Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Looking forward

A few years ago, I remember coming home after work. It had been one of those long days, after I had probably been working on some brief or another. I found myself alone in the car, driving home when there were very few cars on the road. All dark around me, a random street light here and there.

It was no different than many other nights I had worked late. When I had come home, only to roll into bed and to roll out as early as I needed to the next morning. But on this night, maybe it was the fatigue. Or being worn down after having worked in the office all day and late into the night, sitting in front of the computer all by myself. Or being wrapped in the night's darkness.

Whatever it was, I remember thinking that all I had was my job and my house. That those were it. And the thought depressed the hell out of me.

Tonight, sitting here, the night before I am to be induced to deliver our baby, I am reminded how long it has been since I've had a thought like that. All has been so good in my world for so long now. Even with all the nonsense that occurred with my job last year -- and the miscarriages. Through all that, I never felt despondent in the way I felt that night.

As I sit here, all feels so right with my world. And I know it'll only be righter tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Coming Soon...

It looks like the little guy will be here before the end of the week. We had a non-stress test this morning and a visit with our doctor this afternoon. I am already 3-4 centimeters dilated, and the monitor during the non-stress test showed that I am having regular contractions every 7 minutes. I feel what seem like very mild cramps, but not every 7 minutes. If he doesn't show up on his own in the next few days, my doctor said she'll induce me on Thursday morning because of my high blood pressure.

It's kind of hard to believe that it is really happening. I find myself thinking about everything and nothing. For now, I am just waiting. Feeling as if I am holding my breath.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Luxury Suite

I've been on bedrest since Tuesday afternoon. We went in for a regular checkup, and my blood pressure was unusually high. Fearing that I may have preeclampsia, the doctor put me on bedrest and sent me in to get blood tests, a non-stress test, and fetal weight assessment. She also had me collect my urine in a plastic jug for 24 hours while keeping it refrigerated, which was pretty repulsive.

While I sit on the couch trying to look regal, Jeff has been running around the house trying to do all the last minute things we have on our list. I was able to do most of the preparation before this week, like washing the kid's clothes and sheets, purchasing and organizing all the little knick knacks he may need once he comes out, and getting the room ready. But I had a bunch of other little projects I wanted to tackle, like making more baby outfits and getting rid of some additional clutter in our house. For now, though, I am reminding myself to be grateful that he and I are both healthy and that the pregnancy has progressed so uneventfully until now.

The good thing about all this is that we got to do a thorough ultrasound of the baby yesterday, which we haven't had since week 20. He's already estimated to be about 7 pounds, even though we still have over 3 weeks to go. His head is already 9.5 cm in diameter and his body is 10 cm in diameter. We also found out that he has a shocking amount of hair, and his face seems to resemble the Dear Leader Kim Jong-il. I can't wait to see him in person. It also seems there is still plenty of room in my uterus because he didn't look cramped at all, as I expected. He was hanging out, moving however he wanted, and looking rather complacent. I'm glad that I'm providing him with a spacious luxury suite.

Seeing how comfortable he looks, I'm feeling rather good about my big old belly. I was wondering how I could be so big at this stage, but it seems he's putting that space to good use. It gives him plenty of room for calisthenics and underwater aerobics. Whatever makes the next few weeks more comfortable for him.

In some ways, I feel as if I have been pregnant forever. It's just a part of me now, like my toes or my limbs. How will I feel when he's no longer inside? These days, I like to look at myself in the mirror and see the huge protrusion in my midriff. It's mind boggling that he's just hanging out in there, doing whatever he's doing. And before we know it, he'll come out to join us. Before he turns into a hulking 180 pound man. Before he becomes the rock star or the rocket scientist or whatever he wants to be.

And it all started here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Under One Roof

My parents met Sherlock for the first time in early 2007. My parents and I had just returned to San Francisco from a vacation in Hawaii. They were staying in San Francisco for a couple of more days before returning to New York.

Jeff and I had just started dating a few months ago, and my parents met Jeff for the first time before we left for Hawaii. Even though Jeff and I had been living together for the past month, I found it difficult to announce it to my parents, so while my parents were visiting, Jeff stayed at his house in San Jose.

Upon our return from Hawaii, Jeff offered to pick us up at the airport and then return at 10am the following morning to pick us up for our excursion to see the elephant seals at Ano Nuevo. Instead of having Jeff drive back and forth to San Jose, my mom asked him to stay with us overnight at my house. When she did, I alerted my mom.

"Mom, Jeff has a dog, you know."

"I know, you already told me."

"Well, he can't leave the dog alone for two days."

"He can bring the dog with him."

"Really, he should bring the dog with him?"

"Why not?"

So said my mother, who believes people and animals do not belong in the same abode. At least that was her refrain when I cajoled her for a puppy throughout my teens.

"Do you think Dad would be ok with that?"

"Oh, he'll be fine."

Neither she nor I mentioned his fear of dogs after he got bit in the leg about a decade earlier.

