I Represent Queens, She Was Raised Out In Brooklyn

by Jen on December 2, 2012

I’m not sure who LL is talking about.  I know few people raised in Brooklyn, and I am by no means fit to represent Queens- still I find myself singing the “Doin’ It” lyrics pretty much every time I walk the dogs.

We are moved.  Settled, but not “finished”.  A sea of boxes remain shoved in the room that will soon become our son’s.  You see, in Manhattan, we had about four pieces of furniture because… well, that’s all that fit.  Part of our stuff was in a storage facility in Harlem and the rest of our stuff was crammed to the gills in our four pieces of furniture.  Now that our square footage has nearly doubled, we decided to end our storage contract and find room for it in our new apartment.  Soooo, four pieces of furniture no longer sufficed.  We bought a few new pieces (our moving budget blown, of course) and are now in the process of organizing what goes where.

The main problem, as I see it, is that I have about half the energy to complete these tasks as I did prior to getting pregnant.  My pregnancy has been “easy” (if you forget about the hemorrhage-like bleeding, barfing at the bus stop, spina bifida scare, and amniocentesis), but I’d underestimated my ability to not overdo it with the move.  George and members of his New York family saw to it that I didn’t lift a thing, but just the simple tasks of bending over to unpack boxes and crouching to organize cabinets seem to unexpectedly exhaust me.  There isn’t a box in the world worth getting my fetus in a tizzy, so I’ve become a bit more relaxed and if it gets done today, great.  If it gets done next month, so be it.

I am 23 weeks pregnant today.  TWENTY THREE!

That means he has a slim, but fighting chance of survival if he was born today.  Unbelievable.  Certainly I want him to cook for as long as he needs, but knowing he’s nearly developed makes me proud.  The odd thing is, I graduated into the second trimester and started to calm down a bit about things going wrong, but in the last couple of weeks, my nerves have started to take over again.  I have this overwhelming feeling that things are too good to be true, and I can’t seem to shake it.  I would imagine this is a normal side effect of pregnancy, but it’s certainly one I wish I could ignore.

I can feel his gentle kicks on the outside of my stomach now, and George has felt him once.  He sleeps mostly all day and wakes up when I get off work and seems to “play” until after dinner.  Every movement makes me so happy.  I talk to him all the time and feel like he gets excited along with me.  It’s the first time in my life I’ve been incapable of being alone, and I love it.  Henry might be the only person on the planet I wouldn’t mind sharing every minute of my life with.  (That’s gonna change when he’s an energized, two year old, isn’t it?)

The negative side effects have been few, but as of last week, I parted with my wedding rings.  It was a sad, sad day.  I love them.  They would be loose in the mornings and almost impossible to take off after work.  The swelling in my hands and feet is pretty intense at the end of each day, and I feared having to get those suckers surgically removed.  So, I’ve placed Sparkly and Stedman in a safe spot and plan to meet back up with them after I’ve birthed them a baby.  To boot, not having a ring on will really step up my playa status.  Because as I’m sure you know, men are DYING to hit on pregnant chicks.

Last Friday, the wonderful people I work with threw me a surprise baby shower!  I was caught completely off guard.  I realized, as I was walking into the room that I was experiencing something I really never thought I’d be able to.  All of these milestones have been amplified by the worry that I’d never reach them.  Infertility is a sucky beast, but it sure makes the miracle of fertility, and all that goes with it, more special than I’d even imagined.  So often I feel overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we’ve received through this entire process, and being celebrated by a group of people I’ve worked with for less than half a year, made an impact that I won’t ever forget.  The shower was a Baby Basics shower- meaning we got diapers and wipes and other essentials necessary to survive.  I loved it all, and am so grateful to work with such caring, special people.

