Push

February 2008

7 years
ago

 

Week 41: Plan 20 From Outer Space

Still nothing. Now we’re just pissed.

My parents leave in two days.

In our Bradley class, which seems like a distant memory now, Denyse encouraged us to write up a “birth plan.” I didn’t get the concept at the time, figuring the plan was: Give birth; go home. How could we possibly develop a plan for the most complex, unpredictable moment of our lives, when the experts should be calling the shots? It seemed ridiculous…

7 years
ago

 

Week 40: The Lion Does Not Sleep Tonight

Just got off the phone with Sarah. Very excited. Still no baby, but here’s a transcript of the call—which I pray no one overheard:

Me: Hello?
Sarah: You sitting down?
Me: Yeah. What’s up?
Sarah: I passed my mucus plug.
Me: (excited) Really? Your mucus plug? What did it feel like?
Sarah: I didn’t notice. I went to sit on the pot, and…

7 years
ago

 

Week 40: Cervix Industry

My parents have been living in the basement for a week now, and Sarah’s womb has been painfully quiet the whole time. Every time I go downstairs, Tom and Lois are sitting on the couch, eating peanuts and watching Law & Order. And every time Sarah goes down there, they jump up with excited anticipation, and when they realize she has come to simply put in a load of laundry, they sigh. Audibly. They don’t mean any harm—they just want to meet the baby, too—but their presence seems to have spooked Sarah’s cervix. The pressure is overwhelming. “I feel like every day I don’t produce a child, I’m letting everyone down,” Sarah said…

7 years
ago

 

Week 39: Department of No Labor

Every time my phone rings at work, I think, Here we go. I look at the calendar: This is the day. I look at my clothes: This is what I’m going to be wearing in all the pictures. Usually, it’s someone calling to ask my least favorite question: “Has the baby come yet?”

No, it hasn’t. Thanks for reminding me.

It’s easy to forget that Sarah’s due date was an estimate—not an appointment. In most cases, post-term pregnancies aren’t really “late”; they stem from miscalculations of the time of conception…

7 years
ago

 

Week 39: St. Annoyance

Here’s what it’s like sharing a bed with 39-weeks pregnant woman. Or, at least, with mine.

Early this morning, I was sleeping peacefully when I felt a tugging on my shirt. I rolled over and Sarah was staring at me, wide awake.

“What’s up?” I asked. “Is it time?”

“No. I’m miserable.”

“What’s the matter?"…

“I’ve got a fucking human being in my stomach, that’s what’s the matter.” …

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7 years
ago

 

Week 38: Cry Wolf, Cry Uncle

Sarah was breathing strangely in bed the other morning, and I asked what was up. “I think I’m having this baby,” she said. My heart stopped. It’s go time. And I’m ready.

For the next hour we tried to figure out whether or not she was in labor. After consulting multiple books, and timing what we imagined were contractions, we’d reached our conclusion: She had gas…

7 years
ago

 

Week 38: Drop and Give Me Twenty … Wipes

I spent all day Saturday painting furniture for the baby room, which I figured would buy me a free pass to watch the AFC championship on Sunday. It was shaping up to be a great game: The Steelers had won 15 in a row, and the Patriots hadn’t lost a playoff game in years. An hour before game time, I asked Sarah who she thought would win. She looked around the basement at little piles of unfinished projects here and there, and answered: “Me.”

I spent the day building a crib and assembling a day bed…

7 years
ago

 

Week 37: Bare-Assed and Pregnant

I’ve spent much of my life avoiding women who appear to be pregnant, because they scared the hell out of me. What if I said the wrong thing? I had nothing to offer them, conversation-wise, beyond “So, what’s it like being pregnant?” Now everything is different. Today at the gym I asked the pregnant woman on the cross-trainer next to mine how she gets her recommended daily calcium intake.

Watched Sarah’s belly vibrate today. It looked like when you throw a stone into a still pond, and the splash ripples out to the edges…

7 years
ago

 

Week 37: Ten True Things I Wouldn’t Have Believed a Year Ago

1. By the last trimester, a pregnant woman’s breasts may leak a few drops of colostrum (practice milk). It’s thick and yellow and has the consistency of wood glue.

2. Sometimes a drop or two of blood leaks out. Blood.

3. During pregnancy, the average woman’s uterus expands up to five hundred times its normal size…