So my mom and I made our plans. Jeff would pick us up on our return from Hawaii, stay overnight with us with his dog, and then we would all drive down to Ano Nuevo together the next morning.

When Jeff picked us up from the airport, he said he had already dropped Sherlock off at my house. We drove 20 minutes from the airport to my home in Noe Valley. Jeff dropped us off with our luggage and went off to find a parking spot.

As we approached the door, I warned my parents again.

"Jeff's dog is in the house. You're ok with that, right?"

They just nodded and didn't betray any emotion.

As I turned the key in the lock, I heard Sherlock's toenails clickty-clack on the hard wood floors as he charged through the house, barking like the mad dog he always played whenever we entered or had guests. I pushed open the door, just as Sherlock -- with all of his 65 pounds -- tried to bounce into my lap, his blond fur and ears flopping up and down. When my parents followed, Sherlock rushed around me to get better access to the newcomers. As he tried to bounce onto them, my parents barricaded themselves behind their luggage, standing back to back.

"Tie him up! Tie him up! Can't you tie him up?" My dad yelled.

"Dad, just stay still. He just wants to sniff you, that's all. He doesn't bite. He'll calm down in a second."

Sherlock continued to bounce, trying to get closer.

"Tie him up! Tie him up!"

"Dad, he'll calm down in a second. Sherlock! Sherlock! Over here, big boy!"

"Tie him up! Tie him up!"

That's how Jeff found us when he entered the house. My parents still barricaded behind their luggage, and me holding Sherlock by his collar and trying to calm him down. By then, Sherlock had gotten most of his barks out of him.

"See Mom, see, Dad. I told you he'll calm down. He's a good dog."

Sherlock soon lost interest in my parents once he got a good sniff. He then went back to the living room to look for his toys.

Once my parents managed to pry their hands off of their luggage and step out from their protective circle, they settled down. When they sat on the couch, Sherlock sat at their feet. When they went to the dining table, Sherlock ambled to their side. He tried to nudge their hands with his nose.

"Dad, try petting him. He feels really soft, especially around the ears."

My dad hesitantly reached out but pulled back when Sherlock reached with his wet nose. Jeff held Sherlock's nose down as my dad safely petted Sherlock's back, far away from the nose.

"See, doesn't that feel good?"

"Yes, it's very soft. I've never pet a dog before."

Jeff and I stared at each other. "You never what?"

My mom chimed in. "I've never touched a dog either."

Jeff and I looked at each other again.

My mom hesitantly touched Sherlock with a couple of quick pats before pulling her hand back while Jeff held Sherlock's nose down.

When they returned to New York a couple of days later, my mom called.

"He's a very good dog as far as dogs go. I can tell he's very mild mannered and he listens well."

"Yeah, he's a good dog, right?"

"But he sheds an awful lot. Can't you do something about that," she said.

"Well, Mom, that's just how he is. He's a yellow labrador, and they shed."

"Well, can't you guys trade him in for a dog that doesn't shed?"

Such blasphemy. I begged her never to repeat that in front of Jeff.

In less than a month, my parents are coming out to stay with me, Jeff, our new baby -- and Sherlock.

We'll see how we all fare with one another.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Audrey Article on Esther Hahn

Here's an article I wrote for Audrey Magazine a couple of months ago about surfer girl Esther Hahn.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Another Amazing Gift

We have the most amazing and talented friends. Look what arrived in the mail yesterday from our friend Yao. I can't wait to see our little guy in it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Feeling Lucky

I'm in my 35th week, and I can't believe I've made it this far. I walk around these days feeling lucky. Lucky to be pregnant, lucky to be married to Jeff, lucky to have our little dog Sherlock, lucky to have the friends that we have.

About three Saturdays ago, a few of my girlfriends organized a baby shower for us. One of my friends who showed up told me later that she didn't realize how happy and emotional she would get to see me pregnant. Her words touched me so much, and I realized what a good thing it was to have been open with our friends about my miscarriages. Our friends were there for us when we went through the lows, and it made the celebration of the high that much more meaningful.

Just a week after this shower, Jeff's former co-workers and friends organized another surprise baby shower for us. I thought we were just going over to a friend's house to have lunch. As soon as we pulled up, we noticed a bunch of cars parked around the driveway. When I said that he must be having others over for lunch as well, Jeff (who was in on the surprise) just shrugged his shoulders and said, he has parties all the time. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with balloons and shouts of surprise, and we found ourselves surrounded by beaming faces, congratulations, and warm hugs.

Our friends have been incredibly generous with us. Our house is filled with baby outfits, toys, gear, blankets, and everything else our little guy can possibly need. Almost everything I registered for on Amazon has been sent over with the sweetest notes and wishes.

Just in the past week, we received two specially made gifts for our little guy. The first (pictured at the top) was sent over by our dear friend Bernie all the way from Australia. The second, from our friend PJ, came in a cute little blue bag with a white ribbon, and in it was the yellow/blue cap.

Our little guy is going to be quite the fashion maven.