Well, let me just say that so far, the Let's Get Real: Perfect People Lie challenge is a roaring success. I've gotten about forty entries so far, and I won't lie, you people are seriously disgusting.
And that was a joke.
What I meant to say was, "...you people are seriously my soul sisters."
I'll do my best to keep my promise and compile the links into one, easy-to-read post tomorrow. But you know me, due dates are always quite flexible--especially the ones that I've set for myself.
In other news, do you remember that song Glycerine by that band Bush? Well it came on the radio this morning as I was driving from work to the post office, and hoo boy it really made me sob--like snot-falling-into-my-lap sob. I don't think it's a particularly touching song, and actually, I couldn't quote the lyrics if my life depended on it, but dude, I was an official mess.
Pregnancy is so cute.
And in other news, James seems to have outgrown every single pair of shoes that he owns while he was sleeping last night. His Batman shoes? Too tight. His Hot Wheels shoes? Couldn't get 'em on. His Lightning McQueen shoes? Poked a hole right through the front. And his plain-old-non-commercial-shoes? He simply doesn't own any.
Either this kid knows that Payless is now carrying light-up Transformers velcros, or he's telling me the truth. It's very hard to know.
Keep the pictures coming in!
Yup. That's exactly what you think it is, a picture of my living room. That's Gracie in the foreground of course, and in the background you'll find James's demolished castle, his dirty clothes from Tuesday, and a big old sleeping bag that's been stuffed in the corner since Monday morning.
It's messy, I know. And I guess it's kind of embarrassing, but I have a good reason for sharing it, so read on...
This is photo #2, my kitchen. I know, also very cute. That's a box of dishwasher soap on the counter--it's been there for a week. And next to it? That's a colander. Funny, because I honestly can't remember the last time we had pasta for dinner.
This is James's room. I haven't made his bed since sometime in July I think. And those dang drawers--can't they just learn to close themselves?
This is part of the baby's room. That's a huge bag that needs to go to Goodwill. It's been sitting there since we finished the room a month ago. And those windows? Yeah, still haven't gotten around to scraping the extra paint off the glass. One of these days. Maybe.
This is my laundry room. Believe it or not, all of those clothes are clean. Wrinkled, but clean. They've been sitting down there for approximately two weeks.
And finally, the crowning jewel (since I'm too wimpy to post a picture of my bedroom or my bathroom), the playroom in the basement.
So there ya go, that's my house in all its natural glory--and let's not forget, I only have one non-toddler child running around.
Seriously, what's the point of cheating? Just don't do it.
Expecting a girl baby is weird.
When James popped out, I was like, "Oh hey, you're a boy. Just so you know, you can be a doctor, a plumber, a Peace Corps volunteer, a teacher--I really don't care. The world's your oyster, kid. Just be sure to call your mother every once in a while."
And now that we have a girl on the way, I've got to admit that my attitude is totally and completely different. Maybe I should just go ahead and call it what it is--desperate. Desperate to teach this little girl that she can be whatever she wants to be, career, family and otherwise.
If you were to peek inside my bedroom window, you'd find me lecturing my stomach on a very regular basis. I'm like, "You listen here Lawlet Lawson! You will do whatever you want to do with your life and you won't think a damn thing about it! If you want to be a stay-at-home-mom, great. If you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, great. If you want to be an artist or a Buddhist nun, great. If you want to get all rich off some good idea and support your mother for the rest of her life then that's fine, too."
Then I take a deep gasp and I'm all, "Zero kids or twenty Lawlet, it's totally up to you. Never let a mechanic rip you off. Never rely on a man to be your source of self esteem. Never pay attention to fashion magazines and those stick-thin models. Always flash your middle finger when someone whistles at you. JUST BE HAPPY TO BE YOURSELF, DAMNIT!"
Then I cry, hyperventilate a little bit, and numb my anxieties with junk food. It's all very healthy. All very normal.
I was raised in a family that taught me all of those very important values. I played sports, I played the drums, I have a master's degree, I was a stay-at-home mom for three years, and I essentially told a contractor to eff-off yesterday when he exercised some super shady sales tactics--so to be quite honest, I'm not exactly sure where this is coming from. But let me assure you over and over, it keeps on coming.
Last night, Jared and I were going back and forth about middle names for this baby girl, without any sort of forward progress. Finally, after thirty minutes or so, Jared said, "You know, I don't even think girls should have middle names."
