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The childbearing year in review

Our baby is 3 months old, which means that about this time last year the fateful ovulation was taking place, and he has therefore been in existence for nearly a year. And if you think that's TMI, step behind the cut for all kinds of reminiscences.

In no particular order:

I was listening to the Veils' "The Leaver's Dance" quite a lot around that time. It was my favorite song of the moment. So then for a long time I couldn't even hear Finn Andrews' voice without feeling an echo of morning sickness. (But we did consider the name "Finn," which I still think is cute.)

After the morning sickness went away, there was this intense hunger phase. In fact, I would get so hungry, and my stomach would seize so frantically onto the first thing I ate, that it almost caused more nausea. I called it the "tank of sharks" phenomenon. You know those marine biology films, where they show a tank of hungry sharks, and they throw a piece of meat into it, and the sharks go nuts, thrashing around and splashing water everywhere? That was what the first few bites were like, during meals in the intense hunger phase. My stomach, or perhaps the boy, was like a tank of sharks.

(Don't read this one if you're squeamish.) I had numerous labor phobias over the months. One was this idea of blood loss. I knew you were supposed to undergo a great deal of it, but wasn't sure how and when. So I was picturing just bleeding steadily for hours, during contractions, and finally fainting and dying of blood loss. But it was nothing like that. It pretty much all happens (or did for me anyway) with the delivery of the placenta, in one hilariously huge gush which you don't even care about because, hey!, you have a baby in your arms! Still, I recall saying "That felt gross." I mean, really, the way it felt, I expected to see everyone around me wiping blood off their glasses. And yet it didn't even particularly hurt, so mostly it was just impressive. Then of course over the next month your body makes up for having missed the last eight periods by having them all in a row.

The one thing I really wanted to do, after delivery, was blow my nose. I was in the third day of a cold and my nose was totally stuffed. But my abdominal muscles were too weak to manage it. Turns out it's quite hard to blow your nose effectively with exhalation alone.

The boy was born needing a haircut. It was creeping over his collar in back. He finally did get it trimmed, at age 2 months, when we went in for a visit while Steve was getting his hair cut. Our hairdresser said he was definitely the youngest client she'd ever had. Now it looks weird to me when babies don't have hair. I'm sure to other parents our baby looks like he's wearing a toupee.

I still have the linea negra (though it's brown, not black) down my belly. Steve says he likes it because I look like a striped animal--"striped" pronounced with two syllables.

However, I did get through this year without a single stretch mark. And today I was able to button up one more pair of my old trousers. The skinnier ones, though, are still impossibly tight. Was I ever so thin? I don't mind, for in the meantime, with my extra feminine cushioning, I just pretend I look like Marilyn Monroe.

The sleep deprivation has been the worst thing about the fourth trimester. It still beats any of the worst things about the other trimesters. And as other insomniacs know, being kept awake for a reason is far, far better than lying awake for no reason at all. I've experienced that too--even in the last three months, even needing sleep--and it's much more frustrating than getting up for the fourth time to ask my son just why he needs to thrash in his sleep like that.

Even in the tired state I'm in, I am still able to climb Seattle's steep streets, carrying the baby, with more energy than when I was seven months pregnant and getting lots of sleep. So things are getting better all the time.

Also, even better than the first smiles are the first conversations. These tend to go:
Z: Ah!
M: Oh yeah? Really?
Z: Ah. Awooo.
M: Uh-huh. That's interesting. Tell me more.
Z: Aya. Uhhh. Huhuhwuh. Ih, oooh.
M: That's good. Learning your vowels.
Z: Eh! Ooooowa.

Anyway, here you go, complete with drool:


Much love,
M.

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Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
rachel2205
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
You're right, he's got such a full head of hair! He looks very handsome.
mollyringle
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
We were joking that he had "Skywalker hair" before his haircut. :) I'll be sure to stuff his head with your compliment!
kalquessa
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
I die of the cute!

Also:

Then of course over the next month your body makes up for having missed the last eight periods by having them all in a row.

Crap. I thought there was this postpartum era where you were nursing, so you didn't ovulate, thus no periods. This totally bursts my bubble.

Now it looks weird to me when babies don't have hair. I'm sure to other parents our baby looks like he's wearing a toupee.

*giggles* green_tea_lady was so bald, even long after being born, that Mom had to tape bows to her head to convince people she was a girl, not a boy. (I'm not sure why bald baby = male baby for so many people, though.)

mollyringle
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I exaggerate a bit there...all women, breastfeeding or not, have the postpartum bleeding for at least a couple weeks straight. In my family, more like a month. Then if you continue breastfeeding, it's true you'll probably not have periods for the duration. However, some do anyway--and some get pregnant again despite the lack of periods. So there are no guarantees in this arena. I haven't had them return yet, but wouldn't be surprised if they did. My reproductive health is just so darn vigorous.

Though it is kind of cool to know that the uterus squeezes itself back to its pre-pregnancy size within something like six weeks of delivery. Efficient!

Heheh...we've chuckled over the bald baby girls with bows taped to their heads as well. Though I guess if a girl had hair, you'd have to put it in one of those "fountain" ponytails on top of the head to make it clear she was female. Much as the color-coding is silly, I guess the blue v. pink clothing does have its uses...

(no subject) - terrylj - Apr. 27th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Apr. 29th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
deliciouspear
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness! SO ADORABLE!

Very grown up and alert looking for a two month old!

And he is the perfect lil' hobbit baby isn't he?!?

*ow ow! my womb aches!*
mollyringle
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
Hee - he does have a Monaghan or Astin-like nose from the front angle, doesn't he? Amazingly my husband vetoed the name "Samwise."
(no subject) - deliciouspear - Apr. 27th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
elfinity
Apr. 27th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
OMG! -Squeee-
The look on his face, people, it's too much.

