Monthly Review: January

Here is my monthly review for January. If you want to read December’s, check it out here.

Meta-note: I am actually thinking about stopping weekly updates and monthly reviews. I’ve done them for over a year and they fit a certain sort of linear structure that I’m not sure will fit nicely into my life in the next few months. My January review is here, but definitely considering leaving some flexibility in the next few months for what forms of blogging are working for me.

1) What went well this month?

  • Enforcing boundaries. So, I often think our cultural narrative around enforcing boundaries is a bit played out, but in January I basically did not GAF re anything someone else wanted me to do. Unlike my usual self, I bailed on all sorts of plans and I…didn’t feel bad about it at all. I took the time and space and energy that I needed for myself.
  • Coffee shops. I’ve been working from home a lot but have developed a nice routine related to the coffee shop. I go to one about a twenty-minute walk from my apartment, and do some work there for a few hours, and walk home. It’s become very relaxing.
  • Working through a book I’ve been loving on how to work less. Related to the topic on my mind at the moment, I’ve been really enjoying the exercises in this book and what I’ve been learning.

2) What didn’t go well this month?

  • I sort of want to say pregnancy, but it doesn’t feel fair. Pregnancy has been hard this month for sure but it’s not not “going well.” It’s going as it should.

3) What did I work on last month and how did it go?

  • Feeling at ease around baby prep. This was eh. I don’t know that it’s really an achievable goal to feel “ready.” But I do think we are done with buying stuff, which is nice.
  • More single-tasking. This has been okay…it often goes hand-in-hand with coffee shop activity. I have been taking to turning my phone onto airplane mode when I want to do focused work which helps a lot, but definitely not something I’m excelling at.
  • Nourishment. This continues to be my guiding star, and likely will continue to be for the future.

4) What am I working towards?

  • Day-to-day and moment-to-moment presence. The next month will probably be beyond anything I can imagine. I want to give myself the space to experience it as it comes, rather than needing to understand or digest or judge what’s happening.

Pregnancy: Week 38

Week 38!!!!! That is probably a sufficient and accurate enough entry for this week. I was chatting with a dear friend last night who was like what’s going on with you besides pregnancy and I was like…it’s all pregnancy. That’s all I’ve got going on. Work wise, I’m feeling good and the end is definitely in sight. If I can get to Wed, I’ll have had my last essential meeting and then a week after that, will be off for a good, long while. It’s so strange to be in a spot where I am finishing work. Physically, I’m actually feeling sort of better. Weeks 36-37 felt brutal, but I have some energy again and am sleeping pretty consistently. Scaling down my life to a few walks a day and mostly working from home has been really nice.

R is also in a job interview process, so fingers crossed for that…there’s a tiny chance the transition could leave him with some more time to take off in the early months, which would be fabulous. But even if not, I think we’ll be okay because he’ll be doing 3-day work weeks for a while. I am feeling very grateful for our situations and also generally disgusted with American policies towards new parents.

We’ve been talking to the baby a lot when we’re home from work. Sort of these insane conversations like, “In two weeks you’ll be here! A week is like a measure of time. Time is…the speed at which light moves?” And the baby has been moving insanely. Ze can really whack a punch now because I think the capacity of my uterus is pretty maxed out. See you soon, little baby!

Millenial Burnout

Have you read this article yet? It really got me thinking about how I think about and structure my time. I’m a very task-oriented person. It makes me excel at work, but also makes me sort of manically work through my weekend to-do list in a way that emphasizes productivity. In a way, I have the opposite problem that this person has…I’m almost too efficient at the doing, and not at the being.

I’ve noticed since becoming pregnant I structure my weekends like this even more so. It became a thing to get ready for baby but now it’s like this weird haze of stress that sits over a lot of my weekend time. This is true even though I feel like R and I are pretty good at having relaxing weekends — watching exactly one episode of TV, going to the coffee shop, taking a nice walk.

