A friend of mine – mother of two – told me in an e-mail when I announced I was pregnant, “I love being pregnant!” Which is a really lovely attitude. I was wondering yesterday how I feel about it so far. I’m not sure I’d go with love, even though I’m having a really (relatively) easy time of it to date. (Never mind the bladder infection I may or may not have. They should call today with a prescription if it turned out I need one.)
The thing is, my body is no longer my own. After thirty years, I was pretty good about picking up its cues, knowing what it needed and how far I could push it; but suddenly that’s all gone out the window. I can’t even tell when I need to go to the bathroom any more – I just find myself awake at 4am so I think “Oh well, may as well go to the loo,” and lo, a torrent comes gushing out of me that you’d really think I would have predicted was waiting in the wings. If I’m hungry at 6.30, I don’t know whether I really should eat something now or if that’ll mean I’m stuffed when dinner’s ready in half an hour. I might be starving again in half an hour. If I go for a walk at lunchtime and it turns out it was really quite warm, I’m afraid I might overheat, which is apparently a very bad thing. But how can I tell – I won’t know till I’m back from the walk and feeling woozy ten minutes after sitting at my desk.
So it’s all a bit confusing, really; and that's before you even get to the part about removing the baby from my ambivalent body. I’m thinking of looking into Lamaze classes. I had thought such things were a bit 80s and passe (I’m sure there’s a bit in When Harry Met Sally that makes me think this) but I’ve heard it’s available at the hospital, and it could be a good thing. My midwife agrees, and the notion of having something concrete that I know I should do when all around – and within - is going haywire, sounds comforting to me. I’m not naturally a very relaxed person – I think I am, but as soon as something happens that’s beyond my control I can easily frazzle up. Whenever I’ve had a massage, the masseuse always says “Relax.” “I am relaxed.” “No, you’re not. Look, you’re all tense.” The more I try, the harder it is, of course. I need to learn something that gives me an illusion of control, because knowing what I should be doing and doing it is what I need to get me through a situation fraught with so many other unknowns.
I was trying to explain it to B. the other day: “The thing is,” quoth I, “right now the notion of going into labour and giving birth is just as alien and impossible to assimilate for me as it would be if someone told you that you were going to do it instead.” He pointed out that at least my orifice was significantly bigger than any he has. Okay, so mechanically it’s more likely to be realistic for me, but psychologically, a lifetime of conditioning and expectation and planning notwithstanding, I’m clearly still in denial. I wonder does anyone really take it in till it’s happening?