Tag Archives: Freewrite

Winter Skin

November 5, 2013

kate and w

I don’t have many good sentences in me these days. I know they’re floating around there somewhere, but even when I find one, it’s broken into fragments and full of misspellings and the wrong you’re. The other day I sat down to write and ended up with a paragraph full of literallys, which was horrifying because if there’s one girl I never want to be, it’s the girl who overuses literally.

Some might call this typical writer’s block, but I know it’s more than that. The baby has taken over all my physical and mental space. She sits heavy on my pelvis and even though I randomly have a thought about why women shouldn’t bully each other into wearing uncomfortable shoes, I cannot translate it into anything worth reading because the rest of my brain is thinking about if I sneeze, I may have to change my underpants.

The end of pregnancy is consuming. The more I try not to write or talk about it, the more it seeps out of my pores and turns into a lot of complaining about not fitting in doorways. I know this can be frustrating for everyone else.

They say you should write what you know, and even though I know life beyond pregnancy–I cannot fathom it now. All I can do today is listen to emotionally draining Christmas music and quietly sob thinking about fresh babies and my son’s face and perineal tearing. This is my unavoidable truth. Sorry old self, maybe I’ll see you again in a few months when I come out of a coma and remember some jeans have buttons.

In the meantime I’ll be listening to Lo, How A Rose Ere Blooming and feeling all the feelings.

To be clear, Austin doesn’t believe in Christmas music this early and normally I don’t either–but this year is different. My winter skin is growing around a baby who is arriving in the middle of jingle bells and batman smells and the hauntingly beautiful works of Sufjan Stevens.  I cannot look away. I cannot stop listening. I press all the sore spots just to feel it all.

Last December, a very sad boy took the lives of many children and a few teachers in the second deadliest shooting by a single person in American history. I think of these babies as we approach Christmas. I think of those mamas and daddys who aren’t buying presents and who don’t want to look at Christmas trees or decorate cookies. I think of them and am ashamed by my insignificant grief. Their loss so far surpasses anything I’ve ever known, and yet I can’t help from weeping.

The joy Christmas brings is so often mixed with sorrow. Under all the twinkle lights, there is a deep and raw emotion. It is unavoidable. We await the highs with so much anticipation, but for all those highs there are also lows. The all consuming feeling of being human.

And so we take deep breaths as we grow our winter skins and winter babies.

December will find us quickly, and my prayer is that in all her beauty, we also let ourselves feel the grief.

There is no other month when we feel so alive.


This will be awkward if I actually have gestational diabetes.

October 1, 2013


When a woman reaches 28 weeks of pregnancy, she is asked to take a glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. Maybe you’re familiar with it!

First you drink a bottle of what looks like Kool-Aid but tastes like cough medicine mixed with corn syrup and then wait for an hour, at which point they draw a few dozen pints of blood like a hungry vampire. It’s not a big deal, although I’ve spent plenty of time complaining about it. You usually drink the liquid sugar on an empty stomach and in the morning, so the whole thing is a bit queasy. Plus there’s taking off work or lining up childcare and worrying about needles.

I don’t know, I went in this morning with low expectations. Get in, get out. Maybe read a book. This isn’t my first rodeo.

Despite a tired nurse mixing up my chart and then trying to draw my blood before I drank the syrup, the appointment started out fine. I tried to be graceful. Mornings are hard. I get it.

When I got the juice down and had my routine OB check, I dutifully sat in the waiting room to serve my time, trying not to think about my swirly stomach while avoiding eye contact with all the scared baby daddys sitting around me.

One asked his wife, “Did you really want me to come back there with you? I’m not great with these kinds of things.”

If it weren’t for witnesses, I believe this man would have died today. Bless him.

Time passed slowly. I tried to read but the words kept getting mixed up, so instead I snapchatted pictures of the sad baby daddys to friends and thought about lunch. At one point I tried to buy books I don’t need on Amazon, but the transaction wouldn’t go through as Steve Jobs haunts iPhones that are up for an upgrade. Or maybe it was Austin. Either way, well played.