And sure enough, out came the 'I am Woman Mama Bear, Now Hear Me Roar' claws. I was like, "I'm sorry, what's that now? Girls don't need middle names?! Care to explain yourself you chauvinistic bastard of a penis carrier?"
And poor Jared, he just kind of sunk into himself and was like, "Well my mom and sisters don't have middle names. They just made their maiden names into their middle names when they got married."
"Is that so!?" I ranted. "Why don't you just hoist your scrotum up a flag pole and tell the world how superior you are? Huh? Really. Why don't you do that, Jared?"
And he was all, "On second thought, she really needs a middle name. I changed my mind."
And I was all, "What if she doesn't want to get married, Jared? What if she's too busy hiking Everest, or surfing in Tahiti, or nursing sick people back to health to even think about a husband?! What then?! She's supposed to walk around all middle-nameless for the rest of her life?! You're despicable."
"I'm sorry," he mumbled.
"And what else do I need to know?" I continued. "You'll disown her if she's a lesbian? Is that what you're about to tell me next? UCK! You totally disgust me!"
So he quietly said, "What about June? I think that's a really nice middle name. After my Grandma."
"Huh. June. I like that, too. Or maybe Elizabeth," I suggested. "It's classic."
And we continued like that--agreeably, peaceably, thoughtfully--for another thirty minutes.
Just a little mood swing, I suppose. A mere touch of overreaction.
So tell me this--Am I insane? Am I the only mother who's ever felt this way about raising a little girl? Should I have kept this entire subject to myself and never admitted these feelings in public? Am I about to get flogged in the comments?
I'm curious (and scared to press the PUBLISH POST button).
I swore I wasn't gonna do this, but you guys are persistent, and will-power isn't my strongest suit right now. Don't believe me? Just peek inside my freezer.
Here I am at 34 weeks--and I know these kind of comments are totally against the rules--but I've got to admit that I'm looking pretty stinkin' cute. It's gotta be the headband.
That shirt on the other hand? It's having a very rough go of it.
It's no secret, I've done a lot of questionable things in my life--but I, Amy Lawson, can hold my head high and proudly declare that I have never, ever littered. Not so much as a used Kleenex, a Trident wrapper, or even the sticker off a plum.
(Now where's my award?)
I might swear, and I might drop trou to pee in public on a semi-regular basis, but my garbage? It stays firmly on the floor of my car, right where it should be.
(Uhh seriously folks , there is an award for this, right?)
Get this...I even go out of my way to throw my Gatorade cups into the designated trash cans during road races and marathons. Which, in hindsight, could very well be the reason that I haven't qualified for the Boston Marathon yet--I blame it on my stewardship to Mother Earth (and also on my big, fat ass--but you know, whatever.).
This morning, since one of our cars is going into the shop, Jared and I had to do some ride shuffling. When I met him at the mechanic, he hopped into my car, noticed two little heart-shaped pieces of paper (no more that 1/2" each) and casually brushed them into the parking lot.
I was like, "Jared! Why'd you just do that! You've got to pick those up!"
And he was all, "What? What'd I do?"
"Jared," I nagged, "you just littered. That's not okay, pick those hearts up."
"That wasn't littering," he replied. "Those were way too small to count."
"Nothing's too small to count," I demanded. "Just imagine if everyone in the world went around throwing little paper hearts all willy-nilly like confetti! What would happen then? Huh?"
So he paused. And reflected. And then a really wide smile spread across this face. "Then the world would be a much happier place," he said, nodding his head.
Damn. The man has a point.
I can't believe I'm about to admit this, but I'm on a podcast. If you want to hear my sultry voice, listen to my latest updates about [not] running while pregnant, and feel offended, then click here. I think you can get it on iTunes, too. Maybe search for "Banned on the Run"? I don't know.
I've been keeping this whole thing a secret for three reasons:
1. After the podcast is recorded, I immediately regret 94% of the words I said.
2. Podcasting makes me feel dirty.
3. Most of the listeners seem to have a strong aversion to all things Amy. I never read the comments (ever), because the one time I did they were all, "That girl's voice is like nails on a chalk board!" and "She's everything that's wrong with our nation's youth!" and "Off with her head!"
But we interviewed--and I use that term in the most casual sense of the word--John from Hella Sound, and he rated quite high on the awesome chart, so if you're at all interested in running, you'll definitely want to tune in.
Bottom line is this: I suck, the other three regular podcasters suck (and are really quite offensive this time around), but John? He's alright.
So anyway...there ya go.
Can you sense my enthusiasm?
