Friday, December 28, 2007

Setting the Terms of Arrival.

I suppose that it is inevitable, given my present circumstances, that most everybody I come into contact with wants to talk about the child implanted in my wife's womb. Given the fact that impending fatherhood is an undeniable prospect for me, I suppose inquiries about my perceptions of the experience are completely appropriate. It likely reflects the interest that my friends take in my life and well-being. Still the constant redirection to a single aspect of my being gets a bit tiresome. In some ways I suppose that it's like any other major event in a person's life- after repeating oneself again and again, it's easy to want to change the subject and talk about something else. But I realize that it's not really fair to deflect genuine concern and curiosity. So I continue to respond with what have become canned insights and sound bytes.

The question remains nonetheless. What is happening with this baby? Well, last we heard he has reached the hefty weight of eight pounds and nine ounces. According to M. he has a big fat belly like a happy Buddha. According to the doctors and technicians who've examined him via ultrasound, he is a stubborn kid. He's simply not motivated to turn over and shift around on command. And why would he be? He's got a pretty good deal as it stands. He's got a loving mother who has made every effort to provide a sound and healthy environment for him to grow in. It's warm in there, and he doesn't have to do shit in order to receive proper nutrients or to void his wastes. From his perspective, he can just kick back and set his own schedule. He's probably not aware that anything can be done about that.

The reality is that humans have developed all manner of techniques to make the unborn conform to logistical necessities. You see, if this kid stays in M.'s belly until he is "full-term", then there is probably little chance that he's going to be delivered naturally. So M.'s obstetrician would like her to do whatever is possible to get him moving. This entails going for long walks, eating spicy food and (ahem) sex. While I understand the factors involved, it's a bit difficult for me to come to grips with the latter method. There's just something about the thought of invading my youngster's little comfy space that is a bit unsettling. I keep thinking that his skull is still soft, and that he is resting with his head pointed downward. It's not that I'm endowed with such formidable assets that I'd really present a threat (as such), but the psychological aspects of these maneuvers might be difficult for me to negotiate.

Anyway, if he isn't prompted from above or below, he's going to eventually reach a size that will require a c-section for his delivery. Since the beginning of the pregnancy, M. and I have been aware of the odds of having made what would turn out to be a huge baby. Given the fact that all the males in my family have been quite hefty, it would have been silly to delude ourselves with dreams of easy birthing. So the possibility of having to face a surgical procedure seemed very concrete. Obviously such medical interventions carry with them additional risks which we'd like to minimize. Additionally, the recovery period from c-section deliveries is much longer and more problematic than those of "natural birth". Still, the both of us find it very odd that the United States is one of the few developed nations where doctors resist giving the parents the option of a c-section.

Either way I have resolved to have very little say in the matter. I can't help but wonder if this whole phase is portentous of future parenting experiences. Both M. and I are extremely willful individuals. It seems to follow that we should expect our little boy to embody a similar spirit. Will he learn early on that he can get his way by simple and unyielding immobility? Is he going to assume an entitlement that dictates the quality of our shared lives? It seems that when I get to the point of considering these mysteries, I always end up reminding myself that it is simply folly to speculate about what "will be". Yet that bridge that I'm going to cross when I come to it draws ever near.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing you the best. I won't ask any more questions but will be glad to hear whatever. I would be interested in seeing some visuals from you about the whole experience - hope that you are motivated. Hang in there M.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous jefg said...

JM isn't the only one wanting documentation, nor wishing both you all the best. I'll be out there before long with my new G9, snapping away.

10:50 PM  

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