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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Too Small -- A Rant

Until this point in my pregnancy I've been locked away and hidden from the world. Aside from my blog, and the good friends that came to visit me, no one saw me pregnant. That all changed this weekend! I had a chance to spend time by a pool, hang out with my friend Rosie in Pasadena, and spend time at my parent's house. During my excursions, strangers were talking to me left and right, all asking "Are you pregnant?" I was delighted to stick out my belly and say, "Yes."

The inevitable question would follow: "How far along are you?"

Still beaming, I would say, "Six and half months."

Everything would go sour after that because no matter who I talked to, every single person said the same thing, "You're too small!"

I'm not kidding people. You think I'm exagerating, but I'm not - every single person said this.

The worst point came yesterday when my neighbor, who has had seven children of her own, said to me bluntly, "This isn't good. You're too small. Something's wrong. You need to eat more."

Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, but I just got mad. I wanted to shout to the world, "Leave me alone! Every woman's body is different. Every pregnancy is different. Who are you to make me feel like there's something wrong with my pregnant body?" The doctor says I'm doing fine.

I'm worried enough about the health of this baby, and telling me that there's something wrong with my body, when the doctor has clearly told me I'm healthy, only makes me mad!

Can't a girl get a break? I thought pregnancy was the one time when we were let off the hook. Sadly, it seems like no matter what weight, no matter what stage of life, a woman's body is never free from scrutiny!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Birthing Class

So, we had our first class tonight. The pamphlet said, "PLEASE arrive 10 minutes early to the 1st class," and so Dwayne and I rolled in 15 minutes late, with our tails between our legs.

*Sorry Taylor Tot - Your parents are delinquents.*

This is the first time Dwayne and I have ever taken a class together and it was, well, trouble. Dwayne's a bit of a goof-off and I am easily influenced.

We sat at the side of the class winking and making each other laugh at inopportune times. It's not that we didn't care about the class, or that we weren't interested. We actually really enjoyed it. It was just that there were so many awkward moments!

The instructor kept talking about breasts, and mucus plugs, and pelvic rocking. I could see the men all across the room twitching. Also there was a birthing video called "Celebrating Birth" which celebrated so much more than birth!

By the end of the class, the instructor had all the women down on the floor and all the men giving full body massages. "Talk to your partner!" she pushed. "Communicate! Tell him what hurts, what feels good."

"Now coaches," she called out, "your homework is to give your wife a massage everyday this week and figure out where her tension spots are."

I think I'm going to like this class!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stomach Muscles

I've slowly been loosing control over my stomach muscles. As they get stretched out, I'm having to find creative ways to lay back, sit up, and sneeze.

The nurses at the doctor's office are very thoughtful about a pregnant woman's inability to use her stomach muscles. At every check up, they help me lay back, and then extend their arm like a lever so I can pull myself back up.

However, during this last visit, the nurse forgot to help me after checking the baby's heartbeat. At first, I didn't say anything. I thought, "I can do it!" and tried to sit up myself. But the office bed was too narrow to rollover on and so I was stuck.

Dwayne sat next to my bed engrossed in a magazine. I lay there for a second with my arms and legs wriggling like a plump bug on it's back before he noticed me.

"What are you doing?" he asked, looking at me as if I were crazy, because evidently I have never explained to him that I can't use my stomach muscles anymore.

"I can't get up!" I said, still wriggling.

My dear, beloved husband sat there unmoved. "Why not?"

"Because my stomach muscles don't work!" I retorted, loosing my patience. By that time the nurse returned, saw me wiggling helplessly, and immediately came to my rescue.

"Oh! I'm sorry, do you want to sit up?" She said, offering me her arm.

I don't blame Dwayne. There are so many strange and amazing things going on with my body these days, he can barely keep up.

Right now we are both totally fascinated with seeing the baby move under my skin.

"It's kind of like that scene from the Matrix, were they suck the bug out of Neo's stomach," Dwayne told a friend.

He's right. It is kind of like that, but not nearly as gross.;-)

Twenty-seven weeks and counting!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Blogging Sabotaging my Writing?

Since starting this blog two years ago, I've had several posts turn into essays which I have polished (with the help of my wonderful editor Amy) and sent off for publication. In fact, one of my old posts was published in Zinkzine.

When I started blogging, the goal was to give myself a weekly catalyst to write. This has proven successful. Because of this blog, I now write at least one short essay a week. It helps to know there are eyes out there ready to read what I put up, immediately.

But recently I've been wondering if in fact blogging has inadvertently sabotaged my writing aspirations. Let me explain.

In blogging I have grown accustomed to the truffle version of essays - short and sweet. I've become very handy at condensing my experiences and thoughts into a span of 700 words. Now being concise is a virtue, but over time, my essays have dropped from an average of 10-15 pages down to 2-3. There is something to be said for taking many pages to fully develop your thoughts and explore your story. Also in the world of creative nonfiction publishing, essays are generally the length of chapters in a book.

Secondly, while researching places to submit my essays I ran across this statement in the Belleview Literary Review:

"For the BLR , 'published work' means published in print in North America, or published on the Internet in electronic journals, e-zines, academic websites, and other 'public' or 'official' websites. Works posted on personal blogs or websites will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We ask that authors be honest about web postings."

When I read this my heart dropped! I've written so much that began as a post on my blog. Does the fact that an earlier form of my essays has appeared on my web page, disqualify it from further publication?

I'm left wondering if this blog hasn't, in the end, short changed my larger writing goals, but the truth is that knowing you all are out there willing to read my writing every week has been a huge motivation for me. To be honest, I doubt I would have excavated the emotional material I have over the past two years, if it weren't for this blog and your feedback!

So, I'm still wondering what to do.