There was a lot of pressure on 2017 to be a good year since 17 is my lucky number (haha). And for us it was. Sure, it started with a miscarriage and the inauguration of one of the most pathetic humans on the planet as president of my country — which didn’t bode particularly well — but we ended the year with my husband a US citizen and my belly 28 weeks pregnant. Whatever’s happening in the world at large, our little corner of it feels happy and blessed.
2018 comes with no particular expectations, which is relaxing to be honest. It can just unfold how it will. The shock of having a Toddler in Chief has worn down to a dull resignation (though I still contribute how I can, from supporting to ACLU to voting religiously, even in small local elections, attending town hall meetings, and contacting my representatives). No offense to toddlers, whom I’m told can actually be lovely with the right kind of parenting 😉
I’m reading Bringing up Bébé right now, about the more laid-back yet respectful style of French parenting. It really shines a spotlight on how neurotic American parents tend to be — and I’m right there with them, even in pregnancy. Trying to cut back.
Meanwhile, according to this website’s guidelines, I’ve passed my home glucose monitoring challenge, which is a relief. Always nice to see when something is working just fine. It involves a lot of finger pricks, but it’s a fascinating peek into how my body handles food. Each of three days starts with a blood glucose test before I even get out of bed, then tests after various meals:
• Day1: FASTING: 78
2 hours after breakfast: 89
(pear, cream of wheat, 4 dried apricot pieces, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, cinnamon)
• Day2: FASTING: 86
1.5 hours after lunch: 92
(eggs, toast, sausage, avocado, feta, clementine)
(I had to go to a yoga class, so didn’t wait 2 hours)
• Day3: FASTING: 76
2 hours after dinner: 102
3 hours after dinner: 80
(huge meal of roasted cauliflower and sauteed spinach with toasted bread crumbs and lemon butter dressing, baked sweet potato fries, steak. Elderberry zinc lozenge after meal. Had a snack of chicken fingers and chips before cooking)
Today I’ll make cinnamon rolls as a kind of “sweet start to the New Year” treat, and because I think Ahmed is feeling a bit deprived since I’ve been avoiding sugar so carefully since the UTI. We’ll see what that does to my blood glucose. I am curious how I handle those (fairly) rare indulgences.
[UPDATE: Ugh. It’s good to remind myself now and then why I don’t go for empty carbs too often. It’s not a good feeling. My blood sugar was about 130 an hour (hour and a half?) after having two large cinnamon rolls. Then I had another half a cinnamon roll for no good reason. Just because it was there. Those first few bites are great, though. I should just stick to those, but 5 cinnamon rolls come in the can…]
My cold is almost gone, though with lingering minor cough and plenty of blowing my nose (the latter of which is par for the course during cold weather in general for me; though my ancestry is Irish and Swedish, I’m pretty sure my soul is Equatorial). Baby boy is still kicking like a champ. Sometimes I’m pretty sure I can feel his back pressing against my belly, though I still can’t tell top from bottom.
Yesterday I finished the book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, and at one point the author asked, “What would you change in your life if you could?”
I realized that there’s really not much I would change. I mean, sure, if I could snap my fingers and make things appear, I’d get prenatal massages twice a week, we’d have a second car, I’d get a top-of-the-line stainless steel pan set (though ours is totally adequate), I’d get our cat a bigger cat condo (though he seems to enjoy the one he has now), and I’d be more likely to get an ultrasound on a paranoid whim.
But in broad strokes? I wouldn’t rather be in any other place, with any other people, in any other condition. I love our fuel-efficient, safe, reliable little Toyota Corolla. Even our apartment, while small, is in the perfect location by the river, and we don’t really need (much) more space — certainly not enough to pay the money and carbon footprint for heating and cooling a bigger space.
I told Ahmed, “If there’s one thing I’d like more of, it’s a bit more storage space.” So we spent a couple hours cleaning out our coat closet and bedroom closet, stashing what we could under the bed, et voilà, now both closets seem tidy and spacious instead of cramped and disorganized. (No bets on how long that’ll last once the bébé gets here. We’ll see how that all works out, space-wise. Already we’re storing quite a stash of baby stuff, but there’s no shortage of more to come. I really hate moving, though, so I hope we can manage to stay here ’til the kid gets to be about one and a half.)
I do, finally, feel a little more secure in the third trimester. At 28 weeks, there’s already a 90% chance of survival. I feel like the worst that’s likely to happen now is expense and hassle rather than heartbreak. It’s a good place to be.
My resolution for the year is to complain less, worry less, and generally focus less on what’s going “wrong” or what could go wrong. I don’t mean to become a mindless rose-colored zombie, but to look around and notice the gifts.
Did I spill coffee all over the couch? Well, it was a $50 couch anyway (from a rich family’s garage sale), it’s served us well, we have a washer and dryer a few feet away to take care of the cushion covers, and guess what? I have a husband who was willing to drive out into the cold night to get me coffee just because I said I had a headache. And the reason I’m insanely, maddeningly clumsy these days is because I’m pregnant — which is exactly what I want to be. On balance, that’s a lot more to be grateful for than pissed off about.
Did the cat get into the cabinet again and rub his wet little nose against clean dishes? Well, he’s safe and sound, not lost in the grasslands, and I have all the dishes I need and good food to cook any time I want it and hot water and soap to wash dishes whenever I need to. Those are all miracles, not to be taken for granted.
Somehow, when it comes to car accidents where no one was hurt, I’ve mastered this skill. Because I was in a bad car accident several years ago in which I could easily have been killed or paralyzed. There were moments when I was keenly aware that my life could change profoundly — or end — in the next few seconds. (I wasn’t driving, I was in the passenger seat.) When the car was “only” flipped up on its side and totalled, our plans for the night (and those of people counting on us) “just” ruined, all I could feel was profound gratitude. Because I was alive and only very minorly injured. And it could easily have gone the other way.
The two accidents we’ve had with our new car? (A deer running in front of us when we were going 65 miles per hour, and some probably drunk idiot with no insurance smashing off the left half of our rear fender and running off.) Both times I felt inexplicably giddy. Calm and happy. Just glad to be alive. (Though admittedly not so giddy handing over a credit card to pay the thousand dollar deductible each time.)
I should cultivate that more. Even when I spill coffee all over the couch.
Love and light to all!
January 4, 2018
28 weeks 4 days