponent is the ocean in all its size and force, or gravity itself, some law of nature at work. That's it. The opponent was Nature. So in that moment when I saw that I was bleeding, I was a mother holding a child and facing down Nature, who wanted my child from me.

This is a point where I stop and ask myself, do I go on, do I tell more? Is it seemly? And again, I don't fucking care. I hope if you're reading this and you're wondering if I'm going to be unseemly you will jump ship immediately and consider, in fact, not returning. That seems clear. I feel clear then that I'm going to go on.

I did feel like an animal at this point, when it became clear what was happening. Pacing in the small bathroom. Having to make my fearful sounds quietly so I wouldn't wake Finn in the next room. I felt like I was obligated to fight, but I didn't have the sophisticated weaponry or elegant strategy to defeat my opponent. I felt clumsy. Animal brain, animal body, registering a problem, pacing around, too obtuse to solve it.

I'm glad I'm writing about this. I couldn't defeat the opponent in the moment this happened, but now I can capture the moment and kill it, dissect it, own it, take charge of it. I can feel my posture improving as I type.

My brother was up, and heard me. Then my mom came out, and then Dave. Finn kept sleeping, which was wonderful, so I could have the response I needed to have. Dave and my brother and I talked a while about what was happening, wondered about this person who had come to be with us and then left so quickly. Was this person really gone? The physical element of this person was leaving or had left or was packing. But we all agreed that the essence of this person had not gone anywhere, seemed to still be with us in the room. And I felt furthermore that this person was not intending to leave us, that this wasn't it for us. We entered into a contract when we invited this person to come here and this person accepted, is what it feels like. The contract is binding, I think. I think that on both ends, the terms of the contract are in fact still embraced. I think there is still the intention to fulfill the contract, with this same person.

Dave had the analogy of a plane coming in for a landing and having to pull up before hitting the runway for safety reasons. The plane has to circle the airport and try again. The plane doesn't go, fuck it, I guess we're not going to London. That's how I feel here. We're not done with this child.

There's a feeling of peace in here that has planted a flag. There is still grief, because there's been a death. But I don't feel like Nature is my opponent any more. Nature knows what it's doing, my body knows what it's doing, neither of them failed me or are against me. I respect the both of them, and give them the nod.

It's been a roller coaster. In the span of a month, we've made the decision to try and conceive, we've joyfully done the work to make it happen, we've waited impatiently for the results, we've succeeded, we've been growing a person, and then now we've lost the person, or at least their form. My body and mind are exhausted. Yesterday was horrible, today was better. I'm alternating between real grief, real peace and a calm feeling of unreality, like the pregnancy was a dream. I've been to the doctor and she confirmed both the pregnancy and the loss.

When I wake up tomorrow, Dave is going to give me the morning to be sweet to myself. I'm going to lie in bed and watch a movie, I think. I'm going to have to take a shower first. I realized tonight that I hadn't showered since this happened, and that subconsciously I was avoiding it because I didn't want to lose the last physical traces of this child. I have to do it, I can't never shower again. I don't want to do it, but it will feel good to be clean.

That's enough for now. I'll want to tell you more about this person, how she affected me, and I will, until I've told everything That's the last thing right there, my saying "she". That's the last bit of truth for the evening. I can drop the pretense of saying "this person". For me, she was a she. It doesn't matter whether or not that would have been true. For me it was true. I made a playlist of songs on my iPod to welcome her into my mind and body, and one of them was Stevie Wonder singing I Was Made to Love Her. Oh, there's more I can tell you, and I will. Later.

Monday, April 21, 2008

happy birthday, mr. funny

Finn's second birthday was yesterday, and it was a joy. We had a tiny little party, featuring the Gehrman/Ingersons and our dear Jenn Creegan. Finn and Miles wore their new Mr. Funny uniforms and rocked it out!

First, here's Finn in the a.m. opening presents with the family.

That box has a Mister Potatohead therein. His identity would later be conflated with Buzz Lightyear's, as Finn yelled when he was going to bed, "BUZZ LIGHTHEAD!"

It was a full-on rescue operation to release Buzz Lighthead from his packaging. But he's a wicked hit! Thanks, Grandma! We tried to call you, but there was no answer! We assumed you were on a space ranger mission.

Diny-saurs. Rrahr! Rrrahr. What does a dinysaur say when he wants a cookie? Rrahr!

Kicking it. What? That's how you do it. It's not kicking it if you're not kicking it.

The Mr. Funny convention convenes by the couch at noon. Mr. Funny Gehrman has clearly brought his A game.

Here's where the party suddenly turned into a freaking Gatorade commercial, apple-juice-style.


UNH UNH Why the hell didn't anyone give me anything to drink before this point in my life? I'm seriously so fucking thirsty UNH UNH

UNH UNH Me, too, what gives..I just have to...I'm going to go over here to - UNH UNH

We had never witnessed a thirst like their thirst. It went on and on, this slaking of this legendary thirst. Sweet lord, finally the succulent apple juice for our shrivelling souls.