I'm happy to say that I'm feeling much, much, much better this morning. The temperature dropped from the mid 90's into the low 60's last night and I only had to wake up twice to empty my tank. Needless to say, I'm feeling pretty rested.
Because seriously, I was on the verge of getting myself arrested. For what? I don't know. But I could feel it coming, and it wasn't about to be cute.
I've actually never been arrested, which, I've got to admit, is something I take a great deal of pride in. Now my husband on the other hand? Yeah, he's been bagged by the cops.
It was nothing serious. Well, nothing more serious than driving 100mph in a 65mph zone, but dude, sometimes it feels so frickin' hot to be married to such a bad boy.
Criminal Speeding. Mmm hmmm.
This was long before the days of me--actually, I think he was only 18. He was headed to church, yes church, and decided to open 'er up. He was in a bondo grey truck, the base model, no bumpers, and couldn't believe that he got her going so fast. So obviously, he stuck with it.
Then he got pulled over by an unmarked car (which he happened to be racing), his truck was impounded, Jared got cuffed, and the friendly police officer delivered him to the lobby of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints--all shackled up. Just like you always see in the super sweet commercials.
I should also mention that his family had just moved. This was their first Sunday in the new congregation and man were my in-laws ever proud of their son--because really, that was a first impression that really stuck with the masses.
The Mormon community in Maine is a little bit less than small, so still, to this day, Jared gets comments about the incident. Random strangers will come up to my husband and be like, "Watch your speed Brother Lawson!" And Jared will wag his finger at the person, muster up a hearty fake chuckle, and be all, "Only if you promise to keep your pants on. Ya got that?"
Confuses the shiz out of old people, I can tell ya that much.
Other than the occasional comment at church events, and the fact that Jared needs notarized copies of his court conviction documents every time he applies for a job, I'm happy to say that his arrest seems to have no ill-effect on our day-to-day lives.
His excessive farting on the other hand? Now that's an actual problem.
If you were to meet me in real life and ask me a question like, "So how are you feeling?," there's only one way I'd respond. I'd smile, shrug my shoulders and say something like, "Great! A little bit tired, but honestly, I couldn't find a reason to complain if I tried."
That my friends, is widely known as "keeping up appearances." In other words, LIE! LIE! LIE!
I know it's wrong to fib, but every single woman in my neighborhood seems to have given birth during the days of push-carts and woolly mammoths, so somehow, in these days of air conditioning and Bagel Bites, it just feels wrong to complain.
All I can say is thank goodness for this website, my secret place where I can be honest with the masses--because dude, I totally feel like crap. You're welcome to think whatever you'd like in regards to my whining. Judge me, whip me, tell me I'm not grateful enough--chances are, I don't know you anyway.
Oh the freedom.
So anywho, this is where I'm at...
If pregnancy were a marathon, I'd have to say that I'm at mile 22. It goes like this--you've been running forever, you still have a long ass way to go, and that whole "hitting the wall thing?" Yeah, it's not just some crazy idea.
Amy Lawson has hit the wall. And crapping my pants could very well be right around the corner.
I'm now to the point where I'm carrying 30ish extra pounds, Jared has to tie my shoes, and generally speaking, I cry 3 to 5 times daily. Almost anything can spark the tears these days--a radio commercial for auto glass, the movie Flushed Away, a craving for macaroni & cheese, anything.
For example, yesterday evening, when I returned from my nightly waddle, I walked into the kitchen to find the missionaries chatting with Jared. Sure I'm already Mormon, it's not like they were trying to convert me or anything--but when all you want to do is scratch your crotch, pull the curtains, and walk around wearing nothing but nature's glory, unexpected visitors can really put a damper on your evening.
So I breezed right past them, sat my ass on the living room couch, and commenced with the sobbing.
Jared came in and he was like, "Amy, oh my word, are you okay? What's wrong?"
So I was all, "Jared, the only thing I want to do right now is take a shower, sing some Bon Jovi, and air-dry my crack--but they're here. I can't do any of that while they're here."
"Amy," he said, "I can't ask them to leave, that would be rude."
So I cleared my throat, muted the television and said as loudly and clearly as I possibly could, "ASK THEM TO LEAVE, JARED! ASK THEM TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW."
Apparently they showed themselves out.
And then I cried again, because holy crap, I felt shame like I've never felt shame before.
So you see? This 33-weeks pregnant thing? It's complicated.
And me? I feel like a really big sack of crap.
My sister-in-law came to visit from Utah a few weeks back, and she took some really great pictures while she was here.
