June 4, 2001
Don't Call Us; We'll Call You

Today's Pic
Still pregnant, I waddle gratefully to the pool.
One year ago (or thereabouts): What I did not need was for my mother-in-law to try to engage me in a long talk about Linda, the baby, and all the happiness contained therein.
   

No, there's no baby yet!

Actually, I'm not feeling nearly as sensitive to that question as some of the other heavily pregnant women I know. The only person who's irritating me, predictably, is Rita, with her frequent telephone calls. She's still operating under the impression that we are going to call her when I go into labor, so she has no reason to call as often as she does (never mind the fact that she will most definitely not be receiving said phone call until after the Bit has made his or her grand arrival; perhaps Rita senses that Eric is lying). It's maddening to hear the phone ring and look at each other, knowing full well that the voice on the other end is going to be his mother. Honestly, doesn't she remember what it was like to have to deal with the constant questions?

Well, she probably doesn't; her boys came early, thanks to pregnancies full of tobacco. That's not a slam, just a valid explanation for her convenient amnesia.

WatsuAnyway, the thought occurred to me this morning that a good reason for the fact that I am still quite pregnant is the fact that I can't honestly say that I don't want to be pregnant anymore. Pregnancy isn't dragging at me like it seems to be for most women at this stage of the game. I feel great. Aside from a growing need to actually hold in my arms this tiny human that we've made, I could easily extend this pregnancy for another few weeks with little frustration.

Unfortunately, I don't exist in a bubble. At my last midwife appointment, Barb encouraged me to have Mary Ann sweep my membranes at my next meeting with her. I was more than a little surprised. After all, what's the rush? From everything I've read, membrane sweeping can encourage early membrane rupture, backaches, and general discomfort - if it works at all. Why hurry into it? But Barb seemed pretty determined, worrying about "going late." I think that when I meet with Mary Ann this Wednesday, I'll voice Barb's concerns to her and get her opinion on the matter. I'm simply feeling a bit uneasy about having this intervention without strong indication that it's really warranted.

Until then, I'm continuing my back treatments, which are probably the main reason that I feel so calm about waking every morning with the Bit still nestled in my womb. I have flirted a bit with the gentlest of ways to encourage labor; pineapple, for example, is said the have good labor-inducing effects, so I bought myself a "core sample" of the fruit. I'm not keen on the idea of swigging castor oil, but I read that rubbing it on the outside of the belly can produce similar effects if the body is prepared, so I tried that, too. Oh, and I've been taking Evening Primrose Oil faithfully, and last night I toyed with "internal application." I'm not completely sure whether or not that's had any effect, actually; without getting too terribly frank, this morning I lost either my mucous plug or the dissolved remains of the oil capsules. I'm thinking the latter. Ewww.

Tomorrow is my official "due date." Statistics show that most middle-class white women tend to go beyond that marker, and I'm fairly certain that, like their babies, mine is blissfully unencumbered by calendar or organizer. If only the rest of the world would realize that fact, everything would go smoothly. Another thought that hit me was that of the three primary members of Team Birth - myself, the Bit, and God - only one of us is being kept completely out of the loop for the scheduling details of the coming event. I could choose to let that bother me, but I've decided that the remaining two members have everything well in hand. Why mess with what's worked so far?

   

This is sad. I'm almost positive that I have something else, other than preparations for the baby, happening in my life right now about which I could wax philosophical, or which I could at least retell. Unfortunately, my entire brain seems to be dedicating itself to one topic, with little allowance for variation. When we go out in the evening, I find myself choosing a few last minute baby things and then needing to return home due to insistent contractions - the kind that will ultimately disappear the minute I relax upon the sofa. I wanted to go to a movie this weekend, but we spent most of the time sequestered at home instead. I've done a good bit of reading; I keep making the mistake of letting myself select my "post-baby reading pile" (for the hours when, as everyone has warned me, the baby will let me do nothing but sit and nurse) too far in advance, so it keeps getting read. They've all been light, fluffy books, the kind perfectly suited to being easily put down and picked up as the moment demands, and so I have little to say about any of them.

Additionally, I'm not feeling particularly inclined to do any deep thinking at the moment. Actually, I'm feeling suddenly exhausted. The past few hours have found me wanting nothing more than a long slumber. Blame it on reduced sleep lately, I suppose; we put a plastic drop cloth under our mattress pad to protect the mattress should my water break at night, and it's made sleep quite uncomfortable - sweaty, crinkly, awful. Perhaps when I return home tonight I'll try to snag a nap on the sofa. That sounds like a good plan.

   

Inflating the birth pool

Eric blew up the birth pool one evening during one of my more "promising" bouts of contractions. Those contractions fizzled, but we're now prepared. I just wish the pool didn't loom at me so ominously: "You're never going to go into labor!" I asked Eric to take it upstairs and hide it in the baby's room, but it doesn't seem to want to fit up the stairs. Rats.

It was impressive to watch him inflate the thing, though. His lungs worked much better than the bicycle pump. "See, now this is why I married a brass player," I teased him. I attempted to blow up one of the rings myself and earned a period of dizziness and numb lips. I'm relieved that we didn't wait until I was in labor to do that.



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