Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Leaving the hospital

Cafe society

My Bazzy is a cafe maven's dream baby. We have been sitting here at Caffe Trieste in Berkeley for more than an hour and all he's done is be cute and make baby noises while I work. My fingers are crossed hard in hopes that this lasts!

Sunday, September 27, 2015


I’m not always lost in rapture. Sometimes I just play on my phone. I feel guilty as I do it, but I do it anyway. The guilt comes from the cult of appreciate every moment. You’re not supposed to let a single second slip through your fingers. It’s that whole awareness thing, the meditation bullshit that I every so often actually buy. In a few weeks, this period of my life will be at an end. I will be a mother. I will have a child, a son. Lose this moment and you forfeit the battle. Give up the battle and you’ve tossed away the war.

So I shouldn’t play on my phone. But Facebook is so addictive.

For most of the 20-minute testing period I’m alone in my curtained solitude. Every so often, though, a nurse will come in and ask me questions. They’re pretty much always the same. Are you still taking the same medications? Are you having contractions? Are you experiencing swelling-nausea-constipation? The glamour of pregnancy takes on new and radiant meaning every time I set foot in this place.

And yet in a way I like it. I like it the way that you sometimes like the dentist or a boring university lecture when you’re a sophomore or something. It’s routine. It’s logical. It makes sense, and how much does during this chaotic time of my already ridiculous life? I come in and they sit me down, offer me water and a parking-validation slip, and I feel – I don’t know, protected. I can’t think of a better way to put it.

Once a week they send me to get an ultrasound. That’s a pretty awesome part, actually. I walk in and arrange myself on the exam table, listening to the crunch of the roll-out paper underneath me. The ultrasound techs are nice. They joke with me while I half-wriggle out of my jeans, exposing my pregnant belly. They give me a cloth to tuck into my underwear and then squirt pre-warmed lubricant onto my skin. Then they touch the paddle to my stomach and he appears: a series of pixels on a grainy screen, the image of my child. I always say the same thing when he comes onto the screen: “Hi, baby.” Fortunately, I don’t expect an answer. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

My writeup on Baz for the St. Mary's newsletter

Baz Franklin Sandler was born to Allison Landa (MFA, Fiction, 2006) and Adam Sandler (de facto MFA, Fiction, 2006) on Sept. 6, 2015 at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley. Baz lists Dr. Seuss and baby formula as his main influences and looks forward to tackling angsty poetry by his first birthday. His parents are rather awed by him, as has always been his intent. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Nearly two weeks post-baby

First strike at writing after giving birth

They tell me about Braxton-Hicks contractions during non-stress testing at Alta Bates. This is where I’m going to be delivering Baz. It’s also known as the Baby Factory. God only knows how many babies have screamed their first screech within these walls. Mine will be but one. At the end of the year they inscribe the names of the babies born on a scroll, frame it, put it on the wall. My son will be Baz Franklin Sandler. Adam likes to say that his DJ name will be DJ B. Frank. I picture a little six-pound baby spinning the tunes. I try to imagine his musical taste. How will I influence it? Will he say my mom really liked this with a smile, or will he say it with a sneer? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Yesterday's bris

I look super sappy, but I don't care. Naming ceremony with (from left) Grandpa Jay Sandler, us and Rabbi Adam Schaffer, our brother-in-law who also officiated at our wedding seven years ago.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Written to a friend just now

You are absolutely right. I was worried. I was worried about identity, about wasting my time caring for another rather than myself. Right now I'm in a sweet thick hormonal soup that somewhat allays those fears ... But it's more too. It's wordless, really. It's as if those fears themselves were given power, but good power, like the Power of Grayskull. (Was that good power?) It's as if everything has turned to nourish me and my love for this goofy tiny beauty of a guy. That is not to say perfection exists here. It never will. But circumscribed in the lines that tie me to Baz, Maizie, Jack and Adam, there is strange and wonderful magic.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Back in my ass-kicking boots

When I first got pregnant in January, I weighed 160 pounds and was on my way down, down, down. I lost weight during the first trimester, bringing me to a low of 146.4 pounds. My doctors were telling me that I needed to keep weight on and gain weight ... Christ. Did I ever think this would happen?

My ultimate high in the pregnancy was 171.1 pounds as weighed the morning before I officially went into labor. Baz was born Sept. 6 and having just stepped on the scale, I was greeted by a total of 153.3 pounds.

Do I still carry some baby weight? Of course. But check out what I looked like this morning. I'm happy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

If I make you happy I don't need to do more

Baby what you've done to me
You made me so good inside
And I just wanna be
Close to you, you make me feel so alive

- Aretha Franklin, "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman"

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Baz Franklin Sandler

Our wonderful little boy was born at 2:25 pm on Sept. 6, 2015. He weighs 6 pounds and 14 ounces and is about 19.1 inches tall. Currently he is cooing in his bassinet next to me at Alta Bates Medical Center here in Berkeley. The happy days, my friends. Incredible photo by Courtney Roberge.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pet peeve

Women (and it's always women) who bitch-bitch-bitch about their partners and then go off on Facebook about how much they looooove them. Not only are they hypocrites, they're time-wasters.