This past week has been full of ups and downs. In fact, so many downs, I have been questioning my ability to stay in each moment full of appreciation and gratitude for my little dumplings who are now roughly the size of olives. The nausea and fatigue were starting to cause a mild depression. My active, yogi body was deteriorating by the day. My shoulders were tense. I was achy all over. I couldn’t really eat and when I did eat I was convinced I was giving my children diabetes, not nourishing them.
In the brief moments between the nausea, I would look at my pictures of Harper and Harlow and wonder what all my troubles were about. Then I would see (or think about) a breaded chicken breast or some other generally benign food item (broccoli, cauliflower) and the nausea would return with a vengeance.
On Saturday afternoon, in an effort to combat my moodiness, I got a facial and went to yin yoga with Ellen. I needed it, and so did the Dumplings. They needed their Mama to calm down and understand that this road was not paved with sunflowers, bluebonnets and the smell of gardenias.
Despite the fact that I had waited years to feel all of this, it did not mean that feeling all of it was going to be a picnic. And it isn’t.
In yoga, I feel my legs and hips begin to unwind with each stretch. I feel the babies stretching – or my uterus stretching – whatever the case may be. There is an unraveling of all the manic uncertainty locked in my body. I could feel it begin to dissipate.
By Saturday night I was at a German restaurant with Jonathan for our neighbor’s birthday. I was not really enjoying the food, but I wasn’t berating myself for not enjoying the food. This made a huge difference. I started to let go of the perfect pregnancy diet and the perfect this and the perfect that. I started to just be in my pregnancy.
At the German restaurant, the Dumplings and I got down five bites of sausage and French fries — followed by a black cherry soda, a root beer and two red velvet cupcakes. I am not sure why sweetness curbs the nausea, but it really does. This is why I worry about giving the Dumplings diabetes – but on Saturday night, I finally let it go. Right now I am doing whatever it takes to get through the day.
Sunday was a day of nesting. I went to fabric stores. I looked at patterns. I started to read the instructions on my new sewing machine. I even drew sketches of how the house needs to be organized by August. Whatever little black raincloud had been following me around since Thursday was suddenly gone. The nausea was coming and going, but my sense of humor about it all was back in tact.
And then I got a bee in my bonnet.
I was talking to my sister-in-law, Debbie, while lounging in the backyard. It was a beautiful day. One of those days people who live in California love to brag about as a blizzard hits the east coast. Suddenly I hear a bee buzzing around my head – this is not uncommon for this time of year – so I swat it away, but it does not leave. I swat again. It does not leave. I swat again and again and again – the buzzing persists; only louder and more agitated.
I start screaming like a freak, Get out of my hair! Get away from me! Leave me alone! … as if, bees speak English.
I think perhaps he is caught in my hair clip. I throw it down. The buzzing gets louder and more agitated. I keep waiting to feel the sting, but it never comes. I run in the house, thinking maybe the bee is stuck in my clothes. I start stripping in the living room. The buzzing persists.
My hysteria has now reached a point that my sister-in-law thinks Hannibal Lecter is in the house ready to eat me with some fava beans and nice glass of chianti. I throw the phone down, run around in a circle – I almost run out into the street half-naked, but think better of it.
I run into my bathroom and get a brush. I madly start brushing my mane of hair – while still screaming at the bee (like a wild woman) to get out of my hair. Suddenly, with one long stoke of the brush, I hear him fly away. I look up at the ceiling in my bedroom and there he is buzzing around; completely discombobulated. I slam the door, telling the bee Jonathan will deal with him later. I honestly believe the bee is much more stressed out than I am, and that is saying something.
I go back to my phone and my sister-in-law is patently waiting for me; grateful it was only a bee. I am out of breath.
When Jonathan comes home I send him into the room to kill the bee. He appears to be waiting on the ceiling for his fate. However, he was so shocked, he just fell onto the paper Jonathan brought to swat him with. He had expired stuck to the ceiling because some crazy woman (me) had probably caused him to sting her hair, but not her head.
Poor bee. His last moments of life were spent terrorized in the hair of a crazy pregnant lady. He definitely should have stayed out of my bonnet.
I went through a momentary panic about having put the dumplings through an unnecessary episode of high anxiety. Considering all the screaming I did, I’m just glad their ears don’t work all that well yet.
We got into Phoenix on Monday afternoon. It was the first night of Passover. My nausea was mild, but there. The dumplings and I had determined hamburgers with no cheese and no pickles and no tomatoes were good.
None of it was kosher for Passover.
Guess what I am going to bring you for dinner? Jonathan asked.
Just a plain burger, honey. Don’t get fancy. Keep it simple.
How about a Sonic burger, tater tots and a cherry limeade?
Are you kidding?
Nope. I will be there in about ten minutes.
Suddenly, I was ravenous. The kind of hungry I had not felt in at least two weeks. My taste buds were salivating. I would swear to you the dumplings did a flip. Sonic. My favorite fast food place ever.
We devoured it. My stomach had not been this happy in weeks.
This week was full of ups and downs; like life tends to be. As much as we want to be in the moment and bathe ourselves in gratitude for all of it, sometimes, there is a giant bee in our bonnet. Eventually, one way or another, the bee leaves and you’re left with a moment of gratitude for his absence.
After weeks of not feeling hunger, you’re grateful to say, I am ravenous!
I had never been so grateful for the existence of Sonic in my life. For this brief moment, the nausea left, hunger stepped in — ravenous hunger. I had forgotten what that was like.
My 2013 Passover Seder was not traditional or ordained by anyone but the dumplings. Right now, what is kosher and not kosher for anything is completely their call. It was the best meal we had had in what seemed like weeks.
It was so good. We’re going there again today for lunch.