Thursday, January 5

WHY CAN'T IT BE LIKE THE RAPTOR?

The countdown is on.  26 days until D-day.  Yep, I'm terrified.  But not in the way I used to be.  I'm terrified of labor.  There's no turning back.  Although I pray about 37 times per day, asking God to somehow get me a surrogate to do the whole "labor & delivery" part for me, something tells me that I'm going to have to end up doing it myself.  DAMN.

People at work are starting to talk about the fact that I'm (very clearly) pregnant. It's actually been pleasant, for the most part.  People are asking me when I'm due, pulling out their phones to show me pictures of the joy-bundles in their lives, holding doors for me, commenting on the fact that I'm still wearing heels every day (yay for me!).

The other day, I walked into the kitchenette at work and two men were in there, working on the water filtration system.  The older one (maybe 60?) asked when I was due.  Turns out his daughter is due the same day as me.  The younger one (40-ish?), covered in tattoos, pulled his head out of the plumbing nightmare under the sink and told me all about his son.  Pretty soon, both men were emotionally conveying their thoughts on the miracle of childbirth, asking if I had a birthplan, baring their souls on the ups and downs of parenting... It was unsolicited advice to be sure, and quite unexpected, but nonetheless brought a smile to my face.

And then there are the others. 

My supervisor, for example, asked me what reason she should give when I'm gone for a few weeks.  Do I want her to tell them that I'm on maternity leave?  Confused, I responded, "Yes, I... would hope you tell them that I've had my baby and I'm on maternity leave."  Not sure what else she expected me to say... Maybe that I'm in rehab?  Nice.  The pregnant girl is in rehab.  Nothing like making a name for myself.

My all-time favorite: the lady who smells like old books.  She had never once spoken to me (though we work in the same department).  She and I were alone in the kitchenette.  She slid up to me and asked, "So... are you going to apply for WIC?"  Nothing else, not "I see you're having a baby, congratulations!" or "Are you by any chance worried about your financial future?"  Like I said, we had never had a conversation prior to that.  She didn't know my name, she certainly didn't know my story, and yet here she was, asking me if I was going to apply for government assistance. I was totally shocked by this, and responded with a simple, "Uhhh... I hadn't really thought about it."  While I appreciate the fact that our government offers assistance to those who need it (and to those who don't), and while I understand that those systems are in place for a reason, I just don't feel like I exude an "I need welfare" aura.  Nor do I think that sort of question is appropriate to ask a total stranger.  Just saying.  "Old Books Lady" and I haven't spoken since.

Then there are the people (both men AND women) who tell me their horror stories of labor/delivery.  And every time I hear the word episiotomy, I throw up just a little bit (if you don't know what an episiotomy is, I strongly urge you NOT to look it up...).  I wish labor were like a roller coaster.  I remember the first time I went on the Raptor at Cedar Point.  I was terrified, but everyone I was with had already ridden it.  They all went on and on about how it can be scary, but once the ride begins, it's amazing.  And they were absolutely right - the Raptor rocks.  Labor, on the other hand... no one tells me it's as cool as the Raptor.  From what I hear, it's scary and gross, and you leak, and you tear things, and this can go on for FORTY EIGHT HOURS.  And apparently crossing your legs doesn't help.  There's no Raptor-ness.  They say it's unpleasant the entire time.

So that's what I have to look forward to.  A possible 48-hour stretch of leaking, tearing, and utter grossness.  You know, if it were possible, I'd pay $50 to make it a Raptor-like experience.

But something tells me that no matter how much I pay, it won't be any better for me than it's been for women over the last 5,000 years.  Though everyone tells me how painful and unpleasant the labor/delivery experience is, they all end their sagas with the same thing: once it's over, and you're holding that tiny little person in your arms, you forget all about the labor.  I guess I can safely say that I will probably NOT enjoy the labor (and yes, I shudder every time I say that word), but there's nothing I anticipate more than meeting the little person who's been growing with me over the last 8 months.  And THEN the roller coaster starts.

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