Mix and match farm animal puzzle. Both sets of Mr. Funny's parents are like, "Hey, you know what's good? Sharing! Sharing is something you might...hey! Say! All right! Sharing is good and also positive reinforcement is good! Good! Good things are good! All right!"

Mr. Funny Gehrman tutors Mr. Funny Rowley in the ways of Thomas the Tank Engine track-making. Auntie Jenn and Auntie Jos hooked Finn up with some sweet sweet goods from the Island of Sodor. Beautiful generous aunties! Plus Auntie Jenn totally saved the day for us hapless party makers who ran out of time to get balloons and apple juice. She stopped in the rain and brought a fat armload of shiny balloons and, apparently, the best goddamned apple juice ever crushed out of an apple.

The Ingehrmans. Listen. For Finn's first friend to end up being Miles Gehrman, son of longtime friend David Gehrman and the lovely Ingrid Ingerson, is just more delightful than we could have conceived. We've been waiting all Finn's life to give a hero's welcome to his first real pal. Well, we give it to his parents, too. They've got it going ON.

Auntie Jenn and Finn cracking open the Thomas track and airfield, while know what, you can't caption what he's doing. You can't bottle that. Just behold.

I will always love this cake, even though it's the color of chewed gum, because it's the first one I ever baked for Finn. It's a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting, filled with strawberries. Finn is heavily pro-strawberry. I tried to use the natural beet food coloring but it was turning shit blue! So I went with the artificial stuff because strawberries are RED. Or, you know, chewed-gum color. This cake was delicious, if I say so myself.

Here's Finn turning to his mom for comfort while everyone sings in his honor. The birthday song is not up everyone's alley, wouldn't you know? I allow this grotesque picture of me in the name of telling the story. I am less foul and pointy in real life, and also I have eyes.

The day was fantastic. Finn and I napped together like fiends after the party, and then Finn and Dave and I gathered on the couch to watch Toy Story TWO. Oh, that's right. We're mixing it up.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

have you seen toy story?

Because I have. I've seen it at least once a day for the last three weeks. Occasionally, I have seen it twice a day. The miracle? I STILL LIKE IT. That's got to be a pretty fuckin' sound movie there to withstand a godzillion consecutive viewings like that.

You know what one trick is? Watching a movie like that over and over? You watch different parts of the screen. See how they animated the windowsill in the upper right hand corner. See how they made the wood floor look very shiny, and behold the subtle shadows of the banisters. You can get a lot of mileage out of this technique. Savor the animation. Saaaavor it.

And then you can focus on the voiceovers. Imagine the actors in front of their microphones, doing different takes. See if you can guess which ones made them laugh and they had to do them over.
Then you can imagine different friends of yours in different parts, if you have a lot of actor friends. (Even if you don't. Just imagine which friends and acquaintances are existentially right for the different parts.) Who do I know who'd make a good Woody? Yeah, that guy'd be good. THAT guy would be a great Buzz Lightyear. I'm going to pretend he's Buzz Lightyear during this scene. What about this friend? Is there a role for him here? Mr. Potatohead? Not bad. The pig? The dinosaur? I think I'm going to read him for the pig. The pig and Mr. Potatohead. For when I direct the stage show. The tiny experimental Seattle theater version of Toy Story. Good. Good.

Finn and I were watching Toy Story the other day, and it came to the part where Buzz finds out he's just a toy and there's that melancholy Randy Newman musical interlude where Buzz is staggering around all disillusioned. Finn wandered off and started playing with a window handle, so I paused the movie. He turned around and said, "No, let's watch it. Let the man sing."

Let the man sing.

Finn is also in love with the pit bull in the movie, the bad neighbor kid's dog. He'll pop awake in the morning, "Want to see the big white dog! Want to say hi to him!" And he'll stare at the dog lovingly and make me rewind the dog parts fifty times, and he'll say, "I want to pick him up." Then he'll note that "he's very heavy". Theoretically.


I'm still pregnant, everyone! And that means that I'm very tired and moody and I'm forced to eat ice cream sandwiches. Toy Story : Finn as ice cream sandwiches : me.

Also, I'll be frank. We're rooting for a girl. Until further notice, I'm living the dream. This is the last child we're going to have, so I'm bookmarking awesome little lady outfits on the web like a crazy person right now. We thought Finn was a girl at first last time, and we think he's the best thing since sliced bread, so it's not like we're going to be bummed out if it's Fred. Fred would get a hero's welcome. But we have booked a ticket for Oona. C'mon, little mama. Break for the double X.

We haven't told Finn yet. We're going to wait until I start to show. In the meantime, we're just talking about babies a lot. What do you think about babies? Look at this baby in this magazine. What do you think? Look at that mommy's tummy. There's a baby in there. How about this baby? What do you think? You remember Linus? and Luna? Linus is Luna's big brother. Linus is a big brother. Just sayin'.