When an hour was up, no one called my name. I knew there were time constraints on this blood draw, but I didn’t want to be that patient, so I kept my mouth shut. Five more minutes passed. Finally they called my name and I waddled to the appropriate room.

The nurses looked nervous. One said, “her veins are hard to find since she’s been pregnant.” The other whispered, “Do you have a butterfly needle? I really don’t like doing this.”

I felt myself flush, but tried to be breezy.

“Nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?” I chirp.

No one answers me. The loudspeaker plays a Toby Keith song. I should have taken it as a sign.

Four skin pricks later and they say I should go to the lab upstairs so a professional can try. I ask if I need any sort of paper. No one can find a paper. Finally someone finds a paper.

I go upstairs, but too much time had passed. It is almost lunchtime. The nurse asks if I can please stay another hour and try again. I feel my face move towards a Claire Danes cry and say, “I really have to go. I’m sorry.”

I barely make it to the car. I am crying and sending what looks like drunk texts to Austin and a few friends.

couldntn find vein.have to doit again. can i just stkip it? i sad.

I rest my head on the steering wheel and after a few minutes, realize I’m being watched by a couple in another car. Please let them think a relative has died.

In retrospect, this really isn’t that sad of a story. Despite the obvious annoyances of wasting a morning and lining up childcare for nothing, it could have been worse. I could have gotten a flat tire on the way home or ran over a kitten. I could actually have gestational diabetes.

The point of the story is that when I texted a friend that I was upset, she said: It’s okay. Just cry and then it will be fine.

And so I did. For ten minutes, I sobbed my ugliest, hungriest, most pregnant cry. Then I wiped off my face, got a sweet tea and chicken sandwich, picked up my kid, took a two hour nap, and felt perfectly fine.

At the risk of sounding like Carrie Bradshaw, sometimes I forget that 99% of the time—all it takes is some tears, food, and sleep to remedy a bad day.

Happy Tuesday.


Freewrite: Not Leaving The Internet To Make Jam

September 26, 2013


Getting back to the root of blogging with uninterrupted, narcissistic rambling. 


At least once a week while I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep, a strange panic seizes me by the throat and I think some sad thoughts about this baby. It’s always the same scene. I imagine seeing her for the first time and instead of astounding joy, I feel a benign sense of indifference. I am detached. Uninterested. I’m thinking about a turkey sandwich.

The rational part of me knows that this will not happen. That I will not start crying for a sandwich or sleep or Waylon. That even though it may be different, it will still be good. It will still be magic.

Recently I was telling a friend it’s not that I don’t love her, it’s that I don’t know her. I know Waylon. I know his face and baby hair and gummy smile. I know him so well that he is a part of me. I don’t know her yet. And even though she is physically part of me, we haven’t really met.

I’m excited to meet her.

Nights are just the worst time for me to think rational thoughts, though admittedly my irrational self does emerge during the daylight too. As proven by the following conversation which exists in some form bi-monthly:

Me: I don’t feel good. I’m so tired. My tongue feels weird.

Austin: You’re pregnant.

Me: No I feel really weird. Like I have a brain tumor.

Austin: You’re pregnant. Drink more water.

(I don’t know why we’re paying for medical school. He knows nothing).


In other news, the Internet is draining isn’t it?

I hesitate to mention it because mentioning it is kind of annoying. It is also nothing new. At least once a week I read a blog post/facebook status/tweet from someone I know or someone famous who is announcing their departure from the Internet in pursuit of grassy fields and a clear mind. Sometimes I roll my eyes but mostly I get it. I feel the same way every few weeks. Last year I signed off the Internet for a whole month. It was okay.

I think it’s the announcing of the leaving that can be annoying for yourself and everyone else (although how else will everyone know you’re having a better time somewhere else making jam and listening to quiet folk music?). It can also be a little tricky (read: embarrassing) when you change your mind. How many times have we sworn off facebook just to be back a few hours later? There has to be a balance (I’m still searching).

No doubt our culture will continue to perpetuate this endless cycle of needing more and needing less. Our thoughts on the Internet and “connectivity” will continue to cycle through the same range of emotions, from LOOK AT MY NEW AMAZING APP to I AM SIGNING OFF TWITTER FOREVER BYEE! It is inevitable.

