Home Again

Protip: Don’t move while pregnant. Have I mentioned I’m pregnant? No? Because I haven’t been here in 4 months? Well I am. Due June 1 with little girl #2.

We are finally out of my parent’s house and into our new place. To say the move has been stressful would be an understatement. Everything took longer than it was supposed to and it seems like one problem after another keeps popping up, but at least we are here now. Moving is just so hard, and then add the hormonal craziness that is pregnancy and I am struggling. Oh and it doesn’t help that Evie and I both got the flu. So yeah pregnant, sick, moving, toddler with the flu, perfect storm.

The boxes are not unpacked. The closets are not organized. The spare bedroom (read: baby 2’s room) is stacked full of junk. The clutter is killing me right now. Everyone says don’t put too much pressure on yourself, it’ll get done, blah blah, but it just doesn’t feel that way right now. It feels like it’s never going to be done and it’s always just going to be a huge mess.

At this point during my pregnancy with Evie I was obsessing over crib sheets and dressers and chandeliers. At this point I barely have time to think about this poor baby. I really want to give her the time she needs. Focus on her and sing her songs and do everything I did with Evie. But it just feels impossible right now. I need to get back to prenatal yoga. I need to exercise more and eat better and just take better of myself in general but I feel like I am way too busy taking care of everything else right now. And the flu. My god this is the sickest I’ve been in a long time. It hurts.

I’m trying to get back to healthy by eating lots of green smoothies and giving myself the opportunity to rest when I need to, and I’m slowly getting there. But I have to say the stress of this month has knocked me on my ass.

The good news is we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere. Our little family is growing and we’ve got a new home to build a life in.

I want to write here more. As usual I really do. And I’m going to try to. I miss getting it all out into the wide world for anyone and no one to read. Say hi if you’re here.

In It

I am in it. This pregnancy. I am fully in it. Every day, every movement I make, she’s there. I can feel her. And it’s not just the tiny movements, the hiccups, kicks and punches and stretches. It’s so much more than that.

How can I explain what it’s like to be pregnant? It’s a little like being a walking science experiment. I’ve been thinking about updating here for so long, but I can’t find the words to describe it. I have immersed myself in the zillions of mommy blogs out there, and they all say something just a little different about this crazy thing that is pregnancy, and I just can’t get enough of it. I think my experience is just like everyone else’s, but also totally different. Makes sense right?

I’m 34 weeks and 1 day pregnant today. I can’t believe it but two months have passed since I’ve written here. I’ve been writing in my journal and thinking about starting another blog to be honest with you. Another nother blog. I know, I’ve done this one hundred times. But now all I’ve got is baby on my mind and that’s what I want to write about. So I may just keep doing it here, or I may start something new. We shall see. Honestly I feel like I can’t make up my mind about anything right now. They speak of pregnancy brain, and it is no lie.

What is pregnancy brain? I think it has to do with the fact that all of your blood is going to support the new life you are growing, so that means you aren’t getting enough blood to your brain. Meaning basically, I am getting stupider. I forget words. I can’t describe things. I can’t make decisions and I have melt downs about little things. I also have melt downs about big things. I run into people/the sink/the wall every single day. I don’t have a concept of what or whose body this is. I am afraid if I don’t read every single thing in the universe about breastfeeding I will be a FAILURE.

My life is no longer mine. It is this little girl’s. She owns me. I no longer make a decision without involving her.

I am not one of those miserable pregnant ladies who can’t do anything except lay around and complain. Sure, I have my days, but for the most part I’m good. I’m not one of those happy earth mama preggo ladies either. I’m just kind of in-between. I won’t lie and say I love being pregnant. I’m ready for this part to be over. I hate turning side to side all night long, and never feeling really comfortable when I’m sleeping. I miss things I used to be able to do, like bend over easily and go to my turbokick class. I get weirded out by the changes that are happening every day. But feeling her move and kick around inside me is pretty freaking awesome. Scary and weird, but awesome. I’m sure I’ll miss that part. The rest – meh. I think it might take some convincing for me to do this again anytime soon. Oh and the clothes. The people in the maternity clothing industry should be shot. Pretty much all of them.

