photo 3I was 15 weeks pregnant on Saturday. The last time I posted, I talked about feeling better. A day or two after I wrote that post, my symptoms came back full force, plus additional ones. No runs along the Hudson have happened. This pregnancy is not like the last.

The exciting news it that I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, and though the baby’s anatomy scan isn’t until December 5, I’m wondering if I can convince my doctor to take a peek and see if this baby is a girl or a boy!

In other news, I’m just making it through work one day at a time and looking forward to every weekend and the upcoming holidays which will allow me to escape for a little while.

This is definitely my favorite time of year.

A few highlights from the weekend…

Saturday morning, Chris, Catherine, and I did our usual Laughing Man coffee run followed by the playground. Cat and I sat next to Keira Knightly and her baby Edie while we waited for our coffee, and Catherine and the baby had a little chat. Any time we go out and about in our neighborhood, we’re almost guaranteed to see them. I think this is neat, and being relatively new to New York, I’m very dorky about it, and I try to be the right balance of friendly and not intrusive and appear cool, despite the fact that, as you can surely perceive right now, I’m not.

Later we did a little Christmas window shopping, and bought Catherine a new tiny stuffed mouse to replace the one that fell out of her pocket on the way to the train, and a new Christmas ornament for the tree.

photoOn Sunday, despite feeling like my every move was an enormous effort, and wanting to collapse on the sofa for the rest of the day, I remained focused on the end desired results and managed to produce a big pot of the best chicken soup I’ve ever made, and an applesauce cake with caramel glaze.

So overall, it was a very nice weekend.

I keep thinking about names. I suppose I should make it easier on myself and wait until we know the baby’s sex. But I actually enjoy thinking about names, and I think about names even when I’m not pregnant and there’s no one to name. I’ve thought about names since I was a little girl. I think that is probably the writer in me.

When I was around ten years old, I remember watching the Can’t Buy Me Love over and over again. And so when we played pretend, my name was always Cindy – the super-trendy, super-popular girl in the movie. Another favorite was inspired by my teenage neighbor’s girlfriend – Lisa.

Now that I’m older, I’ve come to love the name my mom gave me. Even with the current trend of giving “old lady” names like Hattie, Hazel, and Frances new life, Helen is still rare, and I’m not sure why because I think it’s a pretty name, and I always loved that I rarely come across other Helens.

And now when I think about naming my kids, I’m careful to distinguish between those enticing names that I enjoy at the moment – the way I enjoy a clothing trend…if I did enjoy clothing trends…because it turns out I’m not the trendiest in that regard either – and the ones I simply love, regardless of what’s in fashion.

What makes me love a name? I’m glad I asked. I like names that have meaning. Maybe someone very special to me, or to our family, fictional or real, bears the name.

I like “real” names, with long literary histories. I find them more interesting and substantial that way.

I like whole names that can be shortened to nicknames if chosen, but I like the birth certificate to contain the original, long form of the name. It just feels proper. I think it’s the OCD in me that can’t handle a part of a name on a birth certificate. Others don’t share hang up.

For my hypothetical son, I’d like his name to feel just alpha enough, so that if he isn’t super macho, he doesn’t feel awkward in his name, but if he is, he has a name with command.

For a girl, I like feminine names.

In my opinion, the last name is crucial to consider when naming children. In our case, we have Cobb to work with. Like my maiden name, it is short and blunt – but with even harder consonants. So some of the lovely, ultra-delicate girl names I’d otherwise consider are out – because the first name must be feminine but also sturdy enough to stand up to Cobb. Which narrows our selection considerably.

Well. The bump arrived a bit earlier this go round. I guess that’s the way second pregnancies sometimes go!

I’m officially in the second trimester. Right on schedule, I’m feeling much better. Still don’t like the smell of food, have an iffy stomach, and am in fact struggling to keep from lying my head on my desk right now – and it’s only 12:40. But…I know things will only continue to get better from here.