The picture I posted below is of James and his two older cousins/heroes. I mean c'mon, he even perms his hair to be more like them--we're talking some serious devotion here.
The guy on the left is busting a gut because my sister-in-law used the word "fart." As in, "What if somebody farted during the quiet part of church?" Well now we know--Nathan would explode.
You see, in Nathan's house they're not allowed to use the word "fart"-- they ere on the side of manners and use the phrase "passed gas." Obviously we're not related by blood.
On top of that, his family takes church very, very seriously. If I had to wager a guess, Nathan would never be allowed to give a Primary talk that firmly reminded people why they shouldn't bring a cantaloupe into the Temple. James on the other hand, gave that talk just yesterday--it was a very, very, very proud moment for me. Because seriously, a cantaloupe is really hard to conceal. How smart is he?
If my pubic bone could talk it would be like, "What the hell?"
But since it can't talk I'll speak on behalf of it by saying, "What the hell?"
I never experienced anything like this during my pregnancy with James, but this time around, whenever I exert myself to any degree, five minutes later I'm limping around like a cowboy who just rode his horse all the way across the great state of Texas (and got kicked in the groin with a steel-toed boot somewhere around Amarillo).
This pain-in-the-crotch of which I speak? It's 100% of the reason that I hung up my running shoes a couple weeks ago--I just couldn't stand it anymore. Well that and the teenage spit flying at me, but you know, whatever.
For the last four weeks or so, with the exception of a minute or two here or there (obviously when no one is looking), I've downgraded my running to walking and I'm not gonna lie, it totally blows. Don't get me wrong, I like to walk as much as the next menopausal woman in a terry-cloth sweatsuit, but honestly, I miss feeling the burn.
As a matter of fact, I miss feeling the burn so much, that if it hadn't been for my husband saying something completely assholian, like "Well stick a fork in her vanjango, folks--she's done," every time I limped into the kitchen after a run, I'd probably still be doing it.
But I'm not. So I guess that entire last paragraph is completely inconsequential.
Anywho, yesterday afternoon, James mustered up his very best manners and asked me if I wanted to play tag with him. He was like, "Mommy, may you play tag with me outside for some minutes?"
I couldn't resist his mastery of the English language, so obviously I said yes.
I also said yes on account of the fact that a good game of tag would burn some calories while simultaneously banking some serious super-mom points--but really now, who's keeping count of all the selfishness and ill-intentioned acts in the universe anyhow? (Oh. What's that you say? God is? Whoops.)
So we played tag, at full speed, for forty-five minutes.
This involved running up hills, down hills, around lawn ornaments (I have many), over rock walls, and through hedges without any break to speak of. By the time all was said and done, once I had lured James back to indoor sedentary comfort with the promise of a Kit-Kat bar, my pubic bone was on fire.
Notice I didn't say that my pubic bone felt like it was on fire, but that it was actually on fire. Because it was. On the inside. And that's the honest truth.
It hurt so badly that I actually decided to forgo walking and crawl to my front door--you know, for intense dramatic effect--but that hurt even worse, so I decided to cry like an almost-two-hundred-pound baby and walk the old fashioned way.
When Jared got home from church (yeah, keep that in mind) an hour or so later, he found me sprawled on the bathroom floor, clinging to my lady parts for dear life. As he stepped over my limp body, and unbuttoned his pants for what seemed to be an impending poop he was like, "Dude, what in the crap is wrong with you?"
And I was all, "You wanna know what's wrong with me? I played tag for forty-five minutes, now I'm paralyzed, unable to move, and I'll kill you if you take a dump while I'm incapacitated on this bathroom floor."
And my husband, the one who regularly makes me rethink the meaning of love, was all, "Sorry, Ames. Gotta do a poo whether you're paralyzed on the floor or not."
Apparently death threats mean nothing from a woman in my condition because there he sat, 'working out his issues' shall we say, while I used nothing but my toes to push my very pregnant body across the tile, out of the bathroom, and into the hallway--much like a snake, if a snake had toes.
Then he flushed, stepped over me again, went to the fridge and cracked open an icy cold Coke.
I was like, "Bastard."
And he was all, "Fatty."
And then he helped me up and smacked me on the rear like a baseball coach or something.
I was like, "What was that? Some kind of encouragement or something?"
And he was all, "Nope, just wanted to touch your ass." And that was the end of that.
The flame in my crotch (remember, that's literal, not figurative) continued to flare up for each of seven nocturnal bathroom trips, and still hurts like mother to this very moment.