For me, I can say this last part is going to be tough. I feel like I am just WAITING. That’s all I’m doing. Me – the girl who reads the end of the book first and always pre-opened her Christmas presents – I cannot stand to wait until this random day they’ve given me to meet this child. And who knows, it could even be AFTER that day that I get to meet her. I’ve got six weeks left, and I will be looking at the clock every single minute from now until I have this baby. It’s nice to at least have the doctor’s appointments to count down too, but still. How do people not die from the agony of waiting?

I know I have to steel myself and really prepare for the fact that she could be late, but man I just have this feeling she’ll be here early. I also had a feeling she was a boy, and she’s not. And I also thought she was head down, and she’s not, she’s breech. But she’s going to turn, I just know it, and she’s going to be early, I just know it. I need my brain back.

Arthritis During Pregnancy

So quite a few people have asked me how my arthritis is doing during my pregnancy, so I thought I’d go ahead and give an update here.Who knows, maybe some other poor preggo with arthritis will stumble on this blog and it’ll help her in some way or another.

Background info: I’ve had psoriasis on my hands and feet since I was about 19, so 11 years. When I was 28, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (warning: if you click on this link you will see a gross picture. And no I don’t have it that bad). Basically, about 20% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. It’s an immune system disorder and mimics rheumatoid arthritis, but is usually generalized to the hands and feet, and sometimes the spine. That’s a super brief synopsis of course, but you get the idea. It sucks.

When I was first diagnosed my toes were swollen up like sausages and I could hardly walk. I tried a couple of biologics, including Enbrel, and finally settled on Humira. Basically, I gave myself a shot once a week that acted as a TNF blocker, and it slowed the inflammation dramatically. I felt good on Humira. My toes weren’t swollen, things didn’t hurt, and I was pretty much able to forget I had arthritis (aside from sticking myself with a needle once a week).

When I decided to try to get pregnant, I stopped the Humira, knowing that it might cause some serious flare-ups, but not wanting to risk anything with the baby. Most of these drugs have been on the market for less than ten years, and they certainly haven’t been tested on pregnant women, so no one really knows what the effects might be.

Today I’m a little over 6 1/2 months pregnant (holy crap!), and I’ve been off of my meds for about 9 months. As the months have progressed, my symptoms have gotten worse and worse, but shockingly they aren’t as bad as I thought they would be. My doctor even told me that he thinks pregnancy has technically improved my symptoms, because if I went off the drugs without the counterbalance of the baby growing inside me and all the hormones that come with it, my symptoms would be much much worse.

That said, I don’t feel great every day. But I don’t feel terrible either. Most days I wake up and my feet ache and my fingers are swollen. No I’m not to the point where I can’t open a jar or button a button, but you know, it’s just something else to deal with. Pregnancy comes with a lot of aches and pains though, so I’m kind of just thinking of as another one of those. I also seem to have acquired plantar fasciitis in my left heel, in part due to this inflammation, according to my doc. In other part due to my “pretty shoes.” Whatever. They’re flats. I’m not wearing white sneakers to work. I’m just not doing it.

I guess what I’m more worried about is after I have this baby, and I don’t have all of these lovely hormones raging around inside me, but I still can’t go back on my meds because I’m breastfeeding. Then what? Do things get really bad? Do my toes bend and fuse? I don’t know. Hopefully not, but that remains to be seen. For now, I’m just counting down the days until I get to meet this little girl. And crossing my fingers I’m not passing this crappy immune system disorder on to her.



There’s this one scenario in my mind where everything is easy. Things are in place and moving along smoothly.

Then there’s this other scenario.

It’s called reality.

This past weekend was good really. There may have been a minor blowup about whether or not I was helpful in *Lowe’s, but aside from that, really fun.

*Short version:

Me: I was so being helpful!

John: You were the complete opposite of helpful! I will kill you.

Let’s just say we never really settled on a winner for that argument.

We did however, paint the nursery. And lament about how we’re spending too much money on everything but we’re powerless to stop it. Who knew a baby could be so expensive?

Everyone? Oh yeah I guess so.

I also got to the gym, got a massage, walked the dog a whole bunch, caught up on Thursday night TV, and got to see good friends. All in all a great weekend. Except for the Lowe’s part. I guess I feel fine about it though, because I’m pretty sure that at least one out of every two couples walking around Lowe’s or Home Depot is arguing about something or other.

