Tuesday, March 30, 2010


"You didn't have to keep it,
wouldn't put you through it
you could have swept it from your life
but you just wouldn't do it...
Oh, you're having my baby..."

So, a number of years ago we saw this hilarious spoof of the above completely ridiculous Paul Anka song (yes, he's Canadian; we CAN blame Canada for this one) by this trio of female comics. It was hilarious...and, so, Kiyomi has been singing this song to me since I've been pregnant. The best part is, she doesn't really ever remember lyrics, so she sings things like, "I wouldn't make you have it, you could have aborted it and swept it under your feet but you want to have my baby...You're having my baby. What a wonderful way to love me love me, baby." Nice.

I'm not allowed to "correct" her either. So, I can't sing it the right way too close to the time she sings her rendition...which, is harder than you might imagine. When someone sings such a ridiculous song, you just want to join in. Well, I do anyway. Unfortunately, what this all boils down to is that I often have this terrible song stuck in my head.

The reality is, pregnancy and childbirth really don't provide the grounds for the best music in the world. I guess "Papa Don't Preach" is fun...ish, but it's just a hard topic to make not extremely cheesy...or sort of depressing, in the event of an unwanted pregnancy. I guess there is some Celine Dion song about it. Yikes. Another Canadian disaster.

Fortunately, I guess this doesn't really require a soundtrack, though I am supposed to be picking relaxing music for the birth. Who knows if I'll even care at the time. What do I pick? Something new agey? How about some gangsta rap? That might amuse the midwives.

It is fun to think about the baby as an actual little person liking music. Our friend's 10 month old spontaneously erupts in this cute and silly little dancy movement when song she likes come on. It's so fascinating that they have preferences so early - taste for certain sounds and rhythms.

Kiyomi is wary of my getting the baby to like music too much (can you like music too much???) because she doesn't want it to get in the way of her being an athlete. She likes to ask the baby through my tummy what kind of sport she wants to play. She takes any kicks or movements as sure signs the child wants to, say, be a soccer star, or take up tennis early. I like to ask Kiyomi what she plans to do if our child is, well, really not gifted in this way. She completely dismisses this possibility. This will be interesting.

For me, I have recently been having strong bouts of concern that the child will just not be healthy, etc. I think that's all I can focus on now. No major deformities please! But, if I'm really honest with myself, I think it would be hard if my child wasn't bright and inquisitive...if she didn't develop, for instance, a love of reading and learning about the world. I mean, I feel like that will pretty naturally happen with us as her parents...but who knows? They are their own little beings.

I suppose parenting is all about loosening up your expectations and really trying to focus on how to raise a child that can find contentment, connection and meaning in their lives. Even if they do it in a way you wouldn't do it. That sounds hard. I mean, "pregnant" means expectant...it's hard to let go of expectations and sort of counter to what pretty much everybody does. Well, maybe we'll be lucky and she'll be a naturally gifted pianist soccer playing kind-hearted future MacArthur-winning genius.

But no pressure, little baby.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Recreational Pain

So, we are in the final countdown. (Duh-nuh nuuuuuuh nuh Duh nuh nuh nuh nuuuuuuuuuh - that's Europe's "Final Countdown"...obviuosly.) We're under ten weeks until...when the baby may or may not arrive. I mean, who knows really...it could be a week after that. I've been talking to the baby, though, informing her she can't really be too late...otherwise we have to have the baby in the hospital. Who wants that?

She has these insanely active periods. In fact, I remember reading some stray phrase in a pregnancy book about being concerned when the baby is making "frantic" movements as it can be a sign of distress. Well, I, of course, think of that at 2 in the morning when it feels like she's having a seizure in my stomach. It's pretty wild. Or, like she's an overzealous drummer really banging out a major drum solo. I assume these aren't "frantic" just normal as they subside eventually to more subdued movements. What the hell does that mean anyway? Frantic movements. That's really hard to assess through layers of amniotic fluid, placenta, abdominal muscle and flesh! What am I supposed to do with that information anyway?

There certainly is something to knowing too much. I was randomly reading the list of "benefits" of having an elective c-section (wtf??). Anyway, the book includes a list of traumas related to the actual birth events. During the day, I was loudly decrying this list of benefits and scoffing at it. But, at 2 in the morning I was thinking, "Jesus, what if something happens to the baby during labor! What if she ends up with cerebral palsy! What is something horrible happens just because of birth!!!!"

Middle of the night freak outs aside, there is still no way I would ELECT to have...well, any surgery. I mean, that phrase itself is sort of horrifying. "Elective surgery." Like, "recreational surgery." Sign me up! Just to be fair, it's one thing if, for health reasons, you need to schedule a c-section. That's totally different - and better than risking it with your health issue and then having to have an emergency c-section. I respect that decision. It's just, that's a tiny fraction of the c-sections out there. I just don't get doing it to...I don't know...save your vagine (vah-zheeen) from stretching...or I don't know, whatever other reason people have. It can't really be avoidance of pain because recovery from a c-section SUCKS and is supposedly more painful than recovering from vaginal delivery.

But, my compassionate side (sometimes only the size of the Grinch's heart apparently) says, "okay, people may be really anxious about birth...and thinking it's more convenient to schedule things, etc." I still think it's unrealistic and not the best option, but I know that we are all on different paths...

The baby seems to have a wily little sense of humor. Whenever she's moving and I try to get someone else to feel it, she stops. Immediately. Really - without fail. She could be having a drum solo episode and - when Kiyomi comes scurrying over to feel it - she stops. Devilish.

I'm very excited to meet her...and feel both that the time is going S L O W L Y and disturbingly fast. (I think it depends if we're in the middle of a 2 AM anxiety moment.) Yesterday, one of our friends said that having a baby is amazing and wonderful...but that it doesn't, as people claim, change your life, it pretty much ends your life as you knew it, leaving something ENTIRELY different in it's wake. This really echoes what a number of folks have said, which seems scary. But, it's so alien that I don't even feel fear or apprehension...just...curiosity. It's so bizarre to face something like that - something so immense and unknowable.

Well, it will certainly be an adventure.