To take advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend just past, Wifey, the belly, and I took a little excursion out to the desert.
I’ll admit I took some shit from friends and family for the decision to take my pregnant companion away from 75 degree weather on the beaches of San Diego in favor of 100 degrees in Palm Springs. I offer one simple explanation (aside from the general escapism of a mini road trip): the resort that I cashed our hotels.com free night in on – La Quinta Resort & Spa – has no less than 41 pools on the property. 41!!! I have never seen joy such as that on Baby Mama’s face when we arrived, began pool-hopping, and her belly sank below the water for the first time.
We were not the only ones with this brilliant idea – there was a veritable parade of baby bumps around the “Adult Pool” at La Quinta this weekend. Bumps at all stages of development, staring each other down, wondering who is where in the process, who will win the race.
Some of the other parents-to-be even had the foresight to bring along their own floating devices. Not only did I fail on the floatie – although we actually purchased one just last week and could easily have thrown it in the car – but it honestly hadn’t even occurred to me just how therapeutic the water would be for the wife, despite the fact that I myself swim laps almost every day.
Pay attention, boys: get your woman in the pool. Just make sure you’ve got some extra room in the backyard, because she’ll probably end up wanting her own.
We’ve officially arrived at the point in this pregnancy where Wifey’s proud belly announces our entrance into every room. Perhaps as a result of this, we’ve also grown very perceptive of other bumps around town; all of a sudden it seems like San Diego is literally just bursting with pregnant ladies.
This hit me more than ever on Monday night when we went to tour the birthing facilities at the UCSD Medical Center over in Hilcrest, which as well as offering more maternity care options than any other hospital in town has the added advantage of being a mere 5 miles from our house. Far from being a personal tour, though, this was a large open house with a couple hundred people in attendance.
It was a surreal scene to my eyes, and it really got me to thinking: 100 different couples from all cultures and classes, with a wild diversity of human sizes, shapes, colors, and ages – all passing through exactly the same moment in life at exactly the same time. I for one truly enjoyed the reminder that maybe life really isn’t that different for each of us after all, despite the many and often-frustrating signs to the contrary.
Along with these more serious thoughts, however, in the back of my head I was keeping myself entertained all night with much more lighthearted imagery. While initially it was the striking variance between each couple that caught my attention, what I really got stuck on were the stylistic similarities shared by the two parents in each grouping.
This image sums it all up pretty nicely:
Man, I can’t wait to see what all these kids are going to look like.
This week Wifey and I encountered a snag that none of the “pregnancy experts” had covered: what happens to a woman in her fifth month of pregnancy when she’s got a full-time job and her husband – usually a well-oiled machine of domesticity – gets the flu and reverts to a mewling infant?
Those Maternal instincts kick in a few months early is what happens. To my immense relief – yet even greater shame – I’ve spent most of the past week being waited on hand and foot by a pregnant lady. She’s got a very full plate at work, a rapidly growing belly, and a somewhat limited range of motion. Yet she somehow managed to make me chicken soup from scratch, take me to the hospital when it got scary, and be generally far more loving than a whiney little bitch like myself deserved.
Even – or perhaps especially – when I began to snore.
Not that I was at all conscious of the late-night encounter, but I’m imagining it went something like this:
The scene is gently backlit by moonlight creeping in the window on Wifey’s side of the bed.
Me: still snoring…
Wifey: HARD nudge.
Me: still snoring (loudly).
Wifey: “OMG I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!!!”
The moonlight outlines a silhouette of her perfectly protruding baby bump as she slowly maneuvers herself out of bed. It also illuminates the scowl of fury on her porcelain features.
Five hours later:
Early morning light shines on a half-empty bed. From a large form huddled under the covers comes the unmistakable sound of a freight train barreling down the tracks.
On the couch in the adjacent room, a much smaller form lies, curled around a body pillow, not-quite-asleep. A close-up of her rosy lips as she softly whispers:
“Enough of this shit already….. I want my fucking husband back.”
This woman is way too good for me.
When I met my lovely wife 3 1/2 years ago, she wasn’t super comfortable in the kitchen. This has changed over time, although I’ve retained my role as household chef – after all, kitchen skills are an unwritten part of the whole “trophy husband” agreement. But you’ll appreciate my shock last week when Baby Mama broke out her inner Babushka (that’s Russian for “Grandma”) – along with our rolling pin – and proceeded to get down and dirty.
Ah, yes. Month 5. I believe they call “nesting.”
Not that I’m complaining. Shit – I’m talking homemade Borscht and Gluten-free, scratch-made Vareniki that taste better than those at our local Russian restaurant. Even my mother-in-law was jealous. But seriously – WTF? You just impulsively dedicated the entire afternoon to Vareniki?? (The link is there for those lacking Russian friends.)
As is the case with most things I write about on this blog, this phenomenon is hardly unique to us. Wikipedia defines the “nesting instinct” as the following:
“an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn… found in a variety of animals (both mammals and birds) including humans.”
An interesting impulse, this nesting. It struck me as so strange when I first witnessed it – I recall my oldest sister did a lot of baking when she was pregnant with her first. If we were birds, I suppose Wifey would be waddling around building a new addition onto the house, and I’d be out hunting. But fuck that, we’re people. We’ve got a contractor for a landlord, and a great organic market up the street.
So instead, she makes Borscht and Vareniki, and I get to make fun of her on my blog.
Ah, the joys of being human.