And that's why, if my pubic bone could talk, if would totally be saying, "What the hell?"
I'm reaching that totally fun stage of pregnancy where you can feel little unidentifiable body parts moving around all over the place. And no, I'm not being sarcastic--it's really, really neat. Sure I get the occasional bladder issue as a result of all the wiggling, but honestly, I've never been happier to pee myself every now and again.
Feeling this little girl kick and punch and flip reminds me that, well, there really is a little girl in there.
Profound, I know. As always.
Yesterday my husband's facebook status said something like, "Can't believe we'll have another little one in eight weeks!"
You know? I can't either.
Sure her room is painted, her name's all set, and we have every single baby item we could ever dream of owning, but until she's out--breathing, sleeping, and crying in my arms--I really feel like I can't make sense of it all.
I do know how unbelievably lucky I feel, but at this moment, that seems to be the extent of it.
Lately, when I get up for one of my six nightly pee breaks, I find myself sneaking into James's room--you know, just to check on him. Just to watch him breath and smack his lips for a minute. And every time I do, I feel totally overwhelmed by how much I love that sticky little, back-talking child.
On a typical day he'll get one timeout for swatting at me, a second timeout for using his stuffed animal's arm to swat at me (um yeah, still not allowed), and then he'll cap it off with a 'no dessert' sentence--usually for something super creative. Like using his Power Ranger's legs to move his stuffed animal's arm to deploy a toy crossbow at his mother.
But despite the wide variety of four-year-old antics, I love that kid with everything I've got.
Usually, when I'm sneaking out of his room at night, I catch a glimpse of the baby's room across the hall. I see the empty crib, with the quiet mobile, the brand new homemade curtains, and I just can't help but get choked up.
It's a sad choked up because there's no five-month-old tossing around in there. But it's also a happy choked up, because soon enough that very still room will be very, very occupied.
What can I say? I'm totally looking forward to it.
Every day, I'm completely amazed by the people who stop me at meetings, in public, where ever, and say things like, "Oh will this be your second? Oh boy. A second child makes for at least five times as much work. You'd think it's doubles, but that's not the case!" And they anxiously go on to list the four-hundred-and-one challenges associated with a new baby in the house.
I'm never quite sure how to respond, but I have made a solemn promise to myself that I will never say "Why don't you shut the hell up and keep the negative sh!t to yourself?" ever again.
I did that once. Let's just say it ended with a long and detailed apology letter.
I'm also abstaining from retort lines like, "Oh, so you regret having your second then?"
Because that one? That ended in an apology letter, too.
(If you must know, I actually have and apology letter template saved on my hard-drive. Girls like me can use that extra shot of convenience.)
So these days, I try my best to remember my manners and usually respond by saying something neutral like, "Thank you for that information. I hope to find it helpful before or after the baby arrives."
I use the same line when people imply that my uterus might explode into one-million pieces at the mere mention of a VBAC, or when they wrinkle their noses and gasp because oh-my-word, we're naming our daughter a nickname. How will she ever get a job? Won't that sound too casual at her wedding ceremony? But wait, that's if she can't even find a husband to have and hold her with a stumpy little name like that!
Really now, who cares about a name? We're holding out for some exceptionally good looks and some outrageous tap dancing talent. Got that?
And as a side note, the last woman to hit me with the name related nose-wrinkle has a son named "Chick." Let me tell you, I could go on and on and on some more about that naming choice. As in: "Oh, your grown son's name is Chick? Is that short for "Chicken" or does he actually have no penis?"
And now I will stop.
(If your name is Chick, please let me know and I'll send you a personalized copy of that aforementioned apology letter by the end of the work day.)
So anyway you slice it, the point of this post is just to say that I'm really, really getting excited for this new, little girl. It's been a long time since we've had a baby in the house, and let's be honest here, I'm definitely gonna need the diversion when my current 'baby' starts riding the bus this fall.
(If you know me in real life, please refrain from discussing this situation over the phone, facebook, or across the dinner table. I'm serious. And yes, that even applies to my mother, my sister, and any other females who share my DNA.)
I don't know what the deal is, but I'm a big, fat, ball of nerves today. Last night I woke up to pee around 2 o'clock and watched the minutes tick by until 5:30, when I finally fell asleep again. I've got to say, that for those three and a half hours, my mind was filled with nothing but thoughts of my midwife moving to stinking West Virginia.
