20 Weeks

Oh hey, does this haircut make me look pregnant? 

My tummy seems to be getting a little pointy, which a lot of people have told me happens when you're carrying a boy, but which I am far more likely to believe is because I've been eating a lot of those mini Toblerones recently. Because Toblerones are pointy, right? I mean, that totally makes sense. 

Speaking of having a boy, it took me about 24 hours once we'd found out last week to really believe it was true, just because I'd been so convinced there was a little Hamishette (Hamishina? Hamishabelle?) in there. Now, of course, I can't even imagine having a girl, and Hamish seems so totally.......Hamishish already, that I feel I already know him. I keep smiling at little boys on the street, which probably looks a lot creepier than I mean it to, and the other day Sean took me to a Knicks game in Oakland and all I could think, as I gazed up at these giraffe-like giants bounding about on the basketball court under the flare of flashbulbs, was "awwww, their mommies must be so proud of them.

(Speaking of mother-son bonds, have you read this essay in McSweeneys? I think I really should have known I was having a boy, actually, because I read it when I was around 14 weeks pregnant and I just couldn't stop crying. I read it a few more times in the days after that, and every single time, I cried again. Sometimes I even cried when I was just thinking about it. I don't know exactly what got me about it, except to say that maybe some deep part of my subconscious—some buried clump of cells, way in the back of my brain—knew I was having a boy and started mourning, already, the awkward teenage years when he'd pull away from me.) (Oh god, now I'm weepy again.) 

I went down to visit my parents in San Diego this weekend, where my mum and I had a lot of fun cooing over tiny knitted sweaters in Baby Gap, and my dad and I had a lot of fun eating the blue frosted cupcakes my mum had made to celebrate the latest news.

I can't stress enough how totally wonderful both of my parents have been throughout my pregnancy so far, taking such good care of me when I'm with them and always making sure I'm happy and comfortable. During the Festival of Bread that was my first trimester, when all I wanted in the world was an egg salad sandwich on french bread, my dad ran out to the grocery store—the fancy grocery store, even, because it was closer—to buy full-fat mayonnaise after I'd discovered we only had low-fat in the house, and my mother whipped up batch after batch of egg salad. Friends, there is nothing like my mother's egg salad, which has been the Main Sponsoring Partner in my pregnancy so far. Just the other day, in fact, as we were strolling through the mall in San Diego, she suddenly pulled a foil-wrapped package out of her purse. "Oh, I just remembered," she said. "I made you some egg salad sandwiches and brought them along in case you were hungry."

Hamish, this is your grandmother. She will always have a sandwich for you in her purse.

The only other exciting things that happened this week are that a) I discovered I have an ANTERIOR PLACENTA, which for some  reason I have felt the need to write in all caps when telling various people about it by text (I mean only, like, Sean and one of my friends, it's not like I'm messaging my plumber or anything) and b) I thought I 'd got my first ever stretch mark the other day, summarily freaked out about it, and then got home to examine it closer and discovered that it was only a scratch. How did I get a three-inch scratch on my stomach? I have no idea, but after I made Sean stare at several hi-res images of stretch marks on Google, then back at my tummy, then back at the images again—look, he signed up for this marriage, alright?—we both concluded that I was being slightly alarmist for no reason at all and agreed to pretend that the whole thing had never happened.

The ANTERIOR PLACENTA, however, is slightly more exciting, even though all it means is that my placenta is at the front of my uterus rather than the back—sorry about all this talk of my uterus, by the way; I feel like I haven't shut up about it since I got pregnant—which means the baby's kicks may be a little, to quote my doctor, "muffled" for the next few weeks. To which I say MUFFLED? Really? Because this little boy has been kicking up a storm recently, and in fact he just kicked me again when I typed that—somewhere low and rather unpleasant, actually, possibly my bladder—so I can't imagine what it's going to be like when he's un-muffled by the ANTERIOR PLACENTA and I start feeling him for real.

