Jenna Wolfe: Keeping pre-baby neurosis in check -- sort of
Editor’s Note: Jenna is blogging about her adventures through pregnancy. Here's this week's installment of Jenna's (Baby) Food for Thought.
Greetings from my OB's office in Midtown Manhattan. It's just a routine checkup. Although, to a pregnant woman, “routine” means a few things: a urine sample (which I'm actually getting quite good at, frighteningly enough), a step on the cold, unforgiving scale (to which I always step off and mumble under my breath, “liar”) and then having the good doctor rub a wand covered in cold goop all over my belly until I actually see my unborn child inside me dance and paw and kick and beg for a little privacy (technology is a beautiful thing).
To be honest, I don't mind coming here. I absolutely adore my doctor. She's perfect for me and my semi-neurotic ways. I have a tendency to blow things out of proportion. I once drank unpasteurized juice by mistake and called her in a sweat-filled panic because I was ready to pump my own stomach. Then there was the time I woke up from a nap and realized I had rolled over onto my back (you're supposed to sleep on your side) and called her in in a sheer hyperventilating state convinced I had paralyzed my kid. Or how about the time I didn't feel a kick for a few hours and was ready to cab it to the ER for testing?
All that being said, my doc is amazing at keeping me informed while at the same time calm and focused. (Emphasis on calm.)
I used to go to the doctor once a year, sometimes less. Now that I'm living and breathing for two, I'm required to go every three weeks. So I'm here a lot. And the routine is fairly predictable. Pregnant women sit in the waiting room until their name is called, casually positioning themselves to nab the one and only copy of US Magazine (there are always 15 copies of Parenting Mag, 12 copies of Newsweek, 8 copies of Highlights, but only one of US Magazine for some reason, and we all eye it but nobody wants to seem too eager to grab it).
For me, it's a totally different experience. I'm slightly more competitive than your average professional athlete in Game 7 of the championship finals of all the sports put together. As I scan the office waiting room, it's always a mental game of who's further along :
ME: Hey Steph, doesn't that woman look about 7 months pregnant? What do you think? Maybe 6 and a half?
STEPH: (silence.. ignoring me)
ME, shifting my focus to another patient: Oh I've definitely got THAT woman beat... there's no way she's past 6 months. Do I look more pregnant that she is? Steph? Do you think I look more pregnant?
STEPH: (silence... working on her iPad)
ME, looking around: OMG, that woman's practically giving birth she's so pregnant! She wins.
STEPH: You know you've got issues, right?
Yup. I'm a card-carrying “issues” type of gal -- and proud.
That being said, it's been a rough week. We moved into our new apartment on Friday. Just us and the 82 boxes of “stuff” we brought over from the old place. This weekend quickly became a game of “where should we put this?” I give Steph a lot of credit. I feel if you can survive a full move with a woman who is 6 months pregnant, your relationship is going to be just fine.
ME: Did you pack the towels?
STEPH: Why wouldn't I pack the towels? They're with the bathroom things.
ME: I looked there. They're not there.
STEPH: Well what would you like me to do?
ME: Admit you forgot to pack the towels!
STEPH: I DID PACK THE TOWELS!
ME: (a few minutes of silence... then softly) Never mind... found the towels.
STEPH: Where were they?
ME: Did you pack the shampoo?
But the worst of it is behind us. Now we can spend the rest of the pre-baby time unpacking, getting to know our new digs, getting things ready for the little one and finding a place for a baby shower. (I want a big outdoor barbecue by the pool with a diving board and a slide. My friends and family and everyone I know and everyone I've ever met, it seems, would prefer a more “adult” version of the shower with adult clothes and adult beverages and adult snacks and adult conversations. I guess I can't really blame them... I am, after all, an a-d-u-l-t. (For the most part.)
I've said it before, I'll say it again: I vow to try, with all the might I've got, to take advantage of this time before “she” arrives. Whether that means traveling or working or finding swimming pool slides to spend summer afternoons, I will do my best to back off the neurosis and embrace all the good and all the funny I can hold.
Nurse just called my name. Gotta run. Brace yourself, scale, here I come!