Merry Christmas from Kalispell (30 Weeks)

Christmas Day was as peaceful as they come: a huckleberry pancake breakfast, the exchange of books and handmade gifts, a long walk among snow-covered trees, an afternoon of reading and eating. I made a simple chicken dish from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem (a favorite) that included roasted clementines in the mix. For dessert, I made this cake and topped it with coconut ice cream. The post for the cake is aptly titled “a citrus cake for the winter blues,” which is appropriate considering the sun is a thing of the past these days.

On the night of the Winter Solstice the moon shined bright and lit up the little bit of snow that had finally arrived. As is tradition, we spent the evening caroling at our friends’ home, sustained by pots of piping hot chili. A highlight of the season. We’d spent that day in Whitefish, me working in the ski lodge while Luke hit the slopes. It’s strange returning to somewhere that was home for a while. Like anywhere else, no matter how long you live there, you take it for granted, especially the familiarity, in faces and routines. We stopped in to see a few friends, too, and it was so nice to catch up, to feel a big hug from friends.

Christmas Day, 30 weeks pregnant

The 30-week mark has brought on so many emotions about this journey. Mood swings don’t help matters, but I’m hanging on in that regard. As ever, I think it’s important to feel what you feel… no use in hiding it, no use in pretending. This experience is as mentally transformative as it is physical.

In 7-12ish weeks, we’ll have our baby here. Here, here. In our arms here. I pinch myself over this. For now I bask in the joy of feeling him or her somersault in their hot tub and grow bigger and bigger (hopefully not too big). I look forward to every midwife appointment to hear the heartbeat of our little one and learn of his or her position of the day. Baby is measuring right on schedule and has a heartbeat in the 150s. At the appointment, Baby had moved entirely over to the left side giving my belly a lopsided appearance with what we think is a little bum protruding out. I will never stop being amazed by this.

We’ve been reading and reading and reading… so much so that my head is spinning and I have since decided to put down the pregnancy books and pick up some literature.  Just like I did in the early weeks. There’s such thing as too much book knowledge I think. That aside, this isn’t something we can cram for.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about childbirth. It’s such a mystery to me, albeit one I’ve been endlessly fascinated by. I don’t doubt the ability of my body to do this, truly. It’s just hard to wrap my head around what’s to happen. So that’s what I doubt, my mind’s ability to let go. I’m working on it. In  the modern world, what is there really that we can’t plan for, predict, control, all of the above? An experience unlike any other felt before or after.



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