Oh, but I love it, especially late at night when I'm lying in bed, just on the cusp of sleep, and can feel all his little squiggles and turns. For now, those are just between me and him—they're not strong enough that Sean can feel them on the outside yet—and I think of it as our quiet time together, just us two, when I'm the only person he knows in the world. We're halfway through this now, and I can't even imagine a time when he won't be a part of me. But I guess he always will be, won't he? I'll carry him in my heart even when I can't carry him anywhere else. 

Pretzel Thief
Mar 14, 2013

Ah man.

I mean, that last paragraph? KILLS ME DEAD, WOMAN.


Just...aw. Awwww. "Aww" to the whole post. That's right! I mean, DUH.

Also, your mama is all kinds of wonderful. Both your folks. Sean, too. (Why am I writing in such choppy sentences, dammit?! Eh.)

Mar 14, 2013

My oldest is 17 now and I still get daily hugs. They don't always pull away in the awkward teenage years. There are lots of ups and downs, but you two will always have a special bond.

Mar 15, 2013

You got me, Holly. I am crying. I fear the buckets of tears that will be shed if I read that McSweeneys essay. I will read it, and my husband will ask: why? why do you do this to yourself? :-)

I am so happy for you, Holly. You are in for so much fun with Hamish. My daughter is 19 months now. I've loved her all along, but damn it if I am not more in love with her every day. She is SO MUCH FUN.

Btw, festival of bread describes my first trimester perfectly!

Mar 15, 2013

This whole post was so lovely. Kudos for the last line of this post because it reminded me of that great e e cummings poem "I carry your heart with me".

Gah! I am so happy for you, yay for you and little Hamish!

Mar 15, 2013

That last paragraph was so sweet. I'm bawling like a baby over here.

You're going to be such a wonderful mother, Holly!


So I just wrote an entire post on choosing to NOT have kids, and now your dumb last paragraph has me questioning everything. And also crying.



Mar 15, 2013

Lovely post, Holly. You describe all the feelings I had during my pregnancy so eloquently. I too have a boy and I had an anterior placenta too.
Speaking of anterior placenta, I bought one of those prenatal heart listeners before I could feel the baby kick and proceeded to completely freak out when I could not hear anything. The anterior placenta might explain it, although they are probably a scam anyway.

Mar 15, 2013

Such a lovely post. You captured exactly how I imagine most mothers feel when pregnant and certainly how I did. I loved being pregnant, even at the end when it got much more uncomfortable physically. Still, it always seemed like a miracle to me, that I was growing a human inside of me, and such an incredible responsibility and trust. My son is five and a half now and he gets more fun every day. I miss him as a baby but it just gets better and better. I'm not going to read the McSweeneys essay now because tearing up at your post seems like enough for one work day. I'll cry later at home!

Mar 15, 2013

I had an anterior placenta and I think you're doing pretty well if you're already feeling strong kicks. I didn't get flutters till about 22 wks and kicks till 25 weeks. Maybe I just had a super thick placenta?? Maybe Hamish is just a super powered kicker?? Either way, congrats on being halfway done!

Stephanie S
Mar 15, 2013

Lucky girl! My ANTERIOR PLACENTA totally muffled kicks all the way through my pregnancy. I only felt the giant rolls and pointy jabs toward the end. Enjoy every second!

Mar 15, 2013

I had an anterior placenta with both of my pregnancies and they gave me taht line too. I always thought--man, what would these kicks be like if I didn't have an anterior placenta? It is such a special time, I read your post and kept nodding my head, remembering those feelings when I was pregnant with my three year old. We didn't find out he was a boy beforehand, but I thought he was. I held the sweetest little newborn boy when I was six months pregnant and I thought "this is what I want."

Mar 15, 2013

I also had an anterior placenta, but a crazy kicker. I swear I felt his first kicks at 14 weeks, and I was definitely feeling him daily by 17-18 weeks. My doctor didn't believe me, but I am 100% positive it was the baby. I can't imagine what it would have felt like if I didn't have an anterior placenta! When I got further along in the pregnancy and started doing kick counts, I think I was supposed to call the doctor if I didn't count, like 10 kicks in 2 hours. I had an app on my phone to time the kicks and he'd always get to 10 kicks in, like, 6 minutes. He was (and still is at 1) a very busy guy!
I am loving reading about your pregnancy. My husband and I are thinking about trying for #2 this summer, and reading about your pregnancy is making me excited to do it all over again.

