28 & 29 Weeks

At 28 weeks pregnant, I flew eleven hours to London, took a three-hour train ride up to the north of England to attend my grandmother's funeral, then roadtripped another eight hours up to Scotland with my dad and sister to drop the latter back at university in time for her final exams. Somebody page Richard Curtis, because this sounds like a Britcom movie I'd pay to see. 

To say I was dreading the flight from San Francisco would be an understatement—not least because I was planning to write my Omi's eulogy during it, probably the only thing that could make an unpleasant experience even more unpleasant—but I have to give mad props to the world's kindest flight attendant, who went absolutely out of her way to make sure I was as comfortable as I could be. We're talking frequent and unexpected deliveries of large bottles of water so I didn't get dehydrated. We're talking unobtrusive drop-by visits to ask if there was anything I needed. We're talking blocking off my row so that I had three glorious seats to myself for maximum lie-flat sleeping. I didn't even tell her I was pregnant (although let's be honest, it's not exactly missable at this point); she just noticed during one of my endless treks to the bathroom and decided to make it her mission to help me out. I wish I'd got her name so I could write to United (I know! United!) and thank them for employing such wonderful angels. Thank you, kind flight attendant. Thank you so much for making a dreaded journey a lot more bearable.

The funeral was, you know, a funeral, which is to say it wasn't exactly fun or anything, but it was cathartic and dignified and I'm so glad I went. It was lovely to see family members I hadn't seen in a while—and hadn't really been expecting to see in a while—and the silver lining was the couple of days I spent with my dad and Susie in St Andrew's, Scotland, which is a town I recommend you put on your must-see list if you haven't already. 



(Actually, the silver lining to that silver lining was the stop we made at a roadside service station just outside of Newcastle, where my dad tried to pay for our coffees with a ten-pound-note that was summarily rejected because it was too old. The pimply teenager who took it looked at it curiously—as though it were, say, a loom or a quill—then disappeared for five minutes and came back with his manager who told us, somewhat awkwardly, that this particular banknote hadn't been in circulation for more than ten years. My dad, evidently, had taken it out of an envelope of British cash that he probably drew out of the bank the last time we lived there—as in, 1995—without even giving it a second thought. We all had a good laugh about it, paid with some more up-to-date currency, and then spent the next half hour saying things to each other like "Excuse me, my good man, could I pay you for this coffee with some doubloons? Will you accept a ha'penny, perchance, or a farthing? I've come from the past, you see, and I only have this handful of sheckels.")

While I've been enjoying my 28-week belly—which is now (I hope?) just a little less pointy—I have not so much been enjoying my 28-week butt, which I did not expect to grow with such......well, let's just call it exuberance. (When my sister took the picture above at the Scottish border, I said "don't make my butt look too big!" and she said "I'm not a miracle worker, Holly.") What I have really been enjoying, though, is the almost constant jumping around of my midsection, which appears to have taken on a life of its own these days, particularly when I'm lying quiet and still at night after a long day. 


Don't be silly, of course not! I meant on LSD. 

Hamish turned 29 weeks the day before I left Scotland—and can we all take a moment to remark on the fact that Hamish visited Scotland, which would have meant that if I'd gone into premature labor and given birth while there, I'd have pretty much been nationally obligated to actually name him Hamish—which meant I got to take my 29-week photo on the famed St Andrew's Pier with the ruins of St Andrew's Castle in the background behind me. 

Back in the US, I went to my 29-week doctor's appointment, where the excitement I felt upon learning I had passed my gestational diabetes test was second only to the excitement I felt in 1996 upon learning that I had passed my maths GCSE, and my doctor, while measuring my expanding torso, pronounced that she could feel the baby's butt.

The baby's BUTT. Does that not just blow your mind?  A BUTT. Growing inside me. THERE IS A BUTT GROWING INSIDE ME THAT IS BIG ENOUGH FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO FEEL. I know this should have dawned on me before—trust me, my sister didn't wait three seconds after finding out we were having a boy to text me "HAHAHAHA, YOU'RE GROWING A TINY WILLY"—but for some reason, the fact that the doctor could feel the baby's butt made everything suddenly seem that much more real. I mean, in eleven weeks, that butt will be here, out in the world, and it will want things. Like wiping and diapering and cute little squeezes on alternating cheeks. And I guess the question that's been running through my mind ever since the doctor put her hands on Hamish's squishy little tushie and said "yep, that feels like a butt" is.....am I ready for this butt? Will I ever be? 

1
Ashley
May 19, 2013

Hamish has traveled so many places that I only dream about traveling to. What a lucky, Hamish! I'm glad you got the chance to go to the funeral. Which sounds horrible to say, but I know you understand what I, the random stranger from the internet, means. Your post about your Omi still touches me.

2
Shauna
May 20, 2013

"squeezing alternating cheeks" you are ADORABLE.
I agree that your post about your Omi still strikes me. It's so nice to see how much you appreciated her, you knew how lucky you were to have her in your life.

3
Jo
May 20, 2013

I realise it makes me juvenile but I laughed so hard at Susie's 'HAHAHAHA, YOU'RE GROWING A TINY WILLY' text that I almost choked on my cup of tea. Gold. Not to mention you're looking gorgeous Holly, great Scottish backdrops to your photos and I love the idea of free whisky with a haircut!

4
Eileen
May 20, 2013

Having awesome fight attendants really makes traveling so much nicer! I am so sorry for your loss but I am also so glad you were able to fly over. Your Omi is one very loved and missed lady.
St. Andrews is beautiful and one of my favorite places! I am an American living in Scotland (Falkirk! You may have passed by us!) and Scotalnd still takes my breath away.