Anyway, back to my scenarios. I do have these perfect scenarios of life in my mind, but it’s just not working that way somehow.

For instance, I want to write in this blog and have it be a place to chronicle my life and all my thoughts about the world. I can’t help but censor myself a little though, because I know the rents are reading. (Hi mom and dad – see, no F word anywhere in this post!)

I also want this not to become a mommy blog, but I’m kinda thinking it’s taking that turn. Sorry folks, that’s what’s going on in my life. I wish I could take beautiful photos of salted chocolate brownies, but I am too busy reading weird birthing stories from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.

I want to be one of those active pregnant ladies, the ones who are still going to kickboxing and running 10ks and what not, but it turns out that I need a giant sandwich after just 30 minutes on the elliptical, so that’s just going to have to do for now.

I want to not get annoyed at that person at work who is doing that thing that I’m not going to talk about, but man it is annoying me.

I want not to be cryptic but I am.

I want to read the New Yorker like I used to and be informed about my world and not just worry about what vanity will look good in our tiny bathroom.

I want a margarita. A big giant margarita. A good one too, no sweet and sour. All lime juice and salt and tequila.

Oh did this just turn into a list about all the things I want? I guess I could go on and on.

It’s fine though, it is it’s all good. I think thinking about all of the things I want to do really makes me a better person. It makes me strive to do better. Be better. Wanting a margarita makes you a better person right?


The other day I went to pre-natal yoga and the instructor asked us to describe our pregnancy in two words. I could only think of one.


I mean of course there are a million words I could use – you know the usual, miraculous and amazing and unreal, and then also the other side of the coin, the anxious and scared outta my mind (yes I know that’s more than one word) and worried and all of that.

But really, aren’t those all of the things that pregnancy is about? Oh and I guess I forgot food and tired and peeing all the time. Those things too.

Yeah those things, but busy is it really. This pregnancy has become a big part of my life, and prepping for this baby, both physically and mentally, is taking every single brain cell I have.

My mind is constantly whirring, constantly busy. I feel like I never have time to just stop and stay with my thoughts, to just let my mind relax.

For one thing there’s work, and work is wow. My job is amazing right now, I just passed my one year anniversary, and I’m loving it. But it is a BEAST.

My task list is a mile long, and every day something new and unexpected pops up. And yes, I still wake up in the middle of the night worrying about whether or not I sent a stupid email. Honestly I’m a little concerned about how I’m going to let all of this go when I go on maternity leave, but something tells me I’m going to be slightly preoccupied so in all likelihood it will all just disappear. But you know, I guarantee I’ll still be checking in on the Facebook page and reading the media coverage. I just can’t turn that off.

So there’s always work, but now there are so many other things. I am obsessed with designing the nursery. Well obsessed with thinking about it anyway. I haven’t actually done much more than purchase a crib, but it is taking over my mind. There are so many adorable design blogs out there to make a future mom feel inadequate. Lay Baby Lay is my favorite right now. So cute. I wish she could just come design my nursery for me.

Not to mention my mind is constantly busy with the whole labor thing. It hurts real bad. Real real bad. Oh god. Scary scared.

And what to name this child once she’s here anyway? And cloth diapers or regular? A bouncy seat or a swing? A baby carrier? The sling kind or the backpack kind? And what kind of baby shampoo? And stroller? And carseat? And I need to pick a pediatrician. And I don’t think I’m stretching enough. And I think I forgot my vitamins today. And And And.

There is Just. So. Much. It’s all so overwhelming.

So yeah, I feel busy. And I’m kind scared this isn’t going to go away.

The Girl

So, I’m having a little girl. We found out on Friday at our big halfway mark ultrasound/anatomy scan appointment. And I honestly couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I’m excited in a way that I wasn’t sure could happen. I am going to have a baby girl. A little baby girl with arms and legs and it’s all there! She’s healthy and she has all her parts!

It’s such a relief – I can’t tell you the pressure I feel as a pregnant woman. Do you know I am in charge of growing this life and if it gets messed up, I am to blame? I mean I know realistically that is probably definitely almost never the case, but god it sure does feel like it sometimes. It is so much pressure. So much. And to go to that ultrasound, and see the arms and legs and everything there and then on top of that to see the tech write “girl parts” on a picture which, frankly, looks like a whole lot of nothing to me, well it is just such a relief.

