pregnancy insomnia

And now here’s another comic written and storyboarded by Greg:

pregnancy insomnia

This insomnia is for real. I wake up around 3am and lie there for awhile before I finally decide to get up and do something– usually I have a snack and read or watch Gilmore Girls. Sometimes I clean. Around 7am I climb back into bed, wanting to snuggle with Greg before his alarm goes off. My best sleep is between 7 and 9 in the morning.

I’m so tired. So is Greg. But it’s also kind of a thing we share? We’re in this pregnancy as a team. Loving this crazy beautiful, active baby who dances around in my stomach all night. Soon enough he’ll be crying, waking us up at all hours of the night, needing us in a new way. I’m enjoying our moments together while he still lives in my body; kicking me and squishing my stomach which gives me heartburn. Pressing on my bladder. I love watching my stomach bulge out in different ways as he moves around in there. This part won’t last much longer. It’s such a sweet time, carrying him with me in everything I do.

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valentine’s day hormones

valentines 1

valentines 2

At the end of Valentine’s Day, Greg said, “you need to make a comic about this.” So, as we lay in bed and I was too tired to draw, he sketched this story into my journal. I redrew it into this final version, but the dialogue and story idea are all his. As you can see, he’s really the funny one, and I’m so grateful he has a sense of humor about my crazy moments. Check out Greg’s other comic, Anna’s Long Con.

my love affair with coffee

coffee

It started when I was seven years old. My parents drank Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee back then and kept a green jar of decaf just for me. Lots of milk and sugar. Then when I got older Mama and I would make lattes together, heating the milk and frothing it with a whisk, making Cafe Bustelo espresso on the stove in the Italian espresso pot. Cafes in New York, diners, all my favorite little spots to sit and drink and write and draw. Coffee on trains across the country. Coffee in San Francisco, and New York again. Coffee back at home with  Mama, whisking the milk, sprinkling cinnamon on top. Coffee by myself. For the year between my engagement and marriage I saved all those yellow and red Cafe Bustelo cans and used them as flower vases on the tables at the wedding.

Now Greg makes coffee, setting it up the night before in our new coffee maker so it will be ready at the right time in the morning. He brings me a cup in bed before he leaves for work.

it’s going to be hard forever

without mama

I don’t want to talk about this out loud, not really. Or maybe I do, all the time. I don’t want to be rude or ungrateful to anyone, all the people in my life who are there for me, and are supporting me through this pregnancy. I accept all of that with love, and I’m so grateful. But none of them is my mom. It’s always going to be hard. Every new thing starts it over again. My baby shower will be lovely, but it will be sad too. There’s no way for it not to be sad. It’s okay for it to be sad, and that doesn’t mean it’s not also happy.

I read this book, Rosalie Lightening, a graphic memoir by Tom Hart, about losing his daughter. Talking about the process of creating the book, he said:

“I felt that, to get some sort of understanding, I’d have to put everything into book form. But, you know, you quickly realize that you never ‘understand’ what happened. Instead of understanding, or something as trite as ‘moving past it,’ the best you can do, I think, is integrate the facts of what happened into your life — stop trying to deny it…”

It’s this integration that I’m trying to do. That’s what I did with making the cancer comics, and with these pregnancy comics too– all of my work in a way is trying to integrate my mom’s death into my life. I’ll never “get over it” but it can become part of my life in a way that isn’t breaking me apart every minute. Instead of struggling against it I’m struggling with it, in it. Does that make sense? It’s still hard, it’s still sad, terrible, tragic. But it has to be part of beauty too, and life.

the quickening

quickening

“The Quickening” sounds like a horror movie, but what it means is the time when a woman starts to feel the movements of the baby inside her. It really is the coolest thing. Smokey kicks me, or flips over, I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing, but it feels like he’s communicating with me. Telling me he’s there, saying hi. Or just working on his movements, practicing, learning about his limbs.