Tag Archives: pregnancy

Big brother, little…

Let’s just go ahead and put 2015 down as the fastest year in human history, OK?

Somehow, I am halfway to being the mother of two. Emmett spent the first night in a toddler bed last night*. Two of our three summer weddings have already happened. I turn 30 in three weeks. The peonies are blooming! Slow your roll, 2015. Geeze.


And by “slept in his toddler bed,” I mean we found him like this in the morning. 

Did I mention that I’m somehow halfway through this pregnancy? (Although, let’s be real, I fully anticipate going to 42 or even 43 weeks.) I am definitely rounding out quite a bit, and all I want to eat is bagels and cream cheese. Healthy options, of course. And I’ve  already had one big cry about the polar ice caps melting, one of the many pretty-much-out-of-my-control terrors that grips me when it comes to bringing children into this big, imperfect world.


image via Stately Type

We decided to find out the sex of Baby #2 this time around for a number of reasons. Some practical (I’m looking at you, multiple Space Bags full of baby boy clothes), and some more personal.

I had this cinematic vision of someone yelling “It’s a boy!” when Emmett was born. But instead of a calm, natural birth, it was a pretty traumatic ordeal and in the chaos it was more like “Let’s get this baby to the NICU!” The first few weeks postpartum were also pretty emotional and trying for me. I feel like if I know a little bit more about the person I was growing, I might bond more quickly and strongly from the get-go. (Fingers crossed no NICU, too.)

I think love for our children is like the birth of a solar system, with this ever-expanding infinity of emanating outward.

2015-05-18 22.46.42

I know a lot more now, which is to say that I know that I basically know nothing and that each baby/child/person is completely different and designed to keep parents on their toes.

Either way, I’m excited to know we’re having a baby girl in October. I’m going to have to play Sarah Kay on repeat for the next five or so months.

If I should have a daughter, instead of “Mom,” she’s going to call me “Point B,” because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint solar systems on the backs of her hands so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” – Sarah Kay 

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Love it or leave it: The post-baby body

When you’re pregnant, your body seems to become part of the public domain. People compliment your cute belly or comment on your cankles. It’s all, “Oh, look at you! You must be feeling _____.” They mean well. It’s all an attempt to acknowledge and empathize in some way.

Thankfully, once the baby is out, that tiny bundle of adorable becomes a welcome diversion. I mean, come on:


Most people are more interested in peeking into your carrier than pointing out that you still look preggo. Unless you’re paparazzi bait like Kim K or Duchess Kate, in which case you can expect about a bazillion headlines anticipating and then analyzing your first “post-baby” pics. Or unless you work with 7th grader boys who give you the eyebrow as you introduce them to your 10-week-old and say things like “Uh, Miss Brianne, are you uh, you know again?” (Direct quote!)

Every woman’s experience is different, but my feelings related to my body over the past year have been the Space Mountain of emotions. (It’s a roller coaster in the dark, people. You don’t know where the next turn will take you. Wheee!) As my butt and belly slowly re-enter the same zip code, I’ve come to realize that this year I’ve been more aware of my body than ever before.

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Our new hours

We’re measuring our lives right now in millilitres and dirties, in the tiniest of yawns and loudest of yowls.


I’m thinking about how I used to wish for a few more hours in the day, and realizing that they’re actually tucked into the feeding cycle of an infant, snuck sometime between when the rest of the world is fast asleep and when the birds begin to chirp. They are sweet-cheeks-resting-on-bosom-hours, nodding off in the rocker hours, blurry-eyed hours not meant for productivity at all. My body is not quite ready to accept this new arrangement of time.


Hours. Labor for me was not as I’d envisioned. It was a 30 hour event, begun at about 2 a.m. Wednesday and carried through until 7:26 a.m. Thursday. I ended up getting an epidural after all. Here, I’m still coherent enough to stick my tongue out at the camera and be amused reading “Dadspin” posts. (Thanks Tim and Gretchen!)


The baby was “sunny side up,” as they say, and after three and a half hours of pushing, he finally came out with forceps. Apparently they called a “Code Pink” and our hospital room filled up with nurses and midwives and doctors in all-hands-on-deck-during-shift-change mode. (Side note: Nurses are amazing. I have no idea how they can see so much and pretend it’s not a big, disgusting deal.)

