A horse’s gestational period is 11 months, give or take a few days.
Unless you breed it with a donkey.
When you breed it with a donkey, and it’s pregnant with a mule, then its gestational period is 12 months.
After going 2 weeks overdue with the DragonMonkey, and sitting around almost 1 week overdue with the Squidgelet… well, I guess where I’m going with this is that I’ve finally found legitimate, scientific proof that the Bean is an ass.
Just kidding. I’m probably going to be struck down by lightening for making that joke. After all, this is the man who woke up yesterday, cooked me bacon, told me I looked beautiful, and then cleaned the kitchen.
Three cheers for marriages based off of getting knocked up by a some random customer you met in a bar !
At any rate, time has slowed down as we anxiously await the arrival of the Squidgelet.
Somewhere along the way, in addition to frantic, nesting-type cleaning, I picked up a fairly nasty cold. Swollen and moody, I’ve spent the past week doing the following:
1. Blowing my nose
3. Blowing my nose
4. Taking the DragonMonkey to Frogg’s Bounce House
7. Peeing while sneezing
9. Peeing while blowing my nose
It’s an exciting life, and I know you’re all jealous.
One of the hardest things about going past your due date isn’t necessarily the waiting— it’s fending off the various friends, relatives and complete strangers who corner you for updates. I’m not talking about people like you guys, who are of course dependent upon my spotty blog updates. I’m talking about people in my everyday, normal life— people I’ve seen only hours before.
“Any news, Becky?”
“Becky, have you had your baby yet?”
“You’re still pregnant?”
“You mean you haven’t had that baby yet?”
“When do you think you’ll go into labor?”
“Are you sure there’s nothing wrong?”
“Did you have the baby yet?”
Despite my constant reassurances that I will text/call/Facebook update/Twitter/carrier pigeon/snail mail/and telepathically reach out to everyone when the Squidgelet arrives, I still face a barrage of well-meaning questions on a daily basis. Apparently my promises to keep people informed are not enough, as most people seem to think that without constant supervision I will sneak off under the front porch, build a little nest out of cardboard and bits of my hair and give birth there.
Frankly, it’s starting to seem like a peaceful, appealing option.
My personal favorites are the strangers I meet on the street.
“You were due last week? REALLY?! So, you could, like, go at any minute, right?”
They glance at me expectantly, as if waiting for a fully-formed fetus to accidentally fall out of my va-jay-jay.
“Well, yes, I could, but labor takes awhile so I don’t think we’re in any danger of it happening in the grocery store.”
Invariably, they look disappointed.
In addition to the constant questioning, any time I head out in public I have to prepare myself for the onslaught of unsolicited advice and horror stories.
“Wow, you’re due any day, huh?” Random Woman #1 shakes her head sadly. “I remember when I gave birth— it took almost 90 hours, and in the end they had to use a chainsaw to slice me from sternum to groin in order to remove my 17 pound baby.”
I nod noncommittally, trying to discourage her.
It’s to no avail. Random Woman’s friend scents blood, and moves in, looming over me.
“She did. I saw it happen. It took over 4,000 stitches to sew her back up, and she still ended up with a colostomy bag. Of course, you should have seen me after I had my twins,” she says, in an attempt to one-up. “Since there were two of them I had double the amount of stitches, and TWO colostomy bags.”
Random Woman #3 senses my discomfort, and sneaks in from behind.
“My birth was actually fairly easy, but I paid for it later,” she says with a heavy sigh. “My son didn’t sleep through the night until he was 23. Even after he was at college, he’d call me up, wailing at 20 minute intervals throughout the night… I hope you get your sleep now, because once you give birth, you’ll never sleep again….”
At this point I interrupt them, trying to make them go away. “Oh, I know about all of this. This is going to be my second child. Thanks anyways.”
The women brighten, undeterred. “Oh! Well, you’ve had it easy, then. Once you have a second child, your life REALLY changes. In fact, once the second one arrives, you can pretty much say goodbye to any happiness you might have ever felt.”
“It’s true! It’s true!” exclaims Random Woman #2. “Once you have a second child, you’ll never have any time to yourself!”
“You’ll never find a sitter!”
“You’ll never get any sleep!”
They advance on me ominously, and suddenly I feel like I’ve been trapped by the three evil witches from MacBeth.
“You’ll never regain your figure!”
“Your husband will leave you and sleep with his secretary!”
“All the flesh will melt off your bones!”
“Wait a second!” I stutter. “”I don’t think that’s necessarily true…”
The women ignore my protestations.
“Your first child will turn into a bloodthirsty, carnivorous monster! He’ll start carrying a little prison shank with him to pre-school!”
“Your second child will never have the time, love, and attention you gave your first child, and will end up deformed and gangrenous!”
“They’ll both end up as evil little rapists!” At this point they usually start chanting in unison.
“You’ll be fat forever! You’ll never smile again! You’ll be a fat, unhappy, sleep-deprived mother of gangrenous little serial rapists!”
Sometimes I hate other women.
Of course, I’m not sure which brand of mom is the worse— is it the Doomsayers, or is it the UberMothers? You know the ones I’m talking about— they smile placidly, serenely, radiating peaceful contentment with every aspect of being a mother. They are just… so…. FULFILLED.
They really give me the creeps.
I was cornered by one of them at Frogg’s Bounce House the other day.
“Will you be giving birth in a hospital or in the comfort of your own home?”
I’m not sure what it is about me, but something about my face seems to make people want to open up and SHARE with me. The Bean never suffers from this problem. Not once have I seen The Bean get cornered at a checkout stand by an over-talkative cashier, and yet it seems to happen to me on a daily basis.
“Who was that?” The Bean will ask, sitting with our grocery cart at the entrance to the store, where he’s been waiting for ten minutes as I try to extract myself.
“I have no idea. I’ve never met her before in my life. But she’s nervous because her mother-in-law might have to move back in with her. When she’s stressed, it causes her shingles to return, and the last thing she needs is an outbreak of shingles only weeks before her daughter’s graduation…. did you know that her daughter is graduating a year early? They’re really proud of her.”
The Bean shakes his head and the two of us wander off to our next stop, where I will invariably be regaled with stories of cheating husbands, chronic hemorrhoids, and other such niceties that I’d really rather not know about.
So, it really wasn’t that big of a surprise the other day when I turned around and found myself face-to-face with a complete stranger.
“I’m sorry… what?”
“Will you be having a home birth, or will you be doing a hospital birth?”
“Oh. Uh, I’ll be giving birth in a hospital. The Bean— that’s my husband— and I discussed a home birth, but he wasn’t comfortable with it.”
“Oh. That’s so sad for you.”
“Uh, sure.” I turned to watch the DragonMonkey bouncing happily.
Hippie Homebirth Woman wasn’t finished with me yet, though.
“I had a hospital birth with my first daughter. She was developmentally delayed because of it.”
I grunted in return, hoping to end the conversation.
Hah. I was so naive.
“With my son, I was able to birth at home, and he has been ahead of all his milestones. He rolled over at four weeks, and he has been lifting himself up and holding his head steady since only two weeks.”
I glance over at the chubby, cross-eyed little infant in the sling in front of her. While he’s cute, it doesn’t really look like he’s going to be doing complex Calculus anytime soon.
“Oh. That’s very nice,” I murmur, edging away to follow the DragonMonkey as he changes to another bouncy house.
“I think it has a lot to do with my milk production. I’ve got so much milk this time that I don’t even know what to do with it all.” She heaves a sigh. “I’ve taken to pumping it and giving it to my daughter in the evenings to help her through the flu season.”
I glance over at her five year old daughter. While I agree it might be healthy in theory…
I just really didn’t need to know that.
Hippie Homebirth Mom hasn’t finished with me yet.
“It really has everything to do with the fact that I was able to use my placenta. Did you know that at my first birth, the hospital wouldn’t let me take my placenta home?” She shakes her head, outraged.
I stare at her, feeling slightly trapped.
“This time, though, I was able to save my placenta and make a shake out of it.” She smiles serenely. “It’s so healthy for you.”
I don’t know… maybe having a delicious, placenta-shake is something that is really good for you. Maybe it’s healthy, and delicious, and the rest of us are just missing out. It’s certainly natural— many animals in the wild eat their placentas after giving birth in order to restore lost nutrients.
But you know what?
A: Just give me a vitamin. Maybe it’s not as natural, but it probably goes down a whole lot easier.
B: Please don’t tell me about it. “Hey, guess what I did last week? I ate my placenta!!!” is not the sort of “Hi-Nice-To-Meet-You” conversation I usually like to indulge in.
I can’t wait to move to Arizona. I bet once we move to Arizona, nobody will ever tell me about their delicious, homemade placenta shake recipes.