Preggers Briefs

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.

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For obvious reasons, a few lines from a Salon article have been resonating with me these last few months:

“Shimon Edelman, a cognitive expert and professor of psychology at Cornell University, offers some insight in “The Happiness of Pursuit: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About the Good Life.” Edelman offers a range of references and allegories to explain why a changing, growing self, constantly shaped by new experiences, is happier than the satisfaction any end goal can give us.” (italics added)

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Lord do we as a culture love a pregnant woman.

Kelly, long before she was even showing, expressed concern to the TSA ticket checker about the security X-rays. “Oh, honey,” the big black woman said, putting a hand on Kelly’s shoulder “You just tell them you’re pregnant. Congratulations.” Then, at the security gate itself, they select Kelly to go into the big, full body, X-Ray scan chamber.

“No. I’m sorry. I really don’t want to go in there. I’m pregnant.”

“Well why didn’t you say so?!” All joy-to-the-world smiles.

Her husband, of course, whom numerous people over the years have mentioned bears a resemblance to an afghan mujahedeen, is never so lucky. “I’m not a holy warrior,” I always want to tell the TSA people. “I live in Oregon! People in Oregon have beards and wear scarves that just look like keffiyehs.”

No luck. They obviously think I’m out to kidnap beautiful pregnant American women.

Full body scan.

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One of the upsides of a homebirth is that I’ve been fearing the moment when they “release” us from the hospital to take the baby home, and I was gonna be like, um, aren’t you going to come with us? You think we know what we’re doing? It’s going to be much less awkward not  knowing what we’re doing if we’re at home.
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In a similar vein, it’s occurred to me that I know only two baby lullabies, neither of which are uplifting songs of rainbows and butterflies:
Talking Heads’ Mommy Daddy You and I:
“Comes a-riding in a bus
The high and the low
Mommy daddy you and I
Going on a trip
And we’re not going home
Mommy daddy you and I”
And that song from O Brother Where Art Thou:
“go to sleep little babe
go to sleep little babe
your momma’s gone away and your daddy’s gonna stay
didn’t leave nobody but the baby…
She’s long gone with her red shoes on
Gonna need  another lovin’ baby”
But I guess at the young-baby stage it’s not the lyrics but the melody that counts…
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