There are reasons I don’t like to go out in public while pregnant. The last post explained one of them–stupid things other people say. Another reason I don’t like to go out much — normal, polite conversation. A family we casually know just had their second baby. I’m pregnant, so of course any conversation we might have right now would touch on pregnancy, labor, and infants. I don’t spend enough time around this family for them to know my history. I don’t think we’d ever even had a discussion of how many children we have or about labor before a birthday party last week and this major public town festival yesterday. Since we always see them in family settings–at the park, kid birthday parties, it’s visually apparent that we have just one child. They having had only one child before now, they never commented about family size as seems to always happen around people with more.
Anyway, my point. Last week, at a birthday party, all the parents were talking about the lack of maternity and parental leave here. I mentioned something about how I’d looked into FMLA and major medical leave when Dr. H put me on partial bed rest, just to figure out what would happen if I had to stop working completely or actually did deliver early. Someone asked something, and I mentioned how despite the stresses of mandated rest periods during the day, I’m just really glad I didn’t have to be on full time bed rest like I was with Samuel. Yesterday, I ran into the family at this festival in town. They had their teeny newborn with them. Someone remarked, “You’ll be carrying around one of those soon!” to me. The father said, “Hopefully he won’t be one this big.” Now, Samuel was 9 pounds, 9 ounces. Their baby looks healthy by all means, but TEENY to me. I’ve joked before that when the doctor held up Samuel to me, despite his slimy newborn self, my very first thought was, “He’s a television baby!” meaning he didn’t look newborn to me at all. So I answered, “Oh, I’d be happy with his size–Samuel was almost 10 pounds.” So the father said, “But I thought you were at risk for pre-term labor? When was he born?” “His due date.” If you had a baby that big, how much risk were you really at for preterm labor?”
Brain stopped. I was in a very, very public place, with lots of people milling by. I simply didn’t feel like getting into detail, so I answered, “Oh, major risk.” I don’t really need to explain myself, or turn idle chatting into a depressing reminder. Sometimes I prefer to maintain my equilibrium while sitting amongst carnival-food eating parents and children.
It didn’t upset me at all–that’s five years for you, in some ways. I don’t deny Natan, but I don’t always open the door for revelation either.
Just because I couldn’t remember the numbers myself, I looked it up today. How much at risk am I for a preterm delivery, based on my history? Somewhere from 17% to 37%. Here’s hoping I beat those odds two out of three. Dr. K’s anecdotal experience told her, if she could get me past 32, I’d go to term. She said if I didn’t go into labor right away after having my cerclage removed and quitting the progesterone, I’d go to my due date. I’ll be 34 weeks Tuesday, so let’s hope Dr. K is right again. Signs are pointing to yes.