Absolutely none of that would have been in a “birth plan,” but eventually I came to understand the labor and delivery process more as a “Choose your own adventure” type of experience than something that can be worked through in advance.

Emmett wasn’t breathing on his own at the start (he’d gotten meconium in his lungs and I’d started to run a fever) and gave us quite a scare. Well, I say that, but I didn’t know that something might be wrong until I realized how long the pause had been before his first scream. Our first few days were spent being monitored the NICU, but we got to come home on Father’s Day afternoon and just have a few more tests to confirm everything is A-OK.


In the meantime, we’ve been falling in love. Can you blame us? I’m trying not to be one of those moms who only posts photos of her baby to Instagram (@brianne_sanchez), but I can’t resist.


This poem shared by Cup of Jo rang true today:

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ― poem by Mary Jean Irion


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First Father’s Day: Emmett Stephen edition

Joe became a dad on Thursday, June 13, when Emmett Stephen Jayjack joined our family. I’ll save our hospital adventures for another post, but in the meantime I wanted to share the magic that is watching your best friend and little boy bond, even if it’s at 4 a.m. during the first week of motherhood and you’re slightly delirious. This. Is. Love.


We aren’t all the way home yet, but Emmett is doing great. He weighed in at 8 lbs, 6 oz. at birth and measured 22 inches.


I can’t get enough of the way his big cheeks and little chin make him pout and how long his little fingers and toes are. This picture of me from yesterday morning isn’t quite an accurate reflection of my current zombie state, but I had to pull myself together for at least one photo with the little man. I like to think he’s throwing a “W” for Cubs Win here.


Emmett’s name comes from some wonderful men in our lives. My grandpa, uncle and same-age cousin are all Robert Emmett* Kelley, and each one of those men is so smart, funny and caring that we wanted to represent them with the first great-grandchild on that side. Stephen is Joe’s dad’s name, and Steve is such an amazing grandpa to Emmett’s nine cousins, I’m excited to add to the brood.

Fingers crossed we get to bring Emmett home to meet Wilbur and hang out in his own room today! That would be the best gift.

*My grandpa was named Daniel Patrick at birth and then his parents changed his name to Robert Emmett at his baptism. Isn’t that funny? He’s named after the Irish revolutionary, Robert Emmet but with an extra “t.”


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Just me and grumpy cat


In case you wanted to know, being three days overdue the day before your birthday, when your mom has to leave town on Sunday and no sign that baby is coming anytime soon… well, I’m morphing into grumpy cat.


This feels a lot like being at the end of a long distance race and then realizing they MOVED THE FINISH LINE. And didn’t tell you where. Or, at least that’s what I imagine it might feel like, except that race officials moving a finish line would be CRAZY and everyone would go berserk.



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The waiting game

We have this thing in our family called LMR. Last Minute Rush. I inherited it — crafting things (like, oh, my wedding hair piece) at the final possible moment (like, say, in the car, on the way to my wedding). But like I’ve said, I spent the spring hurdling through deadlines in order to actually have things prepared in advance, in case this baby wanted to make an early entrance into the world. And now it’s day two past my due date, my mom is in town, and I’m still pregnant. Apparently that’s what I get for pulling myself together for once!


Here are some things I’ve been up to while waiting to have a baby:

Walk (1.7 miles – not too shabby) to the Art Center with my mom to meet Joe for lunch at the Art Center Cafe and finally see the Ai Weiwei sunflower seeds.

Browse around Beaverdale Books (clearly the baby needed this book and I needed this book), pop in Back Country and wish I had a waistline, console myself with a Snookies twist cone.

Drink about 20 cups of “Cloud 9” tea from Gong Fu, which is reported to have helped bring on labor for several women, myself not yet included. Good thing it’s actually delicious.


Watch Anne of Avonlea from the beginning to the spot where Anne spurns Gil on the bridge, and cry. (My mom has a pavlovian weeping issue with the music in Anne of Green Gables.)


Eat Jersey Guys pizza and hot wings. I grew up with Chicago style, but I’ve got to say I love their big, floppy pieces and chewy crust.

Read “Man Walks into a Room,” by Nicole Krauss. I thought this novel – about memory, loneliness and one’s sense of self – was mesmerizing. I am a big fan of Krauss’ work, although I think “The History of Love” remains my favorite of hers. I found this book on my nightstand after Joe and I cleaned our room for the first time in like, two years.


