"Our most ancient metaphor says life is a journey. Memoir is travel writing, then, notes taken along the way, telling how things looked and what thoughts occurred. . . .This is the traveler who goes on foot, living the journey, taking on mountains, enduring deserts, marveling at the lush green places...as a pilgrim, seeking, wondering." -Patricia Hampl

September 30, 2008

Adventures in Gestation: 24 Weeks

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So here (center, below the divine floral arrangement) is Baby G, just over halfway through her fetal development. I'd love to show you the ultrasound photos from our last appointment, but besides her looking way less like a baby than an alien, those pics are just oh-so-five-weeks-ago. Witness the bump at its best so far: making a public appearance under a rather non-maternity bridesmaid's dress in an appropriately autumnal (but not so subtle) red, making Momma G resemble a happy tomato.

And who, you ask, is doing all this marrying? Well, our good friends Tina and David, who had one of the most lovely outdoor weddings I have ever witnessed (and participated in). Somehow, the week prior to their nuptials, I went and sneezed wrong, therefore rendering my lower back completely useless (and so too the high-heels I'd planned on wearing with the bridesmaid's dress). So the wedding weekend was an exercise in smile-through-it pain, since any rational Ob-Gyn bans the use of painkillers and back injections for folks of the pregnant variety (at the time, I could hardly understand why). Heath did a fantastic job keeping any wine and spirits out of my desperate-for-relief reach, but somehow during the dancing portion of the weekend, the back loosened and started to actually improve. And thus, the evening ended with some dreamy slow-dancing in the gallery of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (excellent reception site, kids!). Post-script, of course: that bad backs are common towards the third trimester of pregnancy--as are other maladies I shall not utter at the moment.

Most appealing about this wedding (apart from the gorgeous bride, the stunning locale, the friends I hadn't seen since Amy Cooper's wedding in June, and oh, the lamb/fig-with-goat-cheese appetizers of which I still dream) was the phenomenon known as the Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table. (Photo courtesy of one Ms. Amy Cooper.) This appeals to a Pregnant Monica on many levels, some too deep for analysis at the moment. But imagine: all the Aunties have been preparing cookies for the wedding for weeks in advance, baking and freezing them frenetically in mass quantities, only to be scooped up and scarfed down by the cookie-crazy wedding guests. Would that this were a nationwide wedding tradition--imagine the possibilities of your cookie consumption! The prize (to my tastebuds' delight) was Mrs. Tuminella's famous koulourakia, a traditional Greek cookie that bears an egg glaze and is shaped in a twist. I savored these often during Tina's and my lodging together in Worcester, MA, throughout graduate school, and of course when I visited the Tuminella women at Christmastime. Ah, those sent me back. Delish. Baby G didn't mind them, either.

Now that my flip-flopped (rather than high-heeled) walk down the aisle has come and gone, Tina and David are happily ever after on their honeymoon, and school stuff is falling into place, I can once again focus on this little person who loves to remind me she's here by sending me little flutter-kicks around the abdomen. Heath continues to talk to my tummy with updates about the post-season playoff games and such, and we stave off the temptation to give in when people ask us what we're thinking about for names. For now, we're content watching the leaves change and feeling the refreshing chill in the air waft through our house, imagining what life will be like in only a few short months, and preparing for this quiet place to be transformed by a tiny presence. L'shanah tovah--a sweet and happy new year to all!