Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear O.b.: Please check the Garden of Eden at the delivery room door

Friday I saw my obstetrician for the third and last time before I make it to the delivery room. An hour wait for a five-minute checkup (My pregnancy is a medical breeze, for which I am neverendingly thankful). Here's all you need to know:

Dr. Rush* : Any complaints?
Me: Nothing serious, some back pain and a little swelling (as I hoisted myself onto the exam table)
Dr. Rush: Well, that's what you get for being naughty in the Garden of Eden. You have to suffer through monthly periods and the pain of childbirth, all because your kind couldn't follow instructions.

WOW! My KIND? What kind is that now? The 'kind' with breasts? The 'kind' with wombs? The 'kind' that can bear children?!? I was too slow gathering my thoughts for a comeback, but what I should have said if I could have gotten my thoughts together in time was "Whatever the reason, I'd rather keep God out of the delivery room." or something of the sort.

I'm not uncomfortable with physicians who attend church or synagogue or mosque or who follow their own breed of spirituality. I'm uncomfortable when they bring their beliefs to work, and then vocalize them. His comments, however snide, didn't even offend me much - I understand that small-town living comes with plenty of downsides as well as perks, one of them being the stubborn-held view that everyone believes in God - the Christian kind - but I'm outraged on behalf of the next woman who climbs onto his examination table who doesn't believe in the Garden of Eden, who carries a whole other set of beliefs altogether.

And just what did his remark add to our appointment? I complained of back pain - he could have followed up with a question or two to find out how bad, and to consider if it was caused by something other than being pregnant. Instead, he stunned me into silence and I was too tongue tied to ask him about side sleeping (do I HAVE to?) before he had packed up my chart and was out the door.

My own firmly-held belief is that pregnancy and child birth are pretty damn awesome - I mean, hello! I'm growing a whole 'nother BRAIN here! And what other mammal on this great planet doesn't experience pain during childbirth?

Dr. Rush is an educated man. I would hope he has more explanation for how delivery works than brushing it off as penance for something one gal may or may not have done some six to eight thousand years ago.

Besides, I don't even like apples.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy, though after this particular encounter I'm thinking of changing it again, to Dr. Inconsiderate, or maybe Dr. Guilt, or even Dr. Religious Imbecile. Is professionalism too much to ask of my physicians?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Belly bopping

37 weeks today. All the books tell me Baby Moves are supposed to slow down this last month, but my belly is really rocking out today. And HARD, too - Last week Baby was head-down (according to my obstetrician), but I am feeling all kinds of body parts all over my tummy, so it's hard to say. Nothing to be concerned about - just enough to keep me from my afternoon nap.

Man said he could feel the baby move in bed this morning - I was still asleep. Neither his hand nor baby's bopping woke me up! Yes! I'll take any sleep I can get, because between all the dreams and the trips to the toilet, I'm not convinced I sleep very much at all.

I'm very conscious that I should take it easy over these next few weeks. We moved all my furniture and belongings out of my house last week, and though I didn't do any of the heavy lifting (okay, much of the heave lifting) the constant squatting and stairs and general omgwhereamIgoingtoputthiscarafeI'veonlyusedonce?!? panic really took a toll. I can't believe I was doing intense water aerobics just 10 short days ago. It feels like eons.

In the meantime, our house is not ready yet: Man is working every day, and the insulation and ceiling strapping will be finished today, the priming tomorrow and the ceiling, kitchen and bathroom will be installed after that. Floors will be the last thing to go down - Trim will happen sometime in 2015 or so. Realistically, we'll be lucky to be moved in before Baby arrives. Worse would be if Baby shows up while we're moving. I want to be able to get settled away in the house before Baby, rather than have someone else move our things while I'm busy in the case room. But we'll have to wait and see. We won't be homeless, and if we have to bring baby back to our apartment rather than our very own house, well, it won't be the first kid to sleep in a laundry basket.

