Sweet potato salad and WTF Week 13


And just like that, I’m in the last week of my first trimester.

No more nausea, no more exhaustion. And last week I got great news: The baby is at low risk for major chromosomal defects (which means the baby is at low risk for ABORTION — lucky baby!), and … it’s a boy!

Some days I feel like I have this shit DOWN (10 Metamucil pills a day does the trick! Plop, plop!). Still, I had one entire week where I knew I’d killed the baby because I sneezed too many times.

But really, now all I need to worry about are: a few remaining chromosomal defects, physical defects, gestational diabetes, PROM, preeclampsia, eclampsia, home birth vs. hospital birth, gendered baby clothes, and the PRICE OF FUCKING DAYCARE IN SAN FRANCISCO OH MY GOD. One quoted us $2,500 a month. TWENTY-FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH TO TAKE CARE OF AN INFANT. FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU NO SERIOUSLY FUCK YOU. WHAT DO YOU FEED THEM, GOLD DUST ON GOLD SPOONS. DO YOU SWADDLE THEM IN THE SKINS OF POORER CHILDREN.

One thing I DON’T seem to need to worry about anymore is food aversions. Those first few weeks, green vegetables tasted so bitter the thought of them made me sick. Now I’m back to living on the edge: Cleared by my OB, I drink one full cup of tea every morning (THANK YOU, MELINDA, for the advice to just buy a bigger fucking mug), I have had two sips of wine (FUCK YOU KAISER COUNSELOR YES I CANCELLED MY SECOND APPOINTMENT WITH YOU BECAUSE OF THE WAY YOUR FACE SCREWED INTO MATRONLY CONDESCENSION WHEN YOU SAID I CAN’T HAVE ANY WINE UNTIL THE BABY IS DONE BREASTFEEDING I WASN’T EVEN PLANNING ON HAVING ANY BUT YOUR FACE YOUR FACE I WILL NEVER GO BACK NEVER), and I’ve eaten blue cheese four times and I HAVE NO IDEA IF IT WAS PASTEURIZED.

OK, that last one makes me nervous.

But because I HAD a food aversion, I have developed a far greater understanding of my first, and only shitty, baby-sitting client from 2008.

Let’s call her Princess. Every morning that I showed up to take care of P’s infant son, P opened the door and immediately started talking at me about the night and morning she’d had. Her husband worked for Morgan Stanley, she didn’t work or volunteer, they rented a three-bedroom apartment in Pacific Heights, and later they bought a house there. And STILL SHE FOUND THINGS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT, which mostly included TARGET EMPLOYEES. But my real problem with her was that in a year and a half, P never once asked, “How are you?” NOT ONCE. JUDGE MUCH, JENNY. YES SHE WAS A FUCKING PRINCESS.

But I got P, and I got her good, and only now do I understand how good: When P was pregnant with her second son, I would put her first son down for a nap and then make my lunch — which more often than not was a CAN OF SARDINES.



Back to me. In case anyone needs further proof that I don’t deserve the happiness I’m currently experiencing, on the same day recently, I wore socks with Birkenstocks AND I sent an email to Merriam-Webster correcting an error in one of their entries (THEY ADMITTED IT WAS A MISTAKE I WIN I WIN). Also, at a restaurant two months ago, I put bread in my purse.


I’m not just getting older and, by being pregnant naturally and on purpose, defying the laws of nature (with each week of pregnancy I get more white hairs — NOT A JOKE WTF WHY NOW) — I’m turning into every middle-aged Berkeley liberal I have ever yelled at in a crosswalk (from my car IT’S WORSE THAN THE TENDERLOIN JESUS YES I SEE YOU RUTH/BARBARA/LINDA I JUST WANT TO GO FIRST AND I HAVE A CAR). All I need now are some interesting earrings, hiking sandals that I wear in urban environments, and a stack of West African dance CDs.

Speaking of driving, last week, driving in one of the many rainstorms that are slowly pulling the Bay Area out of our drought, Strong Jawline, my provider of intercourse for the past eight months, pulled his hand off my leg and said, “I think I should be driving with both hands.”

Then, to himself: “Seven and three.”

Jenny (looks over with shocked delight): (Barely containing herself) Do you mean ten and two?

SJ: (Silence)

Jenny: Look at your hands. Seven is down there.

SJ: (Silence)

Jenny: How do you not know “ten and two”?

SJ: (Silence)

Jenny: You are not a genius!

SJ: (After a minute) I like having my elbow rest against my belly button. It’s very comforting.

OK, it’s true that SJ (WHO, I RECENTLY DISCOVERED, USES “IMPACT” AS A VERB. PERHAPS I SPOKE TOO QUICKLY WHEN I SUGGESTED WE HAVE A CHILD TOGETHER) redid his kitchen for me. So I’m not exactly in a position to call anyone else a princess (although it does mean I can spot another one in an instant). Anyway, a couple weeks ago I sat with SJ in his (COLD) garage as he screwed together our new cabinets, and I read out loud from the Australian Huggies website about what was going on with my body and the baby at Week 11. In the time it took me to read one entry, SJ had put together a cabinet. He was very proud of himself.

SJ: You might be able to make a human, but I can make a cabinet! And it doesn’t take me nearly as long!

Thank you, SJ. You complete me. Or, perhaps I should say, you impact me.

To make this umpteenth version of the salad that always delivers, you need:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato
  • 1 Persian cucumber
  • 1/4 cup PASTEURIZED OR YOUR BABY WILL DIE feta cheese
  • 2 who are we kidding 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

You need to:

  • Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork. Roast it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until a paring knife goes all the way through.
  • Chop the tomato and cucumber.
  • Combine with the feta and parsley, add the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.





6 Comments Add yours

  1. You totally won the lottery on the first try! So glad that all is well with babe. Also: you can totally have a glass of wine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel incredibly lucky! Just hoping the other shoe doesn’t drop. 🙂 And wine will be had — just waiting out my anxiety (and saving it for a special occasion!). xoxo


  3. I really didn’t want it during pregnancy although I gave myself permission… But during breastfeeding, yes. And beer. And you know I’m not a doctor but that’s what I think. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill says:

    ok, in japan pregnant ladies eat sushi. While in italy while I was pregnant the women thought i was CRAZY to skip wine with dinner. And I drank, smoked, and got in scalding hot tubs pre-knowing I was pregnant, and Anna is just a-ok. Also, you could move to barcelona where child care will run you 350-400 per month. lncluding swimming lessons. at a really nice little place. with tiny little uniforms. Oh, and you will find pediatricians tell you must only feed SINGLE item baby foods when they start eating. Here, there are none to be found. I found this out by visiting about 15 stores. All baby food is a mixture (sometimes of things like rabbit and 5 veggies, sometimes fruit with COOKIES). I’m not sure any country is as paranoid as the US. 🙂 I’m excited for you though. xo


    1. The U.S. is definitely getting under my skin, and you guys make Barcelona look like the spot, so perhaps I will take you up on your idea of moving there! Got a room for me?? 🙂 xoxo


  5. You may not be a doctor but you have good advice.


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