I now understand why white men in the sixties did not want to employ women.
It’s because we can get pregnant. And pregnant women are cranky, hungry, tired, and significantly less productive. And we walk slowly, with a waddle. For all of you who are either productive pregos or simply not pregnant, I apologize for the gross over-generalization. Let’s blame it on all this estrogen.
On the flip side, it seems I get some amusing glances from passersby these days. Looking as obviously pregnant as I do – thank you very much – folks take notice and smile sweetly, as if I’m a little old lady or some other moderately helpless being. The other look is a look of knowing, as if they realize I have no idea what I just got myself into. Those are a little irritating. If you see me, please don’t do that. Or if you must, wait until I’m not looking.
I feel like the baby is going through growth spurts starting every Thursday night and lasting through the weekend. This could be entirely imaginary, but I swear I get full more quickly and have trouble catching my breath after a few steps when the calendar hits Friday. And did I mention how heavy I feel? I’ve only gained eight pounds, but it might as well be fifty. I’m going to have to invest in some comfy shoes, moonwalkers or the like. Walking weightless would be grand.
Last night I had a birth dream. I was standing in a small tub with my friend, Jessica, behind me, supporting me. She had just had her baby maybe hours before. The nurse could see I was about to go into hard labor, so she ran out of the room to get me some vodka. Not sure what kind of hospital they were running there. It was time to push so I did, just once, and out he came. And it didn’t even hurt. He was beautiful. I looked at him and eyes open, he looked back. I turned to Jessica and said, “I dreamed he would look this way.” So we shall see.
Whattoexpect.com sent me an email suggesting that dads could now hear the baby’s heartbeat by listening to your belly. “Yea, right!” I thought, but I told Josh to try it anyway. What do you know? He heard the baby’s little heart, much faster than mine, and he tapped out the rhythm on my belly so I could hear it too. Hurrah!
Around our house, the high five is an essential communication staple practiced by Josh, me and the dog. Well, Bear’s high five is more like a high ten since he gets on his hind legs and presses both paws up toward your hands, but you get the picture. It seemed only right that the baby should learn high five as soon as possible, even before we are skin to skin. Last night Josh laid his hand on my belly and said, “High five, baby”. *Bump* went my tummy. We laughed, wondering if it was a fluke, but after four total attempts with consistent “high fives” from the baby, we knew he knew. He is indeed one of us.
I realized a couple nights ago, just for a moment, that my life is indeed about to change. Big time. My prayers, my thoughts, my time, my energy will be swallowed by approximately eight tiny pounds of squishy, giggly, pooping flesh. The money I spend on me will go to him. The time I have for myself – hardly any as it is – will belong to him. The prayers I pray for me will transform into shotgun pleas for wisdom on how to calm him, clean him, raise him to love God and keep his room clean. I have the strong suspicion it will only make sense to give all these things to him, that love will be the strongest compulsion. But I have no idea what this feels like, to love something this much that I give up everything. And gladly, or at least most of the time so. But I have a feeling that this is the good stuff, where the real rewards in living hide.