Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baby Central

It seemed to me that years had gone by since anyone I knew had become pregnant.

Then suddenly, every time I turned around, someone else was talking morning sickness and due dates.
Right now wife of the guy in the next office is carrying, the co-worker two offices over is expecting, two women in our church fellowship group are pregnant, plus two of my friends are expecting fresh supplies of grand kids, one blogging friend is expecting grandkid #1, and three bloggers that I don't know personally but read daily are also preggers.
Count 'em...that's ten babies on the way.

(This just in within the hour: make it 11...another friend just called with good news!)

Babies on the way in despite the trying times we live in.

(No surprise there, when the economy tanks, it is easier to just stay home and go to bed early, if you get my drift...)

I'm excited for all of them. Only two (make that three) of these kids in the making are going to be first borns. One is a third, one is a fourth.
The mom of the fourth born is so cool about it.

When I was talking about all the fuss and bother that was generated over first babies (with blog postings along the lines of: I felt the baby move 9 times today. I just praise the Lord for this little one, and ponder how he or she will be used to further His kingdom. I read Scripture aloud to my tummy so he can hear it daily! He is already one and a quarter inches long according to my pregnancy book, and I can't believe I only have 252 more days to go! This is just happening so fast! I also have decided to use Winnie the Pooh classic wall trim instead of the new WTP design, and to show a picture of my bare pregnant tummy each and every week on my blog...) while later, Baby #2 only gets mentioned in passing between further reports of Baby #1 becoming "a little man" (at age 18 months and shaving already presumably) and that he is now able to sit on a trike ALL BY HIMSELF (with five pictures following to document...)

Mom expecting #4 comment: Yeah, that was SOOO three babies ago....

Each baby is miraculous; especially if they are a first born. Subsequent babies, while quite miraculous also, are also rather boring after awhile. They sleep, they eat, they get runny noses, they poo... while that earlier edition baby in the house is tearing up the tracks with all kinds of new tricks.

I don't think I have ever read a blog post about baby #2 that managed to record the wonder of a filled diaper that had nearly the same zeal as the prior blog post about baby #1 grunts and digestive outcome.
It is hard to understand how such amazing events just don't continue to fire up one's interest after awhile.

The kid I grew up with had his first kid a few years back, and being several states away from his mom at the time, he video taped "Baby Margaret" for hours and hours and hours at a time.

His mom, (who had became a first time mom herself at 40) admitted to me that watching her ONLY child's first born baby sleeping on video just didn't hold her attention for more than a few minutes.

Ditto just about everything else that the 10 day old grandchild did...especially since it was the same stuff Margaret did as a 9 day old grand child, and an 8 day old grandchild etc etc..

Two years later Baby #2 "Thomas" apparently was not quite as interesting...his naps went completely unrecorded. Hopefully Thomas will never find out about the large UStoreIt unit that was rented to hold all the "Baby Margaret" tapes...

Naomi Wolf had an interesting experience with being pregnant the first time.
(You remember her don't you? No? She is a third wave feminist writer with a stunning inability to do decent documentation. I trust, dear reader, that you have managed to keep up with the defining differences between first, second and third wave feminism. If not...perhaps you should. It will make for far more interesting conversation at the next baby shower you attend than sharing exactly where you were when your water broke.)

Yale graduate and Oxford University Rhode scholar Naomi wrote a book called "Misconceptions."

In brief:

Misconceptions examines the modern problems surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. Most of the book is told through the prism of Wolf's personal experience of her first pregnancy. She describes the "vacuous impassivity" of the ultrasound technician who gives her the first glimpse of her new baby. Wolf both laments and rages against the doctor who performed her C-section, (I'm with you there Naomi...) and advocates a return to more personally attached practices akin to midwifery.

Ah yes...when you are a first time mom, naturally every single detail of your pregnancy is so awe inspiring that it is just unfathomable that a person who does something like 16 ultrasounds a day just couldn't work up a giddy over seeing *yet another* jelly bean with a heart beat.

How callous. How sad! How unfair!!!

Following the birth of her children, Naomi made a stunning connection: Abortions kill children.

More stunningly, she also connected the second wave feminism of "women have the right to abort" with the concept that abortion kills a woman's child. She managed a third wave spin on this dilemma: Women must, sadly, sometime make the decision to kill their unborn children, and because that is a sad decision, abortion clinics should be surrounded by women and medical personnel who will grieve and mourn those children while being supportative of the moms.

Naomi lost me there.

Now if she wanted to talk about the fact that sometimes a woman feels she must make the decision to kill her surly teenage, I could probably get on board with that. There's a reason why God included the passage about stoning rebellious children in the Old Testament. God knew parent of teens usually don't have the energy to go collect enough stones to get the job done, but it does give them something to dream about.

