Posted by: mindyourknitting | November 28, 2010


I have recently passed somewhat of a milestone in this pregnancy – I made it beyond 32 weeks and 3 days.  That’s the day Abigail was born, and I’m now 33 weeks and a few days and feeling a bit weird (but relieved) about it.  This benchmark loomed so large in my mind that part of me really didn’t think I would ever get here.  I’m now in uncharted territory pregnancy-wise – this is the eight weeks of pregnancy I never went through with Abigail because I landed in the hospital when I experienced pre-term premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) at exactly 32 weeks, and she made her debut three days later.  There is no sign that this little boy is going anywhere soon, and while that has been an enormous relief to me, I was still stuck on this point in pregnancy as an almost “end date”, with all points afterward being kind of a question mark. This probably explains why I’ve put such a push on during the last few weeks to get Abigail’s room ready and switch her to her big girl bed (a process that is still kind of suh-huh-hucking, but getting better every day), and to get the baby’s room ready, as well as buy anything we need for a newborn (not quite there yet).  But I’m not the only one indulging in the crazy around here – Erik started bugging me to pack a hospital bag about three weeks ago.  In his defence, when we went to the hospital for Abigail I had nothing with me but my purse, and he not only had to go home and pack a bag for me but also did a detour to the maternity store to buy me underwear.  I’m sure he remembers it fondly.   So we’re getting the house and ourselves ready much earlier than we did for Abigail, which at a minimum will buy us both some peace of mind. 

And speaking of milestones, there is one other I got to experience this pregnancy that I missed out on the last time – a baby shower.  My best friend (around these parts known as Labcoat Loser) hosted a surprise shower for me in September, and I was enormously touched by the thought and effort that she and my friends and family put into it.  I had no idea, so I was shocked to tears when I arrived at her house under false auspices to find everyone waiting.   And I was also a little frightened by what a skilled bunch of liars they all are, since they totally kept it from me.  Part of the reason for the surprise was that my friend was afraid that if she asked me if I wanted a shower for this baby I would have said it was unnecessary and a shower for a second baby is a lot to expect from people since my first one, judging from the pictures and gifts, was lovely.  So they didn’t tell me and planned one anyway.  And I was thrilled that they did.

The baby shower that was planned for Abigail took place while I was in the hospital, and I have always been a bit sad that I didn’t get to celebrate her pregnancy in that way.  I’m a big fan of rituals and traditions, and although I got to open the presents for her when I came home from the hospital, not being at the actual event and spending time with everyone made me sad.  I was even looking forward to the silly games.  So I can’t overstate how wonderful it was to have that afternoon in September to celebrate this new pregnancy.  And I had to eat my words about boy clothing not being as cute as girl clothing – most of the gifts were adorable little baby boy clothes, and it completely won me over to all things tiny and blue. 

The baby shower also reminded me of how lucky I am to have the women in my life that I do; as I was thinking about the effort that my friends and family went to for this shower, I was reminded of the quote below, which I read ages ago:

“…talking about everything that is mundane and fundamental about being a new parent.  That kind of interaction is nourishment for women.  We share our life stories, whether elaborately or in tiny snippets, with strangers in doctors’ waiting rooms, in grocery-store checkout lines, at the kitchen tables of our nearest friends – in the hopes of finding a link, some understanding, and, sometimes, help.  I rely on that rapport with women….”  Chateleine, May 2009

I’ve always relied on that rapport with the women in my life, but since becoming a mother it has been that much more true that sharing stories, good and bad, with strangers and close friends has been a way to learn, to commiserate, to identify, to figure out what it is to be a mom (and wow are there are a legion of answers to that question!).  But it goes beyond that – I’ve always been lucky to have amazing women in my life, and my close friends are the ones that have stood up and been there for me, and for whom I would do anything.   I struggle more now to keep in touch with my friends than I used to, probably because everyone’s lives are more complicated, more grown up, more filled with responsibility … but most of us do put in the effort and make the time to stay in contact and see each other as often as we can, even if that’s not as often as we’d like.   Since I had my daughter some friends have drifted away, those who aren’t interested in what my life is now, or assume that since I moved to the suburbs I might as well have moved to the moon, but others have circled closer, and new friends have been made, drawn by shared experiences, and, if we’re honest, shared inexperience.  I’ve written before about the amazing support we received from friends and family following the birth of Abigail, and the support I’ve always felt from my closest friends multiplied in those stressful days.  In easy times and hard they are there, and I am incredibly grateful.

 I look around at the friends I have – the friends I am ridiculously, blessedly lucky and happy to have – and know that things worked out exactly the way they were supposed to.  So yeah I guess this is a big smoochie love letter to my friends past and present.  You are the best bunch of people I know.

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