Sometimes the only place to start is from here. OK, it's the only place to start from, really, and the only place to arrive. But here is a tricky thing. And I’m utterly (let’s not say hopelessly) ill-prepared for it. If I tapped into my zen, I’d see that being where you are requires zero preparation. But oh dear friends, I’m not quite there yet.

{eva by malota}
Yet there’s no escaping; here I am. A long continent away from where I was only three weeks ago. Back “home” so to speak, some may even say back to where I started. But I’ve never been here before. Navigating the state of 37 weeks pregnant with my husband, who’s definitely never been here before either. Refiguring how to live in the States, while suddenly--so it seems to me now--becoming mother.

This week we’ll pack a bag for the hospital and wash some baby clothes. We’ll buy me a robe and an open-fronted nursing shirt or two. We’ll install baby’s car seat, and buy a cute mirror so we can see him in the rearview. We’ll take another birthing class at the birthing center. I’ll get my first-ever acupuncture in hopes that it will calm me: help me to arrive. To tell you the truth, it calms me just to write this down. One of blogging's more peaceful moments, and something I've been missing.

But what wakes me up at odd hours aside from constant peeing? Is what to do about the nest. We've been living with my auntie, convinced that we would have our own place set up before baby belted his first hello. When we left Patagonia, I couldn’t really start thinking about what we would do for housing upon arrival to California. First, we had to vacate our lives there, say our nos vemos, hasta prontos. Planning beyond that was just flying pigs to me. 

Now that we’re here, of course I want to nest. I want to figure out diapers and decorate space, unpack the baby items given us in Patagonia. To start our home together.  At the same time, I just don’t know if I have it in me to get everything we need for the baby and to shop for a bed for us, bookshelves, a dresser. Not to mention choosing an arbitrary location before we have jobs. And physically move the few boxes I have (which I can’t really help with) and decorate (which I might obsess over). And remember to breathe relaxingly for this natural birth thing? Be a mom to another human being, when I’m finding it difficult to even mother myself. 
{photo by dan;o)el}
Um, yeah, I know I can do this. But I could use a pep talk or a funny story. Something about a time when you jumped into the deep end only half able to swim... and survived.

happy holidays.

Right now I feel a little like swinging high till the chain loosens enough for my stomach to enter the heart of my throat before it plops back down again in a tightening creak. It all happens so fast. And then there's that feeling that you can do it over and over again. And if you're older and haven't swung in a while, you may find it's even good exercise.

{torres del paine swinging : by serkan yalin}
We are squaring away newborn insurance for next year and apartment hunting. It makes me squirmy, as I find sitting in some chairs for more than 20 minutes unbearable. Not to mention the actual apartment viewing part and the fact that my decision-making skills are shot. On the other hand, it's remarkable (even if I do say so myself) how many decisions we've made since we arrived. I'm so happy the seats in our new 1999 car are comfortable (and have seat warmers). I'm happy to take those wheels and reunite with long-time friends. To share Christmas with family, to breathe in the pine of my auntie's colorful Christmas tree. To return to little girls so grown up, to our growing family with my growing belly--knees kneading me from the inside and eyelids blinking between sleep.

I miss you, dear blog friends. Sending you light wishes and delight. That your transition into the new year be warm and love-filled, ever.


Not much has progressed since my last entry. Though, as of yesterday, we do have phones. We’ve started taking our (better late than never) birthing classes and found that baby is (still) butt breech. There’s time for him to turn, but he’s been like this for a while. Then there were a few of those days. You know the ones, where the car you just bought doesn’t work exactly as it should, and you’re driving a lot. You’re worried about where you’ll live and how long it will be till there’s income again. Knowing there’s a baby and a new mom soon, who only just changed her first diaper on a dolly on Saturday. And trying to let go and go with the flow. If mom’s stuck on the breech, how is baby supposed to get unstuck? 

{yogi tea wisdom : via fieldy}
Let’s just say the irony’s not lost on me. And all of this non-acceptance and mind wheeling mechanical worry has given me the first hives of my life and a wicked cold. Two days ago I thought the world was about to end—or that it never would. I’d been listening to the “advice” of other pregnant mothers who had weathered colds: It’ll pass. Tea. Soup broth. Tissues. It might take weeks; be patient. I started to imagine trying to labor in that condition, impossibly. I stayed in bed a day, while S cooked and mothered me as best he could. And I already feel better. The worst of it lasted only two days, though no over-rejoicing and jinxing my good fortune here. 

Then the pitter-patter of hiccups, which I swear resonate from the lower part of my womb… Maybe it's progression after all. 

dear friends.

Looks like I'm going to need more time on the international move front. Who knew it would be so much work? I thought I would have seen more people by now and be back caught up with emails and blogs.  They say the moodiness of the first trimester revisits in the third. And, while it certainly isn't as difficult as my first tri, I certainly burst into tears more than I would like. I thank my lucky stars and clouds for my loving, supportive family, and of course, my dear husband of infinite patience. During the day, autumn's colors do make me smile... if only the days lasted a little bit longer.

The good news is we have pretty much decided on the birth center. We start appointments there tomorrow and pick up the beginning of all the birthing classes we need to take on Thursday. In Natales we were sans classes (and a whole lot else)--an idea I had to get used to, but it's wonderful to have more options and better (+ holistic) care. We also figured out my health insurance. All those people with pre-existing conditions can get insurance now, a little something called Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan. (I'm not going to get all political on you, but I'll just say this totally rocks and relieves many of my worries.) We also bought a car today, which will require lots more errands in the coming days.

So, slowly but surely, we're finding our way. Getting settled. Phones, S's social security card + driver's license, holidays, and maybe a baby shower to follow soon. Not to mention where to live and jobs.  Posting will continue to be sparse this week. In the meantime, thank you so much for your emails, kind words and welcome homes. Please bear with me. :)


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