Archive for November, 2007

Changes in behaviour
November 20, 2007

I’ve started noticing small children.

Angie always noticed children. She would look at them and intone about how adorable they were. It used to make me quite nervous because I wasn’t ready for the children then. I used to give her strained smiles and mechanical nods as she gushed maternally over babies and toddlers.
Now I’m also pointing them out as I find them in shopping centres and restaurants. Ours is going to have blue eyes like that one, or curly blonde hair like this one.

Furniture for children’s rooms is something else I’ve become aware of. I saw a beautiful bunk-bed arrangement that I could see myself buying (although it won’t be necessary for quite a few years — a crib is probably more important at this junction).
I’m noticing the kiddie toys too. When we were in Woolworths recently we spotted a little boy riding a rocking-horse. It was a furry rocking-horse, and probably originated from an East Asian sweatshop. Nevertheless as the boy rocked the horse it made neighing and clippity-cloppity sound-effects. Outstanding! I wanted one for myself, and soon I will have a legitimate reason to buy one. It is, admittedly, a little small for me to ride but I can experience it through my child.

Suddenly this gives me some insight into where obsessive parents come from. You know the ones I mean. The ones who are always on the sidelines, cheering their child on far more than necessary, and crapping the kid out when she makes a mistake.
I can see now how that trap could be sprung. Living life through your child is liberating when she is little, because you are reminded to appreciate the simple things. Vigilance is required to stop doing that as the child grows older. The parent cannot become the tennis star or the doctor they wanted to be by forcing their child into that role.

Other amazing changes¬† include Angie cutting down on wine — practically eliminating the consumption of the substance.
It’s obvious that an expecting mother would drink little or no alcohol, but if you know Angie you know how much she enjoys wine. I was expecting more problems, more emotional issues, and more fighting around this subject. I was pleasantly surprised. This bodes well for the future and savings on our monthly booze expenditure which will, I suppose, be channelled into nappy expenditure.

I was even more surprised when Angie didn’t go into crazy insane behaviour after cutting out Topamax (which she needs to take to stabilise her moods, but cannot take while pregnant). She just seemed non-stop happy. A continuum of pregnant joy. I was under the impression that pregnant women were unpredictable and moody. It seemed like I had been misinformed.
I now believe the information I was originally given was correct. Just over a week ago the irrational and uncontrolled sobbing ensued. Angie phoned her mother, crying all the time, demanding to know why being pregnant was so difficult and mostly unpleasant.
Since then my pregnant wife has been a little less predictable, but still not as unpredictable as I had been expecting.
May my expectations continue to not be met.

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Gynaecologists have nothing to do with men
November 7, 2007

On Friday Angie and I went to visit the gynaecologist. Angie has visited this kind of specialist before because she has woman-bits, and woman-bits need regular maintenance.
I have not visited one of these people. They don’t deal in men-bits, and even if they did men-bits don’t seem to require regular inspection (at least not until men reach 40, and prostate matters come to the fore).

It is probable that I visited a gynaecologist while in utero, but as a grown man I’ve strived to keep my distance from such people.¬† Angie and I arrived at the doctor’s rooms and we took seats. Two other women were already seated, reading magazines. They sat next to one another and appeared to be acquainted.
As I sat in the waiting room, another two women arrived, one of whom was quite obviously pregnant.

I began to feel distinctly out of place. These people were all looking at me, and there were stern accusations in their eyes.
“Trespasser!”
“Voyeur!”
“Pervert!”

Perhaps they weren’t thinking those things, but I they might as well have been because I assumed that they were. I felt beads of sweat form on my brow. Luckily I brought a book along, so I read it and pretended to not otherwise exist.

Eventually the gynae called Angie. I’d been waiting expectantly for this, and now that I could finally escape the horror of the waiting room, I hesitated. She called Angie, but hadn’t invited me to come along. Angie wasn’t waiting to give me any cues. She’d already disappeared down the passage. I decided to follow.

I can’t comment on what women think about visiting the gynae, but it’s a completely unnatural state of affairs for a man. The whole time we sat there I had a vague, unsettling fear that she would, at any moment, insist in examining my inner-workings. After a short while she went to examine Angie’s in the room adjacent to the consultation room.
I felt awkward. Angie was undergoing an internal examination just a few metres from me. I was sitting in a chair, looking at diagrams of female genitalia and reproductive organs. I think I quietly hummed to myself, and twiddled my thumbs a little. Anything to overcome the bizarre urge to barge into the room next door and defend my wife’s honour against a terrible invasion of privacy.

The examination showed everything was as expected, and the gynae didn’t ask me to lie down on the bed with my legs spread, so I was relieved on many different levels.

After a bit of an answer and question session where Angie’s fears and concerns were addressed, we went to yet another room to have the sonogram scan.
Watching the image of my unborn child on that monitor is probably the most positively emotional experience of my life. My child is a tiny, 1.58cm blob at the moment, but she (or he) is alive. An even smaller pulsing was clearly visible on the scan. Fluid pumping through miniature blood-vessels. A beating heart. I was blown away.

I could barely contain my glee. A stupid, inane grin spread across my face and it refused to recede. That stupid grin is with me still, although I managed to contain it enough to no longer look like a clown.

My previous posts logged my fear and uncertainty about my Future, now with Child!
Those doubts were starting to erode before we went for the scan, but it was wind erosion and that can take aeons. The moment I saw that beating heart it was as if a dam broke, and strong course of water flushed the doubt sediment away.