First and foremost, since we canceled our trip to Tuscany this summer, I’m now laser-focused on plans for a trip back to to the Hamptons with my sister and brother-in-law and our best friends. We are currently mapping out logistics, but I’m hoping to get a house for a week or maybe even 10 days this summer and take a big, deep breather outside of the city a few weeks after baby boy is born. I’ll be sleepless and bleary-eyed, but at least it will be against the backdrop of a Hamptons summer — and, with any luck, laying poolside for long stretches of it. I’m particularly keen on this bucolic dream because last Wednesday night, micro was moving in the most uncomfortable and strenuous of ways and I’m 90% certain he flipped from head-down to breech. I can feel his head in my ribs (a sensation I recall strongly from the final few weeks of mini’s pregnancy) and am fairly confident it’s his feet I feel spiraling around at the base of my abdomen. Both of my babies have also hiccuped a lot in utero and I can feel that the hiccups are coming from the top of my stomach now, too, whereas just a week ago, I’d felt them lower down. I have an appointment this week, so we shall see if my suspicions are correct, and I know we still have time for another somersault into the correct position anyway, but as I lay there, intensely uncomfortable, I felt horribly down. I have been hoping to avoid a second c-section but it wasn’t until I sat up in bed, processing the fact that a c-section could well be imminent (virtually no practitioners will deliver a breech baby vaginally — it’s not considered safe), that I faced this aspiration head-on. I struggled to figure out how I’d manage a recovery with a very active two-year-old at home — especially when Mr. Magpie will have a max of three weeks of paternity leave, and it took me a solid month to feel I was “back on my feet.” And I also realized that there is still a part of me — despite having maneuvered through the process of accepting my first c-section and ultimately coming to terms with it — that feels like I need to experience labor the traditional way, and that I’ll always feel a bit like an outsider to the conventional matrescence experience without it. Illogically (?), I find something virtuous and intentional about a vaginal delivery. A friend of mine — with no mal intent, I know — told me at one point before the birth of her son, “Oh, maybe I’ll just schedule a c-section and dodge the bullet.” Just schedule a c-section. Dodge the bullet. I grimaced, for two reasons: there is nothing easy about a c-section (going through it, or recovering from it) and yet I kind of knew what she meant, because it’s still, irrationally and against all odds, how I think of it sometimes. And I apologize to the many mothers out there who have had c-sections and feel completely differently about the process; please know I am simply sharing my candid and completely baseless emotions on the topic and that, having lived through a c-section myself, I also know that it’s far from “an easy way out” of labor. But there it was: how I truly felt.
The following day, I waddled around in extreme discomfort. Bending over was painful. All of the kicks at the base of my belly sent me straight back to the “lightening crotch” I experienced for months with mini. And the weight of this new information — that a repeat c-section might be highly likely — bore down on me. I had plans to take in the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Whitney at 2 P.M. and I debated canceling them when I took Tilly on her midday walk and found myself inching along at the pace of a snail, wiping tears out of my eyes for no good reason. I longed to call my mother but knew I would just silently sob on my side of the phone — and I didn’t feel up to the histrionics, especially while stumbling through Central Park. Besides, I knew what she would say: you can’t worry about this; you have time. This is God’s plan. You’ll be fine. You don’t even know for sure yet! More than that, I didn’t want to let myself have a public pity party in the face of an otherwise easy and straight-forward pregnancy.
So instead, I touched up my makeup, took a deep breath, and reminded myself that the point is not to experience labor; it’s to bring a child into the world, and as safely as possible. I also told myself: you’ve survived one c-section and you can do it again. And, as a dear friend told me: “It’s the devil you know.” Yes. Yes. Yes.
The trip down to Meatpacking proved to be something of a mistake; I was still highly uncomfortable and it was one of those New York days where you see a little too much on the Subway. (Some days, it’s easier to brush off the weird encounters; other days, you want to shower and meditate and never go below ground again. This day fell into the latter category.) Beyond that, the Whitney was disgustingly overcrowded. My friend and I had bought timed tickets to the exhibit (which was in its final week of showing), but it was so packed that we could hardly see the artwork. Lingering in front of any curatorial placard was an exercise in patience, as oblivious museum-goers would cut in front of us, or back into us, or barrel into our personal space. I was grateful for the distraction of friendship and art (though the experience also confirmed that I am not a fan of Andy Warhol), but I left the excursion depleted.
I sent myself to bed at 8:30 P.M. that evening after a hot shower and a huge bowl of orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage (thank you, Mr. Magpie) and when I woke up the next morning, it was as if God had erased — or at least temporarily hushed — every agony and anxiety from my mind. My first thought was: “I feel better today.” My second: “I’m going to focus on planning our trip to the Hamptons.” In place of the begrudging attitude I’d borne the previous day was a sense of lightness and acceptance, a tone I am now pinning to the dream of our intended summer getaway in Sag Harbor.
So, here we are. Somewhere between tearful waddles and a poolside nap in the Hamptons. And with us are a couple of other beautiful finds for summer…
Charlotte Olympia for Emilia Wickstead Mules.
Pepa & Company Children’s Dresses.
I mean — can you EVEN?! I want them all! I put these dresses on par with the stunning pieces from La Stupenderia (<<I shared a great source for discounted La Stupenderia pieces last week, but should have also mentioned that The Tot also carries select pieces and this one is on sale!)
Personalized Lingua Franca Sweater.
Beyond chic. So cute for a honeymooner in autumn or spring, or a woman who has been married almost nine years (nine years in August?! How can that be!)
Wanting to usher in spring with this pretty gardenia scent.
Pam Munson Plaid Tote.
I own this sweet tote so it’s not so much a lust list item anymore — but I have been wearing it everywhere, and I envision it will accompany me to The Hamptons! It’s a great size (not too big, not too small). I wish the handles were more practical but it’s not a bad option if I have the stroller. It’s made in a wipeable fabric and it goes with EVERYTHING I WANT TO WEAR RIGHT NOW. Love.
Gal Meets Glam Daisy Dress.
I love the cut, print, length, and especially the sleeves on this ladylike number.
Floral Sezane Sweater.
Shashi Barbados Earrings.
I love the look of these chic hoops (under $50!). The vibe coordinates perfectly with so many of the ladylike, floral looks I’m after right now.
Ice Cream Hair Clips.
Love this one with the pink grosgrain! A great way to distract from tired mom eyes.
Floral Burnout Blouse.
This $49 steal would be so perfect with white jeans.
So many pretty finds for spring.
Also ordering another pair of these maternity pajamas (on sale! — I know I’m in the home stretch but these are virtually the only thing I’m comfortable in, with the exception of this $16 jersey dress, which I wear CONSTANTLY AND IT FEELS LIKE A DREAM), daydreaming about anything with a scalloped edge (love this jumpsuit for post-partum me, this floral dress for pregnant me, this gorgeous bedding as a contender for mini’s “big girl” bed, and this dress for mini), and patiently waiting for these $25 steals to be re-stocked in my pixie foot size. Might throw this basket into the Target shopping cart when they do.
P.S. I loved re-reading my thoughts on the last few weeks of my pregnancy with mini.