The Pregnant Life: Weird Moms at the Playground

Amy Keyishian

ultrasound gel smileThis entry was supposed to be all about how I’m feeling better – but I’m posting it past my deadline because I had to type through like three contractions. So I don’t know what’s going on. Lunchtime consisted of my laying down for a nap and then crying because I couldn't get back up!

But let’s stick to the original story: Yesterday, my two-year anniversary of serious wedded bliss (unbelievable what we’ve been through since the last World Cup, when we met!), was a day of “phew.” As you may remember, the runup to Week 36 was full of complaints. The baby dropped. My crotch felt like I was sitting on a battering ram. I was feeling sorry for myself.

And then, yesterday morning? Sweet relief.

This is all cyclical, as my nurses and midwives had assured me: the baby grows or shifts and it hurts, but just like when I used to get my braces tightened, a few days later I’ve gotten used to it all and can relax till the next growth spurt. I was quite miserable and worried I wouldn’t be able to survive these last four weeks, so it was amazing to wake up and sit up with a minimum of fuss.

I worked efficiently all morning and then took off to my antenatal appointment, where Nurse Heidi had a little too much fun with the ultrasound gel (see photo). Birdie still runs “hot,” so I had to put down the phone and relax so her heartrate would go down and they could get the range they like. Then I came home and thought, well, I feel really good and I got my work done. I’m taking Penny to the playground!

“Are you sure?” my husband asked. “I think so,” I said. Off we went to the one with the little-kiddie playstructure with no sheer drops, and we had a fabulous time! This particular playground is amazing because it seems to attract really friendly moms. There was one pair who cheerfully pointed out to a little four-year-old that Penny was dancing to her singing the alphabet and encouraged her to do it again; there was an awesome dad with a kid her age and one a little older who helped all three play together; there was even a sweet mom who came up and said “can we hang out?” It was like a whole playground full of me’s. Loved it.

Except: the first two moms were there with an odd woman – older, and a little “off.” She was clearly very dear to them, and/but she was doing some kind of psychic alterna-cleansing on one of them that involved waving a little metal stick in circles around her head and back. She was doing this the whole time I was there, whenever that mom was near her. One of their kids fell and was crying, and she switched to waving the stick around him, then went back to the mom, who eventually said “I am really feeling something!”

Hey, tout a son gout, as the Fronchies say. But at another point, the mom was across the playground and Weirdo Lady shouted out, “How big was your baby?” “Eight pounds, seven ounces!” was the answer. “In that little body? Did you have a C-section?” “Yep!” “Wow, they really wanted to cut you open and yank that puppy out, huh?” “Yeah, they really—“

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” I yelped, rubbing my stomach. “Sorry!” they both said.

Not so crazy, just tone-deaf. But later? She asked me when I was due, and I gave my due date (August 10) and said “But I feel like she’s going to come earlier.” She told me, “That baby’s waiting to be a Leo. Don’t worry, it’ll only be until the 22nd.” Then she turned to one of her friends. “Cancers … they’re the worst.”

I really wanted to point out that my birthday is the 19th, making me one of “the worst,” but I don’t believe in that s**t and I didn’t want to engage her further. Now I sort of wish I had, just because – I’m annoyed about it in retrospect.

But all remained well. We came home, went out to an un-fancy but fun anniversary dinner, I even gave her a bath, and we had a really nice wind-down to sleepytime, all while Birdie was slowly snaking her way ever further down the birth canal.

Today’s been on-and-off contractions – sometimes I have them every twenty minutes, sometimes not for hours. It’s tiring and hard to work, but I’ve packed my go-back just for shits and giggles. Still have to do Penelope’s, and I’m supposed to type out a manual for her care and feeding. And worst of all – I’m having the most awful desire to run to Marshall’s for a nice pair of slippers for the hospital, then hit the frozen-yogurt place next door. I mean, it’s unreal, my craving for both activities. I wonder how late they’re open?!

Anyway, like I said: weird cramps all day, but from what I hear, this means exactly nothing. Owie. OW!

Do you think I'm in labor or I'll be doing this for a while? Tell me in the comments!

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