Thursday, March 20, 2008

FYI: That pregnancy glow is actually a result of embarrassment & humiliation

As my mat leave fast approaches, I have been given some different (often easier!) duties at work. Recently I have been back in the storytime rotation, conducting unparented storytimes for 3 to 5 year olds. It’s been about 3 years since I’ve done these programs and I’ve been really looking forward to them.

Storytimes are usually much fun and my last one was no exception! The kids were great and I only had about 10 in this session. My book choices were big hits and so were the activities. They seemed rapt and really into it. So imagine my surprise when mid-sentence of one of my read-alouds a little boy yells out to me, “Why are you so fat?”

OK, yes I AM huge and it is all in one spot and I am about to expel a human being, but these are words that no woman wants to hear! Anyway, embracing “the moment” and the natural bluntness and curiosity of children I responded with, “Because I have a baby growing in my tummy.” This resulted in all 10 of them telling me about every pregnant lady and baby in their lives . . . it took me a while to reel them in, but we had quite the conversation.

Two days ago, I had an ultrasound. I am almost 37 weeks along now and the reason for such a late ultrasound is my concern over decreased or little fetal movement. At some point during the US the US tech said something to the effect of “Boy, the baby is really moving.” I said that I was surprised as I did not feel anything. She said “that’s probably because you have a really big placenta” and proceeded to show me the hugeness of my placenta on the monitor. Um, ugh!! On the other hand, at least that mystery is solved – the huge placenta is the reason why I don’t feel April too much. Nonetheless, the whole exchange seemed really weird – it is hard to know what to say in response to finding out you have a preternaturally large placenta of all things. I must admit, though, that I AM looking forward to having a unique response to the next preschooler who inquires as to the cause of my fatitude.


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