Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eventually a spit cup wasn't enough

I lost my calendar for over a week and my life basically ground to a terrifying halt. Finally, yesterday, I found it. In my gym bag. So . . . yeah. I went back to the gym today.

I haven't been going mainly because I felt like I was a brave hero for just getting up every day with that cold/sinus thing. But also, the advice the books give you about exercising when you're pregnant is weird and slightly terrifying. They're all, "You must exercise right now. If you don't exercise your labor will last for 72 days and your baby will be a pathetic weakling and no one will ever love you again. Get off your FAT ASS." But the same books also have a lot of scary warnings: don't let your heart rate go up past a certain point, don't let your temperature rise, don't sweat (seriously?), don't do anything that might increase your chances of falling down--which for me includes just about everything.

So, as with much of the advice from the pregnancy books, I'm doing a combination of ignoring everything they say and synthesizing it into something I can handle. Basically, I still do my same exercise routine, but with a free pass not to push myself too hard. (Which, let's face it, isn't really a change since I'm not much of a self-pusher anyway.)

I've read--or at least skimmed--a lot of pregnancy books, and I'm here to tell you that they are mostly crazy. There are the cutsie ones,* which are vomitious and which we will not discuss here. Then there are the "serious" ones, which can be divided into the subcategories of hippie and doctor-y.

On the hippie side, there's some good stuff, but you also have ladies writing about how if you can't breastfeed, you are morally obligated to hire a wet nurse. A wet nurse? Really? Who am I, Juliet's mom? I'm probably more hippie woo-woo than most--I'm seeing midwives, for example, and I hope the nursing thing works out--but I am pretty sure that feeding your baby formula is unlikely to result in the end of Western civilization.

On the doctor-y side, you have books that treat pregnancy like a horrible disease that thankfully can be treated with surgery after 40 weeks. Basically, these books just contain encyclopedic lists of every single disgusting thing that can possibly happen to your body while you are knocked up. One of my favorite wacky symptoms? Excessive saliva. My friend/sister-in-law told me the story of a woman who had so much extra spit in her mouth all the time that eventually a spit cup wasn't enough, and she decided that she was just going to have to spit on her living room carpet. And she did.

*Most of these refer to the baby throughout as The Bump and have titles like "Messages from the Bump!" or "Bonding with Your Bump!"


Make!Do! said...

God those books are the worst. Every time I see a woman with "What to expect..." I want to rip it out of her hands - there's a lot of weird shit about your appearance and weight in that book - yet this did not stop me from anxiously skimming the monthly breakdowns to make sure I was normal.
Good for you for the midwife thing, I really really couldn't speak more highly about my midwife experience (midwives + an epidural = the best of both worlds)

librarianista said...

I know--I have a library copy of What to Expect, and I really hate the fake "I'm so fat now! What should I do?" letters, as well as the general hokeyness. Yet, each week I read.

I'm glad to hear you say that about midwives + epidural. I'll have the epidural available, and it gives me peace of mind.

Anonymous said...

The cover picture alone on "What to expect" is enough to make me spew. Dude, what decade is her outfit from? And, the chair, oh the chair.

Unless you ask, I will not give you advice - except this one. Do not buy a shitload of baby crap before you are sure you need it. Sooo much money goes down the drain that way.

Re: the spitcup, Couldn't she have upgraded to a Big Gulp cup from 7/11. At the very least?

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

Ahhh...the spitters. I see many of those in my profession!

BTW, I think you're right on with your "pregnancy literature hypothesis" and I'm so impressed that you have already figured it them out! Way to go, Mama!

Best to you. I love the way you write!

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

oops....Meant "figured THEM out"....late night!

librarianista said...

It's good to hear from you, Megan! And thanks.