Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Brief Ode to Pregnancy

Soon, I will tell the Real, Authorized Adventure of the Pork Roast (unabridged).


Today, a brief nod to pregnancy. Occasionally, I have "pregnancy is..." thoughts. "Pregnancy is working out by countless trips to the bathroom." "Pregnancy is elastic waist bands." And so on.

It's eternally amusing to sit in the Pregnancy Office waiting room surrounded by bellies. Belly with stripes. Belly with cropped jacket. Belly with outie showing through form-fitting material. Belly with shirt worn last two pregnancies. Belly with rain jacket.

For some reason, it reminds me of Monty Python's "Spam" skit. You can hide that belly, you can expose that belly, that belly can come in tan or pale or rich brown, you can drape that belly or layer over it, but at bottom, they are all bellies. Lots of bellies. Bellies in one room. Belly, belly, belly, striped belly, belly, belly.

I think that waiting room bathroom must get a lot of use.

The Big Red Couch isn't just getting used, I'm pulling over a footstool and a heating pad. The Big Red Couch is getting....stretch marks on its upholstery. Gasp.

But this is Knocked-Up Fun Time. Morning sickness and nausea are traumatic memories of the early summer, heartburn has quieted to a dull roar, for the moment, I don't find myself falling asleep for an hour every afternoon. We know that it's a boy. We are naming him Jack.

("I am Jack's healing umbilical cord stump." "I am Jack's messy diaper." Name that bizarre pregnancy-pop culture crossover...)

Knocked-Up Fun Time includes registering. Wait. Did I say fun time? AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHA.

Okay, mostly it's fun. Except that if you think Brides and Bereaved are the only ones targeted as a demographic for Rite of Passage cash, think again. Have you felt your brains marketed out by veil options, tuxedo choices, or coffin liners, along with that heavy "this is important" feeling? I thought marketing for weddings was bad. Just wait until you have a baby! 7,000 different bottles, 372 strollers that convert, shield, protect, jog, or have traction for your frequent Himalayan hikes.

Different safety ratings on them all. A deluxe Crayon box full of color choices - and then there are patterns. Pink, blue, and we-don't-want-to-find-out yellow. Monkeys, planes, cartoon characters. Target alone? A $72 stroller that folds up as small as your golf umbrella, or a $700 stroller that I think had a rotisserie chicken function on it somewhere for the luxurious on-the-go parent. It's so bad, Sweet Husband pointed out one ad to me that pitched "we have limited selection for your convenience" - which, to a naive outsider, looks silly, but to One Who Has Been Through the Crucible, looks heavenly.

And then there's used. eBay. Craig's List. Relatives. Garage sales. Consignment shops. From "gently used" and beyond.

Don't even get me started on eco-friendly! There are fair-trade fabric burp cloths, cloth diapers, infant sweaters from recycled wool, "green" baby bottles, and a few things actually not made in China.

Oh, that conversation? It went this way:

"Oooh, let's get this!"


"Wait - let me look. Doggone it, made in China. You know they recently exported a bunch of toys to the U.S. with high lead contents? LEAD? And a bunch of infants in China died from tainted formula they manufactured? And what about their one-child policy and systemic human rights abuses?"

"Honey, everything is made in China."

"I just hate not having many other options, even these famous, name-brand..."


And that was when Sweet Husband took the package from my hand and scanned the bar code. Which, when all's said and done, was good, or it would've taken us twice as long to get through because of The Rant That Happened Every Aisle until he finally sighed, turned, and, through unusually gritted teeth, said, "Honey. Everything is made in China. You're just going to have to deal with it."

I dealt with it. After all, registering is supposed to be fun.

And then, for better or worse, I opened up the feedback lines on Facebook and asked for opinions on the registry items from Those With Parenting Experience. I got no less than about four differing opinions on bottles alone. I decided to rein it in and consult Some Experts: my sisters-in-law. (They have four, soon to be five munchkins, between them.)

Why did I start this post again?


Work-out videos.

In these economically burdensome times, one cannot always continue one's gym membership, but of course, wellness and fitness are important in healthy pregnancy. And the fall weather may prohibit extended outdoor activities. But in these times, one also gets very bored very quickly with eight-year-old Tae Bo tapes.

And then I thought of YouTube. Oh, YouTube, what would we do without you?

And in the land of YouTube, there's a fantastic woman with a very pregnant belly who provides 8-10 minute workout segments, including warm-up, specific muscle areas, and stretching. And the Fantastic Woman from the land of YouTube is a doctor, and a nutritionist, and uses YouTube as her video venue, so you don't have to worry about accessing copyrighted material. Did I mention she has a big belly?

A fitness instructor with a big belly is such a comfort.

Go here to her profile page; it includes all her Pregnancy Exercise videos, as well as a few videos of healthy recipes...http://www.youtube.com/user/doctorcathy

I promise, someday, you'll hear about my pork roast.


Anonymous said...

Well, all of the items made in China, or Indonesia, or India or elsewhere just MIGHT POSSIBLY help explain why our economy is tanking....I looked for ANY BRAND of mandarin oranges that was a product of ANY country except China, and guess what? THERE AREN'T ANY! And, yes, I feel massively disgruntled....Can anyone say "negative balance of trade"? WHAT ARE THESE AMERICAN-BASED CORPORATIONS THINKING?!? How are we supposed to afford to buy their goods, when they lay us all off and ship all of the jobs overseas?

Becky Carter said...

an expert huh? wow! I am surely going to get a large melon sized head now. ;-) But thanks! It'll all come together Elizabeth, no worries...it's just a lot the first time around. Eventually you won't care anymore because other things in your life (like the poop on your floor and the child with the bloody nose dripping everywhere) will consume your thoughts...oh, and how much sleep you got, the baby got, the dog got and your grandmother got...will also be your "hottest" topic of thought and convo in the near future. ;-)