She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain When She Comes
[“She” being the baby, and “the mountain” being me, and I suppose it will be more like “coming OUT of” instead of “’round,” and DAMN but there are a lot of apostrophes in that title.]
Anyway. What I’m trying to say is that – if you recall – I am PREGNANT. Really pregnant. Nearly 35 weeks, to be exact. And after yesterday’s appointment, it sort of became clear to us that HEY! This baby could pretty much show up at any time now!
Fortunately, these come in maternity sizes.
While the nursery is totally finished (in terms of having carpet, paint, and furniture), we realized that – if the little bundle of joy came rocketing forth from my loins tomorrow – she would have no car seat. Or clean clothes. Or place to have her diapers changed. Or any variety of swinging/bouncy places to be deposited while mama sneaks off for a cocktail.
KIDDING. I would never leave her alone while I went to have a drink. Obviously, I would bring her along with me. Who else is going to light my cigs?
So we decided to do the boring responsible thing and canceled our Saturday plans to go see “The Wrestler” in favor of hitting up Babies ‘R’ Us for a few essentials. No big deal, except that with each passing week it becomes more and more clear to me that my window for going out and seeing a movie whenever I want is becoming narrower and narrower, and I really don’t want the last movie I’ve seen in the theatre to be “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.”
Why I shouldn’t be trusted to spend my own money.
So, this weekend it’s ALL BABY ALL THE TIME, with the Saturday spending spree followed by Sunday, when we travel down south for my niece’s baptism. At which I will be her godmother. As in, the person she will turn to for spiritual and religious guidance throughout her life.
I know. I KNOW!
A couple weeks ago I had the brilliant/delusional idea of throwing a big ol’ party at our house during my final month of pregnancy. You know, one last, big, pre-baby blowout that would also be a chance for me to see some friends I haven’t seen since before I got all knocked up and funhouse-mirror-looking. Not a dinner, not a low-key get-together, definitely not a baby shower, but an honest-to-God PARTY, complete with loud music and cursing and plenty of booze and absolutely NO talk of babies. Wooo! Sounds fun, right? But then I remembered:
- I’m typically drop-dead exhausted by 9pm, and
And since I can’t imagine anything LAMER than a hostess who goes to bed earlier than most 4th-graders, I kind of scrapped the whole party idea. And I was sad for about .005 seconds, before I remembered that we had ice cream sandwiches in the freezer and a new episode of 30 Rock to watch.
Replace “ice cream sandwiches” with “unsalted potato chips,” and “30 Rock” with “The Wheel,” and I just became my grandmother.
So that’s where my quest to pursue something non-baby-related at this stage in my pregnancy began and end, and just in case I haven’t bored you all to tears with my near-constant BABYBABYBABY talk, I wanted to share with you my experiences through the magical land of Prenatal Appointments. See, before I got pregnant, I always wondered what went down at these appointments. I knew about ultrasounds and peeing in a cup and getting weighed, but I wanted details: How much peeing in a cup? (LOTS) Do you get weighed every time? (OH YES) What other kind of exciting stuff happens? (…) And so forth. So, because I really have a strong desire to help that one person out there on the Internet who has wondered about these very same things (and because that fucking nesting instinct STILL hasn’t kicked in yet and I really don’t give a good goddamn about cleaning or organizing ANYTHING), I present to you:
JIVE TURKEY’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO PRENATAL APPOINTMENTS, OR AT LEAST “COMPLETE” UP UNTIL WEEK 35, BECAUSE I STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN TO THE APPOINTMENTS WHERE THEY MAKE YOU TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF, BUT I IMAGINE IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!
First, let me begin by saying that we always schedule our prenatal appointments somewhere around the asscrack of dawn, because it’s just easier to go before work than to leave work in the middle of the day and have to come back. Also, having your belly coated in KY Jelly is an immensely better way to start the day than a soggy old bowl of Wheaties, I assure you.
7:40am Arrive for 7:45am appointment. Marvel in the fact that, while you cannot crane your ass out of bed to make it to work on time, you can always make it to your prenatal appointments on time, even though they begin 15 minutes earlier than work and are located further from your house. Isn’t that adorable?
7:41am Sign in at front desk. Be sure staff notices that you got there EARLY, dammit, even though the woman who signed in before you recorded her “time of arrival” as “7:50.” Fix your watch, whore!
7:42-7:45am Sit in mildly depressing waiting room, watching early morning news on TV. News is boring, but preferable to watching the one man who is always, ALWAYS asleep in the corner of the room with his mouth gaping open. It’s not always the SAME man, but there is always one present, making it clear to the world how terribly exhausted he is while his poor 89-billion-months pregnant wife is undoubtedly getting her vag probed in the next room. Yes, we all feel your pain, my good sir. The best version of Waiting Room Sleeping Beauty we’ve ever seen was the one we saw yesterday, whose shoes were falling off, and who had a huge bottle of Gatorade sitting next to him, because – CLEARLY – he needed to replace all those electrolytes he was losing by taking such a strenuous nap.
7:46am Get called to the registration window to verify that none of your personal information has changed. Briefly consider telling the nurse that YES, my husband’s cell phone number has changed, but neglect to do so out of pure laziness, as you have done for the last three appointments. This behavior might merit your very own bottle of Gatorade.
