Feb 28, 2013
Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out the way you and your sonogram technician have planned it. I thought she was crazy when she said I was due on February 27th. And today I wanted to apologize to her. I am now overdue for having this baby make his/her exit from my body.
I feel as if I’m living in some alternate universe fantasy land. While everyone around me frets about their schedules permitting the delivery date, I have no choice but to sit her and wait. And try not to feel nauseous.
I am completely done with being this way, of course. And rather tired of the line all are compelled to deliver. “Get yourself to the hospital and deliver that baby already, will ya?” If I could I would people. But baby delivering is one of those acts of nature that our wills have no apparent control over.
Seems everyone has a helpful hint on how they think I should hurry this process up. A kind Italian man offered today, “Make up a nice dish of angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil (region not specified) with some oregano (not too much cause it can be strong) and then take a nice long walk.” The walk’s a perennial favorite. And has absolutely no effect on baby conjuring.
Only one thing can effect the onset of childbirth and it’s a special hormone the body releases when it’s decided the popper has popped. Physicians can also introduce that hormone to the cervix to “let the games begin”. That’s called induction and is what I’m scheduled for on Tuesday if this weekend doesn’t produce babe in arms. It would seem that the placenta has an expiration date.
And as one last act of craziness, I wanted to record a video of me in this unbelievable state. The first attempt was thwarted when equipment and software wouldn’t cooperate. On borrowed time, I re-recorded myself sharing the thoughts on this pregnancy and last year I felt were most important. And then a “fatal error has occurred to thwart me again. So visit my Facebook page here.
TURN THE SOUND WAY UP BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY as I talk softly in the beginning.
I appreciate you giving me whatever break you can here and know that I’m doing it all for the love of the art and the family.
Thanks for all your generous support and kind thoughts. I look forward to sharing the next chapters as they unfold.
Dec 10, 2012
Recently, conversing with an acquaintance about her last pregnancy, I admitted I was so unaware of her even being pregnant until she had strolled with her newborn past my house. I’d thought, “Wow that was quick”. She said wryly, “Yeah, your pregnancy is going really well for me too”. I bet my pregnancy is going really well for everyone else too.
There’s great irony in describing pregnancy as a delicate condition. There’s absolutely nothing dainty about the state I’m in. The sound of my footsteps when ascending stairs is like the stomp of an attitudinal elephant. As the floor has gotten further and further away, my verbal utterances to attempt to reach objects landing there are louder and are occasionally profane. You may say my body is in the midst of a beautiful and natural process. I say I‘ve been reduced to a messy and odoriferous machine.
Between the multiple trips to the potty to pee and a possible need for an extender arm to properly finish the other job, I surely smell like a homeless person (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Underwear has become problematic too. A shortage of clean underwear on a recent vacation had me “freewheeling”. Although I was happy not to have the waistband digging into my belly, my bodily cleansing process made me wish I had some fresh undergarments even on the drive home
The unconstitutionality of my constitutionals is like the instability of a third world nation. Despite the multiple products I ingest daily to ensure a smooth transition of power, these constipational bowel coups and dictatorships can stop the nation’s democratic process and I just continue to swell, hoping for imminent Red Cross relief.
I am finally finding it easier to compensate for the extra ballast on the front of me but getting out of bed in the morning is a sideways roll and stand. If I try sitting up normally, my stomach muscles prove to be non-existent and I’m like Humpty Alexander Dumpty, legs flailing.
I was also horrified to discover the now protruding belly looks like a marble with my translucent skin laced with a tangle of blue veins. Husband casually said it did that last time too. I’m now awaiting the racing stripe known as the linea negra to form from my belly button southward.
The effects of the multiple hormones are fascinating, if you’re not the one being affected. These encompass random nose bleeds, bleeding gums, morning sickness, reflux, and constipation. I don’t even want to be reminded of the inevitable post partum depression as the hormones steer you towards an emotional train wreck as you are also suffering sleep deprivation. And the actual loosening of all your bone joints is the body’s allusion to your destiny as Pretzel Girl, the star of your own freak show finale coming to a birthing scenario near you.
Pregnancy and childbirth are full of disgusting body fluids oozing forth in undignified ways. The latter is a horrifying ritual fraught with scary side notes of excretions to be cleared away, gristly umbilical cords to be cut, and gelatinous globs of placenta issuing forth asking to be dealt with.
And everyone, including myself, needs to just get over it because those are just the gritty “natural” by-products of the gift of miraculous life emerging and taking his or her first promissory breath. “What happens in the delivery room stays in the delivery room” is what I told my spectators the last time. And I allowed a full house and a once in a lifetime opportunity for the grandmothers.
At the dinner table the other night, my 7 year-old said “our baby” in passing conversation. Music to my ears. I willingly do it all again because the details will quickly fall away into funny stories. Not forgotten, just forgiven. What I’ll be left with, in addition to scar tissue and a screaming baby, is the unexpected expansion of my capacity to love. And that sneaky joy I am apt to feel when I see the recycled love within the connections of my family as I love them more for loving each other.
