Pregnancy can be childish
If you’re reading this at work, you probably hate me right now. Why? Because I am forcibly confined to rest. My doctor told me, “I want you vertical as little as possible,” and thus I am placed under modified bedrest for the next few weeks. It feels more like house arrest, except that pregnancy nesting instincts must be denied. I saw a dust bunny in the baby’s room and willed myself into just waddling past it. That hurt. Thank you, Shannon, for this invaluable guide to coping with bed rest.
I was supposed to fly to Washington, DC today for my final out of town work meeting before settling down into the final weeks of my pregnancy. I was nervous about it, but my doctor had assured me it would be ok and I felt up to it. Just to be sure, I went to get checked yesterday and turns out, my baby has other plans. He’s way down there and I’m dilated and effaced enough so that at 33 weeks, my doctor wants me to be extra cautious.
I’ve been reading the bed rest (mis)adventures of AndieenParis, and I can relate to her conflicted feelings (although she already has two kids, bless her). Andi is
“having a difficult time conceptualizing the idea of allowing myself to 'rest'. I am always flittering about the apartment. E says I'm like a butterfly because during the day I'll sit down and then get up to always go do something. Actually 'sitting' down to do something that I consider 'for myself' I usually always reserved for the night, when the kids were in bed and the daily stuff put behind us, kind of as a reward for the 'day's work'. Now, I supposedly can have more times like this and for someone like me who is so used to being up all the time 'doing', it is very difficult.”
More women work later into their pregnancies. Recent Census data shows 80 percent of women employed while pregnant worked within one month or less of giving birth. I think my mandated rest period has finally drummed home that my economic and public contributions, at least for a short while, are coming to an end. To be abruptly taken out of your life is difficult, even for those moms who struggled to conceive or perhaps have had difficult pregnancies, such as Inconceivable No More. You feel a little childish.I keep waiting for that happy childhood sick day feeling to set in, but my mom isn't here to make grilled cheese.
Part of me likes this regression. And this is the weird thing about pregnancy: you’re made oddly vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. I’m now reliant on others to help me, which makes me squirm. But I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t enjoyed just a little the past months of people caring for me just a little more than usual, of being able to use my pregnancy as an excuse to get out of things I didn’t want to do, and of getting generally nicer treatment at the grocery store and a few more seats on the subway. If I wanted, I could be much more manipulative than I have been, especially with family members and their ministrations. It’s like I get a final time to regress a little into my own childish state before assuming responsibility for raising another human.
Now it’s getting close enough to the end that I know I need to treasure this final time of self-indulgence because God knows, when the baby comes, my physical needs will go out the window. I’m tired? Too bad! Feel like checking out for a bit? Tough! I’ll never forget the woman who said, “when you’re pregnant, everyone cares about your health and wellbeing. Once you have the baby, no one ever asks how you are anymore.”
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