From the jello.

Lately it has felt just a little bit like I’m sinking. Not quite totally sinking, but not freely swimming either. More like very slow and tedious dog paddling in a pool of Jello. Luckily, I love Jello, and this pool is most certainly many things of my own making, many commitments that are pressing right now and good, but they are still thick and difficult to navigate nonetheless. Someday, maybe, after I turn in this dissertation but before kid number 2 makes our lives even crazier – I’ll go back to semi-coherent blog posts on a regular basis. For now, more scattered updates. Because typing out the scattered bits and gathering together makes them feel more like an eclectic mosaic and less like disorganized chaos.

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In our home, everything is fair game for becoming a tent, soon to be filled with the beloved kitchen utensils Henry likes to steal and hoard.

Speaking of that old dissertation, the one you are so tired of hearing about, the one that I said I would finish within four years, and then again by the end of 2017, it! Is! Almost! Done! The full draft was submitted to my advisor Saturday night and once I get his last round of comments, I will roll that final draft out to my whole committee. This meant that Saturday night I had endless nightmares that Henry was taken away from me because I didn’t correctly cite my sources and used commas instead of periods in my bibliography. Of course, finishing the dissertation means… that I don’t fully know what comes next. This spring has lots of uncertainty and hope in it, all tied up together in a messy knot of “what if’s” for next fall.

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Oh look, my feet with some caffeine and books. How original.

One of which is of course, should we move? I love our little apartment, love it. All 960 square feet are precious and known to me. And while it is a small space to imagine putting another kid, it’s not impossible. But the logistics of our building, the total lack of a yard, the hauling a toddler and a baby up a flight of narrow stars and storing a double stroller in the trunk of our car where a single stroller only kind of fits- that is giving me pause. I don’t want the difficult of getting out of our home start to make us feel like prisoners in it. Still, anything bigger or more house-like is just so expensive that it feels impossible.

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AND AGAIN. Minus the books, because this was a Sunday. But slippers and leggings have kind of been an everyday uniform sort of thing this January.

We have been feebly attempting a Whole30 this month. Honestly, we have mostly failed, in the sense that there have been many cheat instances and the Whole30 is kind of an all-or-nothing thing. But I’m still counting our Mostly Whole, Maybe 30 as a victory because it has forced me back into the kitchen, put vegetables back on our plate, and left me feeling like I am no gaining weight with this baby at a normal, rather than terrifyingly breakneck, speed.

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A scene from a walk, which was a feeble gesture of exercise before this baby proved capable of destroying all movement in my left leg. Thanks kid.

Speaking of that baby, we can’t wait to meet HER! James has been positive that this was a girl the entire time, but I just didn’t have a gut feeling. With Henry, I was positive that it was a boy, but this time- nothing. I loved the idea of a posse of boys running wild around our house, but a girl sounded so fun too. Now of course, I am thrilled at the idea of Henry and his sister being close in age like my older brother and me. I also made sure to invest in some ruffle-butt tights ASAP. I plan to reuse a lot of Henry’s more gender neutral clothes… but at least a couple ruffles need to disrupt things.

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See? Totally gender neutral. As in, winter apparel basically obscures all gender/personhood. All toddlers become tiny squishy creatures.

This pregnancy hasn’t really gotten better. After the nausea, the exhaustion, the bleeding and fear, now I have crippling sciatic pain that frequently and increasingly makes it difficult to walk. One night at the grocery store I sat on a fruit display until I could walk again and I can’t make it to the park 2 blocks away without a couple stops. I’m not a wimp about pain, but this has been rough. Before we knew the gender, people would smile and pat my shoulder and say, “must be a girl!” as if that was a consolation for the constant pain. No, I felt like saying, preferably as I punched them swiftly in a gut, let’s not get in the habit of teaching that daughters are consolation for misery.

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Sometimes I limp one block to a coffee shop and feel like a TOTAL CHAMPION.

That’s a little bit of lately. The successes, the joys, the failures, the trials. A thick pool of Jello that sometimes makes swimming hard, but nowhere else I’d rather be.

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He’s only smiling because I bribed him with goldfish, but I don’t even care.

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3 Responses to From the jello.

  1. Shannon Coker says:

    Congratulations on a little girl! Seeing is we are expecting our third girl this spring, I can safe claim they are quite delightful 🙂 I am really sorry you are having a rough time this round, though. The sciatic pain is horrible and frustrating. I wish I could pass on a magical cure for it, but I am still looking. I am certainly praying for you, though!

  2. WomanLoved says:

    This is often (irritatingly) a standard feeling when in the stages of having and raising young children. It will pass and is just a season, mine has been 6 years so far (still want more), but within that there have been bursts of energetic and focused weeks and floppy ‘we are all dressed and fed – this is a triumph’ weeks.
    Keep going, one foot in front of the other and it will all be ok. In fact extraordinarily graced with God’s energy and strength to get through. Celebrate the moments of action and surrender to the moments of seeming-nothingness. You are doing well. X

  3. Joanna Bender says:

    I had pretty intense sciatic pain during my pregnancy with my daughter, as well. I tried a few trips to the chiropractor, but no relief. Made an appointment with an acupuncturist, and after 2 sessions, the pain was completely GONE. It’s definitely worth a shot! I went from barely being over to turn over in bed, to completely normal.

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