In fact, I’m hoping that this weekend I can go on my first run since I got pregnant. I’ll take Catherine in the running stroller Saturday morning, and we’ll run along the Hudson together and say hello to all the yachts, and then go get coffee and hot chocolate when we’re done.

Not much else has changed. We took Catherine trick or treating this weekend. She was so grateful and delighted the entire time. She’s been impossibly affectionate and sweet and wonderful these days. It’s hard to believe a creature can be so pure and perfect; she is truly ours to mess up. It’s fun to think about this next baby, and wonder how they’ll be alike and how they’ll be different. I feel like I love this baby unconditionally already. I’m excited to introduce her…him?…to our routines, adventures, traditions, and basically our world – and of course, I suppose the baby will shake things up a good bit. Six more months.

12-week ultrasound!

Yesterday morning, Catherine and I went to the hospital for my 12-week ultrasound. Everything looked great!  The baby is measuring perfectly according to my due date – May 7 – and it’s heart rate is just right. It was very active, jumping around and kicking and rolling. I loved seeing that.

Catherine was super in to the whole thing. She watched the screen intently, asking so many questions and excitedly pointing out when the baby moved. The ultrasound technician gave her five photos of the baby, and Catherine took them to school for the day and showed everyone “her baby.”

Later that evening, on the train ride home, she told a stranger “I’m gonna be a big sister!” and pointed at my belly and said “The baby is in there, growing and growing and growing!”

First Trimester Sickness

I’m thrilled the baby is healthy. But I am at my breaking point with the morning all-day sickness. Being at work all day has become so difficult I want to cry. You know that kind of sick where you wanna crawl under the covers and shake? That’s how I feel almost 24-7. And I’ve gotten increasingly desperate for a break from it.

The really awesome thing

Now that I think about it, it is a VERY good think I’m getting this first trimester over now. That means I will be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and all the fun activities and food that goes with it! I mean, I can’t imagine being this sick over the holidays! I wouldn’t even get to enjoy them at all! Instead, this will all be behind me and I can have fun with our families, play with my nieces and nephews and Catherine, make holiday crafts, go shopping and wrap gifts, see Santa, bake cookies, and feast all winter long because I’ll be in my second trimester and feeling amazing. I can do this.

Hi Baby,

We’re 11 weeks tomorrow. I’m still not feeling well. But as far as I know, you’re still hanging on strong – which makes it beyond worth it.

I feel in awe of you already for being so strong and resilient and growing despite all my fears.

You’re due the day before Mother’s Day. Catherine was born the morning after her due date. Maybe you will be too. You’ll be the ultimate gift!

Until next week – when your dad, sister, and I get to see you on the ultrasound,


Your Mommy

Catherine is exuberant, outgoing, and has a sharp sense of humor. She gets sarcasm and she can take plenty of good-natured ribbing. She knows how to hang with the grownups, as I guess first children do.

She’s also incredibly loving. She wants to be as close to you as possible, get up in your face, look into your eyes, give you kisses and snuggle. She notices others’ feelings and responds with empathy and concern and love. She’s been this way her whole life. Even on the playground at a young age she would intervene when another child was crying and do her best to cheer him up.

She likes art and kicking a ball more than baby dolls, but she loves a good princess movie while wearing a princess dress and singing along. With passion.

This baby will have it’s own personality. It will be different from Catherine, slightly, or dramatically. Maybe it will be shy, or maybe it will prefer not to be held too tightly. Whatever it is, I can’t wait to get to know it. I have heard many moms on mommy blogs confess to worrying they wouldn’t love the second child as much as the first. I understand this is a real feeling many people grapple with. I know that sometimes the baby is born and they realize their fears were for nothing right away or in time, or sometimes they always do struggle to connect with the child as they did with the first. But I don’t worry about this at all. Maybe it’s because we spaced our children farther apart – they’ll be four years apart – but I am ready for this baby and I already love it and accept it for whoever it is.