Speaking of laundry, there's a load of dirty with my name on it, and a sink full of dishes. Hi ho, hi ho, it's out of bed I go.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Baby Shower #2 : bath and baby

The girls at work hosted a shower for me - very low-key. Everyone showed up at different times, so there was no more then four or five of use at a time. We had cake! And one coworker make a diaper cake - which I haven't taken apart yet because I have, oh, say, 51 facecloths already. I figure I can afford to keep the tower together for a while longer. But I will probably need at the diapers eventually. I intend to cloth-diaper, and in fact I have all the diapers pre-pre-pre-pre-pre washed and dried and folder, but they are infant-sized, not newborn-sized. I hear babies grow like weeds, and will be out of the newborn size in a month or so (and I suspect my baby is going to be on the large side anyway).

There were no games, no prizes. It was more of an excuse for the girls to drink and complain about the boss. It was lovely.

The best gift by far was the spice bottle full of burnt flour - A home remedy for diaper rash!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Survivor: Baby-shower edition

I'm pregnant. Man and I are renovating his house. We're renting out my house. My office has been short-staffed since September. I live in a small, small town hours from any friends (and half a world away from my best friend. Seriously. She thought it would be a good idea to move to China and LEAVE ME ALL ALONE right before I got pregnant).

Anyway. I couldn't stress about everything, so I decided to focus my anxiety on just one upcoming Life Event.  My baby shower.

I'm not fond of being the centre of attention. I'm shy. And I hate getting gifts for gifts' sake. (I've been trying to talk my extended family out of wasting their money every Christmas for the past 10 years, to no avail). So a situation that requires me to be the centre of attention, among dozens of women, some of whom I don't know very well, and accept piles of gifts? Well I'm not real down with that.

Then there was the gift registry: to register, or not to register? I find gift registries greedy, but people are going to buy gifts anyway, so I may as well suck it up and gently guide them in the right direction, right? So I registered at two local stores that sell mostly adorable and/or hilarious natural baby gear and local products. Nothing on my list was more that $20. I refused to let one store gather all my requests in a glass display case with my name on it as they would usually do, because I didn't want people to feel obligated to get me something on the list. And I forbade my mother from telling anybody about the lists unless they asked outright.

Yeah. the registry backfired. I did get some wonderful things from the shops, but I also got a massive amount of newborn onesies and sleepers and - get this - not one single receiving blanket. Thirty women, most of them mothers, and not one receiving blanket among them. All my research into baby shower etiquette and what-to-expect led me to expect a ton of receiving blankets. Funny how that worked out.

Next up, the games. Oh god, the games. I was dreading the games. I had strict guidelines: No chocolate-in-diaper games. No guess-my-circumference games. No guess-my-weight games. No taste-that-baby-food games. Name games might be allowed. Word games would be acceptable. So there was a delightful program of guess-how-many-Q-tips-are-in-the-baby-bottle game (207). An unscramble-the-baby-word game (which was hard!), and a match-that-name-to-its-meaning game (We used the names of everyone present). There was also a prize for the person with a birthday closest to my due date, and a lucky plate and bowl prize. All tolerable.

Then there was the gift opening that went on forever. It's a tough balance between wanting to get it over asap so we can get to the food, and wanting to spend equal time admiring every gift so no one feels left out. Also, there was LOTS to admire, because baby stuff is frickin' cute. (Living several hours away from the Big City, I didn't know just how much cuteness could be had when your shopping choices are not limited to Walmart). 

All in all, I came away fairly unscathed, with a mountain of baby clothes and blankets and a couple of gift certificates to use as needed. I hope everyone had a nice time. And I can't begin to express how much that pile of baby clothes and gear will help come April. I've re-thought the game thing, and concede that some games are more than acceptable, and actually expected. I also went in telling myself the gifts are for BABY, not for me, which helped ease my aversion to gifts.

Next up: Baby Shower, Round Two... the one that made up for the lack of receiving blankets.