Scary stories from a lovely place
I am entering a scary new stage of life which brings with it a somewhat unwitting entrance into a scary new world of information. I am pregnant. Knocked up. Baking. Eating for two. Up the duff (that’s my least favourite). I am trying to work out how to do this. How to be pregnant and have a baby in Johannesburg.
So I’m reading books that range in intelligence (feminist to conservative christian), rabid agenda (same examples), natural vs. medical and magazines with a mixture of articles on invasive surgical proceduces, baby names and horoscopes and pretty inane pictures of women using breast pumps. I’ve also become a little, inadvisadly so, addicted to websites with forums about pregnancy and birth. Reading these is like driving past a car accident, or induging in Mills and Boon; it’s horrible and I know I shouldn’t keep looking, but I so want to. The men and women who write and read these surely have too much time on their hands because of the sheer length and depth of the stress and concerns they express. I just don’t have the time to be as worked up as they all are. I’m also trying to do pelvic floor exercises to stave off any possible episiotomy, eat, eat, eat so I don’t feel nauseous and not allow myself to get sucked in to the myriad anxietys, consumerism and self-obsession that permeates this sub-culture.
I don’t want to subject you to too many stomach turning morsels of information or polemic rants, but allow me to indulge in the following things I have so far gleaned from my research.
* Pregnant women are stupid. I don’t actually think they are, but I feel overwhelmingly stupid after reading books about babies. Why are we made to feel like this is a problem and we have thick skulls?
* You can eat the placenta. I don’t plan on it, but this one book I read suggested it as a way of avoiding post-natal depression. The mind and the stomach revolt at this suggestion.
* Everyone has an opinion on every aspect of pregnancy, birth and baby care which they boisterously share with you and then remind you that you need to not listen to everyone’s opnions and just work it out for yourself. Thanks very much.
* Child birth scares the s**t out of me. Muscle tearing contractions, jagged tears, slicing and dicing episiotomies, spinal blocks, sweating, screaming, blood and guts, no sex for months after. But then you get a cute baby that is eternally indebted to you.
I saw my baby on a computer screen the other day. It was weird looking, but had all its limbs and was fine I was happy to hear. It kept waving its arms around its head like a fly was annoying it. And its face looked like it was frowning. Seeing its heart beating was the coolest. It looks like this at the moment….
Amazing that it is living and growing inside my belly and already has its own blood type.