Holy shit we’re having a baby verrrry soon. Everything is starting to feel surreal. How did we get here already? Where did the weeks go? An actual tiny human is coming to live with us??? Will we know what to do? I’m going to be somebody’s mother?? My focus has shifted from the pregnancy to the actual baby arriving in 6 weeks time (more or less). I am convinced he’s coming a little early though. I know…I know…probably first time mom wishful thinking…but seriously…I think he’s coming around week 38. My doctor has noticed signs he might come early as well. Considering I am 34 weeks pregnant and the baby isn’t considered full term until week 37 my doctor told me to once again cut back on activity (you’d think I was running marathons over here) so he safely makes it to 37 weeks. With all this talk he might come early….he will probably screw with me and show up in June instead. He’s just keeping me on my toes.
Cutting back on activity and staying off my feet for extended periods of time has been hard on me. I am not one who enjoys being immobile- I miss my long walks with Frank desperately! I think it’s safe to say Frank misses them too. He’s been grumpy. My poor little fur baby- I am so aware of his feelings right now. His days as an only child are limited. My nesting instinct has been in full effect as well. I feel the need to finish everything around the house. His room is still a total mess- boxes of baby stuff piled everywhere. We (Brian) has to put his bassinet together. We (Brian) has to put his dresser together. I still have to wash all his clothes and pack our hospital bags. It’s all making me feel a bit unsettled. At least we have the car seat in the car! I know it will all get finished and everything will be fine but the nesting urge is strong and making me feel a bit nutty.
I’m feeling…HUGE (like seriously this bump is massive. I’m not sure how it is possible for it to get any bigger???) and I feel uncomfortable all the time. I feel so much pressure (hey, at least his head is down and ready to go!) that I’ve taken to waddling around when I am on my feet. My lower back aches. I feel short of breath when I walk across the room. Actually, come to think of it I feel short of breath pretty much all the time. It’s driving me insane. I’ve just about given up on sleep. Tired is the new normal.
food loves…I wouldn’t say there is anything I’m loving right now. As I near the end I am trying to be more mindful of what I eat. I mean I can’t eat pasta all day everyday- especially if I am going to be moving less and less. I’ve been trying to eat smaller cleaner meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. I never feel good after a big meal anyways. I think my stomach is too squished.
daydreaming about…looking into my sons eyes for the first time. Seeing Brian hold him for the first time. Having our loved ones meet him for the first time. So many firsts!! They all get me so excited!!!
can’t wait to…be his mom. Although, I guess I already am. He doesn’t need to be in the outside world for this to begin. But you know what I mean.
least favorite parts of pregnancy this month…Ummmmm. A lot. See above.
favorite parts of pregnancy this month…It’s coming to a close! HA. No seriously the fact that it is coming to a close brings me great joy. Not only am I ready for pregnancy to be over I am SOOOOOO damn excited to meet this little creature. My son!!! I get to meet me son soon! Ready to start the next phase of this journey.
What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?
Follow your bliss. I was too caught up in making money and following a path to securing an executive position in the fashion/publishing industry. Money isn’t everything and if you are doing something you love then the money will come.
What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?
Enjoying life, being young and free. Don’t get me wrong, my 20’s were a wild ride but I was so focused on my career that I wasn’t being true to myself. I moved to NYC from San Francisco when I was 22 years old, landed a job at Jane magazine doing marketing and events and was determined to become a power player.
What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?
I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself after I dropped out of college. I was worried I’d never find a job because I didn’t have a college degree and was nervous about entering the workforce. Thankfully, my Dad constantly reminded me that many successful people never finished college or even high school and went on to do great things.
Favorite memory from your 20’s?
Hands down moving to NYC. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I really grew up and became who I am today because of it. I recently moved to LA after being there for the past 15 years, which is the longest place I’ve ever lived. Now that I’ve been in LA for almost a year now, I realized I’m more of a New Yorker than I thought and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?
I thought I would be married with two, maybe three children. Living in NYC and having a house by the beach.
And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?
I was not married but in a long-term relationship living in NYC. Traveling a lot both professionally and personally.
I took the leap of faith and started consulting after having a pretty successful career working at various magazines and fashion brands. I was really proud of what I had accomplished up until that point. I worked on some incredible high-profile projects and met some amazing people along the way. To this day, a majority of them are now dear friends.
Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?
Yes, all the time! I still worry about that now even being 38 years young. I see myself as a work in progress and I always want to challenge myself to do more. Life is a beautiful gift and I never want take it for granted.
What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?
Discovering the value of self-love. Sure I “liked” myself enough but didn’t realize the importance of loving myself until my long-term relationship ended. I went to Rome by myself after the break-up to have my own Eat, Pray, Love experience and not only did I eat and pray A LOT but I realized how vital it is to love and nurture yourself. This was something I had neglected for so many years.
When you look out onto the horizon what do you hope your life looks like at 40?
Being happy and at peace with where I’m at in my life. I hope to have children, travel the globe and give back in some way.
What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?