I also don’t worry much about how it will affect my relationship with Catherine. I’ve always loved spending time with her, especially when we take our morning outings to get coffee and biscotti and play outside or whatever. It’s our thing. Because Catherine will be older, I think this baby will just be a welcome addition to our outings, someone we’ll enjoy together.

With a new baby coming, though, I just need to make sure I spend some time thinking of how I’ll respond to them both thoughtfully during stressful times, rather than reacting. I find that since I’ve become a full-time working mom, I’ve had much less time to devote to researching and planning how I will parent – and I think my parenting has suffered because of it. Short on time, I find myself less patient and more reactive. I need to get back to putting careful thought and consideration into how I parent. It makes such a difference and is so, so very worth it.

Bye for now!

I really don’t know what I’m going to talk about right now, but I have a rare opportunity to ramble on this blog and I want to enjoy it.

Catherine’s school is closed today, so Chris has her this morning while I work from a coffee shop close by, then I’ll have her in the afternoon.

I’m waiting on some feedback from work, so I don’t really have anything to do, which is a bit of a relief right now because I need every break I can get. The second trimester I will be such a different, less complain-y person – I swear!

My co-workers now know how I’ve been feeling. And I can’t help but feel apologetic. I think they must think I’m a whiner. I want to tell them that’s not who I am.

But I have whined and complained and felt like I was being tortured having to sit up at my desk at two o’clock in the afternoon when I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I think I could do it for a week. But eight weeks wears on you.

Yawn, snore!

I know! Let’s do one of those pregnancy run down things.

Total weight gain: None. I’ve lost six pounds. That’s normal for the first trimester, the pounds will come in the second trimester when I can eat normally again.

Pregnancy symptoms: Um. I believe we’ve covered this. :-)

How big is the baby: Baby is a prune! Or a kumquat. Take your pick.

Sleep: As exhausted as I am all of the time, I’ve actually been having a little trouble sleeping at night. I get in bed around nine and pass out – usually – but I wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious.

Sex: We don’t know. We’re thinking about whether or not we’ll find out or let it be a surprise until birth.

Maternity clothes: Not even close, but by the end of the day I unbutton my top pants button. I know this isn’t fat, because I’ve lost weight, so it is either me showing earlier than normal or just strange bloating. I really didn’t enjoy belly bands last pregnancy, so I’m hoping to go as long as possible before resorting to them. I will probably buy maternity jeans this time around. I managed without them last pregnancy, but it gets warm later in NYC, plus I’m due earlier in spring than with Catherine, so I’ll probably need some.

Movement: Now, of course they say there’s no way to feel movement this early. But I feel all kinds of weird movement this time. I am sure it’s the movement of other things, like my digestive system or blood pumping or something. But things seem to be changing and kicking into gear sooner this time, I guess because my body knows what to do and is doing it sooner? Ligaments stretching sooner this time, and so on.

Food cravings: None. I eat what doesn’t make me throw up.

What I miss: Nothing! I’m happy to be pregnant; I wanted this badly and I knew feeling like crap the first trimester was part of it! So to say I miss my energy or not feeling like blah would be like duh. I will say that I miss my morning runs by the Hudson. So pretty. I hope to resume them when the sickness lets up.

What I’m looking forward to: Second trimester. Shopping some for the baby. Our trip to Salem in 2 weeks. And visits home to spend time with our families!!!!!

Best moment of the week: Last week, the doctor’s call after my MRI, that told me I didn’t need surgery. And on Saturday, hanging out at the park with Catherine and Chris and Chris’s friend Anthony who came to the city from Alabama. The weather was perfect, and I was feeling good for a couple of hours! Then Catherine and I went and loaded up the stroller with pumpkins of all sizes, shapes, and colors from the farmers market, plus colorful maize, apples, and pears.

