Friday, September 23, 2005

Birthday Wishes

We had a little last hurrah before Bubbles is born...a little birthday treat for mama a few hours away at a lovely little mineral spring resort. I got to have my birthday cervical check, which was really more than I asked for, but all worked out well (not dilated, 30% effaced, which is where I was in July) and we got to blow out of town for a few days. Really, where we live is so wonderful and peaceful that I have no complaints, but I frequently come up with reasons to leave, and then we pack up the van and head out to compare wherever we are staying with where we live. So when we could hear the traffic from our suite, dh had to comment on how silly we were to leave our quiet little home paradise. He is the agoraphobic half of our whole; I am the social half. Supergirl is the rocket-fueled frosting on our cake.
Speaking of cake, I have been feeding bubbles with chocolate mousse ganache cake for the past 3 days. I think he likes it, and I know I certainly need it to maintain my startlingly global figure. My belly has now reached the point at which people stare at it as they walk past. It is the dolly parton of bellies, and you know what I mean. No more eye contact. People actually step aside to let me pass in grocery aisles. I feel as though I am carrying around a 25 pound medicine ball. One that I can never really shift the weight of and frequently kicks me in the cervix. Never in my previous two pregnancies have I reached this state of protrusion, and I find myself simultaneously fascinated by my body and horrified at the potential aftermath. I spend a lot of time checking myself out in the mirror in disbelief. The Belly draws many (unsolicited) comments from friends and strangers alike. Yesterday I was told that I am 'looking chunky'. Today I was told that I am the perfect textbook looking pregnant chick. Guess which person I invited to live with me for the next 6 weeks?
Perhaps the chunky comment wasn't completely uninvited. In my quest to grow a bigger baby this time - and I have been putting a LOT of effort into this challenge - I have become addicted to Starbucks pumpkin frappuccino creme. I was never a real Starbucks fan, but I have become a zealot of the highest hormonal order of this heavenly pumpkin pie through a straw. If you know how many calories or fat grams it has, please keep that information to yourself. I have a baby to grow here, and that is my job right now. Now you do yours and don't bug me.
So I have just one little rant about my birthday getaway. First of all, let me preface this rant with 'I HATE to waste money.' Mainly because I don't have much of it, and what money dh has had better sustain us while I am not working for the next few months. So I don't even like to waste HIS money. So, before we left, I all but demanded (okay, I persuasively suggested) a prenatal massage for my birthday. After all, dh got to spend 4 glorious days in Dusy Basin and I was extremely jealous, staying home alone with Supergirl, and missing out on one of my favorite ass-kicking altitude hikes and had generously come up with a plan for him to make it up to me. Because dh has seen me pregnant twice before and knows better than to lose another argument to hormones, he, in his wisdom, consented. My dear acupuncturist (to whom I can attribute the success of no preterm labor this time due to my weekly visits since 23 wks!) suggested strongly that we make sure that the prenatal massage therapist was VERY experienced and not just another willing pair of hands with lavender oil. So I called the resort's 'treatment center' and asked if their prenatal massage was TRULY prenatal massage. I was assured by Ms Snooty 'I-can't-believe-you-even-have-to-ask-me-this' that it certainly was. Undeterred by her intimidation, I pressed my luck and asked if it was not only the correct type of massage table (like this), but really, REALLY an experienced massage therapist who would be on the job, since I didn't want to risk the induction massage. "Yes", sighed the unbelievably customer-challenged Ms Snooty. A few days later, dh called again to make the actual appointment and asked the exact same questions. He was greeted with the exact same responses - after all, they do advertise prenatal massage on their website. When we arrived, we shortened the one hour appointment to 1/2 hour...still concerned with overstimulating the irritable uterus that is mine and playing it safe. No problem, we were assured.
So I go in for my massage and am greeted by a 21 yr old nature girl - safe enough, I suppose. And then she shows me to my 'treatment room' and points out 3 pillows, with which I am supposed to 'make myself comfortable' and she would return shortly. At this point I should have just walked out, seeing no hole-for-the-belly massage table, but instead a similar set-up to what I create for myself each night in my own bed! But I was really hoping for a relaxing half hour, so I put my faith in nature girl and began the familiar task of propping up my shoulders, belly, and knees with the magic treatment center's pillows. When nature girl returned, she asked me if this was my first pregnancy as she slathered her hands with - you guessed it - lavender oil. I said "no, my third" - and walked right into that open door. Into the room in which I was further interrogated...."How old are my children?" "Umm...well, I have a four year old and...umm...my one year old son died a year ago."
Silence. Ah, blessed silence. But not for long.
"Ohmygod - what happened???"
Well, suffice it to say that I spent the next 25 minutes receiving the most expensive back rub of the year (massage? you call that a massage?) as I explained my son's death to nature girl.
WHY? The whole thing seems ludicrous to me now. Why was I so paralyzed that I didn't just refuse to answer? Was it that I felt too vulnerable being all nakey and at the mercy of her weapon of the knowledge (and I use that term loosely) acupressure points? Was I trying to make her feel better since she was so horrified at my disclosure? I am still trying to figure all that out. But I do know that when I returned to the room, I told dh that I needed to soak in the hottub for a while to relax after my massage!! It really was that stressful. And disappointing.
All would have been forgiven more easily had they not attempted to charge us for the full hour, and then acted like it was some great favor they were doing by crediting dh's card for the difference. Oh, the agony of running the treatment center...what, with all the treatments and the massage therapists to deal with. And the laundry, oh the laundry and the lavender oil. SIGH.
Okay, my rant is over.
What I really wanted for my birthday was Elijah. But I know better than to ask. Besides, who would I ask? But you know what? I got to dream about him and hold him in my dream. I snuggled his little head under my chin and breathed in his smell of cedar vanilla milkiness. It was divine. Of course I cried when I woke up, but this time I knew it was worth it. Because that's all I get of him anymore. And I'll take it.

Happy birthday to me. Thanks, tiny boy.

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