I made an interesting discovery over my three decades of parenting:

Everyone blab blab blabs the baby years. Pictures abound!

Everyone brags brags brags the school years. A few pictures are taken!

Everyone drops names of where first born is going to college. A zillion senior pictures get taken!

Everyone get really quiet after that...even if the kid graduates and gets a job.

Everyone is totally silent if the kid drops out of college and doesn't get a job.

Everyone starts talking again once a wedding is in the works. Thousand of wedding pictures!

And then it is back to step one all over again.

My mom has been in a prayer group since I was about ten years old. The ladies have prayed their way through their kids, and have just about finished up praying their grandkids to adulthood.

Those grandbabies were just so precious!

And ultimately they were just as messy as teens as their parents had been, if not more.

(Shaking head...prayer meetings are confidential you know.)

The great grand kids?

Oy vey. Maybe the less said the better!

Wonder what Naomi would feel about all that?
Can't wait until she becomes a grandmother!


Lovella said...

Oh Boy. .you are talking about me aren't you? shoot. . I kept ducky the swats.
Oh goodness, I know what you are saying and I've seen a blog or two that has me cringing and am fine that my dils are more private than not .. I always wonder. . .would I have been the kind of girl that would have bared my tummy? I say no. . .but not never.
Human kind is indeed a complex balance of relationships. . .we muck our way through and in the end. . wonder .. what mattered most. . .the stuff the CNN covers day and night .. or the stuff that happens within our homes.
Oh. . but I can't wait until you are there my friend, we all turn to mush.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Lovella: Actually I was intending to compare the extremes of our society concerning babies, ranging from the besotted to the abortive.
I trust you are aware of the changes in the abortion laws that Obama is thrusting upon America this last week. It has troubled me.

I'll have to re-read what I wrote...I'm pretty sure you are not guilty of any of the exaggerated examples that I used. Let me know if you were and I'll give credit to you as my inspiration!

Bottom line: I feel that Wolfe's ability to embrace the extremes feelings about motherhood and still be OK with abortion is horrific. It exemplifies our country's schizophrenic mishmash of responses to the babies. Those responses need to be examined beyond personal emotional response. Like many moms and grandmoms have said...I like my own babies, others not quite so much. That's fair, and common. And I suspect that is what drives the abortion movement in the end.

Sara said...

I haven't been keeping up with the news lately. I appreciate the update and the lesson on feminism, which I've never paid much attention to...gosh, should I admit in public that I just don't do well studying all this social stuff, I'm an artist at heart - I just want things to be beautiful and to make beautiful things. So I'm glad there are research librarians out there who know these things and can tell me about them!

Lovella, you are a very tactful grandmother and your stories are never too much! I don't have much stomach for endless baby trivia stories, so you know I mean it when I say yours are always endearing.

I agree it is rather mind boggling (Wolfe's position on abortion)...

Lovella said...

Jill, oh boy .. I was babysitting and reading blogs at the same time and I admit that I paid closer attention to the first half of you post than the second half. I did know that there was further concern down your way about the abortion issue. . .we need to pray, so many hurting women and so many children that never get a chance to be loved on earth.
God help us all to do what we can do in our own way to protect the innocent.
Thanks Jill for speaking to such an important issue for our times.

Julie said...

Jill... what a wonderful tongue in cheek, well written post handling fun as well as serious issues !

I too am sorry about Obama's abortion stand.... I don't understand how anyone can support abortion - and I never did understand what abortion had to do with women's rights.. It is a woman's right 'not' to get pregnant but once she is ... her personal rights cannot infringe on the life of another!

I echo Lovella...we'll be watching, Jill, when you post a million pictures of the different ways your first grandchild smiles!!

Lin said...

I was going to attach a picture of my brand new great granddaughter here, but I have no idea how to do it! She was born Friday, the 20th and I have a picture of her third day, which is today. Her name is Mackenzie.

I am amazed that I can even be a great grandmother. It seems like yesterday that I had my first child, and now I am up to 6 children, 4 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. And life marches on....

Vicki said...

Guess I should jump in here, too, huh? Jill, this is very well-written post about a very important and serious issue (with your special form of humor added in just the right places!).

I'll admit that I've been only sort of following the news about the Obama/abortion issue, so I appreciate your heads-up to pay more attention. I love what Julie said: 'It is a woman's right 'not' to get pregnant but once she is ... her personal rights cannot infringe on the life of another!'

Oh, and you know I'm looking forward to cuddling my little grandson as much as possible!

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