Showing posts with label Pregnancy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pregnancy. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

sweetest sixteen

I cannot believe our little Nu is sixteen. Or rather, I can believe Nu is sixteen, but can't believe it was sixteen years and one day ago that Big A and I were walking hand-in-hand through the doors of the NYU teaching hospital so I could get the Pitocin to coax Nu out. That day feels like yesterday.

Our Nu has always done things on their own time and the labor nurse who said they had an old soul was absolutely right. May this year nurture and delight my little darling.

(The My Little Pony celebration kit I put together was a hit as were the name-change docs we tucked in amongst their other presents.)

Pic: Nu decided they just had to build a gift-bag tower to the ceiling.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

"here for you"

Parenting was on my mind today. 

* When my students don't have parents/good relationships with parents/are going through a particularly hard time, it takes everything not to jump in and be their parent. Big A mentioned that I have gotten so much better at maintaining a professional boundary. Yes... and I know how much of an effort I have to put into it. 

* Celebrated SH's impending parenthood and I'm so excited to hold her newborn and generally be a new mom helper soon.

* I accepted a new CASA case--a child who has been subjected to parental incest-abuse for years. They are surrounded with support and services right now, and I hope I can be another useful tool in their journey.  

*My time with the one human kid and two puppy kids living at home is the highlight of every day. But I don't get very much time with them on weekdays (especially on teaching days) and need to find ways to make them meaningful. Usually it's: a cuddle and then breakfast--we start at 5:45 am! At the end of the day it's: dinner together > a show/game > me conking out with the puppies. It's pleasant and cozy but fairly humdrum.

Pic: My NuNu sneaking a treat from the tray I made for SH's visit. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Meanwhile in real life...

While I was having the dream about losing Nu last night, Big A was at work where he almost lost a teenaged refugee because the dialect her mother spoke was so uncommon that they had to work with someone familiar with a translator from an adjacent language. Her mother gave up on words at one point and just wailed as she rocked her daughter's unconscious body.

There's so much pain in the world, and so much of the time, we're protected from the worst of it. I spent a lot of yesterday finding money to to people--Beto, Abrams, Gillum... while reading about voter disenfranchising and voting machine malfunctions... and then the news of the shooting in the synagogue at Pittsburgh. Today was about the Bolsonaro win in Brazil and a very depressing text exchange with my usually upbeat GOTV champion, At.

Nu and I cobbled some good times despite it all--we went to temple yesterday, UU today, LOLed at Ghostbusters 2016, delivered food to a pregnant friend, made arrangements for kids in Chennai to get Diwali presents and sweets, did tons of laundry, got Nu a new pair of kicks, spent some of Nu's birthday money on (unnecessary) pens and a stuffy, stocked the pantry, did a bunch of baking, and made a couple of comfy dinners.

At some point this weekend we got lost and even that was lovely.

And yet through it all, the knowledge of what lay outside our bubble--inexorable as the real rain, the creeping cold, and our leaky roof.


Friday, February 02, 2018

Growing a Family

I’m very happy for some old neighbors/ex-colleagues/FB friends who adopted three children from the foster-care system today. We’ve known about the ongoing process, but they weren’t able to share pictures of the kids until the adoption was final (today!).

And I’m sad today, because it feels like I’ve waited all my life to adopt, and Big A is finally on board, but none of the agencies will follow up with us. I finally caved and did what I swore I wouldn’t do—called in for help from my CASA director. She’s called around and left messages; let’s see how far we go.

At least I get to take my oldest home for the weekend : )!


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

In Transit

the body remembers what it used to do
escapes as blithe as a toddler

no experience, no accomplices, no plan
only the trail to the door

like the first moment in the water when
my body seems soluble

held so sure and certain
then gone in a glint of sun


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sex and Stones (on Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone)

Abraham Verghese is a huge talent. He's saved and improved the lives of more people than I've ever even met, probably. And he knows more (about medicine, certainly, but also most other stuff) than I do. The new book--first novel--is an intense, politically questioning, resonant, transnational saga. The emotional yearning and sexual tension in the novel is immense. I loved it.

And I hated this:

In every account of sex, the women seem to sacrifice themselves. In both encounters that the plot revolves around, I wasn't sure if I were reading about coerced sex/rape: one woman has had a clitoridectomy and seems startled by the experience; another woman gives in to the fondling of a man she idolizes because he is in a drunken panic. Both women are younger and less privileged in a variety of ways including social position, education, and race. Unlike many other literary authors, Verghese is not averse to writing about sex (at length, even). So why then is the sex never playful and honest? Never HAPPY? Why is sex repeatedly the ultimate sacrifice a woman can ever make.