Follow your bliss. This is my mantra and my daily reminder to push myself to always do more.
photograph by Luisa Brimble
Spring has officially arrived! Granted this means less when you live in sunny southern California (most winter days felt like spring around these parts) but it does signify a rebirth and renewal no matter where you live. The earth reawakens from her slumber, and explodes with new life. In our own lives, spring can be symbolic of starting new projects, sewing new seeds and coming forth with new ideas. I love the new energy spring brings. I also love that our sweet little boy will be arriving this spring season. He will most definitely be the best thing I have ever hatched in spring!
I had lots of plans yesterday to celebrate the Spring Equinox ( the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north) but I instead had to go with how my body felt and take it easy. At 31 weeks pregnant it seems to be the new normal around here. But that didn’t stop me from thinking (from my couch) about how certain aspects of spring can be incorporated into our daily lives.
The earth starting to green up represents renewal: clear out the old to make space for the new.
It’s Spring cleaning time! To be honest I have been in spring cleaning mode for the last two months. I think it has something to do with the fact there’s a baby on its way. I’ve been obsessed with cleaning out closets and drawers and saying goodbye to things we don’t need or use. I want the house to feel open rather than cluttered. Brian is not a fan of such activities- that boy loves holding onto things we “might” need one day. But I believe- if you haven’t used it in the past year, let it go. LET IT GO! Holding on to your old “material stuff” is also a representation of holding on to your old “emotional stuff” in my opinion. We still have a few areas to tackle before I will feel like the job is done but we are almost there.
I also believe that this is the perfect time of year to sage one’s home. Have you ever tried it? I wrote a post about it a while ago that explains the process if you’re interested.
The equal hours of day and night represent balance: a balanced life is a healthy life. Where can you find more balance in your life? I’ve personally realized that I need to find more balance in my work/play life. The last few months have been all about play, downtime and relaxation. Makes sense considering I’ve been growing a human and haven’t been working. I’m not going to lie, it’s been enjoyable but I am starting to feel unbalanced! There are only so many yoga classes one can go to and movies one can see before they start to go crazy. I’m craving order and structure. I miss working and focusing my energy on creative projects. While I know it’s probably not the right time to throw myself fully into work. I have been thinking about how I can find more balance in the day so that part of me still feels alive and well even with impending motherhood.
I find that the start of a new season is a good time to give thanks for all the joys, gifts and lessons that the last season brought. What did winter bring you this year? Give thanks for what you have and trust the Universe to continue to bring you more of what will serve your highest good.
What are your thoughts on the spring season?
“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” – Gary Zukav
Monthly pregnancy update – March / seven months
I’m a few weeks late in posting my seven month update. Remember when I said I would be posting more regularly because I am not working for many months while pregnant? Yeah, I’m not quite sure what happened to that plan either. I wish I could say it was due to the fact that I am incredibly busy…but no…my days are mellow. I’ve just had a hard time motivating. My energy level is low so I’ve been allowing myself to just “be”. Letting my to-do list become a list of suggestions rather than a list of musts. This can be hard for a doer like me! Pregnancy has definitely taught me how to slow down. It’s actually forced me to. I’m surrendering.
I’m writing this post from a hotel bed in San Francisco with a latte in hand (yes, I have one cup of regular coffee a day…my OB said it was ok!). I tagged along with Brian on a work trip for a few days. He will be in meetings non-stop but I figured it would be fun to poke around the city by myself for a few days. Although, it’s rainy and windy outside right now making bed and room service sound pretty appealing too. At 7 1/2 months pregnant I also kind of hate to sleep alone right now. This coming from a girl who used to love having the house to herself for a few days. But pregnancy has changed that. It’s not like I am worried I am going to go into labor or anything- I just feel more settled when Brian’s around.
The last month has been filled with growth- yes, I am referring to my belly. Well, let’s be honest…my growth everywhere. I seem to have become very pregnant in the last few weeks. I don’t understand how I can possibly have 10 more weeks of growing to do?!!? Is he a giant or something?? This belly is getting crazy. In the last week alone many strangers have asked when I am due and when I say May they are shocked. I mean where do you go from there, right? It makes for a very awkward encounter.
I’m feeling…HUGE- this belly is getting heavy. Lots of movement- he’s a strong little guy who likes work out all day!
food loves…it would still be fruit but my doc has made me cut back. I have slightly elevated amniotic fluid which is sometimes caused by an excess of sugar and carbs. I’ve also become anemic so my doc has told me to up my protein intake. Which has been hard because meat and fish haven’t been at the top of my list of cravings.
daydreaming about…him. I think about him all the time. I just can’t wait to hold him and peer into his eyes for the first time. I literally get teary when I think about it.
can’t wait to…become a family of four (yes, Frank counts)
least favorite parts of pregnancy this month…the lack of sleep. People keep saying…get your sleep now before the baby arrives and I want to scream…I’m trying!! It’s just impossible to get comfortable at night.
favorite parts of pregnancy this month…feeling him move is still my favorite part of pregnancy. Sometimes I’ll forget I’m pregnant (although, that’s getting harder to do these days) and BAM he will sucker punch me and I am immediately reminded I am not alone. It’s just so damn magical to have a little human growing inside you! Yes, even when it hurts a bit.
