At Least One of Us Is Doing Great
Leaning into the concept of (temporary) vesselhood and taking the win
For the past couple of months, it seems like every time I go to see my midwife there’s some new problem – last weekend, that new problem was gestational hypertension, and the solution was to move up my induction from 39 weeks to 37.
Which, as I said to my midwife in loud shock when she told us the news, my eyes wide above my KN95, was “IN EIGHT DAYS.” I may have also said, also loudly, “FUCK.”
Suddenly, instead of the three weeks we were expecting to have to finish up our meal prep, nursery set-up, and non-baby-life wrap-up, we had eight days. Less than a week after solidifying my departure date for maternity leave with my boss, I was going to have to send him a Slack message that said, essentially, “JK I’ll be in Monday and Tuesday and then I’m out.” And that was just my day job – I also had an essay in the works with an editor and the second half of another writer’s story to finalize and prep for publication at my own literary magazine.
Plus, oh right, packing the hospital bag that was lying open on the bed, a few nightgowns and some lotion thrown in halfheartedly before we’d rushed off to the fated appointment.
Neither my husband nor I is the type of person who responds well to sudden changes of plan. Well, actually, we respond fine, action-wise – we rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done – but our nervous systems go into stress overdrive. (Not great when I’m already hypertensive.) We left our appointment that day and spent the 40-minute drive home taking turns freaking out and reassuring each other. Luckily we’re pretty good at passing the panic baton back and forth.
Also lucky: the baby is doing great. Every time he’s been monitored or checked in any way, he’s passed with flying colors – it’s only me this pregnancy has it out for. But hey, I’ll take that win. One fewer body to worry about in all this mess.
Anyway, long story shorter: this newsletter will likely be on pause for a couple of months while I give birth to (YIKES) and try to give the best start to this wriggly little grub inside of me. I’ll leave you with one last book recommendation and random joy, plus a way to access the essay I finalized this past week, which will go live on Monday, just as I’m hopefully beginning the process of evicting this baby and his bad-influence placenta from my body.
I’ll miss you all, but I promise I’ll be back.
I have a new essay coming out on Monday in HuffPost Personal, about how pregnancy restrictions and my gestational diabetes diagnosis combined forces to lurch me back into disordered eating habits. You should be able to find it on the section homepage, but I’ll also (assuming I’m not in active labor yet) add the link to my LinkTree and probably send out a tweet (there’s a lot of waiting around involved in the induction process, from my understanding).
It hasn’t been long since I last reached out, but thanks to both the audiobook as a form and the romcom as a genre I did manage to read a whole book in the meantime: The Fastest Way to Fall, by Denise Williams.
This novel was so fun and engaging, and Wes (the male love interest) is such a perfectly imperfect dreamboat – I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an easy, enjoyable read. That said, I will warn you: there is some pretty spicy sex in it, so maybe don’t listen to the audiobook without headphones while your partner is in the house…unless, of course, you want to drop that hint.
A Random Joy
My husband and I recently stumbled upon and LOVED the Japanese reality show ‘My First Errand,’ which is on Netflix with English subtitles as ‘Old Enough.’ It’s about little kids running their first errand on their own, without their parents, at very young ages – don’t worry, everyone in town comes out to help and the crew is always there to make sure they’re safe. It’s a slice of Japanese culture that’s fascinating and enviable, but it’s also just adorable and hilarious, because toddlers are tiny clowns.
Sadly, we’d already watched all of it by the time we got our stress-inducing news, but we’ve since moved on to sneaking an episode of Love Is Blind (Japan) here and there in between baby prep tasks, and that’s been a reasonable second choice.