My first-trimester eating habits have been different this pregnancy from the last one. I still feel sick all the time, but having learned that an empty stomach is the enemy, I eat more than I did last pregnancy. And what I eat depends on that moment. At any given moment, everything will repel me except one thing that pops in my head that I feel I can stomach. Then I will seek that thing out. So there’s no way to plan ahead or bring lunch to work. I’m blowing all sorts of money buying random lunches every day, as I am completely subject to the whims of my body and that body is leading me on wild goose chases all over trying to track down the odd, often disgusting thing that won’t make me sick to think about. Even then, I can’t think about it, I just have to eat it, or I will start to develop the aversion before it’s gone. Once I’ve eaten a thing, I develop an aversion and it’s crossed off the list of possibilities forever.

Unlike last pregnancy, I do find that raw or lightly steamed vegetables (as long as I don’t have to cook or cut them) are easier on my stomach than something like chips or other carbs (which I ate last pregnancy during the first trimester). And same as last pregnancy, watery, low-sugar fruits like melon and frozen berries with fat-free yogurt are very kind to me. Any sort of fat, salt, or sugar totally grosses me out.

I can’t wait until the third trimester, when food starts to taste really amazing. I hope I crave icy, cold, fruity things like last time! Oh how I loved eating entire watermelons and slushies and frozen yogurt every day!

UPDATE – our baby is safe, my miscarriage scare was something else. So realizing just how lucky we are, I am now going to proceed to vent about how sick I feel during the first trimester. Yep – I can feel lucky and awful at the same time. :)

Here we go…

Any pregnant person/mom who has ever experienced not morning sickness but 24-7 sickness accompanied by exhaustion, aches and chills for the entire first trimester (I’m not even talking about the moms who experience these and other symptoms their entire pregnancies – bless them) knows that it’s a cruel joke we’re not to reveal our pregnancies to the world until the second trimester.

Who came up with this “rule” anyway? I understand being cautious, since miscarriage is common in the first trimester. I wouldn’t want to gleefully announce my pregnancy to the world only to have to painfully retract the announcement later. But why is it a rule that I can’t tell, for example, the people I work with, who, unbeknownst to them, have only just been spared the sight of puke – numerous times.

As I sit at my desk, the work piling up during intense weeks, I just wish the people around me knew. It wouldn’t be an excuse to not power through and get my stuff done, same as anyone. But I think I’d feel comforted and supported knowing that people understood the reason behind my half-open eyes and strange new eating habits.

For me, the first trimester is when I need the most support. The uncertainty and fear about whether or not this very planned and wanted and already loved baby will stick around. The dragging myself out of bed with chills and aches and trying not to throw up in the shower. The long afternoons when everything in me begs to crawl under my desk and pass out. I’m expected to bear it, and, according to many articles I’ve read on the web, actually fake feeling amazing and keep mum on my condition.

Is it just me, or does this seem ever so slightly like oppression? Many people I know stay home when they have colds. A cold makes me laugh. I might as well have an ant bite. This is like the flu except it’s not contagious and it lasts eight weeks. Why do we accept that it’s our cross to bear in silence?

I’m lucky. Beyond, beyond, beyond lucky. I’ve got one beautiful 3-year old girl and another one on the way, albeit no bigger than a blueberry right now. These symptoms are nothing in the grand scheme of things. I got through them once, and I’ll get through them this time, too.

I’m just saying that when I read articles about how we’re supposed to keep it a secret and pretend we don’t feel like we’ve been hit by a truck at work, I get mad. I’m calling BS.

We’ve had a little scare, my dear. Yesterday at work, I experienced some signs of a potential miscarriage. I was very upset, and it was hard to be at work. I called the doctor right away, and I have an appointment in a week to see how things are going. I did some reading online – it seems that what I experienced yesterday doesn’t mean that I’ll lose you. It could be nothing. So while yesterday I was feeling quite pessimistic, today I’ve decided to proceed cautiously optimistic. The first time I experienced the full force of my love for Catherine was when she was one month old, and we took her to the ER for something that turned out to be nothing. You’re only the size of an appleseed, or at least according to what I read online. But it seems we’ve been brought a little closer already.  Hang on, dear little being.


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