Sep 23, 2012
I was grocery shopping, pre-second pregnancy, and bumped into a guy we knew. He obviously had no concept of tact as he inquired about when I might be conceiving another child. See, he and his wife had managed to boost their conception count to two so why hadn’t I? I stammered something like, “We have been trying for some years now but maybe my body is trying to tell me it’s old and tired” because I couldn’t believe anyone could think it was A-OK to just ask a question like that.
I wished I could have come up with a response off the cuff that would have made his jaw drop. Like, “Well my sister tried to carry our baby for us but then her spleen exploded and we lost both. But thanks for bringing that painful memory up you douche bag.” In retrospect, it seems our situation was just a matter of wrongly timed amour.
Sep 4, 2012
As I entered my 40’s, I noticed stuff about my body. Stuff was changing. I noticed the consistency of my skin was looser and my neck skin was stretchy. I noticed my droopy, aka “hooded”, eyelids which make me look like poor Dahlia, the super sweet dog who always looked cranky for need of a prednisone shot. Both skin and eyes are symptoms of pre-facelift-itis. My eyesight betrayed me and I required reading glasses to peruse my menu in restaurants. In public. Gah! The arthritis in my fingertips is just ridiculous.
Just when I began my scramble to either camouflage this horrifically undeniable event or increase my therapy hours, I had my mea culpa delivered right to my body’s doorstep in the form of the penultimate of mulligans, pregnancy. I wasn’t too old to have one last shot at the promise of youth. My friend shrieked, “Retin-A products cause autism”. No worries. I either won’t pay that much for skin care products or am not very diligent in my facial care regime.
Bright side is that now I have been given a legitimate excuse from fussing over my extra belly fat for one more year. Prior to June, I fought a valiant battle against the most heinous of bodily insults called my pot belly and sorta won by shedding ten pounds. Alas, where I had a new promising wardrobe, I honestly have no pants to wear now. Hopefully, after I give birth, I will be so elated I won’t have time to really care ever again whether my tummy is flat like a Barbie doll. Ever notice prepubescent girls and senior women’s bodies’ alike have a tendency store extra fat on the abdomen. It’s natural. When did it become a bad thing to actually be a woman?
Pregnancy and old age seem to have one or two things in bodily common: a time-worn female condition known as the backed up colon. My husband offered his apologies. “Oh my, you are showing”, my neighbor said because we both know two or three or four months aren’t typically this large. On any given day, without being regular, I can look like I’m carrying twins. Not to mention the taut girth about me caused by the sheer quantity of food I needed to ingest to quell the sick beast within.
I patiently await all the other indignities that the pregnancy hormones are destined to deliver. Footfunk and bloody noses. Swollen feet and heartburn. These will come and go but the arthritic fingers and bad eyesight will linger. My friend and I started laughing when we considered I may need one of those large spring armed magnifying glasses on the changing table to make double sure all the baby’s cracks and crevices are actually clean.
“It is what it is until it isn’t”, is what I say. Expecting at this age is like ten Christmas presents rolled into one. And I‘m looking forward to the future when I’ll look radiant and gorgeous enough to turn my husband’s and a few strangers’ heads at the nice restaurant he’ll be taking me to on our first post delivery date night out. I’ve been granted one dream come true, I can be greedy.
Aug 18, 2012
Discovering I was pregnant at 45 years old was undoubtedly one whomping miraculous gift of amazing proportions. Whereas last time I discovered my impending parenthood my shock was due to my feelings of complete incompetency. This time my shock was simply because my fondest wish and hope had actually been realized. I could not believe it. When I shared my news, people asked me if this was a good thing because of the shocked expression I wore. Because I wasn’t sure I was worthy of such a blessing.
With this pregnancy, I have been suffering from a feeling akin to survivor’s guilt. I am keenly aware that many women I’m close to have had “issues” with their lack of children. Whether they regretted not choosing to conceive while they could, or they were unable to conceive for reasons beyond their control, I feel for them. I can remember feeling rankled by the arrogance of some breed-easy people. And here I am suddenly luckier than a leprechaun pulling the short straw.
I wanted to apologize for my good fortune. In fact I did to one friend. I dreaded being a source of new found grief for the unresolved sadness of my dear friends. I felt as if I couldn’t write about it. And this is a sure sign that there something not quite right in my head. Because that’s crazy talk. Again, low self-esteem may be to blame for my feelings of unworthiness of my happiness or any future help I will receive in my time of need. Because I’ll need help.
Further, I’m thinking, anyone who’d begrudge me my happiness, in whatever form it comes, may need to consider why? “I’m happy,” I told my husband and he said “Good, you deserve to be”. And then I asked why he said that? Because I have had enough of grief and misery for a lifetime? Because pregnant ladies deserve to be happy to counterbalance their tough job ahead? Or because he loves me unconditionally and always wants me happy? “All of it”, he says.
Every time I think about what’s happening inside me and how my life will be better than I can even know, I get butterflies. I could continue to feel guilty but I just can’t anymore. And when I heard the half a second of the baby’s heartbeat yesterday, I know it’s the real deal. And it’s all good.