Friday, December 14, 2012

Round For a Reason

Early in my career as a married person I made the mistake of referring to my good friend, longtime associate, and highschool secretary; Alison Bell Langmack as “Pregnosaurus Rex”.  It was a comedic reference to both her general crankiness and her pregnant stature. Comedy Gold! 

Enormously pregnant, she was not amused and did not speak to me for about two months, during which period her child was born. I read about it on the interwebs.

Unfortunately, I did not realize she was not speaking to me. Further incensed by my lack of attention, she was forced to let me know she was not speaking to me, then start over not speaking to me for another thirty days or so. In all, it turned into a very protracted punishment period with no credit for time served - to which I objected strenuously. As a result, her children know me only vaguely as “The Bad Uncle”.

Having said that, I believe it is time to tackle the topic of maternity weight-gain.

Everybody waxes and wanes a bit. I’m currently waxing. At some point I’ll wane again. It’s my birthright as an American to get as fat as I want, then furiously starve and torment myself back to (relative) skinniness through any number of ill-advised dietary regimens and workout programs. My plan for 2013 is to cut out carbohydrates, add cigarettes, and switch to Downy. 

My point is: a little fluctuation here and there is normal, so when you have two entire people stuck in the same big bag of skin for nine months (ACTUALLY TEN!! shouts Tylertoes) – it's ok to expect a little newfound roundness, right?

Nope. Everyone around you has to pretend you’re still a skinny 9th grader.

I consider myself a big fan of women in general. As a result, I staunchly support a pregnant woman’s right to swell up to whatever gigantic proportions she feels is reasonable given her condition and stature. Go right ahead, I don’t mind a bit. In fact – I’m "for" it! This is the only time in my married life I have been able to eat Chinese food without paying cash and hiding the leftovers. Plus, I think a big ‘ol pregnant belly with that weird inverted navel thing poking out is pretty hysterical. Everything has gone wrong. You have an alien inside you; and when it comes out - it's going to be bad. Heh heh. And better yet - after about 4 months - people start to stare.

In the waiting room not long ago I was the object of quite a few furious, sweaty, uncomfortable, gazes myself so I’m familiar with the territory.

At the time they were staring because they all knew that I knew that they are fat - and they didn't like knowing that I know it. Everyone in a pregnant woman's life goes to monumental lengths to pretend nothing has changed. Despite the fact that your husband just entered the house and found you sprawled across the couch sobbing and eating Klondike Bars off your chest like an otter – he must carefully pretend to sense nothing amiss.

Let me set the record straight for both of us - if you're pregnant - you're either fat already or headed there with the turbos spooled up and screaming. You just are. I can't help you by playing an elaborate game of boy-do-you-look-skinny make-believe. "Pregnant" means "ROUND FOR A REASON". Your whole body bloats up like an enormous tick, then belches a child out into the world without so much as a stitch of clothing, or a way to feed, groom, or care for itself. It's biological and I didn't come up with it. If it were up to me, male children would spring, fully-armed, from the shoulder blades of their mothers and immediately leave home to slay a dangerous beast before being accepted back into the family.

As it is: blame God - it was his idea; but don't count on me to whip out my acting skills and prance around your swaying bulk proclaiming soothing blessings of eternal skinniness over you like a Buddhist mantra. I just don’t have it in me.You're pregnant. Great job! Now go buy a one-piece. 

Fortunately, Tyler is either amused by, or immune to - my various frailties; so I have experienced few of the marital woes commonly accruing to the man of the house during this delicate time. 

I wandered into the bathroom this morning to find Tyler brushing her teeth. She turned to say hello and promptly knocked the hairdryer off the bathroom counter using only our unborn child. I hollered and pointed HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA BABYGUT!!! She giggled in response and gestured at her feet. She was wearing my short tennis shoe socks, which she knows I hate.

Round or not, she's always a step ahead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Waiting Room, Part II

The waiting room is a trick. It’s not a waiting room for the doctor room, it’s a waiting room for the real waiting room. There’s a double-secret waiting room before you get to the examination room. They didn't tell me that. I trundled through the door behind Tyler expecting to get to rifle through the drawers and cabinets in an examination room, which I love to do. Instead, I was shocked to see her sit down in a tiny, secondary, waiting room with approximately 8-10 chairs in it; arranged in an “E” shape.

I was immediately reminded of Temple Grandin and her solution to cattle and cattle-stress-management in corrals: slowly squeeze the cows down into single file lines and reduce their lines-of-sight to limit stimulus and resultant stress.  I drew on my newfound ability to remain silent and did not mention that aloud, but I felt shocked and cornered. I realize I am the rogue Holstein that tears the whole system apart getting clear of the corral. 

That other waiting room was a waiting room to get into this waiting room.
Yeah. Here have a mint.
I don’t want a mint I want a damn doctor. We have been here 45 minutes. I've gone to the hospital, had a surgery, and gone home faster than this.
Oh c'mon. Here take this Cosmopolitan sex quiz. You love taking these. 
......Egghhhh....This is what you get when you take a place for women, fill it with women, and have women run it. Two waiting rooms.  I have never been so glad to be a man.
Yeah you get to start wars, raise taxes and get people pregnant. Hooray for men. Have some water.
Water? Where did that come from?
Right here. There’s always water in the little waiting room
You mean the waiting room’s waiting room

I was still chafing at the concept of two waiting rooms when the nurse came in and issued us back to the examination room.  We walked in and the door shut behind me. You could not have squeezed a reasonable-sized guinea pig in there with us. It was tiny.

Does this make you feel better or worse? Everything about this experience reminds me of a cattle pen.
The size of this room
What do you mean? It’s fine.
Yeah for you. You have a big table to lounge on and those feetie step things. I don’t have anywhere to damn sit except this little scooty chair and I HATE IT.
Don’t get agitated and don’t sit in that chair. That’s the doctors chair.
Well he can damn well stand for what this is costing me.
It’s a she. You’re getting all tense like you get when we’re packing the car for a trip. Just relax.
Well here’s a chair behind this little curtain.
You can’t sit there either.
Why not?
I looked up right into a stirrup and a set of legs all a-sprawl.
Oh. Eh. Ahem. Where should I sit?
Just stand over there by my head.
Eh. Cough. Uh. Ok.

The door swung open and a tiny little doctor sped into the room. Without so much as a howdy-do: THUNK! She’s in up to the elbow.

The two of them are talking like sorority sisters. I am mentally clawing at the walls in my haste to escape. This is an internal exam. Eh. I did not know that. Lightbulbs are beginning to slowly flicker over my head. Stirrups. I get it. I realize I should have read Tyler's emails about today's protocol instead of my bass fishing reports message board last night.

When I came back to myself they were cheerfully going over a list of the three million incredibly horrible things that might take place inside your womb if you happen to lose the genetic coin flip. I tuned out for a bit and thought about guns and bears and fishing line. Some time later conversation waned and the doctor turned to leave. I looked at Tyler.

Wait. Didn’t you pee into one of those cups to test if the tester stick thing was right from the other day? You know - the one that said "we're pregnant?"
Yeah. Uh huh.
Well? Was it right? What is going on? Was it right or wrong? WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Eh. Hee heee. So,(turning to the doctor) Ehh. Heh. Ummm. We were wanting to make sure. Eh. You know......(vaguely gesturing towards the womb)
Doctor: Oh yeah (laughing). You are definitely pregnant.

THAT is what I thought we were there to find out.