37 Weeks, Rings and Pens and a Beautiful Orb

35 weeks/8 months pregnant

Probably my last pregnancy update, but I promise there’s a treat in this post for you poets too!

Well, yay, I made it to 37 weeks which is the full-term gestation that I would personally be comfortable delivering the baby at home. I forgot how UNcomfortable the last few weeks can be, but I’m not complaining as I know it could be much worse. I’ve lucked out and have had good blood pressure, very minimal low back pain, and absolutely no edema. I definitely have a oompa-loompa waddle and I’m pretty much saying “c’est la vie” and letting housework fall by the wayside as I’m just too exhausted for the constant bend-overs that are part of daily life with two kids under four. I’m looking forward to labor but a little worried about if the baby’s a girl because we have no viable first name choices. If any readers have suggestions of a name that fits these, send them my way:

– three-syllables
– different and melodic
– preferably Hebrew (but open to any origin)
– does NOT begin with letters A C J K Q S

Yeah we’re, uh, particular. I also have quite the pregnancy brain and here’s a little senryu to illustrate:

Lost my wedding ring

At least I still have a pen

(Somewhere around here)

That’s not to say I put writing above my marriage, but I definitely would rather be stranded on a desert island with a pen (and paper) rather than a bejeweled tiny circle of precious metal. But poet friends, that wasn’t the treat. Here it is:

Cartoon by Peter C. Vey

Haha! We’ve all been there.

And lastly, here’s just a little touching moment I want to remember. Read More


Confectionary Confession

Painting by Wayne Thiebaud

I’m eating leftover birthday cake from last weekend, cutting each slice thinner and thinner, hoping to savor the layers of buttercream godsend from the town bakery. I’m grateful my husband gave up sweets for Lent and that my daughters forgot all about the festivities and the giant box in the fridge. A secret delectable all for me and the one in the womb:)

2018, Amaya Engleking 

Supernatural Birth

Art by Stepha Lawson

My midwife gave me a visualization assignment that I normally wouldn’t take too seriously, not prescribing to the “law” of attraction but rather more to the principles of prayer and surrender. But after just having read Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent, I’m interested to try this as an exercise to funnel good thoughts and intentions into a desired outcome. If I am a co-creator, after all…  Read More


Photography by Charlotte Colbert

All is white these days, the humidifier noise through the night and late January skies, but I’d give my life not to remain a blank slate mirror anymore. Smooth, slippery cold marble surface, not even the Kronos Quartet playing Philip Glass to the much prayed-for snowfall, not even the kids’ laughs or cries, not even my husband saying poetry doesn’t matter can penetrate, or stick, or stain. Albedo one hundred percent. Read More


Almost halfway!

I haven’t been one for pregnancy updates throughout any of my “with child” months, mainly because I’ve thankfully had healthy, normal pregnancies. I’ve never really had a scare besides when my husband and I were trekking in Nepal while I was five months along with my first and when we were a three-day walk from the nearest town with bus services, he came down with giardia. Read More

Pregnancy Diet Quirks

Here are some strange changes going on with my palate right now. (If you’re here for the poetry, maybe skip this monotonous pregnancy diary.)

• First and foremost, beverages. I regularly drink coffee and tea. Black coffee about one cup every other day and herbal tea before bed about twice a week. Now, at almost 11 weeks, I don’t want to drink anything hot and I skip coffee altogether because it’s too bitter but I don’t want to sweeten it. I don’t normally take ice in my drinks but now I only want to drink something if it has at least three ice cubes in it. And the sudden cold affinity has been consistent in all three pregnancies. Read More

Paths, Pasts & Politics (and one more “P”)

Sunset on Lake Michigan from the back porch. Photography by Amaya Engleking

The past couple weeks after returning from a relaxing vacation on Lake Michigan (yes, actually relaxing, even with the baby and three year-old and cramming as many in-laws into a one-bathroom beach house as possible) have been dynamic.

Something I’ll mention even though it occurred in June but has widened the chasm I feel between myself and the institutionalized church: Read More


I was inspired while reading the chapter on motherhood, and apparently the baby in the womb was too, for after fifteen days past her estimated due date — as I tried intense mountain hiking, bumpy 4-wheel-driving over Engineer Pass, dancing my pregnant booty off to saloon ragtime, cooking with Himalayan chili peppers, an all-night full-moon vigil Read More


‘Fulfillment’ by Adam Scott Miller

The pain starts at night and I see myself holding you, your father looking into your eyes and finding a part of himself he had been missing. By the bright morning and cruel red-winged blackbird song though, there is no pain; your crib remains filled only with blankets townspeople and your grandmothers have knitted for you.

In the warm pool in the backyard under the canopy of the aspen grove, I Read More