I am a pod.
I am a big, walking, gestating pod.
I am 35 weeks pregnant and have finally reached the point of having weekly visits with my OB. My three year old is dragged along with me for every visit. He knows the drill – blood pressure, weigh in, pee in a cup, listen to the heartbeat, and dose e doe out the door.
This last time was different.
I stood there, dripping with sweat on the scale. I had barely waddled myself into the office in the 110 degree heat. Bam Bam stood there swinging my purse up and over his head. I cringed when the nurse told me I gained another 4 pounds, and silently prayed that the doctor would would tell me we were wrong all along and I was really 39 weeks preganant and could deliver any day.
We got to the examination room and the nurse told me to take my clothes from the waist down.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“We’ll take some measurements and do an ultrasound today, but we also need to take a vaginal culture.”
My son is bouncing off the walls, so I stop him from spinning in circles, stroke his hair, and speak in soothing tones while he swats my hands away. I dangle my iPhone in front of him, let him choose a game, and sit him down on a chair across the room where I tell him he must stay.
I peel off my sweaty clothes, hoist myself onto the exam table, and heave a sigh that can only come from the depths of an oversized, human incubator.
The doctor comes in and helps me lay back and get my swollen feet in the stirrups. We begin the ultrasound first, and she starts to measure the head, and length of the baby. She tells me that the baby weighs approximately 6 1/2 lbs right now. Her guess is that by the time I reach 39 weeks, I’ll be carrying a baby over 9 lbs.
I grunt… and then whimper.
We talk more about my pubic bone splitting with my first son, and the likelihood of it happening again. We also talk about the chances of the bone separating BEFORE I even go into labor.
I lay there, half naked, with my legs spread, feet in stirrups, and my mind starts to reel…
Do I want a C section once I hit 39 weeks? I don’t want to give up on a vaginal birth. What if my pubic bone breaks before that and I can’t walk? Should I hope that I will spontaneously go into labor before that? Maybe I should try to naturally induce labor so the baby doesn’t just sit around getting plumper.
I try to remember all the things that could help induce labor, and have visions of my husband and I having quickie sex, while manually stimulating my nipples and pressing pressure points on my feet. All of this, of course followed by a brisk walk around the block while eating spicy food.
My OB is saying something about continuing to wear my support belt while I silently curse my husband’s giant baby making genes. I look over at the chair that holds the first giant baby… and he’s not there.
Where did he go?
Is he pulling a plug out somewhere?
I can’t see much of the room lying on my back. I start twisting my head around and flapping like a beached whale. I call out to him,
“Baby, where are you?” “Where did you go?” “What are you doing?”
The doctor also starts scanning the room for him when we hear a little voice,
“Right here, mama.”
I look down, and my son’s head slowly rises up from between my legs.
I have no idea how long he was there.
But I do know that no one in that room will ever be the same.