Monday, September 6, 2010

Being Pregnant

Which, the Matron enjoyed, immensely.

Those years are long gone (her youngest is seven) but she has fond memories of the three gestational years.

First Pregnancy with He Who Cannot Be Named: The Matron, then a Youngish Miss, was supposed to be writing a dissertation. Instead, she watched cooking shows on television and read every junk novel published in the past ten years.

John: "Shouldn't you be writing that dissertation?"


That's how she went into motherhood. Heels dug in, fear.

She gained 35 pounds and once ate an entire roasted chicken on the way home from the grocery store. Her dear spousal unit still marvels about that (partly because he wanted, and didn't get any, of the beast).

Second Pregnancy with Scarlett: the Matron again gained more weight than necessary but was unable to read novels or watch television. She had a toddler to chase. Still, she enjoyed the expanding belly and process, loved the little creature who poked through her skin.

When she was seven months pregnant with the diva, the Matron (who has told this story before, sorry long-time readers) was restless on the marital bed. Wind was high. Thunderstorms started happening. It was 11:00 p.m. on a week night; HWCBN, formerly Stryker, at 16 months, was sound asleep in his room. But the impending storm gave her pause, so she rose from the bed and joined her husband in the living room downstairs.

Then the wind found its breath. All across the Twin Cities, trees were felled and houses damaged. Hers? A 110 foot, 15 ton tree fell into her house --- lodging in four places, most markedly, an enormous section of the tree landing on the bed wherein yours truly (and Scarlett, in theory) had been ten minutes earlier. The bed was broken in half; the entire room full of tree. Yes--forty feet of tree crammed into the former bedroom. Good-bye nice new divan!

The entire room was destroyed--oh, and the roof, the kitchen, the garage and two cars. Let's just say the insurance check nearly topped the value of the home.

When the tree fell -- with the wind, the thunder, the storm--neither John nor the Matron knew quite what had happened except that suddenly outside was in. The wind gusts in the living room were magnificent, as were the popping live electrical wires.

Matron, hysterical: "What's that small fire in the kitchen by that clump of wires?"

John rushed upstairs to get Stryker; the Matron (remember, seven months pregnant?) rounded up the equally hysterical dogs.

They slept on the living floor at a neighbor's house and it took six days for the crane to arrive and successfully dislodge the tree. Please don't get her going on all the "don't go into labor" jokes she endured during the endless reconstruction and train of workers ahead. She's here to tell you that there's nothing worse than being hugely pregnant, trying to write a dissertation, handling a toddler, rebuilding a house AND enduring endless jokes from men whose belts drag their pants down well, well, under the butt crack.

And the engineer who examined their house at the insurance company's behest? He pointed out the two foot crack in the wall by Stryker's crib -- right at the head.

Engineer: "Wow, you're lucky you didn't lose that guy."

Thanks for that!

Pregnancy Number Three, Merrick: For this one, the Matron decided not to find out if she was carting a boy or girl.

But she'll never, ever forget this. One beautiful, still night -- around 3 a.m. when the bladder called--she was up and alone in the darkness. She went to the window, hand on the growing baby, looked out over the rooftops, stars, dewed lawns with no one else awake, and knew, knew, this was a boy. If there is some non-linear logical means of knowledge, she was offered it that night. She never wavered in her conviction.

This time, yours truly - by then clearly a Matron -- gained just 20 pounds (starting out at about 105) and gave birth to a 10 lb. Merrick. She looked quite alarming. She's not prone to refugee camp jokes, but perhaps this might be the moment.

Male Friend Without a Clue: "Oh my GOD. Could you get any BIGGER? That baby must be like, three years old? But otherwise I think you need a protein drink. Is there something the matter with the way this thing is developing? Is it normal to be stick thin with a sixty pound belly?"

Thanks for that!

But today, the Matron is waxing a wee bit nostalgic about that reproductive era. She's not only solidly into her forties, she'll say good-bye to them in just a handful (ahem, or less) of years. One of her friends is pregnant for the first time at forty, and the Matron will admit to a wee bit of envy. Okay, the whole birthing endeavor is just under death on the pain scale, but before that?

Just you and me, kid.


MJ said...

Interesting collection of memories! I don't really feel nostalgic about pregnancy or having newborns and toddlers! It is out of my system and I am ready for the foreseeable future (& shade my eyes to the pre-teen and teenage years which I can't bear to think of yet.)

Anonymous said...

At 44 and with my baby being 11 (I married young), I am so very OVER childbearing, but like you, I am filled with longing and memories of being pregnant (well, not counting the exhaustion).
I have an old high school classmate who just delivered her 9th child. He's 3 months younger than her youngest grandchild. I cannot fathom this in my own life.

trash said...

I too feel nostalic for those quiet times alone with a bump or a sleeping newborn or sleepy/just woken up toddler.

Are you seeing a pattern in that?

Anonymous said...

I used to have those nostalgic feelings too (my youngest is 13, I'm 41). Recently, my teenaged niece announced her pregnancy (to the shock of the whole family) and husband and I threw our hat into the ring as potential adoptive parents. Niece hasn't decided she wants to go the adoption route, and stubbornly insists it's "no big deal" and she can handle this. We'll see where she is on it as her due date draws near. My point is that now that there is the possibility of having a newborn in the house again, I admit part of me is a little bit nervous. 2 a.m. feedings! dirty diapers! spit up! Not to mention the cribs, car seats, bouncy seats, etc. etc. Wow...

Minnesota Matron said...

Anonymous -- You are courageous and wonderful!! I know a couple of young teen parents who would have benefited from this generosity of spirit and universal goodwill. And yes, I'd be nervous too!! If you ever want a sixty pound puppy that someone abandons, give me a call : -). Much the same dynamic, only the baby-hood is shorter for the canine. And you can put them in a kennel.

Daisy said...

I worked in a hospital day care when I was pregnant with my second. It was fun watching the OB nurses try not to look - or pretend they weren't looking! - when they passed my room. In fact, my two labor nurses were moms of kids in my care! Privacy? Who needs it? Kinda fun, actually.

Stacia said...

Miss M, I love this and I am honored to be in your thoughts. But can we go back to that part where you only gained 15 - 30 pounds? Who does that? Man, the pressure. Oh, and thank you for the description of the pain to come. I can't wait. Big Matron Love.

Anonymous said...

Love this post. I am currently 5 months pregnant with #3 - 37 yrs old - which will definintely be my last. I am truly enjoying what I can of this pregnancy, the naps most especially, and although I'm anxious to see the little princess, I am truly content to be just this pregnant for now. All the 'fun stuff' can wait...