Monday, August 26, 2013

Musings of the Pregnant Lady

Mr. T makes a mean salad. I'm one happy (and full) pregnant lady.

While Miley Cyrus was busy getting down and dirty on stage at the VMAs (goodbye childhood), I was fast asleep (or something like it) preparing for the all-important glucose test to find out if Little Z has come with the fun accessory of gestational diabetes (cross your fingers that it's a no!). Luckily, the Israeli system has a overly sugary lemonade-style drink, which outdoes the disgusting, throat-burning orange soda stylings of the U.S. healthcare system's diabetic testing process.

The hour that I was sitting idle waiting for jitters to set in (they didn't), and without an iPad (had to sell it to pay the rent), I spent people watching. Efrat, where the medical center is, is across the main highway that runs through this region, and is very friendly to the English-speaking community. It's interesting how clearly American some folks are, but how they can turn their Hebrew off and on like a switch (with a pretty impressive accent, too).

I also felt reassured that babies seem to know when there's a pregnant woman nearby. I swear babies look at me like they know something, like they have a direct line into my uterus and see what's going on. Have you ever had a baby look into your soul? Yeah, I feel like that regularly.

Last week we went for the "big scan" where they check for organs and limb length and heart development. Unfortunately we didn't land many good pictures because Little Z was moving around like a maniac (same during the first ultrasound), and I appear to have an anterior placenta, meaning that it's both difficult to feel much movement at this point and to get clear pictures of the baby without forcing it to move (which, by the way, the guy did and I've been sore in the tummy ever since). The most beautiful things we experienced with Little Z were seeing the spine and ribs and hearing the heartbeat. We did get one good picture, in which Little Z looks just like a lot like Mr. T and, it appears, is holding a microphone and doing karaoke in-utero (that's my kid ... but it's probably the fist).

As I approach my 25th week, the flutter of insane "OMG AM I READY!?" thoughts are whipping up a storm. If it's a boy can I handle the bris? (We went to a friend's baby's bris last week and that little wail kills me every time.) If it's a girl can I handle the possibility that she's going to be as bratty and as much of a pain in the tuches as I was?

What do I need when the baby comes home? Wait a second, I have to choose a hospital? Will a larger apartment appear so that we don't have to eventually put a new baby in a room with a 10 year old who has had his own space his whole life? A birthing plan? Do I need a doula (midwife)? Do I know enough about breastfeeding and diaper-changing and not getting any sleep ever for the rest of my life (not that I get much now anyway)?

And then, today, while sitting in a coffee shop working, Little Z started acting like a mad person flipping or hopping or doing a jig of some sort ... I felt bumps and lumps and for nearly a minute all the insanity of glucose tests and cloth versus regular diapers and the reality of never sleeping ever again drifted away.

There's a baby in there. That's weird. Have you ever considered how absolutely bizarre and strange it is that a human being can grow another human being? I mean, that's miraculous, folks. It's weird, but miraculous. And for someone like me -- who for the entire extent of my first marriage didn't want to have kids because things weren't good and then swore off children -- the fact that I got pregnant so quickly after getting married and after being off birth control for a millisecond after 12 years of being actively on the pill ... I mean ... how does that happen?

Sometimes, I'm able to marvel at the life I lead. It's nothing glamorous. It's nothing special. I'm light years away from the free and single New York City-dwelling journalist superstar I thought I'd be 10 years ago.

Last night, before drifting off to sleep (and before Miley's crazy teddybear-inspired hump fest), I checked my social streams to find one of my former copy editors, who I managed what feels like ages ago, tweeting and instagramming from the VMAs as an editor at Mashable. For all intents and purposes, he's leading the life I dreamed for myself so long ago.

And yet, here I am, going through the motions of a first-time mommy, anxiety about nesting and doing the right thing and raising kids right in tow.

HaShem has a funny way of taking us through life. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Note: If you don't have the app Timehop, you should get it. Every day I wake up and look at my life a year ago, two years ago, and even five or six years ago. Not everyone is nearly as social as I am online, of course, but it's quite the interesting adventure.