Kim L
Mar 15, 2013

Fellow anterior placenta haver here! One of the triplets had that and it is amazing how much less I felt him. So, if he is muffled through it, he is a wild one! Maybe he'll be a footballer.

Mar 15, 2013

i LOVE the times of day (usually before bed and before getting up) where I feel this baby kicking away and stirring and I talk to him/her. I will be sad to no longer be pregnant, it's been wonderful and i love having a private connection for right now.

Mar 15, 2013

I read the McSweeney's article and now I'm crying.

I felt the same way you did when we found out the sex of our first child. I had been sure--so sure--that we were having a boy. When the ultrasound technician told us our baby was a girl, it was the biggest shock of my life. I cried. Not out of sadness or disappointment, but because she suddenly felt so real, so like a person. (I had the same reaction when we found out our second was a girl, too.) But it took me a couple of days to even put my mind around the idea. All of a sudden our family, my whole future, just looked completely different. We were having a girl! A girl.
I used to look at little boys fondly, as well--thinking, I could have one some day. Little girls seemed mysterious. But now I have these two girls. Two beautiful girls. And I can't imagine having anyone else.

Mar 15, 2013

Okay, so I'm obviously not a mom, because though the last paragraph you wrote is SO SWEET, I still can't get over the hilarity of, "Hamish, this is your grandmother. She will always have a sandwich for you in her purse."

Mar 15, 2013

Didn't your mother tell you to stand up straight? You're cheating by sticking out your pointy belly.

Mar 15, 2013

" I'll carry him in my heart even when I can't carry him anywhere else. " So true. LOVE it.

Melissa Summers
Mar 15, 2013

I miss those kicks so much. I still have dreams about it. Best part of pregnancy by far.

PS: When I was pregnant with my 14 year old I kid you not I wore what was available in maternity at the time...things like a jumper with a hideous sunflower print on it. A weird baggy hounds tooth 'dress' but it had this hideous collar. Oh and a neighbor gave me a hand me down bag of even more hideous maternity clothes from the late 80s....yes, a shirt with stripes on it with "I love babies" written in several colors on the right side chest area.

So, maternity is still annoying and overpriced but HOLY CRAP so much better than 1998!

Mar 15, 2013

"I'll carry him in my heart even when I can't carry him anywhere else." Stop, stop!!! I can't be crying like this in the middle of the day! What will people say? But, yes, a thousand times, yes. This is beautiful.

Mar 15, 2013

Lovely post.

Hopefully, with an anterior placenta placement, little Hamish will not discover the joys (for him) of placing his feet under your ribs. My little one was CONSTANTLY placing her feet under my ribs.

Now I'm off to read the poem and hope I don't cry myself into a horrible mess before I need to check on how dinner is coming along. Maybe it is a good thing today is a crock pot dinner day...

Mar 15, 2013

Sorry... story, not poem. Apparently my brain has started its weekend already.

Mar 15, 2013

Holy wow, these pics are making the time seem like it's flying by! Just a note to say, you are such a great mom, already. You make me smile.

Mar 15, 2013

Oh my gosh Holly- you look even MORE stunning than unusual!!! Absolutely beautiful & radiating pure happiness :)


Mar 15, 2013

Sorry, usual. NOT unusual- HA!!! Need another coffee!

Mar 15, 2013

I had an anterior placenta with my last pregnancy. You will likely "measure ahead" because of it, and it's probably the reason your tummy is a bit pointy. Mine was, too!!

I love the baby movements...they are so reassuring....until they kick you in the bladder or in the cervix and then you're saying expletives.

Mar 16, 2013

I'm not yet a Mum but that last paragraph, jeeze Holly, tears! It reminded me of the ee cummings poem too, which I love. Loving your updates :)

Mar 16, 2013

So you've murdered a number of us with that last paragraph. Dead bodies, all of us, covered in tears.

