Posted by: emjb | February 27, 2005

A test, a secret, a doctor visit, a pig

“We are taking the blood for the testing now,” the intern with the heavy Russian accent tells me. “What arm is other doctors liking for veins before?” After every sentence I have to take a moment to answer, while I rearrange her words into the right order. Meanwhile I am distracted by her Agent 99 eyeshadow job; dark purple shadow and a black line drawn out an angle to give her the cat’s-eye look. At 10 am, it goes strangely with her white lab coat and latex gloves.

“The right arm, I think,” I say, though I know I’ve been tapped in both. But maybe my veins have shrunk since the last time. She sticks the needle in while I look away, and we chit chat about her two boys, which she doesn’t look old enough to have. “They are turning everything head to feet—-you say-—upside-down. They make me crazy.” A pause, while she fills up what feels like the 20th blood vial. “Do you want a girl or a boy?”

“Either one. We really don’t care.”

“So long as it’s healthy one, that is important.”

“That’s right.”

She finishes up and I’m left alone to change into the gown and wait for 15 minutes or so. She’s already told me what I was pretty sure of, that the urine test was positive for them too. The official word that what I’d known since Sunday afternoon when I got that faint positive line on the home test, was correct. But since then, in minutes or hours where I had no particular symptoms, I would feel a rush of panic—was it for real? Was this just a false alarm, would it fade away? Was it really happening?

As of today, anyway, I can say, yes, it is. Matt and I have told people already, which is a strange thing to do. Some were shocked, some were relieved that we’d finally gotten around to this important task even if we are in our thirties. Some were mildly interested. As for myself, I expected to feel joy, and I do. Also confusion, fear, depression, and all the other effects of a massive hormone surge/impending life change.

We have a lot to do in the next nine months, and yet a lot of the time, I have to move slowly. My body doesn’t care about my stress over my job or the future, it’s got other things to do, and I have to go where it leads me, at the pace that it wants to set, and that has to be good enough. I have to rely on Matt more than I’m used to doing, too, and it hurts my pride a little, if I let it. I’m trying not to let it.

I’ll try not to let this website become only a pregnancy journal, either, though I’m not going to pretend it isn’t taking up a large portion of my brain. But I still have enough energy to rant about the government, or ponder New York, or whatever the hell it is I’m usually writing about here.

I’m going to come out and say something expecting women don’t usually say: I’m not scared of not being a good parent. I’m not scared that I will do or say something that will turn my kid into a delinquent, or a teenage runaway, or anything like that. I will be tested like any parent is tested, I will screw up like everybody screws up, but I will love this baby with everything that I have. Nothing is more certain to me than that. Life may cause them problems I can’t stop, and I fear that, I suppose, but I accept it. Life caused me problems, too, but I was loved a lot growing up, and that gave me the strength to deal with bad things. You can’t protect kids against all bad things, but you can strengthen them, you can help them, and you can fight with them. That’s really all the parenting advice you can give anyone; the rest is all technique.

And now to lighten up a serious letter, here’s a video of a cartoon pig singing and farting in Norwegian (Quicktime needed, sound, replays itself at the end. Also: hilarious).


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