And that is precisely why my husband, who spent his morning with a naturopath, an acupuncturist, and an aromatherapist got the following text message this morning:
Well apparently he didn't get the text until all three of those hipped-up alternative care providers were puttering away in their Prius (carpooling, duh), and there will be no magical, herbal, calming potion for this girl tonight.
Perhaps a frying pan to the head will work just as well.
I'm not sure how it happened, but in my mind, I set myself up to need my midwife more that I probably really do. I had a plan A, B & C for how I wanted things to go, and somehow she ended up as the star player in each of those scenarios. Not me, not Jared, not the baby--but the midwife.
And really now, who is this about? Right. That would be me, Jared, and the baby--not the midwife.
I guess I feel extra reliant on her because I met her at a time when I was feeling super, super vulnerable. Pregnancy after a loss is a very scary thing (which is the understatement of the universe), and somehow she really helped me through the initial uncertainty of it all. She was kind of like my security blanket. With boobs.
On top of that, I had a c-section with James. And as easy as the recovery was, it's definitely not something I'm hoping to repeat. The good news is, as long as this little girl stays head down, it shouldn't be an issue. I went into labor with James on my own, I progressed really quickly, and if he hadn't have been in a transverse kind of lay, I'm sure the whole experience would have been smooth as silk. Silk that stabs you in the abdomen with a rusty knife over and over and over again, but you know, details details.
So yeah, I'm going for a VBAC--vaginal birth after cesarean (sorry guys, for using the V word on my blog)--and Jared and the midwife were in a dead tie as my number one fan. Now, for the time being, my only fan is Jared, and as much as I love the man, I know for a fact that he has no foam finger and he's very under experienced as a labor coach.
So now she's gone, I'm going to see a new midwife who I've never ever met, and I'm an absolute basketcase. Yes, I've had friends who've used this woman, and they all seem to place her on a pedestal next to Jesus, Moses, and Betty Crocker--but as far as I know, she's not on call 24/7. I could end up with someone else.
Me. Over here. Basketcase. Have I mentioned that yet?
I completely trust two out of the three physicians in this practice, so that's a good thing. This hospital is way over-the-top as far as natural birth and breastfeeding go (we're talking water births, doctors trained in hypnobirthing, very low c-section rate, no pacifiers allowed), so that's a great thing, too.
But that third physician? Yoinks.
I said to Jared, "If I end up with her, I swear I'll be the only documented case of a woman who got a c-section and an episiotomy for the very same labor. Just watch." He agreed.
So I'm all worked up.
And all of the sudden I feel completely ill-prepared for this upcoming labor and delivery. I mean really, why would I have needed any kind of refresher course when I had my magical midwife by my side?
So now I have nine weeks to turn Jared Lawson into something equally magical. Wish me luck.
Last night, after reading Dooce's labor & delivery story I was like, "Jared, all I'm asking is that you make me feel like a flowing lawn ornament in the palm of your almighty hand."
And he was all, "I have no idea how to do that, or even what you're taking about."
We've got a long way to go--a new midwife to meet, four-hundred-thirty-two podcasts to listen to, sixty-four books to read, sixteen cheers to learn, and oh yeah, I'm hoping to achieve the highly sought after state of nirvana. I've heard it's excellent.
If my head pops off, please don't act surprised.
Well friends, it's official. I, Amy Lawson, am an emotional eater in the most serious sense of the phrase.
Let me back up.
Have you ever come across a new person and you instantly fall in love? I'm not talking romantic love or girl-crush kind of love, more of a if-I-happen-to-die-on-my-next-drive-home-will-you-raise-my-kids-for-me-and-oh-yeah-wanna-be-my-new-best-friend kind of love. I'm sure you've all experienced it.
It's deep, it's instant, it's magical, on oh my heavens, I have it with my midwife. The woman has a magnetic personality, a bedside manner that can't be beat, she's smart, she's funny, and I won't mince words here--her boobs are simply out of this world. On average, Jared and I spend seven to eight minutes discussing the fantasticness of her cans after every single appointment.
The first time I met her, I literally had to restrain myself from nuzzling up in her lap, wrapping her arms around my shoulders, and crying the words, "You'll take care of me, right? Right?" Instead, I opted to kind of tilt my head, lazily gaze into her eyes and say, "You're great," eight or nine times in a row.
Well guys, today, I'm very sad to let you all know that there's been a bit of a rift in our provider-patient-soulmate relationship. I guess I can refer to this little bump in the road as "West Virginia."
As in, my midwife is moving to West Virgina. In two weeks.
