Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything

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Invasion of the body…somethings

On Monday I had contractions.  Real ones, not Braxton-Hicks, but irregular.  I went to the doctor, got it confirmed and had a surprise cervix check.

Was not expecting it, and WHOA.  Now I know how a carton of ice cream feels when I dig a scoop into it.

The doctor even commented how low Baby’s head was: “The head is, like, RIGHT THERE.  I have to reach around it to get to your cervix…”  He forgot to mention to brace myself, Bridget.  My vagina has never been more thoroughly felt.

I had to rest Tuesday, and came back to work today, but we’ll see if they want me to stay – I’m still having a contraction every few hours of the painful persuasion, so I have no idea.  I do know it makes my big boss nervous.  I think he’d like it if I didn’t come back, but that’s not happening unless I have a note for bed rest so I get short-term disability.  The reality is that I can’t afford to go an additional 2 weeks with no pay, and I’ve allocated all my paid leave for when I planned to start FMLA leave.  We’ll see how that goes.

At least I’ll have an answer Friday, when I have another doctor’s appointment!  Something tells me my vagina will be invaded again, but the doctor will be a lady…maybe her fingers are smaller.


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Let’s talk more about your problems – dip?

Now that I’ve got less than a month to go, and no worries about Baby’s health to focus on, I am taking up a new hobby: dodging the question “Are you pregnant??”

I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t really started to show until now, and most people think I’m about 3 months along.  Go, go, gadget abdominal muscles.  But my parents raised me with the belief that it is never appropriate to comment on someone’s appearance unless they bring it up first.  I work with a population that habitually over-shares information and has less sense of personal boundaries, making it more important that I maintain strict professionalism.  As such, I do not, ever, discuss my health or personal life at work with students.

I understand that they’re excited and it’s not coming from a malicious place, but when you approach someone you only interact with professionally the exchange should not follow this script:

“Oh my, you’re PREGNANT!!!” with a hand outstretched to touch said person.

Those are the encounters I’ve been having.  I don’t know why so many labor under the mistaken idea that it’s acceptable to touch someone without their permission, but it’s the surest way to get me to move in the opposite direction and ignore you if I can.

So now I try to steer conversations to what the other person needs/wants and gloss over their question, hoping they’ll take the hint.  The good news is that I only have 2 weeks left of work before I go on leave, so the dodgeball will end soon.

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Is lying about personal business to a near-stranger a bad lie?

I am inclined to say no, just for the record.  But then, I’m biased, since that is exactly what I did today for the first time at work.

I work with instructors and students, so there are two very different relationship dynamics.  With the instructors, I feel a peer-to-peer rapport and we can do things among ourselves because there’s no power difference in the relationship.  Students, on the other hand, are usually people I’m acquainted with less often, more superficially, and because I am staff, there’s more “power” on my side of the relationship since I am responsible for certain aspects of their education.

That being the case, there are things I don’t feel comfortable sharing with students.  Things I don’t want to discuss with students, regardless of if I need to share it or not.  My reproductive state is one of those things.

Fortunately, I just started my 6th month and I still don’t really show until the evenings (weird, I know).  I wear blazers to work, so it’s been hiding what little there is well, and aside from staff I’ve told, no one has really noticed yet.  I suspect that’s as much due to another woman being due this past week, and yet another who is due the day before I, but who shows much more.  So thank you ladies, for taking the heat off me.

But today all that changed, and I lied (but not really) to a student.

The student saw me Friday evening and said she saw my “little bun.”  Since I don’t, in fact, have a “little bun”, I said no.  I knew damn well what she meant though, and that makes it sort of a lie.  I don’t feel bad.

I have no intention of discussing the intimate details of my medical conditions with any student, and plan on changing the subject once I can’t avoid talking about it any longer.  They don’t need to know, and I don’t want to share.  I just wish that society (where I work) didn’t feel so entitled to that information and expect that you’ll want to discuss your pregnancy with all and sundry.

There will probably be more on this as the summer and fall progress, but for now, I feel hopeful I’ll be afforded the dignity of being left alone.