As I've come to learn, when you sport a big belly that says, "I'M PREGNANT," to the world, it welcomes all sorts of input, advice, congrats (which is the most fun by far) and encouragement...and a few looks of pity when I tell my southern cohorts I'm due in August. Don't get me wrong because I LOVE talking about this little girl who is coming into our lives. LOVE IT! CHERISH IT! If I don't outwardly "glow" I sure do inside!
So this morning one of our most obnoxious instructors walked by. I have never really had to work with him much and he has always been nice and well-meaning, so when he says, "Hello, Lady Jane," I always greet him with a smile and say hello right back. He thinks I'm really young, which I suppose I should take as a compliment, but I always want to tell him that I am 32 and have lived in China and run a 50 mile race. I have no idea why I want to say that except that maybe it means I am a world traveler, brave, and hardcore (ha).
THEN I got pregnant. So this guy announces that unbeknownst to the world, he is a certified mid-wife and caught two of his three children. This grossed me out on a few levels. I didn't want to know. I don't know him and he doesn't know me and I do not want to know about his children and I do not want to share my pregnancy experience with him. My precious co-workers thought this was a hoot and have since enjoyed teasing me about him catching my baby, which I no longer even dignify with a response because that REALLY disturbs me. Maybe I'm weird and prudish and hypocritical since I blog so openly about my pregnancy and how often I need a pit stop when I run, but there is just something about talking to men I don't know (which is basically most of them) about personal things. Yuck. Even if they are dads and husbands and fully aware of all that will go on with me, I just don't care to discuss it with them. I am not this way with women and concerning this blog - let's face it, my audience is primarily female!
So, anyway, back to the instructor. Today he stops by and I can tell by the way he says, "Lady Jaaaaane," that he is planning on an actual conversation. I reach inside for my most kind and patient attitude and brace myself. I can do this. So he first of all wishes me well because I have turned in my 2 weeks notice here at work. Yep. I am soon to be a full-time housewife and mom and I could NOT be MORE EXCITED! So he says that is a wonderful decision but then he wants to know when I plan to go back to the workforce for my "career" (what career?) and if I'm planning on having more kids. I nod at this second part while thinking none of your business. He tells me few women these days are staying home with their children. I told him he might be surprised. Then he tells me about this thing called "natural childbirth" as if it is a term women have never heard of. Because as far back as Adam and Eve, we've had epidurals to ease the pain. He said no one goes that route anymore. I was in the process of saying, once again, that he might be surprised when a co-worker thankfully came through the door and interrupted this lovely conversation.
But it didn't stop. He THEN told me I'd better make sure I had a really good marriage before taking such a "risk" as giving up my "career" (again, what career would that be?) to stay home with my children (apparently his first wife, who he helped deliver all her children is now an ex). I didn't want to engage in this conversation but I couldn't help myself. I said with utmost confidence, "I think I have that taken care of." My co-worker whose office is next door to mine piped in here (because he talks really loud and you can't miss his conversations even if he is down the hall - which sometimes provides time hide in the ladies room...) and said, "She married a gem! A true keeper! He's GREAT!" So he says my husband hopefully has a good career and that I can help him in all sorts of ways to further that career by taking care of things at home. I nod and say I am looking forward to this (because I am, but I still don't want to share any of this with him), and he goes on to remind me (because he has shared this nugget of wisdom before) that my husband will need to change diapers. And the whole time this conversation is going on I'm thinking loudly in my head, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!"
It cracks me up. How can you walk up to someone whose life you know absolutely nothing about and tell them all these things they should know and do when having a child? Like maybe I live in a vacuum and have no idea what else is going on in the world. What if my husband was a doctor? What if my mom had me in a hut while she was a missionary in Africa? None of that is true but he doesn't know that.
I realize for my own sanity I must laugh at this more than get annoyed because annoyance is a waste of time. But wow. Maybe it is annoying when people assume you don't know anything and it is their job to tell you. I want to say, "you know, I can read...." And maybe I do a lot more reading, studying, thinking and preparing than most women who are pregnant for the first time...but I DOUBT IT!
Today SO MUCH information is easily accessible through blogs, books, websites, classes, the experiences of friends and family, not to mention I have a doctor who is helping me along the way. And maybe wives who stay home to take care of children and household were rare in his day (I doubt that too), but they are not rare now. Neither is natural childbirth. Which is what I want to do. But no, I don't think I'm just going to waltz into the delivery room and say, "Let's do this, people! Drug free, baby!" Nope, I'm going to read, learn, practice and go in with a plan and the best husband in the WORLD to help me. So there. Take that, Mr. Know-it-all Instructor Mid-wife.