The first twelve weeks of our Peace Corps training we had fairly extensive language courses: some Spanish but mostly Guarani, the Paraguayan indigenous/national language of twelve syllables and Kermit the Frog-like inflections.
One day I was paired with my good friend Bill and a girl we’ll just call Gertrude. In typical random language class fashion—maybe we were practicing the subjunctive—our teacher asked us to describe a movie we’d write and direct.
There have been two times in my life I have heard the noise Kelly just uttered, an inimitable cry of surprise, wonder, and horror. The first was shortly after our return from the Peace Corps, when Kelly, lying on the bed after a shower, realized that a ten-inch translucent roundworm parasite had emerged from her anus. The second was just now, sitting at her desk on a nice spring day, when she realized that her nipples were leaking colostrum. Needless to say, this latter cry had a greater pitch of joy.
So we’re going for a “natural birth” at home, which essentially means we trust K.’s innate birthing abilities more than a hospital’s routine medical interventions.
Kelly, off to birth in Avalon.
My initial, uninformed, and thus reactionary attitude towards the “natural-birth” movement was to assume it was led by women of whom our doula seems the paragon example: sensitive owl-women who long for a Mists of Avalon past that never existed, who romanticize the druidic times of hard-packed dirt floors, straw beds, poultices, leeches, and, well, the occasional dead mother. Continue reading
Not that K. was unhappy with herself or her pregnancy or not a beautiful pregnant woman or not living up to my expectations of how she’d be as a beautiful pregnant woman, but at some point in the last month a line was crossed whereby the baby came into herself as a person and so too K. came into herself as a pregnant woman.
And for the first time in this pregnancy I felt the slight twinge of jealousy.