Finn loves looking at babies. I pointed to one baby and he declared, "THAT is a CUTIE." And, naturally - like he does with everything else in this world from pit bulls to his friend Miles to giant construction cranes and houses - he wants to pick babies up. If you see Finn somewhere, and he looks at you, know that he's thinking about what it would be like to pick you up.


Our due date is festive, being Christmas Eve, but it's also sort of crappy. It makes me nervous. I'm wanting to go for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and I'm afraid that everyone's going to subconsciously - or consciously - hurry me into a cesarean so they can get back to their families and their stockings and eggnog. The midwife I wanted isn't accepting clients for my due date, and it looks like it's going to be the same deal with the doula I was hoping to use. No room at the inn feelings starting up!

The recovery from my cesarean with Finn was GOD. AWFUL. I don't want a repeat!

If you're a groovy Jewish VBAC-supporting certified nurse-midwife who oversees births at Group Health (which has the lowest c-section rate in the state) and you're free in late December, call me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

the eagle has landed

Bing bang boom bang ding dong ding-ding-ding!

Got three positives last Friday from two other brands, but First Response Early Result was like, "I don't think so." Just like it'd been saying all week. And even though I knew I was pregnant, I just couldn't go public until I'd cracked that goddamn First Response mofo. It was like the hard-to-get person you're trying to date. All these other dudes are already into you, but Distant one else will do. What a chowderhead I am. Have I learned nothing?!

This morning, Distant Guy was finally like, mumble mumble, if you're not doing anything on Friday, we could catch a movie or something.


But I will be busy, First Response Early Result. EPT was with me from the get-go. We're gonna go to a Wiggles concert. Eat our dust!

Oh man, I'm so excited. (Not about the fake Wiggles concert.) We're out of our minds over here. And I feel like I'm constantly doing a thousand sit-ups.

That shit was fast, wasnt' it? I should have gotten a whole different birds and bees talk. Tina, a baby comes when you say it will.

When I was first pregnant with Finn, I similarly shouted it to the internets pronto. The same philosophy applies. I would have to not blog for three months to keep this on the down low. It's not a possibility for me. I'm going to be out here celebrating from the word go. And should something bad happen - which it will not, because my womb is totally obedient - I will be out here dealing with that openly as well. I can't do it another way. I stand in awe of those who can keep their counsel on this stuff.

By regular due-date calculations, the newest Rowley is aiming for....Christmas Eve. I'm going to be whispering into my womb for nine months, "It's always good to be a couple of days early."

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

i have descended into madness

The earliest a pregnancy test could possibly mean anything is this Friday. A more reasonable time to break it out would be next Wednesday or afterward. That's why I've already given myself two in the last two days. Good. Good going. So, of course they're negative. They're even negative if you stare at them really hard while they're developing, right up at 'em super close with a death stare.

I'm still completely convinced that I'm pregnant.

And I could be right. I don't normally get headaches, but I'm getting these frequent mild little headaches. A SYMPTOM. I got a little bit of cramping right at the time when my new child oughta be burrowing that egg into the walls, there. THAT'S SOMETHING. I have to pee all the time. A SYMPTOM. I ate lunch with a friend of mine today and felt queasy a couple of times. SEE WHAT I MEAN?

I'm going to be really irritated if I'm not pregnant, even if that just means I can pencil in more sex with my husband. So that's not very gracious of me. That part will be good. It's the waiting, and the madness.

Look, whether or not I turn out to be pregnant, I know that my kvetching must be extremely irritating for all those who had either legitimately long waits for this news or are still waiting after even longer periods of time or have complicating issues. Please forgive me if that's you.

With every spasm of headache, I'm like OH YEAH. AWESOME. WITH CHILD. POKE ME, head. Twinge it. Bring it. Every little moment of queasiness is like a tiny bouquet of roses. If I'm not pregnant I'm going to feel like an asshole. What else will be new?

P.S. Finn has his first real little friend! Ladies and gentleman, I give you young Miles Gehrman! Well, I don't. I don't have a current picture. But I will. You'll be hearing more about him shortly. Right after I buy him a pony and a six-foot milkshake. Awesomeness is afoot.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

what it's like right about now

Am I pregnant? I wonder if I'm pregnant. Do I look pregnant? I think I'm pregnant. I think I'm not pregnant. I think I am. I hope I am. I don't know if I am. I could be. Am I?

It's a week until I can take the test. Maybe more than a week. Maybe a week's good. I'll decide in a week, when I'll do it. I'll do it as soon as I can. I'll wait to do it until the test would be more definitive. I'll do it on Sunday. Wednesday. Thursday. Monday. No, Sunday.

Yeah, I probably am. I doubt I am. Relax. Relax. I should relax.

P.S. Finn today, to me:

I want to hold your face. (He holds it.)
I want to pick it up. (He pats it.)
I want to take it off you. (!)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

is a video lame? maybe. but is it nothing? no.

Oh, man. I been gone a long time. Hey, uh, look at this video while I try and remember how the hell you blog.

How you drive this thing? What's this thing, do you--