I was at the library the other day and started browsing through this book on bullet journaling and it struck me as insanely obsessive. Like, here’s an idea — try to track every single thing you do to put nonstop pressure on yourself to be perfect. Oh yeah, and make sure it is visually pleasing as well. I have this same thing with fitbits and apple watches and all of those things meant to track data for…basically no reason. Even a meditation timer I downloaded recently tracks stats like how long my meditation ‘streak’ is, which makes you feel like meditation only counts if it is logged into the app. But what about time spent mindfully walking or drinking coffee?

I do track some data in my life — when I was lifting for strength, I wrote down my lifts. And I used to track my period and ovulation to avoid and then become pregnant. But the idea of quantifying my own life on this track to continuos improvement or productivity makes me feel very unhappy. Why not be okay with how I am and how my life looks at this moment, and practice being in this moment instead?

 

Pregnancy: Week 37

Life now is basically one long primal scream inside my head. I am increasingly nervous to have a baby! But also increasingly physically uncomfortable being pregnant! I feel like I just want to hatch the baby via egg and then take a month off from all life and then continue on. Weekly appointments are really getting me down…I feel like I am just waiting to give birth. I did schedule an induction acupuncture appointment for two days and one day before my due date but also feel scared to do that. I’m just 60/40 right now on all things, all the time.

Pregnancy: Week 36

Someone this week asked me if I had my baby yet, while looking right at me…the wonders of the world never cease. Pregnancy continues a slow path upwards towards kicking my butt. I guess it’s true what they say that the last month of pregnancy is what prepares you mentally for birth. I’m sort of looking forward to that and dreading four more weeks (or even six more weeks!) of increasingly being pregnant. I also developed some sciatic pain in the last week which is a real PITA. Sleeping has also been increasingly hard between endless peeing and a random early morning insomnia I tend to get. Also, I snore like an old man.

Mentally, I’m feeling really good. I feel like we’ve gotten all the essential errands done. I’ve organized a meetup with three other pregnant friends in our neighborhood which I’m really excited about, and really just thankful that I have a community of friends and family who are excited for me and for the baby.

Pregnancy: Week 35

A fine week. Not that much to report either way. I am feeling less anxious about the end of pregnancy and about labor because I figure it’ll just happen how it happens. Actually, I’m sort of excited for labor itself — what an event! Very thankful for leave. Without that, I’m sure I’d be a total basket case. Physically I feel fine, just like a slower version of my usual self but I’ve been pretty good at being realistic with my limits. I feel like I’m just biding my time until labor.

Oh, here was a hilarious thing that happened. I was on a confernece call at work and someone was like, “wow, 35 weeks! the baby could come whenever” and a junior person on the call got totally freaked out and was like “what do you mean?!? what do you mean it can come whenever? like in the office??”

Pregnancy: Week 34

A real conversation I had with my Mom (who used to be a midwife yesterday).

Mom: Are you 31 weeks next week for the baby shower?

Me: What??? I’m 34 weeks today!

Mom: …oh my god. This baby could come at any time!!!

I’m a member of an online February 2019 babies group and when I logged in after this conversation, three people had had babies the night before. So this baby really could come any time. It’s interesting because I feel like in my office, there is mostly a sense of denial even though I’ll be off for six months and have been working there for 8 years or so…I haven’t even gotten approval to tell any of my clients I’m on leave.

Physically, this week definitely had some high days and low days. Sometimes, I feel physically great and sometimes I feel wrecked. Comfortable sleep is increasingly hard and I’m trying to really take it day by day. I’m also at the midwives now every other week, and in three weeks, it’ll be every week. The trip out there and back is very tiring and we still haven’t figured out a plan for getting to the hospital (an hour away) in labor…but I’m also holding some mental space for figuring everything will work out one way or another.

I’m increasingly torn between wanting the baby to come out so I can meet it, see what it looks like, snuggle it, etc., and wanting to stay pregnant because there is something very sweet about having a baby living in your belly for so long, and obviously once out, it’ll never go back in. R has been singing it two little lullabies each night which is also very sweet.

Early nostalgia of motherhood I guess.