5
Skance
May 20, 2013

As a first time Mom to a now 8 week old, let me say, I don't think you're ever truly ready for that butt. It still blows my mind every single day that this adorable, snuffling, crying, blue-eyed wonder is here with me for what I hope is forever. And that she will become her own person, with thoughts and feelings to have and to express and to pour onto at least one inappropriate crush many years in the future. I mean, tonight I found myself totally tearing up at a video montage of kids blowing out birthday candles on AFV because each one of those kids was someone who has a whole family who loves them just the way I love my little one, and man, LIFE and family and all that (and possibly hormones). I imagine and hope it was comforting for you to get the chance to spend that unexpected time with family, despite the sad circumstances. Being pregnant for me was such an abstract thing that even though I knew logically what was making me pee a million times and crave apple cinnamon chex(?!) was a person, when they handed her to me (4 weeks early, and 4 days into a 9 day hospital stay-long story), I was kind of like ''where did THIS come from and now what?', but oh, how wonderful to have her here and squish her butt and kiss her cheeks and soothe her cries and all that. I can't wait to hear how Hamish makes you feel so unprepared but also so besotted and bewildered at the same time.

6

I'm envious of Hamish's passport and he hasn't even been born yet. Seriously lucky kid. :)

P.S. You and your sister sound SO much like my little sister and me. The miracle worker comment? She'd totally say that to me and I'm not even pregnant.

7
Sarah
May 20, 2013

I just love that you are brining your beautiful teal numbers on all these travels with you! What good foresight!

Also, we don't have kids yet, but I am already dreading the registry/ stroller selection part, so I'm really glad you to pave the way a bit.

8
Anna Louisa
May 20, 2013

I'm jealous of your pregnant backside! I may or may not have been called "the a**-less wonder" by my track team in college...

www.anna-bird.com

9
Amy
May 20, 2013

Is it weird that upon reading the last line, "Bootylicious" popped into my head? I don't think you're ready for this jelly, Holly.

10
Meghan
May 20, 2013

You're ready of you can imagine yourself saying things like "look at that tiny little butt! It's just the cutest little butt and I just want to pinch it. goo goo gah gah" and on and on, and you wonder what the actual hell? Am I really losing my mind over this butt? Yes. Yes you are. Expect the same with baby bellies. My 17 mo old is probably a little sick of hearing "I told you, don't let me get that belly! I told you I was gonna eat that cute little belly!"

11
gina
May 20, 2013

I will have a butt of my own in five days (or whenever she makes up her mind to come out.) That last sentence you wrote struck me to my core, considering last night I had a complete and total meltdown about NOT being ready and wishing gestation would last four years. This, despite the fact that my husband and I have worked tirelessly to prepare her room and our home for the past few months and we are so excited. BUT...there is always the but. I don't think we will ever be really ready for the butt.

12
Marcheline
May 20, 2013

First, Scotland is my favorite place in the world. I have stood in the exact spots where you took both photos, and now I am extremely homesick and have a craving for haggis and single malt whiskey.

Second, I thought you really WERE going to name him Hamish. How could you not? Seriously, after calling him Hamish this entire time, I don't think "Albert" is really going to fly, do you? Hamish ROCKS. TEAM HAMISH!

Third, the photo of The Burns Himself in front of Burns Chocolates is freakin' awesome!

13
Sheila
May 20, 2013

Not only will you be ready for the butt, you will wonder how You ever lived without it.

14
Shelley
May 20, 2013

YES! As soon as you have him you'll know just what to do and never want him out of your arms. It takes exactly one second to get comfortable. : )

I laughed so hard at the story about your dad! Dubloons! You are all funny. : )

15
Leah
May 20, 2013

Ah, St. Andrews! I spent two years there but that was almost 20 years ago. Looks like it hasn't changed much, happily. Such a beautiful place.

16
edj
May 20, 2013

You're not ready and never will be. No one is. It will be fine. Heck, it'll be fantastic.

17
Courtney
May 21, 2013

Ha! About the only thing I was good at identifying when the baby (babies!) moved around was the butt. And sadly at first they're usually kind of scrawny, but they fill out pretty fast and they're very squeezable. My son is 3.5 and I still can't stop myself. It's so cute!

18
Meetzorp
May 22, 2013

I'm glad that your visit in the UK went so smoothly and that you were able to play catch-up with your extended family. It's sad it couldn't have been under better circumstances, but it sounds like the opportunity for the family to rally together and share comfort was just the right thing.

It is kind of fun to watch one's belly fidgeting of its own accord. I'm about half a week behind you in gestation.

The other night, when some bit of my future child was poking up, I got the notion to give him a little prod back. That foot/elbow/prehensile-tail/dorsal-fin pulled back, and some other bit of him poked up a few inches to the left. I think it might actually have been hands, but who knows, right?

I considered it to be a rudimentary form of playing with the baby. I expect it will be a lot more fun when he's an outside baby.

19
Pretzel Thief
May 22, 2013

I'll keep it short since I'm at work: your posts give me the warm fuzzies. You're the best!

Beautiful post, beautiful photos. Wishing you health and joy, dear Holly!

20
Lesli
May 23, 2013

You and your family are awesome. Today I feel awful, stressed and sick, but your blog is always such a pleasure to read. You're just so NICE. And funny. Anyway, you are not ready and won't really be ready and there's not much you can do about it, and yet, as someone else said, you are totally ready and you'll fall in love with Hamish and his tiny butt. And you'll wonder what you did with yourself before he came along and nothing else will be as important. It's life-changing, in the best possible way.

21
Amy from Herland
May 25, 2013

Holly - I have twin boys, and when I was pregnant, it was not lost on a few of my friends that I had TWO willies inside of me at the same time. I was quick to assure them all that this was the first (and last) time that had happened.

Also, my boys are 3-1/2 now, and I pinch their butts on alternating cheeks literally daily.

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