the things that go wrong

My wife and I got married two years ago, next Monday.  Our wedding was beautiful, memorable, and filled with love.  It was also at our house.  On an island that is only reachable by a boat.  This seemed like a great idea at the time, but made for a logistical nightmare, and a lot (LOT) of pre-wedding stress.  

The day of our rehearsal, I finally started to relax and enjoy the event.  Then, we got to the restaurant where we had booked our rehearsal dinner.  More specifically, I had booked our rehearsal dinner.  And they informed me that I had actually booked it for the following evening.  As in, the day of the actual wedding.  Thinking back, I absolutely did do this.  I had said August 25th so many times in the wedding planning, that it did not actually occur to me that I needed to book the rehearsal dinner for August 24th.  They scrambled, and moved people, and made room for our rehearsal dinner, which went just fine.  But we sill laugh about that feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we realized I had, in fact, booked the rehearsal dinner for the day of the wedding.  A million other things went wrong, and they all make the best stories.  A week before the wedding, we still had to order alcohol, and our friend who owned a restaurant organized an impromptu wine tasting party in our kitchen.  Two days before the wedding, we realized we had forgotten about programs, and one dear friend designed them, while another with very nimble fingers tied hundreds of tiny bows so they would look just right.  My mom scrubbed the floor of our house on her hands and knees until her knees actually bled (I did not know this could happen) in the days leading up to the wedding.  These are the things we remember from our wedding — the mistakes that we made, and the hundreds of ways, big and small, that our friends, family, and complete strangers said, “Don’t worry. We got your back. Go get married and don’t worry about it.”  

In the last couple of months, I have backed my car into a parked vehicle (TWICE), bounced our mortgage check, messed up an obstetrician appointment time by an hour, and now, most recently, invited friends to our beach house on our anniversary.

When I backed the car into a parked vehicle the first time, my wife was amused.  When I did it the second time, she was a bit disappointed.  When I bounced the mortgage check, she was irritated.  When I messed up the appointment time (we were an hour early), she was a little mad that she had missed a meeting at work for it.  When I basically forgot our anniversary, she was pretty hurt and angry.  

I don’t know what to say to her. I am messing things up!  It’s hormones, pregnancy brain, whatever you want to call it.  I lack organizational skills right now (and also the ability to turn all the way around and see where I am going while driving backwards, apparently).  I’m sorry, and pregnant.  She is pretty forgiving.  She knows that our anniversary is important to me.  I love anniversaries, and Valentine’s day, and basically any other excuse for us to have a fancy date.  But still, I am annoying as hell to live with right now.  I guess I hope that a few years from now, we will laugh at all of this, and these will be our good memories.  Like, remember when you were pregnant and messed up all the things, right in a row?  Honestly, though, I kind of hope that this “memory making” part is over soon, before there are significant monetary or relationship consequences.

the tree of life

tree

(from here)

In my prenatal yoga download podcast, toward the end, we do tree pose, which is basically what you see above, sans roots and leaves. I have always loved this pose, until the prenatal teacher stated that the pose reminded her of the placenta, “the tree of life that nourishes your growing baby.”  At that, I almost dry-heaved.  As in, my stomach lurched and I almost fell over.  I realize this is not very amazon-womyn of me, but I am sort of afraid of the placenta. Or maybe just grossed out by it.  I can’t really explain why.

Before I was pregnant, I was one of those people who considered having it made into pills that I could take postpartum. You know, nutrients, whatever. Plus cats eat the placenta, so it must be the thing to do, right?  I am a cat-lover.  But ever since I became pregnant, I can’t handle the thought of growing some gigantic, slippery steak inside my uterus.  If I think about it too much, I become nauseated.  Needless to say, I won’t be posting any pictures of my placenta-prints on Facebook.*

My sister says not to worry about the placenta so much – I probably don’t even have one.  Here’s to hoping.

*DO NOT click that link and scroll down if you also are pregnant and grossed out by the thought of your own placenta. There are photos involved. I just made this mistake and almost lost the General Tso’s chicken I just ate for lunch.

“vacation” (or, things that are much more difficult while pregnant)

Well, internet, I wish I could say that I missed you in the week that I was camping in the woods upstate, but honestly, I love a good technology break every now and then.  This one was driven less by a lack of cell service (which is my favorite kind of technology break) and more by a lack of chargers.  I’ll take what I can get.

We had the kids for vacation this past week, and decided to camp.  We ended up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.  You want to know what is not as fun pregnant as it is when you’re non-pregnant?  Camping.  Getting up in the night to pee is always a pain in the ass, but it’s actually much worse when you have to get up, put on boots in the dark, walk through the mud up a hill with a flashlight, and pee in a cement building with spiders in it. While not waking up the dog.  Also, you realize that your children are actually very active sleepers when you are trying to fall back asleep afterwards to the harmonious sounds two out of three of them flailing around like fish out of water in their sleeping bags.  Also also, hiking at 1,000 feet of elevation is noticeably more difficult when you are pregnant.

I was honestly surprised I struggled so much with all of it.  Everyone says the second trimester is the best of pregnancy, and I sort of expected to feel more like my non-pregnant self.  I do feel better, but I am definitely still pregnant. This camping trip was a big reminder of that.  I move slowly, I tire more easily, and I need to eat more often.  Things that I used to do easily were a chore, and things that used to be a chore were basically impossible. So yeah. Still pregnant over here.  And bending over repeatedly to put up a tent?  Not all that easy while pregnant.

All complaints aside, there were some good moments.  The kids had apparently never walked on active train tracks before, and found it super-exciting.  Also, when they asked if they could climb down a muddy cliff by hanging on to tree roots to go swimming in a natural pool at the base of a dam, in violation of both park rules and common sense, they were totally shocked when the answer was yes, and my psychic-or-something wife had actually packed all of our swimsuits in the day pack. My wife, the dog and I also swam in the pool, and we had all just changed back into our clothes (except the dog, who wears the same fur coat no matter what she’s doing) when a group of teenage boys came careening down the same muddy cliff to illegally swim in the same pool.  Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of all of this, because let’s be honest. Carrying around a fetus and a water bottle on the hike was enough of a struggle; I wasn’t about to also be carrying around my camera.

The kids are still sort of working through their feelings about the pregnancy, so when we dropped them off with their dad for the weekend and met up with our old friends at the beach, it was a relief to let my guard down, relax and just be happy about it again.  Also, sleeping in a bed was nice.  Still, the fatigue of the week really caught up with me yesterday, and I was basically unable to do anything but lie around whinging about nausea and vague abdominal pains which may or may not be this “round ligament pain” I have heard about.

Today, I am back in my beige cube in Manhattan, slogging through the workday.  It’s tough to say that it was a “good” vacation, which is what everyone asks you when you come back from a week away, given the emotional drama with the kids and the unexpected difficulties I had with the camping trip.  But I did have time for the blister caused by my work shoes to heal, and I did actually have a day to lie around whinging without any work to do, so I suppose in that sense, the week away from work was a success.