Dear Dumplings: 7 weeks, 3 days


Dumplings Harper and Harlow Week 7

Dear Dumplings,

Here we are at week 7.  I can hardly believe it.  Every time I leave the doctor’s office with cute little pictures of you, I have to pinch myself.  It does not matter that any sort of normal eating pattern eludes me.  Though I must tell you, this morning you wanted bacon and toast.  I indulged you.  Someone has to eat bacon.  It might as well be the three of us.

This week the pictures are not as clear as last week, but the baby to the left of the picture is measuring slightly bigger than the baby on the right.  Until you actually have names, I’m going to call you Harper and Harlow.  Harper is on the left and Harlow is on the right.  These will not be your names, as those will be a complete surprise — probably even to us.  I know you are only slightly bigger than a blueberry, but I do not want to call you by letters of the alphabet — and even though I’ve given you some temporary names, these are still the Dear Dumplings letters.

Last night at dinner, your Daddy suggested we call you McMillan and Wife, but I thought whichever one of you ended up being Wife (especially if you turned out to be a boy) might be mercilessly teased if anyone ever found out that was your nickname in the womb. Most women I know do not want to be referred to as Wife — even if they are one.  Your Daddy is silly.  He also suggested Quinn and Martin.  To that, our friend Carmen suggested Stephen and Cannell.  The duo naming game could go on all day.  For instance, Raylan & Boyd (Justified), Cagney & Lacey, Willie & Waylon, Cash & Carter (my personal favorite)  … and just for your father, Luke & Leah.  Though where Star Wars is concerned, I think we both prefer Han Solo & Chewy.  Of course, I prefer those names for dogs.

Because this is your Mama’s blog, you will have the gender neutral, completely cool names — Harper and Harlow.  This week your hands and feet are emerging from your developing arms and legs.  You apparently still have a small tail as well, but that should be gone soon enough, I’m told.  Harper, today you are slightly bigger than Harlow, but only slightly.  Your heartbeat is 153bpm and you are 12.6mm.  Harlow, your heartbeat is 150bpm and you are 11.2mm.  I am told these sizes don’t have any bearing on how tall you will be.   Your Daddy made a joke about starting to draw lines on the kitchen wall for height now.  I told you he is silly.  Perhaps we’ll start that when you get to be a full inch tall?

As I lie in bed praying for the queasiness to let up long enough for me to nourish you, I hope I am giving you enough.  We have only been to yoga one time this week, though I have done some poses at home.  The exhaustion is intense.  I miss yoga.  I always feel better when I am doing it regularly.  I know it is good for all of us, so hopefully we’ll get back on some sort of schedule soon enough.  For now, Dr. K says if I feel like being a couch potato, it’s okay.  We are going on a yoga retreat this weekend with Chaz.  We might be lying in the back of the room on a mat, but we’ll be there.  The cuisine is vegan.  I probably won’t sneak in any bacon, but I’ll bring extra snacks and milk.

I will be bringing Jolly Ranchers and not Preggie Pops.  Preggie Pops cost $5.95 for 21 pieces.  Jolly Ranchers are … a lot less and provide the same relief.  There.  Your first lesson in frugality.

I picked out your baby bed this week (DaVinci Jinny Lind).  I’m not using this bedding, but this is the crib.  I have not decided if I should get it in white or black?  I like the old-fashioned simplicity of it, and it converts into a toddler bed.  We’re going with an eclectic mix of decor for your nursery, so this bed is perfect.  From all the reading I have done, it appears the two of you can share a crib with a divider in it until you are 5 or 6 months old.  I think this has something to do with already having slept together in my uterus for 37+ weeks.  (You better stay in there 37 weeks, I don’t want you hanging out in the NICU if we can help it!)  Since your room in this house is so small, I am going to take advantage of this twin love.  I suppose if you start punching each other, I’ll get the second crib sooner.

Jenny Lind Baby Bed

What I learned this week about being your Mama is even when you are only seven weeks old I am constantly worried about you.  Everyone tells me there is no safer place for you, but I keep second guessing if I am making it safe enough?  I read about all of the nutrients I am supposed to eat, the water I am supposed to drink, the walking I should be doing and I think, “God, am I already raising couch potatoes that will only eat bacon, chicken pot pie and ginger cat cookies from Trader Joe’s with a Vernor’s ginger ale chaser?”  I suppose I should cut us some slack, you’re growing something like one million neurons per minute … each.

I know I will never stop worrying, not in two weeks, two years or twenty years (most especially twenty years!).  My needs are secondary, but I am going to try to water my garden enough to maintain a sense of fun.  I know enough at this point in my life to know if I let my garden get too weeded, we’ll all be in the weeds.

When I married your Daddy, our needs merged; our gardens merged so to speak.  There is a lot of give and take involved in this — just like you will have when learning to share toys.  Your Daddy and I had to learn to share toys and decorate rooms, and somehow try to live with that awful black leather chair.  Actually, I am the only one who had to learn to live with the awful black leather chair.  He thinks it is fabulous.  He just had to learn to like pillows — something he still does not understand.  And funky lamps.  We have still not fully mastered the shared art of cooking dinner because he is the pickiest eater on the planet.  Harper and Harlow, if one or both of you develop this very unfortunate characteristic … oh, just help me.  Just help me already.

I dream of children who eat avocados and goat cheese and eggs.

If you are not those children, I’ll survive.  You just might have to learn to cook for yourself sooner.  A varied palate would be nice.  I’d like to cook something besides broccolini pasta, vegetable soup and tacos.  Of course, when I was a little kid I pronounced that my favorite things were tacos and Gomer Pyle.  I grew out of it, though.  Your father never did overcome his hatred of the egg.  I’m not sure what eggs ever did to him, but the way he reacts to the smell of them, it was something pretty serious.

I suppose in many ways we don’t change all that much.  Today two of my favorite things are chicken n’ dumplings and Raylan Givens.



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