I had myself totally convinced I was having a boy, and I almost think it was because I was so secretly wanting a little girl. I mean don’t get me wrong, I would love a little boy, love him to death I’m sure, but I think I just really wanted a girl all along. Maybe it’s because I grew up with sisters, and I’m a girl, and I just don’t know anything different. Maybe it’s because I want her to be my BFF and love me and tell me all her secrets and I’m not sure a boy would ever do that. Who knows. Whatever it is, the idea of having little hairbrushes and tiny dresses and little tights just gives me a thrill.

Which is hilarious I’m sure, especially to my mom, who has told me multiple times that if my daughter is anything like I was growing up, I am in for it. I hated little hairbrushes and tiny dresses and tights. I wore baggy men’s pants I got from the thrift store and put my hair in little buns and blasted Bad Religion all day long. I was not a cutesy little girl.

And really, I don’t anticipate my daughter will be like that either, but it’ll be fun to see. I can’t wait to see what she can do. I’m imagining of course she’ll be incredibly intelligent, because isn’t that what all parents expect from their children? Of course she’ll be the first female president, bladdy bladdy blah. But maybe she will be or maybe she’ll be a badass roller derby chick. That would be cool too.

I really want to be a good parent – I don’t want my daughter to ever feel limited or constricted or have issues about who she is, how smart she is or how she looks. I have enough of those for both of us, and I absolutely do not want to pass those down to her. There’s so much more to worry about there, but right now I’m trying to push those thoughts out of my head. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I have a little baby girl happening right inside of me, and she wants me to bake cookies. She told me.

And who knows, there’s a slight possibility that this is a baby boy kicking me in the bladder right now, he was just hiding his parts when we had that ultrasound. And if that turns out to be the case, that’s okay too. He can still be president or you know, whatever he wants to be.

I sound totally ready to be a parent, right?

On Becoming a Mom

I’ve written here plenty of times about my struggle with identity. Who I am. What I’m doing here. Why my life is the way it is.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m happy.

Incredibly happy. In fact, my life, on paper, is damn near perfect. And my reality is pretty great too. But you know, there I am, inside my own head all of the time, and I get confused.

I’m going to be a mom.

I’m pregnant, and I have a little baby inside of me and John is going to be a dad and we are going to be a family. And I am overjoyed. Honestly I am so so excited. I wanted this so so much and and I am thrilled that it is happening for us.

But I am also terrified. Scared shitless.

First, there’s the fact that I’ve got to be the one to grow this child inside of me, and make sure he’s healthy and gets enough folic acid and eats vegetables and not Sour Patch kids all day long. I’ve got to be the one to make sure he is well. I mean really well. Really alive and well and healthy. It’s all about me.

Then there’s the fact that when he’s born, I still have to do that but now he’s on the outside. In the world with me. I have a whole other person besides me that I have to feed and bathe and soothe and LOVE. And oh I will. I know I will love, I already know a love I never thought I could have ever known. And he’s not even any bigger than a “large shrimp.” Thank you, The Bump for that stunning visual. I prefer the fruit metaphors.

And it’s all so exciting and scary and wonderful but it’s already just so confusing. Being a mom, being a parent, I don’t think I’ve really ever understood the magnitude of what that means. And what it’s going to mean to me, specifically, me Jeni, who is constantly wondering about whether or not I’ve chosen the right path and what it all means and how do I change the world or just my life and is it even worth it?

I think being a parent is going to make it worth it. Being a family is going to make it worth it.

But then, you know, comes the question. What happens when you become a mom and then you’re just a mom? People say that doesn’t happen anymore, but there’s judgment. No matter what my choices are, I know there will be judgment.

Even in pregnancy, there’s the judgment. Coffee? Yes. Sushi? Maybe. Soft cheeses? Umm yeah. Heart rate above 140 beats per minute? Yup. Snowboarding. No.

I make my choices, every day, and I am the one who has to live inside my own head. And I am the one who is scared to death.

But I am also the one who gets to do this. Who gets to have this baby and be a mom and a family and know this stunning love.

It’s okay that I don’t know who I am every day. It’s okay that I am scared and confused and feeling ALL THESE FEELINGS. Because I’m pregnant and I get to. I’m having a baby, and I’m going to be a mom. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the best thing in the world.