Tomorrow I have an ultrasound to measure my cervical length.  Because of my previous Leep (cervix surgery), my cervix may not be strong enough to hold in a pregnancy.  So, as an extra precaution, the doctor will take measurements every two weeks to determine my risk for going in to labor early.  The upside?  I get to see my boy!  I have been so busy since our last ultrasound that I forgot to share pictures.  Here he is at 21 weeks.  The first one, a head shot.  The second, a thumb’s up telling us to leave him alone and that all was good in the hood.  Amen, my sweet Henry.  Amen.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison December 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

I am SO happy for you. I love the thought that you're never alone. That is so true.
Give Henry a pat from his Malaysian auntie. xo


2 euregirlsandboys December 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

So much fun and happiness! I love that you had a baby basics shower – very cool. And the thumbs up ultrasound pic is awesome. I had to give up on the rings pretty early with my last pregnancy (my boy made me swell so much more than my girls ever did), but I wore them on a necklace. I guess it kept all the men away because no one bothered me 🙂


3 Sarcasm Goddess December 3, 2012 at 4:51 am

I am so excited I could pee! You look beautiful and amazing and Henry is so very handsome!


4 Kimberly December 3, 2012 at 6:34 am

I have so many tears of joy for you right now. Feeling those kicks and actually "playing" with him was my favourite times. I wore a lanyard with my id tags on it and I would watch him kick them off my belly. If I could be pregnant forever I would. Plus I would eat all the things. xo


5 Kir December 3, 2012 at 8:43 am

oh my , my heart is just bursting with love.

I cannot wait to come out to NYC and meet/hold/spoil Henry and you Jen. There really are no words for how THRILLED I am, you know that I come "where you come from" and seeing that belly is making me weep happy, content tears. LOVE YOU…did I tell you you look AMAZING?????? AH-MAZING. xoxoo


6 Andrea December 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

I WAS, in fact, raised out in Brooklyn … ;>

I'm so glad you're doing well. Remember what I said about the unpacking and moving of the boxes? My doctor told me TO STOP DOING IT. I was many weeks more pregnant than you are now but he said stop, so just stop. It's rough to do, but do it anyway. Feet up, watch loads of crap TV, and relax. Chill. It's all good. And hug that belly for me!


7 Amanda D. December 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

I'm so happy for you! I love that the people you were work are so thoughtful and had such a great shower for you- love the idea of an "essential shower"!! Also, you could put the wedding rings on a necklace- that's what my friend did.


8 Laura A December 14, 2012 at 5:12 am

Hi Jen, I'm a blog reader in Tallahassee who saw your blog linked off of Betsy's one day and quickly discovered it to be my favorite 5 minute work break! (Ok, sometimes longer than 5 minutes, but shhh dont tellmy boss!) Anyway, I happen to have more than a few mutual friends with you…gotta love being a local yokel of Tallahassee…I have a congratulatory card being delivered to your baby shower (hope thats not creepy!), but I wanted to comment on here as well to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your journey and "watching" you receive this beautiful gift of the son you've always dreamed of! I have two little daughters and they are simply THE BEST. Congrats to you and prayers for a safe delivery! ~Laura Albritton
PS- I can't remember how long its been since i've been following your blog, but I remember you had me at your reference to a "Chris Renee/Eminem Bad Boy Sandwich" Yeeeeeeessss please! 😉


9 Laura A December 17, 2012 at 2:44 am

Oh and I get to take full credit for friends Alana (who got to go to your shower, hey! 🙁 j/k) and Jane reading your blog because once I was hooked I shared it with both of them for different reasons. Both have read just about every post you've made since. It's too bad you were mid-move to NYC when I discovered your blog, because I believe another person I know, Amanda H, is a close friend of yours and I could have asked her to let me tag along to a lunch or a dinner outing sometime. Darn! Anyway, congrats again! I also wanted to share something with you that has come to mean A LOT to me now that I have been blessed with two babies. A 40-something year old co-worker of mine with teenage kids said to me one day, "You know, when you have kids you will develop a special appreciation for those who truly love your child." This is so spon on! I had a rough birth experience the 1st time and had such a great support system. But those (namely Alana!) who take the time to order a personalied easter basket and fill it with goodies for Lily, mean the MOST. 🙂 Please post pictures of all your new baby goodies in your new apt if you can! ~Laura


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