Winter is the New Summer

Way back in May when I first found out I was pregnant I thought, “Oh good, it will be cold when I’m big and uncomfortable. I can wear sweaters and jumpers to hide my bulk.” Boy, I was I wrong. In southern California it is hot hot hot when it is supposed to be cold. Here it is November and we are having one hot beautiful day after another. Gone is the fog, gone is the ocean haze… it’s just nothing but bright blue skies and color so vivid it almost hurts your eyes. All thanks to the dry Santa Ana winds that have blown every bit of moisture right off the coast and off to Tahiti or somewhere.

Toby and I walked down to Little Corona beach for these shots. It felt amazing to let the icy water wash my toes after the beating sun made my eyes squint and my body sweat in unmentionable places. And it was here, as we sat on a rock, that Toby gave me the best compliment I’ve had in ages. He said in a way, I’m a more sophisticated photographer than he is. This about blew me over since he is one of the most sought after photographers around and I’ve had some major screw up jobs in recent history that have made me want to hang up my camera for good.

He said it’s not how you shoot that’s important. It’s not equipment or knowledge of f-stops and film speeds and apperatures… (although that helps of course.) It’s being able to capture a moment instead of thinking of a photograph as an object. And then I said something about always wanting to be a photo journalist and he rolled his eyes like I completely missed the point. But I think I know what he means and I hope these pictures convey how beautiful and amazing it was to “just be” on a hot dry day like today.

Super Saturday Lamaze

Toby and I went to our Super Saturday Lamaze Class yesterday. That’s not us I illustrated of course. If I had illustrated us, I would have made me two times bigger than Toby, with a giant belly and three chins. Of course Toby would have a scraggly blond pony tail and distinctive tortoiseshell glasses. Why didn’t I illustrate us? Too lazy I guess. I was going to draw all the mother’s-to-be and their significant others… but I fizzled out after one couple.

That was the neat thing about this class. I’ve never been in a room with so many other pregnant women, all of them at about the same stage I was. It was weird and creepy but cool. I started to think to myself, these are the women I will see in the hospital, and on parent teacher night when my little girl goes to kindergarden and at high school functions etc. etc… These are my new peers! Weird.

It was really comforting to see that indeed, I’m not as huge as I feel. That I’m normal when I huff and puff and roll my eyes when asked to get up and down from the floor. It was a relief that I wasn’t the only one squirming in my chair and looking uncomfortable. I wasn’t the only one staring longingly at the floor, our two mandatory pillows and the mats provided for some of the breathing exercises and thinking “floor + pillow + mat = nap” after four hours of teaching. In fact, several of the mom’s did lie down on the floor and I swear they took a cat nap during the last slide presentation. I am not a freak! I just need to hang out with other 7 and 8 months-along pregnant women! I am in fact, totally normal! Who knew!

The class was helpful. Not dumb like I’ve heard from a lot of my friends. We got a lot out of it. Toby even actually had the guts to ask a couple of questions. The teacher was a real nurse who has worked with babies for over twenty years. She made a lot of jokes and told us some real eye-opening inside stories. I still haven’t made up my mind about epidural vs. pain meds, vs natural vs. cesarian etc. etc… I’m not even sure I got all the “hees” and “hooos” of the breathing techniques but I have a lot better feeling about going into this whole scary thing. I think it’s okay to not have a plan.

I also have to admit that it was kind of nice to have a whole day devoted to thinking about the baby and me. I felt kind of guilty when the teacher made all the dads get down on the ground and give the mom’s massages. It was like I tricked Toby into a “Give Brenda Attention Day”. And boy did I soak up that attention. It felt so good. I just wanted to stay there and let him caress my arms all day. But of course I was kind of embarrassed because I hate to admit it but we aren’t that touchy-feely of a couple on a day to day basis. Toby just laughed at me and assured me that this was important and I shouldn’t feel silly for getting so much attention.

I just felt so lucky to be there.

I think about all the single moms who don’t have time for such a luxury or the mom’s who live in bad neighborhoods who can’t even get to such a nice hospital…or the deadbeat dad’s who are just too jerky to show up… There are so many sad pregnant women out there and I am not one of them. The hospital we are going to deliver in is the Ritz! Seriously, the new women’s wing has an ocean view in every recovery room! EVERY SINGLE ONE! And there are couches without arm rests so your relatives can actually lie down and rest if the labor goes on for days and days. I’m really lucky to live where I live.

Now if I can just get over the fact that because I live where I live, I don’t have a washer and drier in my house and I’m going to have to keep walking across the street to the laundromat to wash my many many many dirty baby things! Priorities…