I already love you so much little one.
“Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” – Carrie Fisher
I was in the mood for something recently. By something I was thinking maybe a physic reading. I was not thinking…a session with a shaman. I’m not even sure what I was seeking at the time but I was feeling open to some guidance. The past year has been filled with so many transitions- it feels like my soul has been on a wild ride and with motherhood around the corner I don’t see the ride coming to an end anytime soon. I’ve been feeling so much energy surging through my body- negative energy that I’ve been trying to shed and positive energy that I’ve been trying to embrace. It was making me feel scattered.
I was in the process of compiling a list of physic referrals (yes, this is possible when you live in Los Angeles) when one friend instead recommended a shaman. A shaman? Now that’s one I have never been to before, I thought. My interest was immediately peaked. I asked her what she got from her session and she could only describe it as…a clearer vision. She said it was hard to put the experience into words. Even with little to go on something about it seemed…right. So I took the shaman’s contact information. It actually took me a few months to reach out to her. I think I was a bit intimidated by the word “shaman”. What little I did know about them, I’ve learned from the movies. Did you ever see the Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts movie, “While We’re Young”? There’s a hysterical scene in which they attend a ayahuasca ceremony in a shaman’s home. Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic brew from the Amazon that people drink in the hopes it will bring them personal insights through optic and auditory hallucinations. While that does sound like it could be quite an interesting experience, that is most definitely not what I am currently seeking. Can you understand my hesitation now?
In search of more information I googled…”what is a shaman”?…good ol’ wikipedia had this for me…
A shaman is a person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.
Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman also enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment.
Feeling safer with this new information I decided to reach out to the shaman. I was surprised to find myself on the phone with a woman named Samantha. Don’t lie…you were expecting some elaborate “shaman name” like Angakok or Sheripiari too, right? We had a great conversation and I loved her energy over the phone so I decided to move forward with booking a session. Before hanging up she said to keep a lookout for an email that would have notes on how to prepare for our session. A few hours later I received these…
1) What help or healing do you want in your life at this time? Tell me briefly what is most important when we meet. When we meet be prepared to share a brief spoken life review of main facts and key events – no more than 15-20 minutes.
2) Please no alcohol or recreational drugs for at least 24 hrs. before/after our session, preferably more. Prescription meds or supplements are fine, but please advise if you take meds such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety or anti-psychotics. For balanced blood sugar, please eat before session.
3) Several nights before meeting, ask for help or healing information in your dreams re: our work together. If anything comes, make note of it and tell me. Sometimes other recent dreams may be helpful.
4) Bring a small gift to thank the spirits.
The perfectionist in me immediately focused on “bring a small gift to thank the spirits” and felt anxiety. What the hell do I bring a spirit as a gift? I have a hard enough time finding a gift for Brian for Christmas. If the spirits don’t like my gift will they send me bad mojo? What stores do spirits like to shop? Do I wrap this small gift? After days of intense thought about what to get the spirits I settled on a tiny gold elephant with its trunk in the air (a sign of prosperity). I still don’t know if it was well received by the spirits and yes I still wonder.
The morning of my session I made sure to follow directions and eat breakfast (although, at six months pregnant I’ll admit I don’t skip many meals) and packed my bag with my life review notes and my gift for the spirits. Our session was held in a yurt nestled in the Topanga Canyon mountains. For those of you who have never been to Topanga Canyon, it really is a world unto itself. You don’t even feel like you are in Los Angeles and I think the people who live there like it that way. I asked Samantha how often she makes it down the mountain and she answered, “As little as possible”. The yurt was adorned with ethnic rugs, bright artwork & a table full of crystals and feathers. It felt so magical in there- I wanted to spend an afternoon reading or writing in it. I went into the session with an open mind. I decided to be fearlessly honest about my “stuff”. Luckily, she is a very easy person to open up to. You feel zero judgment from her. Truth is she really didn’t want to get into the details. She reminded me that she’s not a therapist. The broad strokes were all she needed. After probably 1/2 an hour or so of talking she asked me to lie down on the couch. She covered me in a warm blanket, put a pillow under my head and covered my eyes with a cloth. She then led me through a meditation which was followed by chanting, rain makers, bird noises, her soft touch on my head and the feeling of her breath on my throat. This went on for at least an hour. I felt like I was shedding layers in the process- that’s the only way I can describe it. I felt lighter and lighter as our time together passed. There was an understanding that everything was and is in its perfect order. Gratitude washed over me. A calmness. A sense of peace and acceptance. A few tears ran down my face. When she chanted the baby would move so I put my hand on my belly. I think he was a fan. When it was all said and done she swept me down with an eagle feather. Almost as if she was dusting away the “bad” stuff. I didn’t ask a single question about what any of it meant or was supposed to mean. It didn’t matter. I felt light.
After the session she shared with me that my spirit animal- a wolf- showed up. A wolf! Don’t think I don’t have tons of photographs of wolves around my house now- kidding. But I do have a new love affair with all things wolf.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin