Friends & Family

My First Second Pregnancy

Back when I thought the second time would be easier.
Back when I thought the second time would be easier.


When I got pregnant nine-ish months ago, I knew almost immediately. I began feeling those early pregnancy symptoms (the ones I looked up on the internet a thousand times when trying for my son) within three days of conception. This, medically, is not supposed to be possible, though with a little more Googling, I found many moms on the mommy boards who reported the same thing (maybe we got knocked up earlier than we think we did, maybe we’re psychic, maybe the doctors don’t know what they’re talking about–hmm). Everything seemed to come earlier–the nausea, the belly, the waddling. Of course they did! It was my second pregnancy! MY BODY HAD DONE THIS BEFORE. It knew what it was doing. Unfortunately, despite the fact that my body knows a lot more about what it’s doing this time, I do not.

People will tell you that you feel a second pregnancy earlier because you’re more attuned to what to look for. Mistaking gas bubbles for baby kicks? Not this time. You’re smarter this time. You can more accurately differentiate these things. Be confident. You know what you’re doing. Continue reading “My First Second Pregnancy”

Reading & Writing

My MFA in Fiction (in 1600 words)

I had one real goal when I decided to get my MFA in fiction: to meet other writers. I knew that, in time (and with a lot of practice), I could most likely polish my work to publishable on my own. There are lots of books on crafts, lots of beautiful work from which to take inspiration, and I was in the position to spend a lot of time at my computer. The problem was, my main feedback was from my mother. My husband read my work but he never criticized, only praised. I needed some more expert, or at least informed, opinions. I also needed to talk about writing. I needed to talk about books, and get recommendations from something other than Goodreads. This was worth enough to me that, to complete my degree, I split my time between two towns, an hour and a half apart, living in two different apartments, driving on country roads in all kinds of weather.

The problem is, I’m not very good with people. I don’t always understand social norms and large groups sap my energy. Also, my imagination sometimes betrays me. When I imagined the group of writers I’d be at school with, I thought of hunched and surly introverts, people who’d seen the glow of their computer screens far more than they’d seen the sun, people who lived more inside their minds than in the real world. Not that I exactly fit that description, myself. But I didn’t expect a group of fun-loving extroverts. At the very least, I didn’t expect them to throw a Welcome-to-Grad-School barbecue at a lake.

I went, but I was terrified. Continue reading “My MFA in Fiction (in 1600 words)”

Friends & Family

The Countdown

Baby Number Two

My baby is due in twenty-nine days. That means:

I am the size of a manatee and keep getting bigger.

My son is doing all he can to take advantage of me as I waddle around with a child’s feet wedged into my lungs, too tired to take away the granola bar he just stole off the counter or find an alternate activity when he wants to watch yet another episode of Daniel Tiger.

My dog runs through my house with muddy feet every time she comes inside because I can’t catch her to wipe them down.

My husband is getting yelled at almost every day.

All I want to do is eat but everything I eat gives me heartburn. Even water.

Every day I wish the baby would just come already, and then I feel guilty for wishing that because she needs every moment she can get in utero until her due date.

I’m getting ahead on Christmas shopping because I’ll have a newborn for a huge chunk of the holiday season.

I have no problem with businesses decorating early this year, because I figure I’ll probably miss most of the festivities.

Then I feel sorry for myself because being so pregnant means I won’t get to travel for Thanksgiving and no one is coming here, plus I’ll be bleeding and achy and leaking milk through Christmastime, and my son hates Halloween so I missed that, too.

Then I watch Christmas specials though it’s November and my son protests the whole time unless there’s a dog or a truck on the screen.

And, of course, I feel guilty because those partially watched Christmas specials still count as screen time and I’m turning my kid into a TV addict.

In fact, he’s watching me type this and that counts as screen time, too.

So he’s going to grow up to be not a doctor or lawyer or teddy bear salesman, but a zombie.

So I do my best to get him out of the house and active and having fun in the real world, even if it’s raining, even if I feel like a giant slug.

So I cried this morning because I couldn’t get my son’s boots on but he remained calm and we got it done.

So, I am now officially less reasonable than a two-year-old.