She broke the news this morning, at my 31 week appointment. She was like, "Sit down Amy, I need to tell you something important."
And in my mind I was thinking, *Aw crap, does 180-pounds really look that bad in these skinny jeans?*
Yes in fact, it does--but this news had nothing to do with my wardrobe choices, nothing at all. Instead, it had everything to do with twice the money, half the hours, student loan repayment, and some kind of a dream job in West Virginia.
I'm very proud to say that I more than kept my wits about me when she gently dealt the news. I was like, "West Virgina, huh? I hear it's beautiful in the fall. I can do West Virginia."
Well apparently I've been experiencing what some might call "unrequited love," because get this, I'm not invited.
Deep down I guess I always knew she was a punk. Something about the boobs.
So I scheduled my next appointment with the other midwife, gave one last hug to the woman of my dreams, and calmly walked into the parking lot. No tears, no snot, no tearing of clothes, no gnashing of teeth. Just a big, loud SH!T when I settled into my driver's seat.
(side note: sh!t is the word of the week)
Then, I did the only thing that a distraught, hugely pregnant woman can do at trying time such as this--I drove around the corner, pulled into the nearest Burger King and ordered a Whopper with cheese, some onion rings, and a bucket of Sprite. Then I snapped at the window lady for leaving out the spicy ring sauce.
Sure I feel bad about getting sassy with the burger slinger, but dude, I'm GIANT, I'm HUNGRY, and I JUST GOT DUMPED. GIMME THE DAMN RING SAUCE, BYOTCH.
In all actuality, I blame my midwife. She left me no other option but to resort to such unbecoming behavior. It's a shame really.
I spent the next four minutes navigating the roads, searching for a appropriately sappy song, and shoving all manner of nastiness into my mouth. It wasn't until minute five, when I was stopped at a red light, ferociously licking my burger wrapper, that I realized, "Damn, I didn't get anything for dessert."
And thus commenced Round Two, which I like to call "Get in my belly you Devil Dog Muffin."
So what exactly is a Devil Dog Muffin?
Welp, it's a chocolate muffin, roughly the size of one of my ass cheeks, filled and topped with half a cup of homemade frosting. They're baked--with a tremendous amount of love, mind you--by an elderly woman in town. They're sold at the local gas station, and if I had to wager a guess, they weigh in at about 1,200 calories a piece.
I ate it in the parking lot.
Then I saw some spots and had to roll down the driver's side window in case I had to ralf all over the pavement. Thankfully I used some Lamaze breathing and urge to boof subsided about fifteen minutes later.
Yeah, the spots are still there.
But you know what else? I feel much, much better. Thanks to 2,300 hundred calories and 105 grams of fat, I've managed to master my emotions, weigh my options, and come to grips with the details of the situation.
And ya know what I've figured out?
I'm moving to West Virginia whether she likes it or not.
Yesterday afternoon I had a long day at work. Usually I'm off the clock by noon, but yesterday I decided to sit at my desk and grind away until 4:30.
I know, you are simply bowled over by the intensity of my work ethic.
Around 1pm, when I started feeling hungry, I decided to take a break and head over to our brand spankin' new grocery store to pick up a couple of things: milk, bread, eggs, Twizzlers, powdered sugar, rainbow-colored sprinkles--you know, only the basics.
When I arrived at the store, kid-free mind you, I instinctively grabbed a cart and hurried up and down the aisles (wanted to get back to work and tie up my loose ends before the Tyra show came on--she's got a bangin' body ya know).
Now I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but the population of our town tops out around 6,000. So basically, anytime you set foot outside of your living room, you're bound to run into someone you know.
And sure enough I did. I ran into our neighbor from two houses down (hi, hello, whatever), another parent from James's daycare (damn I hope my hair looks okay), my husband's PR guy (don't let him see my coupons--must act rich), and the president of a local savings bank--who it just so happens I've been trying to finagle $5,000 out of at work (must. act. like a frickin. rock star.).
I didn't want to bother the guy, but truth be told, he said hi to me first. We talked about the Red Sox, we shot the shiz about the weather, and for one-and-a-half seconds we talked about the five grand donation.
I wrapped it up, verbally acknowledging what a wonderfully busy man his is, and strutted away trying, trying, TRYING to make my ass look professional yet fabulous. I don't know, I'm still hashing out this whole working world thing--but I'm sure it couldn't hurt, right?
