Tag Archives: birth

Befrazzled

I’m working on two grant applications for work and I’ve nominated myself (I know, how ostentatious of me) for the Lambda Literary Foundation’s emerging writer award, the application for which is due by March 7. I’ve already applied for two writing grants, am looking at three submission deadlines at the end of the month for short work, and submitted two other pieces for consideration in anthologies. Meanwhile Susanne and I have cobbled together the new baby’s nursery, hesitatingly accepted an invitation to a baby shower, and put together various things for our second kid. Her physician tells us that the baby could come at any time, even though we’re two weeks away from the due date. We have a backup plan in case labor begins before her mother flies into town. I’m trying to get my office ready for my short absence, and manage to keep a semblance of a writing schedule up until the rush to the hospital. And oh, my debut novel is due to be released in a little more than a week.

I’m not sleeping through the night anymore. Please don’t worry for me. It makes perfect sense, after all. There’s a lot going on. (See: preceding paragraph.) I’m no longer the French vaudeville guy spinning plates on sticks in front of a hostile audience. I’m spinning plates and juggling fire-torches at the same time. Or something. Forget it, it’s a sucky metaphor. In my 90 minutes of insomnia a night I play a little sudoku, read twenty pages of a novel, and roll over like a hot dog at 7Eleven. Once or twice I’ve groped my way out of bed to try to write a little and I wind up deleting the disaster the next day. I remember going to an exhibit in DC several years ago about women artist and insomnia, and there was this one wall—seriously, the whole gallery wall—that was a series of pen points that created a behemoth picture. I can’t even recall what the picture was. It could have been pugs dancing in tutus for all I know. The thing that stuck with me was the three gazillion dots on the wall. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. It was intricate, and mad, and just under the threshold of out-of-control.

My insomnia is nothing like that. It’s not tortured or angsty. It doesn’t feel like the edge of a precipice so much as it feels like I’m about to emerge out of a long tunnel that is curved just enough to keep from letting any light reach my retinas. It’s traveling through a space just dark enough to inspire or frighten one’s trust. So far I’ve got that trust, layered with excitement. I’m thrilled for the family to grow. I’m stressing over the external sleeplessness I know comes with round-the-clock feedings. I wasn’t worried when Susanne was laboring to bring Emile into the world that she’d be unable to walk for more than a month, but now I am. Knowledge is maybe not always power.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy, I’m fulfilled, I’m chocked up with anticipation, and the kinetic energy I contain on a daily basis this month is too much for my brain to get me to a decent sleep level. And so, I look forward to her labor, to my moment of giving her my best support, and the time when they lay a little body on her chest and she falls instantly in love with her newest child. I just have to get a ton of shit done before then, because there’s no way I’ll care about it afterward.

It’s Week 22 and I Haven’t Blogged About the Next Offspring

pacifiers with skulls and crossbonesLet me just come right out and say a couple of things: I love you, unborn second child. I know we often refer to you as a parasitic fetus, but we did that during the first pregnancy too, and look, we’re really super nice to Emile, so it is totally not a sign that we’re unexcited about you. But for my second point, I have to say, I’m sorry. I should have plastered your photos from the ultrasounds all over the Internet by now, and I haven’t. I should have written at least nine blog posts wondering what kind of person you’re going to be someday, and here we are, more than halfway through the gestation process, and here is blog post number one.

In my defense, little fetus, I’ve got a lot more confidence this time around, and if you look at the litany of blogging I did before Emile was born, a lot of the content was really about my insecurity. I wasn’t even sure before Emile if I could effectively swaddle a newborn. Boy was that a non-event!

Also, Emile took a lot of doing and a series of rejiggered logistics to get conceived. We racked up the fertility visits, invoices, sperm donors, and awkward conversations with medical personnel in the 18 months it took us from getting started to getting knocked up. You got all zygotey on attempt number one! You didn’t give me any time to sweat about it, fetus. Where’s the drama in getting what you want when you want it? That’s not going to get a lot of blog attention, you know? Read More…

She’s Having a Baby…on TV

Another in a series of posts by guest bloggers, today’s is from Kirthana Ramisetti, a.k.a. the force behind Pop Scribblings on Twitter. I had the good fortune to work with her over at I Fry Mine in Butter, and I highly recommend reading anything she has to say about television. Thanks, Kirthana!

It’s hard to do a “very special episode” of a character giving birth without devolving into eyerolling cliches. But once in awhile there are some memorable ones, and in honor the arrival of Emile Dean Maroon Beechey and his parents, here are some of TV’s best baby episodes.

The Cosby Show: I always appreciate when a TV show lets its pregnant character give birth in a hospital rather than come up with a contrivance that forces the poor woman to give birth somewhere ridiculous like a broken elevator or an airplane. The Cosby Show only allows one slight cliche when Sandra and Elvin surprise their families with the news of twins (“It’s a boy!” “Awww!” “And a girl!” “What?”).

But the nice thing about letting Sandra give birth in a normal way is that the focus of the episode was on the family moments, as Cliff and Clair react to being grandparents for the first time. The best part of the show was Cliff and Sandra’s sweet and funny conversation about becoming a parent. Sandra telling Cliff “I just want to say how much I’ve loved having you as a father” is genuinely touching, as is Cliff’s response: “Good parents are made by good children.”

(the scene begins at the 2:54 mark)

Eleventh Hour Baby Preparation

baby swing snug-a-bunnySo many people liken a new arrival to a life-changing event that as a Jersey boy through and through, I plan like a hurricane is approaching. Thus I’ve gotten down to battening the hatches here. Come to think of it, though, I don’t have a lot of experience on ships, so I’m not sure why I think I know anything about hatches per se. The point is, we’re prepping with the idea that soon, preparation ends and the next chapter begins. All signs point to an early delivery for us, due dates and calendar slide tools aside. I am at DEFCON 3. Read More…

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