Posted by: emjb | September 14, 2005

Naked Birthed the Manatee

Time grows shorter for me to be a Not-the-Mama. At the moment I’m blogging from my work-at-home computer (thanks Boss!), a nifty Mac Mini that computes circles around my elderly but respectable IBM laptop. I’m rocking in my new glider that arrived this week, bought in the probably vain hope of keeping little Herkimer from screaming instead of sleeping when we get him home. And also because we did not have one comfortable chair in this whole damn apartment, and my pregnant ass was getting cranky about it. Our futon is the worst offender, as it reclines at a particularly acute angle, which means I flail about and grunt like a like a stranded manatee whenever I need to get up from it. Which is about every 30 minutes because that’s how often I need to pee. Because a 4-pound baby is dancing on my damn bladder.

Manatee-like certainly describes my state these days. My boss keeps encouraging me to work from home once a week or so now that my computer is set up. I was puzzled by his generosity until I realized that he’s probably just terrified my water will break while I’m still in the office. Everyone says “you’re so BIG!” and their eyes get wide. I’ve got 6 more weeks to go, though, so I’m not expecting the baby to make an appearance just yet. I want him good and fully cooked. Also, there are no refunds for childbirth classes you miss, and I want to get the remaining 4 in, cause we paid extra for the hippy-granola classes, dammit.

I get asked all the time “how are you doing?” and you know, I’m not doing too bad. I have bad moments of being woozy or overheated, or um, having “insufficient gastrointestinal motility”, ahem, but on the whole I do pretty well. I don’t hate being pregnant. I’m not ecstatic about it either; I miss my formerly slim ankles. I miss not waddling. I miss not going to the bathroom 20 times a day. I find the baby’s kicks and punches (often both at the same time) reassuring, but I will prefer having him on the outside, where I can dodge them, instead of wondering just how many foot jabs my spleen can take.

Matt is easing into his rolé as Le Dad, although now it’s more Le Manservant de Pregnanté Femme. He sets his alarm on his cell phone to remind me to eat my spinach each night (folic acid!) and drink my raspberry leaf tea (softens the cervix! I told him, I’m not sure I want it softened; this kid’s so active, maybe it’ll make him come out too soon. But so the midwife commandeth, and so we do). Matt had the uplifting experience of watching a Birth Video at our class last night, and did quite well. Considering that even I found it a little uncomfortable, not for blood and gore (not much of that actually) but just at all the people putting their hands on and in the woman’s lady business for various reasons. I know they’re good reasons, but it bugged me; I wanted to tell them to leave the poor woman alone and let her push!

Afterward, one of my classmates mentioned that she was uncomfortable at being naked in front of strangers at birth. But I told Matt, once it starts in earnest at the hospital, I doubt I’ll care much. Some women keep as many clothes as possible on, some go all-out nekkid. I figure, you know, once your vagina has a big spotlight on it (and a baby coming out of it), modesty has long gone bye-bye. Taking your shirt off at that point, if you want to, is pretty much anticlimatic. Nobody there is going to be shocked by your boobs.

I’m taking some warm fuzzy socks though. Hospitals are always so damn cold.

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