The bit about your parents being so wonderful...also so wonderful to read. I'm 30 weeks now and have been very grateful for my in-laws. My own parents both passed away years ago and so going through this pregnancy without them is, at times, extremely challenging. I am so glad you have such strong support and love from your parents!

Mar 16, 2013

I bought the children's book "On the Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman while I was pregnant and cried like a nerd every time I read it. I actually still do and my son will be two in June. Actually, it means more to me now. Darn babies...

Mar 16, 2013

Just absolutely love your posts...as a new mom, reading them brings me back a year and a half ago when I was feeling those exact same things. Loved your closing thoughts; it reminded me of one of my fav quotes: "I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)"--e.e. cummings. Shine on Holly!

Mar 17, 2013

Your last paragraph brought tears here, as well, as I lie in bed next to my eighteen month old son and soak up all his soft, sweet, little boy-ness. It seems like yesterday I was experiencing everything you are - the surprise of having a boy, the delicious kicks and twists, the dreaming of his life on the outside and how impossible it seemed that he should ever be separated from me.

I am fairly newly pregnant with our second (9 weeks), a bit sooner than we had planned, and I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that my baby will soon be my big boy. He has so much of my heart that I worry I have nothing left to give, or that he'll lose out in some way. I KNOW these are typical fears and feelings but that hasn't made them any easier to come to terms with. Your posts have helped remind me how precious the life I have within me is and how much I have to look forward to and be thankful for. You would think as a second child myself, who feels very loved by her parents, I could dismiss these feelings but my mother love for my firstborn seems to have no reason, ha.

Very glad to be have your wonderful blog to follow as I do this thing again :). Also, egg salad sandwiches have been my savior ever since you mentioned them so thank you!

Mar 18, 2013

So sweet...I love this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts during your pregnancy!

Mar 18, 2013

This post almost (but not quite) makes up for the 2.5 years (but who's counting? Ha!) of infertility we've been through...the sheer JOY and DELIGHT & wonder & POETRY that come shining through just show me what lovely parents you two will be. And it is heart-warming, even while it is a little heart-breaking. Can't wait to see the rest!!

Thank you & love to little Hamish! (Who I also somehow expected to be a Hamish.)

Mar 19, 2013

YES, egg salad is the bomb!! I'm at 24 weeks now with my little boy and I think it's so cool to feel him wiggling around in there. He gets pretty active when I'm lying down and I can usually see my tummy moving, which I think is hilarious. I gained 7 lbs between weeks 19 and 23! Anyway, I was thinking the other day how this is the only time in his life that I'm able to know where he is at all times and can completely protect him and have him with me. I'm cherishing that!

jive turkey
Mar 22, 2013

I've been thinking about this post--specifically the part about the baseball players--since I read it a few days ago, and thinking about how my perspective when it comes to other people totally and completely (and unexpectedly) shifted after my daughter was born. Other people weren't just other people anymore, everyone was someone's baby. Someone's tiny baby who they'd take a damn bullet for and WHOA, does that ever make you check yourself and your indifference. Sometimes seeing a homeless person on the street or a criminal on TV sends me into spirals of thought, wondering WTF happened. This person was someone's everything once (or at least I hope they were), and then...what happened? It's so unbearably sad sometimes, but also good in that it ups my compassion towards everyone I meet about 600%, and added a whole new dimension to my capacity to love (cheesy, but true).
Also, please watch this P&G commercial that aired during the last winter Olympics, when I was going through some postpartum stuff and literally COULD NOT CATCH MY BREATH because it made me cry so hard (don't worry, it's beautiful):
(Oh man, I'm at work and only got about 5 seconds in before losing it. HA!)

Mar 25, 2013

Oh man, after the first trimester, I loved being pregnant, always having my baby with me. Those nighttime movements were the highlight of every day. Now that my baby is 10 weeks (how is that possible? 10 weeks did not go this fast while I was pregnant!) I find myself sometimes missing pregnant me. But also loving that I can hold her on the outside, and let her make other people in the world happy, too. It is such a joy ride.

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