We first met our midwife Hsui-Li Chen way back during the first pregnancy. Her primary job is to swat down Elisa's silly worries as they arise, fast and furious. (As a secondary responsibility she'll also deliver the baby.)
Thursday was no different than any other visit -- we waited in the appropriately named "waiting room" way past our appointment time. I read an appropriately dated magazine. I appropriately watched the paint peel off the walls. It was fun, but it had to end.
Or so I thought, for the fun was just beginning. I went where few men have gone before. I saw a pap smear in action. Hsui-li offered the front row seat, and boy do I wish I had said "no".
I won't describe the gruesome details. But I'll tell you what -- there's no way the baby will fit. No way. The cervix? It's -- how shall we say -- very closed and very tight. The pap smear swab had to be jammed in there, and you're going to tell me that a baby will somehow squeeze out of there? Perhaps if he's a contortionist! And even then he's out of luck.
He'll simply have to grow up in the uterus. College should be interesting.
Hsui-Li was amused at my reaction: "That's why Elisa has to push!" Push??? How hard would you have to push to get a bowling ball through a straw? That's how hard Elisa will have to push.
I shook my head, "I can say with no reservations -- thank god I'm not a woman."
Hsui-Li responded, "I would rather be a woman. That way I don't have to go to war."
War? Hey, I'll take war over childbirth any day of the week. I'll take nuclear war over childbirth.
Women can keep their "miracle of birth" b.s.
In the better news department, Elisa gained four pounds, putting her within healthy weight gain range. Our initial genetic testing also came back fine. Of course, upon hearing that, Elisa had two less thing to worry about. I'm not sure how she'll compensate, but never fear, she'll find something else on which to afix her fears.
Like, is our child a lizard alien from planet 34-B?
This is exclusive imagery from our April 29 ultrasound, hidden deep in the vaults of Area 51. We kept it quiet for a while, better to control our horror and disgust. Ha ha! Just kidding, I was just too lazy to scan it in.
But check him out. Scaly skin, horns, forked tongue, hooked claws, creepy hissing sound. Yup. It's a lizard boy allright. We'll still love him and all, even if we do have to hide him in the basement to protect him from society's intolerance.
In all seriousness, the baby has evolved way past this point (it better have!). The tail should be gone, the neck and spine are straightening out. It has teeth, it has vocal chords (which we'll learn to appreciate immediately after birth...), the liver is producing bile (eewwww!), the pancrease is churning out insulin, it can now turn its head, press its lips together, and open its mouth.
The baby's "scalp hair patter" has been determined. If he's like my father was, he'll be bald by the age of 40. He'll have a flap of hair on one side of his head, which he'll grow really long and drape over the bald spot to "cover up" the baldness. Except he won't fool anyone, so instead of a college fund we might want to consider a "Rogaine fund".
If he's like me, he'll be cool. Lots of hair.
The baby can also make a fist, and, during this month, the baby's body will finally start trying to catch up to its head in size.
And Elisa continues to get bigger.
That may not seem like a lot, but given the fact that Elisa was rail thin a short while ago, to us this looks gargantuan. And people are starting to notice. About a week ago a stranger at the Whole Foods deli counter asked Elisa if she was pregnant.
Of course, Elisa was puking into a garbage can at the moment, so that was a huge hint. But still, people can put two and two together. So it's harder and harder for me to take her seriously when she complains that she doesn't "feel pregnant". So I give her a choice: feel pregnant, or feel fat.
I'm glad I can always be there for her.
p.s. I keep writing "him" because Elisa thinks it's a boy. We'll know for sure at our next ultrasound at the end of June.by Kos | May 24, 2003 09:43 AM