Something in the water.
September 25th 2013
31 weeks pregnant.
There must be something in the water because so many people I know are currently pregnant. Many of them are in the early stages, which means they haven’t gone completely public yet. I’m really excited that Wilder will have a diverse pack of cronies and I will have a good selection of folks to give hand-me-downs to. I’m not sure if it is an age-related trend, but regardless I’m grateful to be sharing this experience with other people who I feel are similar to our family when it comes to child-raising decisions. While a few of these friends live out of town, there are several pregnant New Orleanians. Choosing to raise a child in New Orleans is often criticized. Sadly our city has a history of violent crime and poor educational options. That being said, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Andy worries a lot about how Wilder will develop here, where crime and violence are very often glorified. I worry more about just keeping him healthy and happy for the first few years. There is no way to predict how our city will be in 5+ years, so I try to focus on the immediate things I can control.
I cannot control my current job situation. I know that the project I am working on is going to end sometime soon, but I can’t get anyone to give me a clear-cut answer as to when that will be. As much as I will celebrate not having to commute back and forth to the West bank every day, I am very uptight about where I will be placed next. I’ve been working as a disaster recovery consultant for a long time and I’ve never really stressed much about projects ending, but now that I’m pregnant things are different. My hope is that I will continue to have full-time employment until I take my (unpaid) maternity leave. I was having so much anxiety over the potential of reduced hours and/or temporary lay-off that I called the owner of the company and flat out asked him if I needed to prepare for the worst. In his typical round-about fashion he almost assured me that I shouldn’t be stressing out. I’m attempting to follow his advice.
Lee Kyle came over this past Thursday to have dinner with Andy and me. He was clearly upset and concerned about a misunderstanding that had developed over a drag performance he was scheduled to emcee for the local group Queerspiracy. The show is scheduled on the same night as the Diana Ross concert and Lee Kyle suggested that he would dress as Diana Ross for both the concert and the show. He (along with Andy, Dori and I) had dressed as Madonna for her concert here last October, with amazing costumes created by him and his friend Cathy, and we were treated as celebrities the whole night, even getting VIP passes. When members of Queerspiracy found out about his suggestion, they labeled his proposed imitation of Diana Ross as a “blackface” atrocity. They quickly turned something meant as homage to a person whom Lee Kyle deeply respects into an opportunity to climb upon their soapbox and pass quick, uninformed judgment. Lee Kyle was hastily labeled as a “racist” and asked not to perform at all with the group. Both Andy and I could see how upset he was over the whole debacle, and we did our best to cheer him up. While I would like to believe that the members of this group truly have good intentions at heart, I am saddened and somewhat disgusted by the way they handled the situation. Lee Kyle is an amazing individual and one of the most kind-hearted, compassionate people I know. Perhaps it is the hormones, but I had to suppress my desire to immediately judge and respond harshly to the people making such preposterous accusations. For a group that celebrates diversity, this experience has left me feeling that the loudest members may have the narrowest minds.
On Friday night I had Jackie and Misty over for dinner. I was feeling a little stressed out before they arrived, but felt immediate relief upon seeing them. There are days when I feel absolutely exhausted after work, even thought my job is not at all physically demanding. When I have these low energy moments, I sometimes resort to a pity party mentality and have envious feelings towards my friends who are able to have a social life, travel and drink cocktails. I have to remind myself that these feelings are normal for anyone who is going through such dramatic physical and emotional changes. I also have to laugh about the absurdity of the situation – sometimes I’m just envious that others can easily tie their shoes. Concerning Jackie and Misty, it is unfortunately so rare for the three of us get to spend time together, that I truly enjoy every moment of it. Over dinner, they told me all about their recent trip to Massachusetts where they attended a spiritual retreat. They had a great time and apparently provided a lot of entertainment for other attendees. We talked about Misty’s upcoming trip to India and Jackie’s visits with Herman Wallace. The three of us are in such an interesting place in our respective lives. Jackie is dealing with the death of her dear friend/mentor and Misty is about to leave on a well-deserved adventure after a frightening year of personal tribulations. I have learned so much from both of them, and do not take for granted the security and support they consistently provide me. When I was younger I never had many female friends, but have grown a deep appreciation for the women in my life now.
I tried very hard to stay focused on organizing the nursery this weekend. As the due date approaches, I know that I really have to get things done. I started by washing all of Wilder’s clothes. I would say that 85% of the clothes we have for him are hand-me-downs, which I think is awesome. We have enough outfits to change him several times a day during his first three months and never put the same thing on him twice. As he gets older the options definitely get smaller, but I know the hand-me-downs will continue to pour in. I have to admit that because Wilder is a boy I have been a lot less inclined to buy new baby clothes. If he had been a girl, I would have probably spent way too much money on stupid pink outfits. It would have been beyond my control. I ordered a dresser to place all his clothes in and hopefully that arrives soon, since now the room is only slightly more organized, containing clean piles of clothes instead of dirty ones. I spent a lot of time researching laundry detergents that are best for baby clothes and specifically cloth diapers. Yes, this is now my life. My Google search no longer contains racy porn sites, but instead now has a list of mommy blogs. Apparently “free & clear” detergents are the way to go, just in case you were wondering. I can provide a more in-depth analysis to anyone who wants it; just email me.
I also got waxed again this weekend. I went to a good friend of mine and she did an excellent job. I didn’t feel the least bit awkward about displaying my ever-growing body, which was a nice change from the last time. Also this time it hurt a lot less. While it certainly isn’t necessary to have this personal maintenance done, I desire to know that there is some order below my belly. I am really looking forward to the day when I can see my lady bits again without using a mirror. It’s truly the little things.
Daphne took Andy and me to brunch on Sunday and we got to catch up. Because Daphne and Andy both own bars I think it provides a sort of catharsis for them to be able to talk about their businesses with one another. And because Daphne also has another job where she feels less than appreciated, she and I can often relate to one another on feelings of contempt and unhappiness in the workplace. I always enjoy Daphne’s company because she is no-drama and says exactly what she means. I think she may be one of my friends who is most excited about Wilder’s upcoming arrival and she has made me promise to let her babysit. I adore our friendship because I can say anything to her, and she is never shocked or judgmental. She also always makes me laugh, and always has champagne. A true winner in my book.
I have been staying physically active even as my energy levels have been decreasing. The subtle changes in the weather have been a great help and I have been incorporating more outdoor activities to my repertoire. Andy and I were driving up to City Park this past Monday to walk around and I got a speeding ticket. I would have tried to talk my way out of it, but I was most definitely guilty. It also didn’t help that the cop was really nice about the whole thing. He told me about Article 894 which is meant for first-time offenders but can be used on speeding tickets if you have no record of a ticket for the prior two years. After doing some research, though, I’m not sure if I want to use this code for a minor traffic violation since you can only use it once every five years for traffic misdemeanors and once every ten years for DUI. Not that I plan on getting into any other trouble, but I’m also not sure if I want to spend an entire day dealing with traffic court and the City Attorney. It seems much easier to just pay the fine online. I was frustrated with myself for getting the ticket, but then considering how often I do drive over the speed limit (not much over, really) I decided that it was probably about time for a reckoning. If only I had as much fervor in my exercise routine as I do my driving, I would probably be the healthiest pregnant woman this side of the Mason/Dixon.