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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Big, Pregnant Fridays

Or: Prelude to a Birth Story

A year ago at this time I was pregnant. Very pregnant.

I was due on September 10th, and because this was my second baby, I assumed she would probably be born before the due date. That was a mistake, because by the time the due date came, I was already antsy. Perhaps there was no avoiding that impatience. After the ten weeks of nausea subsided, my first pregnancy was basically pleasant and comfortable right up to the end. During this second pregnancy, I began carrying the baby very low about the beginning of my third trimester, and my perineum began to bulge uncomfortably and (I thought) rather alarmingly. Toward the end of August, I started getting charlie horses in my groin on a daily basis, and the itching that had begun on my belly some time before began to spread ‘til I felt itchy all over. By my due date, I was ready to have this baby, and had been for some time.

My impatience for labor to begin was heightened by the fact that, after a summer of leisure, I resumed teaching a couple of weeks before my due date. When O. was born in January of 2003, I taught ‘til a couple of weeks before his birth, giving me a bit of vacation before labor actually began. With Roo, I vacationed ‘til a couple of weeks before she was due to be born and then, on the verge of parturition, went back to teaching full-time. So, there I was: huge, waddling, impatient, and – accustomed to lazing around in the same pair of maternity capris and one of three well-worn tee-shirts – having to cover my swollen form with reasonably professional-looking clothing (different clothing each day!).

Not wanting to use up a day of my maternity leave before the baby actually came, I joked to my students and my fellow teachers that I planned to teach ‘til my water broke. As my due date passed without event and I kept having to get up every morning and drag my big-bellied self to school each day, I came to rue that joke. The smile on the face of the Number 10 bus driver got more nervous every day I mounted his bus for my ride to school. None of my colleagues seemed to have anything to say to me but “What are you doing here?” “You’re still pregnant?” and “When are you going to have that baby?” Fridays especially the jokes flew: “I hope we don’t see you Monday!” But I came back the first Monday after school started, and the second, and the third.

(To be continued…)


Blogger Lisa Blah Blah said...

Uhh...I have less than 6 weeks to go, and you are describing me now. The baby is head down and very low. Every time I go to the bathroom it feels like her head is RIGHT THERE. Sitting for any length of time is really uncomfortable, and yet lying down is worse.

Can't wait to hear the rest. Distract me, please! :-)

12:47 PM  
Blogger Orange said...

Wait, no photos of the bulging perineum? I can't be the only one curious about what that looks like. Or maybe I am--maybe everyone who's been nine months pregnant has been there. Me, I only made it to seven months.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous sarah said...

I totally have that fear of teacing until my water breaks. With my first, I told my 4th graders to call the janitor if that should happen and he would clean it up...I'm preggers again and planning on taking a week of before. Love the prebirth vacation!

1:50 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Lisa, good luck! I feel your discomfort.

Orange, not only did I not take pictures of the perineum, I never saw it. But boy did I know it was there.

Sarah, enjoy that pre-birth vacation. May your new one be born at an auspicious time so that you actually get to enjoy some down time before birth (but don't get stuck waiting too long...)

2:18 PM  

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