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Friday, June 20, 2003
Day 123: Back to the midwife

Another month, another visit to the midwife, another hour-long wait in the apt-named "waiting room". It was particularly annoying this time because we were running late for the appointment. We called up en route to say we would be 5-10 minutes late, and got a lecture about punctuality.

And then they had us wait nearly an hour. Go figure.

Visits to the midwife are always interesting. They do allow us to listen to the baby's heartbeat, though that is less important now that Elisa can feel the baby moving around nearly constantly. For a few weeks back in the early days of the pregnancy, I think Elisa considered stealing the machine used to listen to the heartbeat. If she had the option, she would listen in on the baby every morning. They also allow Elisa to get her fears and worries assuaged by our experienced and sage midwife (who has the patience of a saint). And she gets lots of good advice that she promptly ignores.

For example, Elisa read in one of those damn books (you know, every single book written about pregnancy) that she wasn't supposed to sleep on her back. Well, Elisa always sleeps on her back. Like dracula. Sometimes she even crosses her arms over her chest. Like dracula. Except that it's me who grabs her arms while she sleeps and crosses them over her chest. It's a great way to amuse myself when I go to bed at 1 a.m. after a long day of work.

But now that's she's pregnant, the books said she couldn't sleep on her back. It would deprive the baby of oxygen or cut off her (Elisa's) circulation, or some other stupid explanation. So she has been trying, the past 4 1/2 months, to sleep on her side. Funny thing is, she would wake up on her back. Her body knew what was comfortable, and dammit, that's how it would sleep. But Elisa would be distraught, and desperate to feel the baby moving inside her. In her own little world of crazy worries and fears, sleeping on her back was akin to infanticide.

So I asked the midwife about sleeping positions. Awesome, as always, Hsui-Li said: "Sleep however you feel comfortable." The books, she explained, were bunk. Billions of children had somehow been born despite mothers who did not have books! Undoubtedly, some of those mothers slept on their backs. The body knew when a position was dangerous and would adjust accordingly. We had to trust our instincts.

As usual, Elisa expressed great delight at the news. And as usual, as soon as we walked out, she vowed that she wouldn't "risk" sleeping on her back.

She must cling to every fear, however irrational, lest she have nothing to worry about. I know, I'm a guy and will never understand. But I wish I had an inkling of a clue.

But I've got nothing.


All of Elisa's genetic testing came back in the clear. I was never worried, but for Elisa it was a huge relief. She has now gained nine pounds in nearly 20 weeks. And she's huge. Pictures coming soon.

by Kos | June 20, 2003 04:29 PM