7:48am Get called back into examination room by very solemn nurse. She doesn’t smile much, which you interpret as her not liking you, and it’s just too early for you to deal with your obsessive need to be liked by everyone.
7:49am Get blood pressure taken by nurse who, in your mind, wants to destroy you and all that you stand for. She then asks you to step on the scale. In earlier, prouder days, you removed your shoes/coat/scarf for the big weigh-in. You don’t bother with this since noticing how far the car dips when you get in. Stupid car.
7:51am Why why WHY does that damn nurse not wait for the scale to FULLY CALIBRATE before announcing your weight to the world? Oh, yeah. She hates you. That’s why.
7:52am Solemn, hateful nurse asks you (very solemnly) if you can “give [her] a sample.” This confused you greatly the first time, as you were not sure what in the name of holy hell she was talking about. A sample of what? Carpet? Perfume? Herbed goat cheese? She means URINE, friends. I asked, so you don’t have to.
7:53-8:00am Retire to adjacent restroom to procure urine sample. Notice how eerily quiet it is, and immediately realize that Solemn Nurse and Husband will both hear everything, including the sound of your pee filling the cup, and then the sound of excess pee hitting the toilet. And then the various sounds involved in the subsequent clean up, because JESUS CHRIST WHY CAN’T WOMEN JUST PEE IN A SOLID, PREDICTABLE STREAM?!
8:01am Hand gross, warm cup-o-pee to Solemn Nurse. Get kind of weirdly embarrassed about handing her a warm cup of your own bodily fluids. Start to understand why she may hate you a little.
8:03am After taking all of 60 seconds to test the pee it took you 7 minutes to harvest, Solemn Nurse flushes the specimen down the toilet and tells you everything looks fine, and that the midwife will be with you in a minute. She and her palpable hate make their exit.
8:04am-8:10am Wait for midwife. Ponder the many intricacies of the examination room, including the map of the city that is inexplicably posted on the wall of EVERY examination room in the practice. And it’s not even a nice map, like the kind rich people frame and hang in their studies. It’s just an unfolded map from Triple-A, fastened to the wall with a couple push pins. Move on to making fun of the various pamphlets hanging in the wall-mounted display. Midwife inevitably walks in while you and your husband are openly mocking “Cord Blood Options and You.” Immediately put on your Totally Mature and Capable Adult face, which makes you feel better until you glance at the computer screen and see that “In a production of ‘Chicks with Dicks'” has been listed in your MEDICAL PROFILE.
8:11am Midwife asks how you are feeling. Hear husband’s jaw drop to the floor as words like, “A little tired, but great!” come tumbling out of your mouth. It should be noted that this same mouth uttered phrases like “TOTALLY FUCKING MISERABLE,” “I CAN’T BREATHE!” and “GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME” not even 24 hours earlier.
8:14-8:20am Midwife reviews blood pressure, weight, and pee-test results. Asks if you have any questions. Silly midwife. Doesn’t she know that any questions you might have had have been thoroughly researched on the internet the instant they popped into your head? You throw her a couple questions anyway, just so she feels useful, and immediately judge her response against what some 18-year-old posted on a BabyCenter message board.
8:21-8:24 am Best part of the whole appointment: getting to hear the baby’s heartbeat. I can’t remember when they start doing this, but it’s incredibly exciting, because up until this point your entire visit pretty much ends with the step above. It is my understanding that some fancy-pants practices actually lube you up with pre-warmed KY Jelly before applying the doppler wand. This is not the case with my midwives, who unceremoniously jizz the freezing cold lube all over you while your husband watches, feeling vaguely dirty.
8:24-8:25am Swish-swish, thump-thump. Awesome.
8:25-8:31am When you’re even further along (somewhere between “Beluga” and “Orca”), now is the time when they whip out the ol’ tape measure and get a fundal measurement of your nice, lubed up belly. This sometimes lines up perfectly with the number of weeks along you are, but of course, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, feel free to delude yourself into thinking that this means you need to start inhaling more nachos.
8:31-8:34am First runner-up to the best part of the whole appointment: the midwife palpates your belly to see exactly where the little peanut is. My midwives always start down low, looking for the head, and once they find it, they guide your hands to the right place and let you cop a feel of your own. It’s maybe not quite as romantic as hearing that little heartbeat on the doppler, but I’ll be damned if feeling that little head moving between your hands isn’t pretty fucking amazing as well. OK, FINE: it kind of freaked me out the first time, but still: pretty cool.
8:35am Midwife tells you when you should drag your ass back for your next appointment, and sends you on your way.
8:36-8:45am You attempt to schedule your next appointment with the surly front desk staff, who choose to flaunt their hate for you much more openly than Solemn Nurse would ever dare. They have mastered the art of making you feel that you have absolutely no right to pick a date and time that are convenient for you, and make sure to heave really loud sighs at every opportunity (including when you have the audacity to ask for your next appointment to be written down on an appointment card, you giant pregnant pain in the ass, you).
8:46am NEW THIS TIME AROUND: You schedule all of your remaining appointments. As in, right up until April 2. As in, you won’t need any after that, because you’re going to have a baby on April 5th. OR BEFORE.
Entry filed under: Gobble-gobble.