Friday, October 07, 2011

Extranjera's guide to being pregnant: How not to end up mommyblogging much while making sure your baby's still alive and skirting mentions of tacos and a certain aging latino heartthrob

I know that at some point I might have portrayed this blog as the often incoherent meanderings of an expatriate mind living somewheres in southern Africa, and then again somewheres in the land of the Aztecs, whilst drinking too much, shopping for shoes, having odd exchanges with random folks, and reading the occasional book. In a green bathrobe. Like some unbathed wannabe superhero. I know I have.

But lately it's been all about the bump. (all five-ish posts, but anyhoo...)

Not a single thing about tacos. Or Luis Miguel. Or raw sewage. Or even the Aztecs themselves.

Just the bump.

And that's gotta be just fine.

I would imagine that even in the most mundane of pregnancies, a woman could easily become wholly consumed (figuratively, not in the way of the Alien and Sigourney Weaver, although that would be kind of exciting for the media) by the little life inside her. First by coming to terms with it being in there, south of the stomach, bowel- and bladder-adjacent, conveniently intrauterine. Then by nourishing it. By making room for it, figuratively as well as literally (especially if the woman has one of those rooms generally referred to as 'just put it on the guest room/ office/ junk yard/ Santa's hideout bed on top of the pile and close the door'). By seeing it grow. By feeling the first flutters of a separate entity (or a swift kick in the bladder, as is sometimes the case). By wondering about and making preparations for the new arrival, who is sure to change everything, profoundly, and for good.

And that's if everything goes smoothly.

As you all know, my specific journey to motherhood (T - from some hours to days) has not been well lined, or even lined at all. In fact, it's been a big ole jumble of deceptively sharp items, sticky stuff with strong odor, and some ancient and possibly parasite-ridden pocket fluff in a place where none should ever be found.

It's been a flaming bag of shit on the doorstep, with a side of mysterious vomit in the bedroom closet.

It's been a chain of bad news, only intermittently broken up by even worse news.

It's been off. With a lot of blood.

And now, I've been sent home with a baby, still on the inside of me, who is... get this...


The middle cerebral artery measurements are crashing. Soon the baby's brain will be too deprived of oxygen. And then they're going to cut me open and get her out. And hope like hell that regardless of being far too little to be out and about she will be able to breathe on her own, that she'll have a sucking reflex already stored in her brain, and that her fragile, little system won't deem the bright and loud world too much to handle.

I've been sent home to monitor her movements, because, apparently (In what universe, I ask you?), I know best when she needs to come out.

I've already said NOW and JUST GET HER OUT FOR ZEUSSAKES like a gazillion times, but it seems I haven't fully understood the balancing act of a successful gestation. When the benefits of days gained cancel out the nerves and panic. There not being a clear 'better safe than sorry' in obstetrics. Best possible outcome equalling a tightrope act without a safety net.

I've been sent home to keep my blood pressure low, my nerves in check, and for me to make sure she doesn't die. Which apparently, is a distinct possibility.

And we thought her having Down syndrome was the challenge. Fuck that.

So, I think, no mention of tacos, or even Luis Miguel, is somewhat justified.

I knitted this for her so she damn well better be alive to wear it. 
Isn't a substantial part of raising one's children threatening them in creative ways? I think so. I consider myself well on my way.


eggdipdip said...

wowsers. no pressure then? But as a mum, you DO know best. Which is pretty cool and something else you can hold over offspring and any other random relatives too. "No, no mauve or lilac or vermillion. I'm her mother and I know best"

(wishing you absolutely truck loads of luck. bringing little people into the world is nerve-wracking at the best of times)

Lindsay Schultz said...

So scary. You have my hope. Come on, super baby!

Molly said...

and the punches keep rolling in ... thinking of you x

Tonia said...

Oh shit, just read this today: am really hoping you all made it through the weekend. Thinking of you x

Judearoo said...

Thinking of you and your little fightin girl.

Everything's crossed for you all. x

Robin said...

I suppose it is safe to say I wish I had read this and talked you down off of the that is possible.

Angelina said...

How terrifying, the not knowing, and somehow knowing, but trying to avoid the knowing of it all. You're a spirited fighter, and that strength is in her too.
Love to see her in the sweater when she arrives! hugs!!!