I don't think I've ever seen a baby that young with that much hair. Wow.

The blood thing? Eeek. I don't have that much to begin with.

Funny about the blowing your nose - it may not seem like this to you, but it's cute.

Conversations like this are the best. Does he ever disagree with you or get impatient or is it pretty much idyllic discourse of perfect agreement so far? ^_^

All the sicknesses and insomnia and things... My friend, when she was carrying their first child, used to randomly turn to her husband, look him straight in the eyes and tell him, "Go call your dad right now, and thank him for your Y chromosome." Heh.
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Well, the good thing about the blood loss is that your body makes lots of extra blood during the pregnancy. So really you don't lose dangerous amounts, or at least not in a normal case.

Heheh...he does seem to get frustrated sometimes, but mostly with his inability to coordinate his hands properly. In conversation he is usually happy and amused. I get the big toothless grin a lot.

Yes, we ladies really do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to this childbearing thing. Though I imagine we inflict as much mental damage on the male partners as possible, to make up for it. :)
(no subject) - elfinity - Apr. 30th, 2006 02:43 am (UTC) - Expand
trilliah
Apr. 27th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
He looks like someone just told him something particularly fascinating--I can almost hear "You don't say?"

I love that his hair looks nearly identical to yours. Adorable. :)
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
The whole world, especially light fixtures, are fascinating to him right now. We keep joking we should take him to the lighting department of Home Depot. It would blow his mind.

His hair color is one of the only things that does look like mine, I think! He's got a lot of Steve's side of the family otherwise...
scottishtyrant
Apr. 27th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
He's ADORABLE! And the hair! There's so much! Both my sister and I were pretty much bald...especially me. I had "peach fuzz", as my mom calls it, for a long time. People used to think I was a boy, even when she dressed me in frilly pink baby dresses. I made up for it, though, as the hair on my head is now far too thick for my taste.

He's such a handsome little devil! Even with the drool. :D

I am only 20 years old...the biological clock must remain on snooze...
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Ah yes, it's been years since I've seen a photo of you, but I remember your enviably thick curls. Guess there's no telling how kids will look once they grow up.
terrylj
Apr. 27th, 2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
That is one of the most adorable babies ever. He looks quite interested in his surroundings: "Really?" He looks like you could have an intelligent conversation with him.

And the HAIR. He's got as much hair as my full-grown husband.
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
Heheh - he's made a lot of adult men jealous already because of his hair. Hope he keeps it through adulthood!
laleonaenojada
Apr. 27th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
He's the only baby I've seen that has more hair than I did as a baby. Mine didn't stay though -- I liked to rub the sides of my head, and eventually I rubbed the side-hair off until I had a mohawk. My parents called me "Mr. T"

~A
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
Hehehe. That must have been cute. I like giving him mohawks or other punk hair when it's bathtime...
tdj
Apr. 28th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)
I think he's already qualified to be a television anchorman.
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
He totally is. We'll have to put a parka on him and put him in bad weather with a microphone, to get him ready.
ramaustin
Apr. 28th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
Mother and child... both absolutely adorable! (nice neck ;)
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you. ;)
elycia
Apr. 28th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
Good GOD that kid is cute. Sounds like he's smart, too. Are y'all going to do the sign-language thing?

I was a bald baby like some of your other commenters, and my hair is still fine and thin (as is often the case with blondes). I am JEALOUS of your son's hair!!!! :-) Where, oh where, is the justice of hair distribution?
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
As a linguistics dork, I do indeed intend to try the sign-language thing. Though I guess there's no point in starting before about 7 months old. Will be totally cool to see what he has to say! I wonder if we can ask him what's so fascinating about the light fixtures.

Heheh...being born with hair was the one thing I predicted about him, and was right. Both his dad and I have crazy thick hair, so it seemed a given. Now hopefully he won't inherit my tendency toward cavities. urf.
narfistic
Apr. 28th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
Wow, he's gorgeous! And what beautiful hair he's got. I giggled at your toupe comment, because yes, most small babies with a lot of hair do look like they have toupes! But then I got to the photo and he doesn't look like that at all, he just has proper, real, beautiful hair. Is it red-brown or is the photo just red-tinted? (You look great too, btw. :) )

I remember those very early conversations. I strongly recommend that you both write down the sounds (and later words and whole conversations) and tape/film them "talking" from time to time. You'll be happy you did - it's almost impossible how fast one forgets what the kid sounded like just a few months ago, not to mention years.
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you thank you! His hair is turning toward the auburn side. It's quite similar to my shade; has red tints in the light. The Irish in our collected geneaologies must be coming out!

I totally need a camcorder. I don't know why I don't have one. All I've got is the 5-second movie capture thing on our digital camera. But that will not do!
impetuousnote
Apr. 28th, 2006 08:26 am (UTC)
Wow he's so alert! My best friend has a one month old boy and we just love to sit and stare at him. It's so fascinating to watch his facial expressions! Your baby is a cutie pie and I love the hair. I can picture him in 4 years with glasses telling us all sorts of interesting facts he read in the encyclopedia. ; )
mollyringle
Apr. 29th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks. I will be fully pleased if I get a sweet little nerd. :)

One month is about where it starts to get interesting. The budding expressions are great. Does he smile yet?
(no subject) - impetuousnote - Apr. 30th, 2006 01:53 am (UTC) - Expand
modmerseygirl
Apr. 30th, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
What a darling little boy. :-) I can't believe he's already three months old! The time is zipping by!

*hugs*
mollyringle
May. 4th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
It truly is, and getting just a little better all the time. Thank you!
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )