Third Trimester/Lamaze/Poetry

*Picture warning. Read at your own risk*

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Friends, I’m totally in the third trimester. This is what I look like now, sans head:

28 weeks

Quite a change from the last picture I posted, no?

Sorry about the crappy picture. Clearly, we suck at photography, and/or the lighting in our bedroom is terrible. Let’s go with the lighting in our bedroom being terrible.

Sometimes I am overjoyed that we are going to meet our sweet girl in a few short months; I’m confident that if person X, who is an absolute moron, can manage then so can we. Sometimes I am filled with abject terror that we are going to meet our sweet girl in a few short months; I’m quite sure that we are going to scar our child for life with our woefully inadequate parenting. Sometimes I’m cheerful and calm as I run my hands over my belly, feeling the baby kick. Sometimes I’m enraged the universe could be so STUPID and UNFAIR to allow me to drop salsa on my sweater (actually, Tammy’s sweater, but these are details). Sometimes I’m sobbing hysterically because Smash got into college on Friday Night Lights, without stopping to question why I am watching a show about high school football when I a) hated high school and b) hate football. But these thoughts don’t occur to me as I wipe salsa smeared sleeves under my runny nose.

Sometimes I get all miracle-of-life-y about how I’m finally pregnant, and other times I feel like a little part of my soul dies every time I think about the one that didn’t make it. (And the whispers come from the tiniest echo of my heart, what if I wanted the first one? What if I cannot love my baby girl as much as I loved the one that I lost?)

Sometimes I revel in the attention that I get – me! Attention for being pregnant after so many months of running away from pregnant women! – and other times I feel like if one more person comments, questions, or offers advice I will absolutely strangle them with my bare hands. Since when did my body become public property?

(Speaking of comments, questions, and advice, as much as people like to offer all that up, unsolicited, including birth horror stories THANKS FOR SHARING, I’m pissed that no one told me about the weird pregnancy stuff. I’m not talking about nausea, backaches, etc. I was expecting that. I’m talking about things like nosebleeds, changes in body hair (increasing and decreasing), and carpel tunnel. Why does nobody talk about this? That’s some bullshit. I demand a refund.)

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We had our first Lamaze class last week, and the second one tonight. We were the only lesbian couple, naturally. The instructor did her best, I guess, to use “partner” instead of “husband” or “dad,” but she mostly used “husband” or “dad.”

There was one incident that got to Tammy in particular, when the class was split up into pregnant women and partner groups. The idea was to go with your group and discuss positives and negatives about being pregnant and the impending delivery and child rearing. The instructor told Tammy to stay with the pregnant women, rather than going with the partners (who were, of course, all men). She told Tammy that she would be more comfortable with the women.

I know she was coming from a good place when she said that, but honestly, as Tammy told me later, she would have felt much better with the partner group, even though she would have been the only woman. The pregnant women group mostly talked about physical ailments of being pregnant, feeling the baby move, concerns/hopes/fears about the delivery, postpartum recovery, etc. Tammy can relate to that, but only as much as the rest of the partners could. Yes, she’s a woman who is the proud owner/operator of a uterus, but that uterus has never been occupied by a fetus, and there are no plans that it ever will be. When the partners came back into the room and we shared lists, Tammy sat there thinking, “yep, I have that fear. Yep, I’m excited about that, too.”

She was kind of pissed off that the teacher viewed her womanhood as more important than her partner status. It took me a while to see it from her point of view, but I get it now. The whole fertility process and now the whole pregnancy was/is SO MUCH about me, me, me. Obviously, there’s a reason for that, but Tammy’s role is vital in this process – and that is not hyperbole. Hats off to all the single moms by choice. You are brave and I am in awe of you. I am in no way, shape, or form strong or brave enough to do this on my own. I would have given up a thousand times before this moment if it weren’t for Tammy.

Anyway, we’re going to either send the instructor an email letting her know she might consider giving female non-gestational partners the option of which group to join, as I’m sure some would prefer to be in the pregnant women group. Others like Tammy, would prefer to be with the partners. Why bother trying to choose for them?

The Lamaze class moments that *I* could have lived without are as follows:

1. Watching the instructor jam a baby doll through a plastic pelvis with more vehement glee than I thought necessary

2. The realization that our large (LARGE) circular name tags were ten centimeters, “which is how big your cervix will be when you’re fully dilated!”

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I want this poem framed on our baby’s nursery wall. It’s kind of cliché now, as it’s become pretty popular but I don’t care. My sister read it at our wedding, and I get goosebumps every time I hear it. I would copy/paste it here, but WordPress eats the formatting and I can’t do that to ol’ e.e.

Be well, friends. “this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart”

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10 thoughts on “Third Trimester/Lamaze/Poetry

  1. AGHHH, we had a friend read that poem at our wedding! I love it with all my heart. And look at your glorious bump! It is so perfect, I love it.

    Also, I think it’s a great idea for you guys to email the instructor about letting the non-gestational partner pick her group. I think I would have felt exactly the same way if I were Tammy, and you’ll be helping future couples out by saying something, for sure.

    I totally feel you on the emotional ups and downs. One day I’m in Buy Buy Baby looking at strollers and gripping my husband’s arm in a panic because WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A STROLLER AND THEN THERE IS GOING TO BE A BABY THAT GOES IN THE STROLLER AGHHHH and the next day I’m gushing over how excited I am to have a tiny person to dress up for Halloween next year. And then crying over pretty much every story on NPR, ever. Sigh.

  2. Well that is most certainly a pregnant belly! And a beautiful one at that! Thank you for sharing!

    You mix of emotions is so understandable. Im right there with you. Im so excited yet becoming absolutely terrified of being a terrible and incompetent parent. Sometimes those feeling of fear make me feel guilty since I wanted this so bad, and I am watching so many others whose hearts are breaking daily because they have not gotten to this point. But, fear is only natural. We’re going to be responsible for a human life, for god sake!

    I DEFINITELY think you should email the instructor. It would be great feedback for her. That totally pisses me off that she did that. Im actually not even feeling as understanding as you. Tammy is the partner, not the pregnant person. That distinction has nothing to do with her having a vagina.

    Anyways, sounds like you’re doing great! I’m so happy for you.

  3. The carpal tunnel is the worst!! I foolishly thought mine was gone a few weeks ago post delivery, and then I realized, “no you idiot you had a csection! They gave you morphine!” It’s been just as bad postpartum. I have to wear braces all day or picking up the baby is excruciating.

  4. this post is truly hilarious – I had to read several parts out to the wife because I had tears streaming down my face!!

    Firstly “i demand a refund” – I roared with laughter over this – I can’t agree more with you – honestly why do people insist on giving you all the Episiotomy stories? or the horrendous forceps and ventouse stories – theres just no need! but you are so right – it is the weird shit – the tummy hair, random rashes that appear, and spontaneous narcolepsy!

    Anyways – We had a very similar experience in our antenatal class too – with the wife – and the ‘husband/partner’ conversation and it wound both of us up too – the women tried her best in fairness but it was still irritating, but luckily my wife got to go with the partners and found that actually she knew more than most of them anyway – so maybe your wife can take solace in the fact she probably would have known more than all of them anyway! :p

    The things you could have done without – genuinely had to put the laptop down because I couldn’t control my laughter – I SO know what you mean the lady taking our class just kept shoving the doll through with such force it made me wince!! There is seriously no need for 10inch plastic cervix’s!! no one needs to see that and certainly no third trimester women!! my wife just gave me this apologetic look as i was wincing!! xx

  5. I love that poem, too, and it seems perfect to hang in your little girl’s room. As for the class, clearly that instructor needs some guidance about how to incorporate female partners, and I hope you two can educate her so this awkwardness doesn’t happen again!

  6. Your belly is so perfect and adorable! I love it.
    I’d definitely e-mail the instructor. I’m sure she was trying to do the best thing, but needs some guidance for the future, obviously. I mean, one person is pregnant and the other is the “support person” or “coach,” so I’m not sure why it has to be confusing.
    Those are some LARGE name tags!!!

  7. You look wonderful!

    It sounds like a good plan to email the instructor. She definitely needs a little bit of feedback on that, because Tammy is your support person – so it makes total sense that Tammy would feel better going with the support person group (or like you said, give people the choice). Gender should have nothing to do with it.

    Love, love, love the poem!

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