This is not any sort of Internet departure announcement, just a heavy sigh and a continual hope for balance. You get it.

Happy Thursday.


Freewrite: Unicorns and Orange Popsicles

July 2, 2013


Getting back to the root of blogging with uninterrupted, narcissistic rambling.


My brain is full these days.

I was approached to write a book on faith a few months ago, and now I’m here sitting and staring at my computer every day, trying to look busy.

Even though it is very lucky and wonderful, it also takes over my brain power and reduces me to a sloth by late afternoon.

Writing about faith is heavy.

So when I get to this space, all I want to do is write about things that are light and breezy. Unicorns and popsicles and how strange it is that we’re still referring to pictures we take of ourselves as “selfies,” one of the worst abbreviations in the history of things. Obvi.


Simon and Garfunkel is playing in the background as I write this, which is depressing. How can I, how can anyone, ever create something as beautiful as Simon and Garfunkel?

Two weeks ago I fell down the basement steps and ended up in triage for the day. It wasn’t a catastrophic fall, but it was enough that they wanted to check to make sure the baby was okay.

I was at the hospital for almost six hours. Stuck in a cold, dark room with nothing but moans from women in labor and the drone of TV soaps to keep me company. I was bored and tired. Mostly I was trying not to be concerned. I knew that once I let fear take over, I would lose my grip.

It’s the same in creating, in writing. Once you let the fear in, you will just end up on the couch watching LOST reruns for six hours. Once you let panic take over, you will be stuck in the lie that you are worth nothing more than the last guy who was kind of good at something.

Fear is the murderer of dreams. Of coherent sentences. Of getting anything done beyond moping and texting your sister: what if I got bangs?

And so I keep Simon and Garfunkel on repeat and hope for the best.

We persevere.


Freewrite: Summer

June 18, 2013


Getting back to the root of blogging with uninterrupted, narcissistic rambling.


Yesterday I wore maternity Spanx and Austin’s T-shirt all day, that was the gravity of the laundry situation. Today I’m wearing my high school gym pants and a nursing tank top. Perhaps this deserves a fashion post. I’ll take Austin out to a field and have him snap a few pictures of me wearing these gems as I try to look as pensive/constipated as possible. Slap on a filter and boom, fashion blogger.

I have some hipster glasses around here somewhere. If you ever see me wearing them, feel free to point and laugh. Those suckers are fake. I don’t need glasses. I bought them off Amazon for five dollars plus one million for shipping. I wear them to look smart and trendy and not myself. They actually really hurt my eyes. Now you know.


I love summer as much as the next former tan girl, but the pressure can be a little unsettling. The pressure to always be doing something because it’s warm and there’s time and it’s summer so you better be outside in your maxi dress tending your one dried up basil plant. Make sure to Instagram it! Here is my flower bed full of weeds.

Let’s all just agree that amidst our vacations to Cape Cod, we’re mostly just working or chasing a toddler or refilling the Brita dispenser for the one hundredth time because God forbid anyone else refill it.

I spend most of my days trying not to gag over breakfast foods and ignoring my to do list. I will literally do anything to avoid looking at that list. The other day I mowed the lawn in 80 degree heat wearing full length maternity leggings so I wouldn’t feel bad about a work deadline. After a mild bout of heat stroke, I collapsed and watched reruns of LOST for the rest of the afternoon.

We all have our ways of coping.


My gut is stretching and changing these days. I feel baby butterfly wings and an ache in my loins as my body shifts to make room. Sometimes it is quite lovely. Sometimes I lose my breakfast. Sometimes I forget about it all together because my other baby is still a baby and asking me to rock him and change him and locate the whereabouts of Daddy or Sophie or The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Why is everyone always asking me where everything is? I don’t know! Look around! I am not the finder of all the things. I am mowing the lawn!

I thought I would feel more guilt over not paying attention to this pregnancy. I don’t take photos. I don’t read weekly growth charts. I don’t write those awful bump updates.

Instead, I let it go. I let go of all those expectations and just try to breathe as my body cooks a human and tries not to pass out from heat stroke.

Even though we have to learn it over and over again, letting go always results in the same things; breathing, living, relief.