What is this shit?

Verghese's novel begins with twin brothers in the womb and ends with the an endorsement of a father-son connection. Whichever way you look at it, that's male centered (for the bros). Which would explain why all (all!) the women in the novel occupy subservient positions as mother figures (who sacrifice lives--literally by dying in childbirth or by neglecting their health and careers) or as sexual objects (those who share sex freely are typed as servient sex workers or literal servants; alternatively they are the sullied/undeserving siren who betrays).

Can it get worse?

Yes. Wait till the women die--in honest-to-goodness childbirth or of consumption. Some punitively patriarchal novelist could have written this... in the 19th century. I won't think about the acrobatic coincidences and biblical / spiritual / numerological rationalizing that occurs in the book--Verghese's writing can compensate for most of that. If there had just been one female character I could identify with or even one (one!!) female colleague who wasn't subject to elaborate sexualization and with whom the male characters had a respectful relationship, I'd have bought the book.

With more than just my money.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kathadi: Up in the Air

Pulling at the seams of words
one stitch at a time. Worrying
at gasp of steam of fog of cloud
of a sky made from all shadows

Soft as floating belly of mango
memory unravelling in the heat
stitch and mimic scent of night;
tug at flood of string, cut. Kite.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Birth Story

A foot
is made of inches
they have two each
and measure two

there is a cunt
made of muscle
I have gained:

as though children
once imprisoned
have clawed
their way through

my body thins
into elastic sticks
and can now slip
under doors

Babies begin to cry
my mind stoops again
in pain and memory.
Babies cry; I identify.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I thought i would dream about the dead bird

I didn't dream about the dead bird. 

But i kept on and on thinking about it. Because although i try not to believe in signs and portents, my attempts at rationality disappear when there's a very sick baby in the house. 

Long ago, before i had--or even thought about kids of my own--i knew a Tamizh teacher who told me that she got pregnant after/because a house sparrow built a nest inside her house. And a couple of years ago, i even blogged about how house sparrows were trying to nest in our home, but i didn't think about any connection until i was well and truly pregnant with Baby A. 

So now we are at the point where i have a very sick baby lying face down on my chest and a dead house sparrow lying on the window sill with its legs curling upwards pathetically. And i keep on returning to that equation and assuming the worst. Later on, my mother part coaxes, part bullies me past this image. 

My mom: Did Big A dispose of the bird?


Oracle Mom: I think that means you've just rid yourself of any danger stalking Baby. 

I'll take it.

FTW Mom: Also, remember that your first house sparrow didn't actually nest or hatch in the house. It wanted to, you chased it away, and you still had a baby.

I love her. And i have to admire the way she can turn anything on its head with the best contemporary theorists.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I love my husband.

Just really, really, really love, love, love.

Because most people think i dote on our kids, i surprise myself when i admit that in a non Ayelet Waldman sense, i love him more than i love our kids even. In a fire, i'd, obv, grab the tots first because they're so small and helpless and sleep so soundly and Big A jolly well save his own butt and a few others besides. And yes, my kids are delicious and funny, and so squeezy as to seem boneless, and their eyes are the shiniest orbs in the universe and their laughter is the trippiest ever...

But the best days are the ones when Big A is off from work and the kids are off at (baby or elementary) school and we get to go back to bed and hang out and get brunch and nap some more and lie in bed dreaming of big plans and undertaking huge house projects before the monkeys return at three.

The only thing ruining our "naptimes" is our proclivity to make babies if we so much as look at each other. Knowing how much i dislike hormonal contraception, Big A is getting a vasectomy this week. The "little snip-snip" as our friends call it. And the best part: I didn't make any suggestions, throw out any hints. He came up with it calmly, lovingly, by himself. No talk of sacrifice, just how very much he loves me, how my happiness is the most important thing in his life.

We do make exceedingly cute babies though, and there's an irrational part of me that's sad that i will never be pregnant again. But hopefully, there will be more babies--when our adoption papers come through.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

At 39 Weeks

These days

are tied down


by print and paper

or they stay


firm, ripe plum,


Still your hands

seem webs or nests


that are home

And i miss twisting

around you like flame,

making you disappear

inch by inch,

sweetly, in sweat:

while your touch

like twilight, smudges

me purple-tinged.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Deliver Me

I am terrified.

I finally read the sections on labor and delivery in the baby books. It sounds (understatement follows) uncomfortable. C-sections sound scarier. In case you weren’t already aware, the baby comes out through the vagina and in a c-section, the surgeon cuts through three layers of your body. Why don’t we deliver babies through our nostrils, I wonder. Female anatomical design totally sucks.

