Monday, July 24, 2006

Two months of pregancy (paca)

No, it's not that!!!

A couple weeks ago I discovered a CD-Rom I had brought from the mainland to Hawaii that was full of old documents I wrote while bored at work. Apparently, I started one doc called "Two Months of Pregnancy" right around when N checked into the hospital for a little bedrest a couple months before B was due. I decided that I would write up some of my thoughts on the matter and had dreams of submitting it to something like Redbook. Of course, I only wrote one draft of one entry. I have posted my little entry below. Turns out it would have been about one month of pregnancy in the end, since B came 5 weeks early. Here you go:

A Couple Months of Pregnancy

The first thing that must be said in all of this is that I am the Dad. As such, what do I know about pregnancy? Pregnancy is the purview of mothers. We all know that. But I refuse to shut up.
However, isn’t the dad shutting up what being pregnant is all about? I tag along with my wife and the nurse. I sit in the corner to stay out of the way. I go get the apple juice from the fridge down the hall and bring it back to those who need it. Staying out of the way is what it is all about.
What a frustrating and fun role! It’s really something of an art, I am learning. The key is to shut up and get out of the way, but at the same time, you make all these hidden things happen. While the real work goes on, I go and pay the bills, clean the house, earn money to pay for the house, walk the dog, basically keep the normal old world going, while the special world happens inside my wife. Me: Normal. Her: Special. I can live with that.
I should say one other thing. I recently learned that pregnancy is still a bad word, and there are probably some out there whom I have already offended. I had not realized this. I remember one could not discuss a woman being “pregnant” when I was seven, but I thought that had disappeared with, oh, 22 more years of my life, and 22 more years of the world. But then, wow! Someone on the radio stopped themselves from using the p-word recently. I had been going around apparently swearing for all the world to co-workers about our proud condition, blithely using the naughtiest of words.
There are a number of things I just don’t get about this English language of ours. First, how is “pregnant” still a bad word? Is it because of the way one gets pregnant? But, surely, the same process gets a bun in the oven – a phrase which, by the way, sounds a little more descriptive of the process of begetting, if you visualize properly. Second, I have learned it is OK to say you are expecting. “I and my wife are expecting,” can be stated without making your grandmother blush. But, you aren’t allowed to say precisely what you are expecting. You simply expect, you don’t expect anything in particular. And this lets me figure out the whole pregnancy-is-a-bad-word thing. One can’t mention the baby. The little thing in there is not to be discussed until it pops on out. And I can only guess it is because of the one thing that is truly too painful to talk about: sometimes the little creature doesn’t make it. Expecting is so vague that it can slip by. But if you are pregnant, you are full of something, and there is no doubt what it is. Maybe, by not mentioning what you expect, you don't have to spend as much time explaining what you are missing if the worst comes to pass.

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