Thursday, January 19, 2017

33 Weeks

Over 33 weeks now and nearly 150lbs. I still feel good as ever, knock on wood. The midwife came to see us today at our place. I feel so fortunate to have found these amazing women who will help to welcome my baby here. Because they offer complete home care, along with home birth, we have been able to completely stay out of the hospital so far. It is a relief to not have to get to the hospital each time, wait around, change into gowns and get inundated with endless and unnecessary tests.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Weekend Trip to Niagara Falls

Three-day weekend and unable to sit still at home, we embarked on a long drive up to Niagara Falls, 7 and half hours to be exact. Having grown up in Rochester, NY, I had been to the Falls a bunch of times but Peter had never visited before. I figured this is as good of a time as any. Besides, falls view suit is much more affordable this time of the year.

The hardest part of long distance driving remains to be dead silence as Peter is not much of a talker. I prepared a number of podcasts for the trip and it worked out well. By dinner time we were happily devouring Buffalo wings at Duff's in Buffalo, NY. The smell of fried wings and vinegary sauce instantly reaffirmed our presence in Western New York. And I must say, Duff's is THE place to be and the wings are considerably bigger and juicier than the ones from Anchor Bar.

It has probably been 8 years since the last time I visited the Falls. I can't believe how much more commercialized the area has become. Hotels, casinos, chain restaurants, etc. I guess this is the Americanized Canadian way. The falls view room we had reserved wasn't available when we checked in at the Embassy. Instead, the hotel upgraded our second night to a falls view suit and provided complementary parking and wifi. I thought it was a good deal since two nights of parking would have been $60 and do we really need to look at the falls from our room for two nights?

Since there isn't really all that much to do around Niagara Falls, we decided to take a few photos in the morning and drive up to Toronto for the rest of Sunday. Markham, a suburb outside of the city with massive Asian population, is the true destination for Chinese food on this side of the continent. The neighborhood is dotted with Chinese restaurants, markets, and even a shopping mall. It makes Flushing, NY looks tiny. The lunch place we stopped in wasn't anything to write home about. Fortunately, I stuck with my plan and got takeout from a restaurant called Xin Jiang for dinner. Xin Jiang is a province for ethnic minority on the northwestern boarder of China, known for its lamb skewers and beautiful women. The lamb skewers and lamb ribs from this restaurant did not disappoint! We even got to enjoy them from our falls view suit. How sweet!

Before we got back from Toronto, we met up with one of my colleagues from the Eastman School of Music, who had just moved to the city with her new husband. They are such a cute and cheery couple. How exciting it is to start a young life together. It kind made me feel old even though I know I'm not that old and we're newly weds ourselves too!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Grievances and Appearance

There is no shortage of complaints from mommas-to-be, from pregnancy related symptoms to negative body images. The one take away from a prenatal yoga class I attended weeks ago was that I refer not to be in the company of so many complaints. Surely there is comfort in commiseration and often times that's how we connect with one another. Pregnancy and childbirth are serious life events that can be difficult in one way or another for many people. I too have experienced common symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, lower back pain, and just general discomfort. It is no fun to wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating leg cramp. Still, I know this pregnancy has been easy on me in comparison and I'm grateful for it. I want to stay positive and truly enjoy this rare moment in my life.

While some people fret about the increase in body weight and potentially appear less attractive to their partners during pregnancy, I really don't share these concerns. I emphasize with those who really do struggle with weight and medical issues but many people I hear from are in perfect health and weight. I remain convinced that who we are before pregnancy and childbirth is who we will be afterwards. We can be transformed and inspired, but fundamentally we remain the same. I never obsessed much over my weight or appearance before pregnancy and seeing my body transforming now doesn't alarm me the least bit. I want to look nice and be at a healthy weight but that's really the extent of my preoccupation. Ultimately I prefer to care about how my body functions and feels, rather than how it looks and how much it weighs.

It wasn't until we started seeing a midwife that I even purchased a scale. I'm not exactly sure what my base weight is other than it being somewhere around 120-125lbs. I now weigh 145 and I feel great about it. Every time I step on the scale now Peter would look on excitedly, hoping to see a sign of the baby growing inside. After all, we would never look at a tree with new leaves in the spring and think it's gaining weight.

I have gradually stopped wearing makeup on a daily basis in the last few years. My skin has never been healthier. I feel good about not having to spend so much time and money on tiny bottles of poison. I also like the fact that since I met my husband after 6 days of hiking with no shower or makeup, I don't feel any pressure to uphold some kind of artificial standard of beauty. Peter sees me bare as I am day in and day out and tells me that I'm beautiful. When I do dress up and get made up occasionally, he gets all giddy and tells me I'm beautiful in a different way. I feel easy around him. I feel easy around myself. It's a beautiful time in my life and I want to keep it that way.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

First Snow

It has been a cold weekend. We had our first snow on Saturday. It didn't deter us from venturing out to an Indian buffet for lunch. We have been deprived of Indian food since moving out of Manhattan in August. Thankfully the goat biryani and palak paneer didn't disappoint. We then stopped by Audi and Wegmans to pick up supplies for next week. Upcoming meals will include mozzarella stuffed meatballs, chicken alfredo and moussaka! As much as people talk about pregnancy cravings, I can't say I have any, maybe except for things I shouldn't be eating like raw oysters and sashimi! Also looking forward to be able to binge drink coffee someday! I've been limited to pretty much one to two cups a day since the beginning.

When a lovely ray of sunlight came through in the afternoon, I suggested that we go out to the woods behind the apartment for some pictures. Peter take beautiful landscape photos but really doesn't have much practice when it comes to portraits. Fortunately we got a few nice shots before I froze.