Tag: Pregnancy

How To Get A Girl Pregnant (The Telephone Theory)

“Let it be a lesson to you to be less busy in the future!”
– Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy

Calm down, minions, I’m not talking about me.  Today we bring you a morality tale of A) staying out of other people’s business and B) not exaggerating.

We have an EMT internship program on campus and all of our kids are highly trained to assist in medical emergencies, often they are our first responders.  But they, like us, are often dispatched to non-emergencies because of faulty (not to say completely false) information.

Yesterday we received a call that there was a pregnant woman with vaginal bleeding on the floor of a restroom and non-responsive.

Our valiant EMTs burst into the bathroom, surprising the poor girl (who was not unconscious but bent over the counter and probably wishing she was dead from both pain and embarrassment).
“You’ve had some vaginal bleeding?” an EMT asked professionally.
“Well, yes,” she answered, confused.
“How many months pregnant are you?”

No, the other kind of hysterical pregnancy.

There was a terrible pause.  She paled and clutched at the sink.
“I’m pregnant?!”

It turns out she had been brought low by menstrual cramps, excused herself from her companions and went to the restroom.  A concerned friend relayed this information in a rather garbled way to a another friend, who in turn relayed yet a more garbled version to another friend, who in turn called 911.  Thankfully all was sorted out with some profuse apologies, pain killers, and a vigorous telling off for the person who called us without having a clue what was going on. And so, my likely-red-faced darlings, let that be a lesson to you: get your facts straight.  Otherwise people end up hurt.  Or pregnant.

Babies Everywhere

“I can’t think why mothers love them.  All babies do is leak at both ends.”
– Douglas Feaver

Wise and R2 are both pregnant and due about the same time.  I’ve had a slew of acquaintances spawn recently.  Last Friday the office girls and I had that conversation about childbirth that traumatized three-quarters of us, and at dinner last night my god-uncle (jokingly) asked when J. and I were going to add to the list.  Short answer, not any time soon, Deus Volent.  Pregnancy seems to be on everyone’s collective brain these days.

Apart from my completely lack of desire to have children in the near future, pregnancy, as far as I can tell, produces all sort of undesirable social effects.  I can’t begin to count the times that pregnant women have been accosted in public places by, as far as I can tell, perfect strangers.  People seem to feel it’s their prerogative to run up, clap hands on their stomach, and demand when they are due or coo over them in an alarmingly possessive manner.  I can personally guarantee the first stranger who tries that with me when I’m eventually ready to have kids will have their ears blistered.

Also, it seems to turn people (in their minds at least) into friends with everyone in sight.  Which can be awkward for the individual on the receiving end of this jovial goodwill.

Friday evening I ran to Nordstrom to find a baby shower present for R2.  When I stepped off the tile floor into the carpeted are of the baby section, I might as well has crossed the Bosporus!

There were choruses of “Awww!” from every corner, even though I saw next to no people anywhere.  A creepy enough beginning, but it got more bizarre.  Wandering past a rack of clothes a perfect stranger leaped at me out of nowhere clutching tiny shoes in her fist.
“Aren’t these the most adorable things you’ve ever seen?!” she demanded shrilly before disappearing behind shelves of diaper bags.

A bit shaken I began flipping through clothes when a woman on the other side of the store held up a pair of pajamas, waved them back and forth to get my attention, and when I furtively glanced up, yelled, “These are just too cute, I had to share them with someone!”  I nodded and moved away quietly…

Ducks. Gender neutral enough? You decide

Only to back into a third woman who held up two onesies asking my opinion which one she should buy, launching into the life story of both herself and the person she was buying this present for.
“Uh, the one on the left?” I offered.
“My left or your left?” she demanded.  “Are ducks gender-neutral enough?”
“Um.  Yes.”
“By the way, when are you due?  You’re not showing at all,” she said, reaching for my stomach.
“I’m not pregnant,” I managed through clenched teeth, nearly tripping as I backpedaled to avoid her hand.
“Oh.  Well, you have time,” she said, patting the shoulder I couldn’t wrench away in time.

No kidding!

Pregnancy. Scares.

“I myself prefer dogs.”
Catherine Called Birdy, by Karen Cushman

Ever since getting married (a grand total of a month and a half ago) I wait with baited breath for Mother Nature to confirm that I’m not pregnant every 28 days.  That’s right, I actively look forward to That Time of the Month to reassure myself that a Mini C./J. is not in the works.  In days leading up to it I get unbelievably tense and engage in ridiculous conversations that I’m guaranteed to regret 4-5 days later.
“Does this milk smell off?  …CRAP!  I’m pregnant!”
“No you’re not,” says J. with an irritated but still loving roll of the eyes.  “The milk’s bad.”
“Oh.”  (Goes back to pouring cereal)

While he's blithely  unaffected, I'm getting haunting visions of THIS!
While he's blithely unaffected, I'm getting haunting visions of THIS!

Occasionally I can border on the paranoid.  The first month after marriage I was “late,” which mean two whole days of angst that I think I hid well but during which I secretly gnawed my metaphoric nails to the wrist.
“What if I’m pregnant?” I demanded morbidly one night as we brushed our teeth.
“You’re not,” J. said (again, and just as irritated/patiently).
“But what if I am?!” 
“Well, that’ll certainly change things.”
How can you be so calm??!!” I hissed.
“About a purely hypothetical situation?” he countered.

I trust he would be a better father than this...
I trust he would be a better father than this...

See, even though it would “change things,” I don’t think J.’s world would be rocked to the core if the Fates decided to play this horrid, horrid joke on us.  But then again, he’s not the one who would have to host this alien parasite for nine months, forcibly expel it, and then still find a way to be the primary breadwinner for our family in addition to a full time parent.  I’m a tough girl, I can handle quite a bit, but the mere thought of that last scenario makes my knees knock in quivering terror. 

And I’m sorry, I don’t even find babies cute!  Anathema, I know…but just think about it!  They’ve got these big alien heads they can’t support, they don’t communicate (in any language I speak, or will until I do decide to breed), and if there is an opening in their body anywhere, something gross is coming out of it.  I like little kids better.  I’ll take the Terrible Two’s over the Irrevocably-Broken-If-I-Touch-It Infants any day of the week! 

Alas, even good DNA can go wrong...
Alas, even good DNA can go wrong...

Now, before I’m burned at the stake, I know I’m going to think my own children have been individually sprinkled with awesome dust.  I’ll probably even think they’re cute in spite of the many varieties of goo seeping out of them (my husband’s a fine piece of work, if I do say so myself, and I don’t look like a horse, so the odds are in our favor).   Just…not yet.  Not for a few years.  Not while he’s in school, not while I still have to work, and not while the idea still turns me into a catatonic mess. 

And even though deep down I can admit I look forward to having a family with J. (a long way down the road), I suspect in the meantime, every 28 days, I’ll be going through this same process of fear, soul searching, and grudging resignation.  At least I am assured of one ally.
“How long is this going to go on?” I whined to Venice after Scare #1.
She came back with a chipper, “12 times a year.  Enjoy!”