|Reenacting sleeping with my new body pillow, which I've named "The Seahorse." Cat not included.|
I have a friend who doesn't have any kids, nor does she want them. But, she said, she kind of wishes she knew what it felt like to be pregnant. To her I say: When the scientists invent this simulator, strap on the weighty pack and set the dial to Week 30.
Week 30 is, so far, my favorite week of pregnancy.
Earlier this week I was doing some writing and noticed my sweater bucking. There were frequent belly jabs, the most activity I've witnessed yet. At one point I poked my right side and received a high-five in return -- or whatever it is called when a 2-pound person either rams her knee or else head butts your finger. And then an entire half hour passed with me, literally, navel gazing.
How the hell am I supposed to get anything done, I wondered, when the little Incredible Hulk is rearranging her living space? It's so fascinating!
This has happened multiple times a day since then. Just this morning Chuck tapped at my belly button and was greeted with a rolling wave of skin. We looked at each other wide-eyed. Sometimes it's like a sea creature cruising just below the surface; Sometimes it's like my belly button is struggling to say something.
I found a spider on my arm, wiped it off and it landed in our bed. That was worse, so I picked it up and threw it on the floor. Chuck witnessed this and seems to think it was a behavioral anomaly. That I've had a more hide-in-the-other-room approach to bugs in the past. Who remembers these things.
This week's appointment was a quick hitter: check baby's heart rate, measure the belly, exchange witty banter. "Boring week, huh?" the doctor said. "ARE YOU KIDDING?!" I asked. "IT'S MY FAVORITE." He chuckled. He's heard this song and dance. The non-invasive appointment, the final days of full mobility. People like Weeks 30 and 32, he said.
Also, the PBG, the doctor said, is in a breech position -- which is no big because we've got time for her to shift into a head-first dive.
I like picturing her in the breech position. Me, sitting on the couch watching "Lost." Superimposed with the PBG at stomach level also sitting on the couch watching "Lost." Me, driving the Space Shuttle. PBG, sitting at wheel level watching. The bambino as a tiny Buddha presence, her legs crossed in front of her. Or those little Russian nesting dolls if they were see-through. A joey. Regardless, "Breech baby, breech baby there on the sand from July to the end of September" is stuck in my head."
We also had an appointment to double-check the kidney situation. (She still only has one). And to meet with a specialist about what will happen when she's born (ultrasound, antibiotics, checkups). Our guy mapped out her urinary tract on the paper used to keep the exam bed sanitized and I felt horrible thinking about making another generation that will be keenly aware of her urethra.
Before all of this, there was another ultrasound where we saw images of the PBG for the first time in 10 weeks. Her cheeks have gotten chubby, her lips pouty, her nose sloped into something decidedly Pista family. At one point we saw her throw the sort of frown-y face both Chuck and I would make if were rudely awakened. Then we saw, live action, the corners of her mouth turn up into what looked like a smile. (Cry cue).
The tech gave us three portrait-like pictures, composites of what her face probably looks like. All of this sort of feels like we're adopting a baby from the moon. Like we've been Skyping with her and now we're just waiting for her to slip into her space helmet and make the trip.
I'm sick. I have the terrible cold that I skirted all cold season. Nose, throat, head, fatigue. Last night I was trapped in a situation where snot began to shine above my upper lip and the only way to thwart it was to takes swipes at it with a knit stocking cap.
I stayed healthy all sick season and developed a theory that, while Chuck and my friends were felled by the ick, I was staying strong because frequent urination was leading to frequent hand washing which was leading to a germ genocide.
I bring this up ALL the time.
".... because I pee so much," smug nod.
"... convinced the reason I haven't gotten sick ..." eyes wide, earnestness.
Except now I'm sick.
"It's because I was bragging so much," I told Chuck.
"It's because I was sick and other people were sick," he said.
"And because I was bragging about not being sick," I said.
"No, not really. It's because everyone is sick," he said.