There’s guaranteed to be an abundance of pain and gore before we actually meet baby. Unfortunately, I think I have a body that can only handle pleasure. I’ve never complained about being pampered. Ever. (You can check this out independently if you like.)

To make matters worse, I started reading an article by Atul Gawande in an anthology of science writing because I thought it was about Apgar testing (and because he said Virginia Apgar grew up in the next town over) and then it turned out to be about some poor woman who was in labor for 30+ hours and then had to have a c-section.

Now I have nightmares about how my sweet, cooing baby is trapped inside of me. And I’m convinced that the reason I haven’t gone into labor yet is because I’m terrified by the idea. I already suck at being a mom.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

We’re Not Expecting Some Delicate Flower

Big A left for work at some unearthly hour before 6 this am; Li’l A promptly showed up in my bed for a pre-breakfast snuggle.

So here we are, my nose aligned with his baby-shampooed hairline, his butt backed into my belly. It’s perfect. Until he abruptly (and indignantly) scoots upright.

The baby! She kicked my butt!


Friday, July 13, 2007

Media Bumps

Friends have been sending me all sorts of pregnancy-related links lately. Here are two that popped yesterday.

First is Christine Coppa’s blog at Glamour magazine. She’s being touted as the original Knocked Up girl (if you haven’t seen Judd Apatow’s side-splitting movie yet, go already!). Like the Knocked Up protagonist, Christine is single, she is pregnant, and she is having the baby.

While all the name dropping (Bugaboo strollers, Seven Prego jeans) makes me wonder if there’s a product placement tie-in, I also have to admire her courage in going for the baby she wants. Although I do wonder why a seemingly smart 26-year-old would have had unprotected sex with a casual sex partner. Whatever—none of my business anyway. And I’ll wish her luck—with all the haters out there and a baby on the way that’s something she’ll need plenty of.

Second is this picture of Natalia Vodianova, the supermodel, with her bump. No—I do NOT look like her now—I was never that fabulous to begin with : ). She's wearing magenta, has really skinny limbs, and looks radiant. A N D the only way you can even tell she has a bump at all is by the uneven hang of the hem.

As for me, I did fit into one of my size 0 pre-preg dresses this morning, but only because it’s cut roomy in a very giving jersey blend. And then Big A sat on the floor to inspect and massage my gams because he’s wary of them sneaky thromboses. Nope, not fabulous at all. But awfully nice nevertheless.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fake a Pose

Because of the pregnancy, there’s been no modeling. The first photog I e-mailed with news of my impending and inevitable weight gain wrote me back: "Well that just kills it [the project]. But congratulations anyway.” The unreserved rejection implicit in every word and—the independent cruelty of the words “kills” and “anyway”--made my eyes prickle with tears.

But don’t go and feel too sorry for me :). Everything made my eyes prickle with tears back then and I’ve since been too busy with nausea or schoolwork and alternating between anxiety and euphoria about the baby to miss modeling too much. Although I must say that I missed (and do miss miss miss) the easy money.

But lately I’ve learnt to appreciate the touchingly comical and vulnerable way my belly triumphantly leads the way. And think that it might be nice to have a few pictures from this time.

So I’ve let my agency hook me up with a few projects. I’ll record how it goes. My first shoot is this Sunday; if you’re reading, please wish me luck!


Monday, June 11, 2007


I’m 5.6” and weighed in at the doctor’s last week at 128 lbs. It’s a lot. Five months ago--unpregnant--I weighed 108 lbs.

Still and all--and no matter how adoringly he does it--I don’t think Big A has any business calling me a big, beautiful woman.

Yeah, I told him off :).


Thursday, May 31, 2007


Take a chance,
Balance across the spines
Of mountains, memories.

Tune into happiness,
The mess of things turned true
At the moment of utterance.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How I know it’s *definitely* time for a snack-break

When halfway through a book about pre-Elizabethan England i read
the queen “delivered the prizes…”
“the queen delivered the pizza.”


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Jouer: Games of Chance and Skill

Weaving her
More or less Futbol-shaped
Bump through New York streets

She assumes that
The moment which
Fathered it

Not in their nest of banked
Bedclothes and soft words

But a good ten
Or fifteen minutes

When summoned
To play soccer,
And sweating

In the icy breath
Of January dusk,
Her palm laid

Against the insistent bark
Of a wintering tree,
She feels rather than sees

the ball stream by
(Stealthy and silent
As an idea)

Her surprised
and ineffective feet

And hears his exultant
Half laugh-half shout


strange new world

Weird how a day can begin like every other and then end up as something unknown. A is sick and in the hospital. It feels like being in a par...