Buy Big Boggle, which is my grandpa’s current obsession, and play with Joe and my mom. I have a feeling we nerds will be Boggle tournamenting in Portland this summer. (Also, did you know there’s a pretty awesome board game/toy store “Games and More” in Valley West Mall?) I never go into that corner of the mall.


Yesterday was a great day spent with my mom, made extra special because it was the 10 year anniversary of my dad’s death. My mom thought maybe the baby would come in some sort of circle of life thing, but not so. My mom is leaving Sunday, so I’m really hoping the baby arrives by my birthday on Saturday!

I got up crazy early, so maybe I should go un-pack our hospital bags and make huge messes around my house so as not to disrupt the LMR equilibrium that I’ve had most of my life?

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A little like Lolo

I might look like Humpty Dumpty these days, but I feel a little like an Olympic hurdler. It’s been quite the sprint of a spring, with lots of events and milestones spread across these final months of pregnancy. Physically, I can’t see my feet while standing — which might not be a bad thing, considering they’ve swollen to elephantine proportions. Mentally, it felt like they were just skimming the ground. Each week I’d get the updates telling me baby is the size of a banana or squash or <insert produce of approximately similar size here>, but I felt like I needed to stay laser-focused on The Next Thing.

62bcd72abfdb11e2a45222000a9e06f4_7I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on enjoying pregnancy because of being busy, but I’ve been on productivity overdrive — probably to an irksome level. The whole nesting instinct has manifested itself beyond just my nursery decorating obsession. Every task has a due date, and I want to meet it so that I can check it off and move on and not be tangled in a jumble of unfinished to-dos when this baby arrives. Coming from a journalism background, I’m deadline-oriented to begin with, but pregnancy has added a whole new dimension to things. I worry I’ve been a little bit like a girl on the playground who is twirling the double dutch rope too fast. She’s not always the most fun to play with.


Thankfully, I feel like I’ve come to a resting point. Our big work fundraiser is now a fond memory. I had the day off Friday and got a massage from East Village Spa. It was a first Mother’s Day gift from Joe, who necessitated a midnight bar pickup Thursday after an evening of debauchery with my brother. I felt like I earned it on Friday. I also got to see some of the super cute designs from Brandi’s new POWpourri line when I stopped into Ephemera.


My family came into town. I graduated on Sunday with my Master’s degree. It’s crazy to think that 2.5 years of evening classes are behind me! We celebrated with dinner at Django.


I took today off, too, and caught my breath. There’s an empowering feeling and a beauty in pushing forward, even when it’s hard, but I’m so glad the finish line is in sight. My due date is June 4 and I’m feeling as ready as I’ll be.

P.S. All of the nursery components are finished. Just need to hang a few things and then I’ll have to post about everything. The room makes me so happy, but I do feel a twinge of guilt about how lucky our child will be. I want to let him or her know that from those to whom much is given, much is expected. I hope growing up in a beautiful space will inspire generosity and kindness.


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This long winter feels like it’s been waiting with me, new life of spring still underground as I get bigger and bigger with the baby. I’m practicing patience, seeing progress everywhere: The green tips of the first crocuses emerging, drywall up in our new room, a belly button that’s on its way inside out.


In a way, I’m glad March is taking its sweet time to warm up. It’s inviting me to stay a little while longer under the covers, moments to contemplate the bumps and stirrings beneath the surface of my skin. I’m becoming one of those women whose left hand returns over and over to that spot between her ribs, where the rounding begins.

Growing up, my mother always encouraged me to strive to be a well-rounded person, to seek out and soak up new experiences. I know this child is going to change me in ways I can’t imagine — already this mystery person inside is putting everything into a new perspective. I want to continue to be well-rounded after s/he is born. To acknowledge the dependence of another individual but to become neither a sun nor a moon. To explore in tandem. For motherhood not to be a totally different identity, but an addition to the things I also am.


These are the daydreaming days. I’ve begun writing out our baby’s potential names. I smile making the swirling Js of his or her surname (our children will have Joe’s) and wonder what’s in a name. I was a bossy little one with a wild imagination, chattering away. Joe’s family says he was sweet and shy, choosing his words thoughtfully. Just a few more months to go.


Photos from the 25-week mark by Bethany, taken at a Valentine party she hosted for moms and kids. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by a community of fantastic women who are navigating that transition to motherhood with creativity and love.

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