American Hearts

As we get closer and closer to Zelda’s birth, I find myself subconsciously drifting towards things in my life that existed before all of the beautiful craziness of the past few years. I think that in the back of my mind, I am rehashing and reliving everything that has happened in my thirty-one years on this planet. Dare I say it: I am beginning to feel a bit nostalgic. This is hilarious, because I am not nostalgic about almost anything. Well, that’s not entirely true. I am nostalgic about a shitty metal pot that was given to me that my grandmother used to use to cook rice in (rice cookers are bullshit), and (of course) Clearly Canadian sparkling water.

So, I have tried to do things of late that I did in my younger and more formidable years. I am not sure why. I don’t like to think of it as a “last hurrah,” because having a kid doesn’t change things you can and can’t do…just the perspective. For instance: I tried to drink “a lot of beers” the other night. I was three beers in and got super dizzy. All I wanted to do was eat a burrito and go to sleep (something I also did in my youth). I settled on no burrito (acid reflux, obviously) and slept instead. I also attempted to wear jeans the other day, which I used to wear all the time. I don’t know. I hated it. I didn’t make it past the bedroom. They are so uncomfortable to me. Unless you haven’t noticed, I am exclusively a corduroy man now. I think I’ll stay that way. Maybe one day I’ll get some Dad jeans.

18 Years Old. Sporting a Canadian Tuxedo at MacRock, 2002
18 Years Old. Sporting a Canadian Tuxedo at MacRock, 2002

The other, more noticeable thing I have done lately is listen to the music of my youth. I think music will always remain a big part of my life. It’s not that music is bad nowadays, I just can’t relate as much as I did when I was young and impressionable. Now I am older and hard to amuse. Sure, I haven’t “played” music in a band in almost a decade, and the only thing I do musically now is make parody songs about farting. Maybe I’ll throw in a slam poem about onion rings. Depends on the day. It’s still music, and I still love it. I’m not confident enough to ever call myself a musician, or admit that I was good, but I always had music to keep me going. That was especially true in my late teens/early twenties. I think we all go through musical phases and eras. The most significant one for me was that time period during my college years. It was during that time period that I saw the most concerts and played the most music (At least the music that was meaningful to me). Although I rarely talk to the guys I used to play music with now, I know they (hopefully) feel the same way.

If there had to be a song that culminated the entirety of that time period – the good feelings and fun, I would say it would be Piebald’s “American Hearts.” Such a fun band. I hope one day I can tell Zelda that I was cool once and went to see Piebald play several times. I loved every minute of it. Unlike Q and Not U (the band I went to see the most), the dudes in Piebald were not douchebags. Piebald was always such a fun show, and I think the only thing I will miss from my youth, or the only thing I am nostalgic for during that time, is that carefree feeling of seeing a band like Piebald. I know there are plenty of opportunities to see bands in the future. Hell, maybe I’ll take Zelda to see her first concert. I hope I do. But I’ll never feel the same as I did when I was 18 and seeing Piebald for the first time. They closed the show at Peabody’s with “American Hearts,” their most iconic song.

I have listened to Piebald ever day over the last two weeks. I didn’t really notice I was doing so until I saw the number of times it has played via iTunes this morning. Subconsciously, I’m part of it! Travis Shettel was right. I can’t wait to make Zelda listen to it someday. I don’t want to pressure her into doing anything, but maybe….MAYBE…I will shove enough indie rock down her throat that she will like it. The corduroys come later.

I Finally Feel Pregnant: Entering the Last Trimester

It’s finally happened. I feel pregnant.

i guess that doesn’t make much sense, considering I’ve covered woes such as morning sickness, fatigue, fetal movement, and other telltale signs of pregnancy. I had a lovely baby shower back at home. Yet the pregnancy always seemed to be like this secret I had carrying around. Then, if I told someone I was four, five, six months along, I’d get met with the incredulous comment, “You don’t look pregnant!” Equally as maddening is the “you’re carrying well” comment, which baffles me.

I’ll admit it, I was a little worried. I think I’d expected to start showing by four months and be a mountain by the time I was seven. Not so. People who know me saw the difference way before. Heck, I had a picture taken at a friend’s wedding last month and to me all I could see was boobs and belly.

Despite the boobs and butt, this is a great picture.
Despite the boobs and butt, this is a great picture.

I asked the doctor about it, and she said I should never compare my size to other pregnant women, since Every Pregnancy is Different™ and I have no idea how my body will react. Also, since it is my first baby, my muscles aren’t stretched out like they would be if I chose to have another. When I consulted my mother, she informed me that she didn’t really start showing until her seventh month. And sure enough, like clockwork, at the seventh month my belly started to grow rapidly and people outside of my circle of friends started to notice.

With the seventh month came some new side effects. My feet have started to swell. Some days they’re so swollen I can’t see my ankles. I have acid reflux. I found out the hard way in the middle of the night when I aspirated some in my sleep and woke up choking. Now I have Tums on me all the time. I’m perpetually exhausted, and even just getting up from a sitting position is a feat of strength. I commute to work on the metro, and let me tell you: the days when the escalator is broken really, really suck. I want to take a nap by the time I reach the top. Breathing is a lot harder, and trying to breathe quietly at work is downright impossible. Pregnancy brain? Oh, it’s real.

Side note: I was definitely curious to see what it would be like pregnant and riding the metro. I wondered if it was standard etiquette to offer a seat. The answer is no. To date, I have had two people offer a seat. I don’t necessarily expect it, and I only have to stand about ten minutes max before I can sit. No big deal. What I find really interesting, though, is the way people look at my stomach, then look at my face. What exactly do they expect to see?

The struggle is real.
The struggle is real.

The biggest thing, though, is how much Zelda moves. Some days it’s just a small series of kicks, and other days it’s like she’s doing backflips and tour jetes in there. Just yesterday I felt something round protruding from my stomach and twisting, which seriously made me think about the Alien chestbursting scene again. After the ultrasound today, though, it was confirmed that she’s head down. More than likely that was a foot trying to poke through. I really think I should be enchanted, but I’m more like, “Yeesh, that’s weird.” The good news is that’s she’s healthy and growing just fine. The movements have kind of become like a comforting white noise and I get anxious when there aren’t many.

There’s less than two months to go, and we’ve got a tough road ahead of us due to little maternity leave options. Yet it still doesn’t feel real. Maybe it will after we get her nursery in order, a task Matt and I plan to tackle this weekend. I don’t feel particularly attached yet, either. I don’t know if that’s normal or not; I’m finding that a lot of pregnancy tales are fluff that kind of reinforce what pregnancy is supposed to be, not what it is.

After all, it took me seven months just to feel pregnant.

Token ultrasound photo.
Token ultrasound photo.