As I rounded the corner to the checkout, we came face to face again--so I smiled, cocked my head, and let out a delightful yet confident giggle. You know, just to say, "Hello! I'm still here! I'm still charming! I still want $5,000 of your hard earned money!"
As I pulled into the checkout lane I thought to myself, "These damn rocketship carts are so hard to move. Stupid, useless, no good piece of sh*t." I leaned into my turn, and with the rear wheels dragging sideways across the floor, finally got that oversized hunk of crap just where I needed it.
And that's when it dawned on me.
I was pushing a rocketship cart. Without my child present. For five or six lightweight items.
Now seriously Mr. Banker--let me tell you who you can to make that check out to.
As of today, Jared and I have been married for seven years. Sometimes I like to say "seven long years" and other times I prefer to call it "seven years of wedded bliss," but any way you slice it, we're not newlyweds any more.
And thank goodness for that, because let me tell you, our first two years were filled with all sorts of super immature college-aged dramatics. All sorts. But now, after seven years of paying our dues to the grown-up world, I think we've finally got the hang of this matrimony thing.
Every year on August 3rd, Jared and I sit down at our kitchen table and take a look at the year that's passed. We talk about what we did well, and the areas where we could use a little bit (or a hell of a lot) of work. We talk about high points and low points, and what's on the agenda for the upcoming 365.
For the past six years I've left the table, sweating buckets, thinking something like, "Phew, we survived another year. Hope this one gets easier." Or "Oh my word, I think I need to hibernate." But this year, I've got to say that we've experienced a major shift.
If you know me in real life, or if you've been following this website for any length of time, you've probably picked up on two things: 1) Motherhood comes very, very naturally to me, and 2) Marriage is an entirely different story.
Some might call our relationship feisty. Others would say it's manic. And then there's our marriage counselor (love him), who back in the fall of '07 said, "Well you guys definitely never need to worry about falling into the habit of being content. Your marriage has a lot of energy."
Well said, Shawn. Well said. Lots of fights, lots of love. Wash, rinse, repeat.
But over the course of this last year, year six, something miraculous happened. And no, I'm not saying that facetiously.
Year six had some very high highs, and some even lower lows:
Jared opened his own chiropractic office where we've already experienced quick success, quick drop offs, and long spots of not-a-whole-lot-of-change. (that's a high, a low and everything in between)
For the first time in the history of our relationship, we're earning a legitimate grown-up income. (most definitely a high)
Last year, on September 22nd, we lost a baby boy when I was eighteen weeks along. (can't even begin to explain how low)
And now we're expecting a baby girl in October. (high, high, high)
But here's where the miracle comes in: We're still together. And on top of that, we've had the most peaceful year yet.
All of the sudden, life is clear for us. We recognize, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the things that matter. We know what's worth fighting for and what's worth fighting about. We also know what's not worth our time, and usually (usually) we successfully ignore those things.
Last October, when the only two acts I could muster were popping Ativan and muttering the phrase "I think I want to die" over and over and over again, Jared was the only one who knew how to take care of me. Jared was the only reason I was able to gather up the strength to stay away from the liquor store--and that is absolutely not a joke.
Last February, when I was convinced we should close Jared's practice, he was the one who was wise enough to say, "Shut up, Amy. I'm not having this conversation until 2010."
Last May, he knew enough to listen to me when I bossily said, "Call her, Jared! Call that woman!" And bless his soul, after he made the call, my husband said, "Thanks, Amy. You were right." You. Were. Right.--those my friends, are the very sweetest words that any wife can hear.
And now, almost a year later, when I can't help but cry in the middle of the kitchen on a random Tuesday night, Jared rubs my head and reminds me that if I'm still crying about our lost baby when I'm ninety years old, wrinkly, and stuck in a nursing home bed, that's okay. Some things are worth the tears.
(But not cellulite--the man has absolutely no patience when I sob about the back of my thighs.)
This time last year, if you had asked me about my philosophy on marriage, I would have said, "Marriage is really, really hard."
But this year, I'd say something different. If you were to knock on my door, stick a microphone in my face, and say, "Amy, the world wants to know, what's your philosophy on marriage?" I would respond, without a pause, by saying, "Life is really, really hard. Thank God I have my marriage."
Got that? Life is really, really hard. Thank God I have my marriage.
Thank God for giving me Jared (who would never dream of not bringing home a lovely bunch of flowers on a night like tonight).
We're definitely not perfect, and heaven knows we'll never pretend to be--but we do know how to take care of each other, and in my opinion, that's huge.
And so are flowers.