Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Well, today's the big day.
Every THING is ready. Cot, pram, nappies. Lovergirl and I are not.
It's weird to have it all planned like this, rather than sitting around waiting to go into labour. At 4.30 this afternoon (Queensland time) I go under the knife and shortly afterwards, two babies will emerge. Through no effort of my own.
I don't like Ruth 0str0w's columns - too wet - but at the risk of sounding like her, I want to jot down some of the nicer things about being pregnant. I may never be pregnant again (let's see how it goes first, hey?).
I've got a lovely perspective on human nature from being pregnant. Maybe pregnant women 'glow' because everyone is so nice to them! People love pregnant women - infinitely more than they love women with children, from my observations! They smile, and nod, and ask, 'when are you due?' and shopkeepers give little bonuses - an extra bread roll in the half-dozen from the baker, or a few extra onions popped in the top of the bag by the grocer. I've found that male shopkeepers are more likely to do this than female shopkeepers. Women are more likely to want to stop and chat, and ask to feel the belly (although I haven't had as much of that as I expected), while men want to do some little practical thing. It feels a little bit like Christmas, when everyone is warm and smiling and exchanging greetings.
Being pregnant confers membership to a special club. A bit like being a dog walker - I remember feeling quite lonely after my dog died, because out walking I didn't have the same sorts of interactions with people. I still felt like a dog person but I didn't have dog person markers. In the same way, being pregnant elicits a certain acknowledgment - other pregnant women, new parents and elderly people smile and nod. It's a pleasant change from the invisibility of being an unaccompanied walker or jogger through the city's parks.
I've really enjoyed going to the prenatal classes - yoga on Tuesdays and aquarobics Thursdays. There's something gorgeous about a room full of fat-bellied women all glorying in their bodies and their babies-to-be. The majority of women who go to these classes are first timers - I suppose the others are at home chasing after their toddlers - so there's a very particular excitement and wonder about birth and the specialness of this baby.
Friends have been really delighted for us. Many of them have had their own issues with fertility and decision-making about having a child - more than you would think - but everyone has been gorgeous.
We really haven't bought much at all. Mothers have a secret little hand-me-down cycle going, and once you tap in to it, floods of stuff pass through your hands. The Multiple Birth Association even has a premmie clothing pool - take what you want then return it when you're done - so last week L and I went to pick out piles of the world's smallest clothes for the first few weeks.
I have loved not working. I've been unemployed before but this is the first time I've allowed myself to sink into having lots of time, moving slowly, taking naps and generally moving into a much more internal stage of my life. Blogging helps me remember there is a world out there.
Being pregnant has really changed the relationship between Lovergirl and I. How can I explain it? We have become much more interdependent - which almost feels like a dirty thing to say in this individualistic era. Being two independent, competent, working women who happen to be choosing to live together is quite different to being one competent woman and one vomiting, rapidly expanding, ravenous, immobile sloth on the couch. Pregnancy is good practice for parenting, I think. No longer can we ring each other up and say, 'So-and-so has invited me out, so I'll be home a bit later tonight.' Or, ' V1rg1n was having a sale so I'm popping down to Melbourne to visit the family for the weekend.' Or even, 'I've enrolled in a course in quilting so I won't be home on Thursdays.' No, for the next eighteen (at least) years our movements will be negotiated around what needs to happen for the children.
And of course, there are the babies themselves. Feeling them moving, having L talk and sing to them, having them stomp on my bladder and roll around under the skin - it's going to be odd to feel empty again. And really, there's nothing to this parenting business when they are snugly contained within my body.