11 February 2004
Mer has a new game! It's like the Fortune Cookie Game, but with statements about writing. You know, the Fortune Cookie Game, where you automatically add "in bed" or "between the sheets" to your fortune? For hours of sniggering juvenile fun? (Well, okay, minutes.) For Mer's version, you automatically add "This time" to any statement about writing. "I'm not going to push myself to have 8K in two days. This time." Etc. The inspiration for it was the last bit in my journal yesterday, about hockey and Finland and Michael Banks but not together.
But I'm not thinking a lot about writing right now, and I'm going to have to focus pretty hard on it, because my cousin has gone into labor in the night. Early. So that's what I've been thinking about this morning, the arrival of the new sprout and how it's going.
In the back of my mind, I've been composing the non-pregnant woman's oath. It goes something like this: I will remember at all times that I am not the one who is pregnant. I will assume the best of my friend/relative and know in my heart that she and her immediate family and chosen medical professionals are doing the best they can to have a healthy baby and mother with the information they have. I will remember that I do not have all the information they do about her specific situation. I will know that no matter how many books and articles I have read, my job is not to undermine her choices.
If I have not given birth before, I will remember this fact; if I have, I will remember that my friend/relative and I are not in any way identical. At all times, I will be supportive and positive about the prenatal choices she has made and will stand ready to continue to be loving and supportive of her baby throughout his/her life. If others are too critical, I will remember words like, "You're doing a great job!" and "I have faith in you," and, if necessary, "It's going to be all right." I will tell positive but honest pregnancy stories or keep my mouth shut; I will not keep her up nights with stories of the horrible possibilities she's already heard about in her research.
I will not grab or molest my friend/relative in any way I would not do when she was not pregnant, unless specifically invited. I will remember the difference between solicited and unsolicited advice. I will remember the difference between a life-and-death situation and a choice that will make her or the baby's experience slightly different. And if my turn comes around to be the pregnant woman and my friend/relative cannot fulfill this oath in turn, I will not kill her.
Kari hasn't told me a lot of stories about people grabbing her or giving her endless speeches about what she absolutely has to do. That either means that she hasn't been getting that kind of behavior or that she hasn't been dwelling on it. I've known people who felt that they knew exactly what was best for every pregnant woman every time. I am going out of my way not to be that person with my friends and family members who are pregnant, even if I read a really neat article and think I have some nifty baby-related ideas. Not my body, not my baby, not my call.
Besides, there's plenty of time to warp a child after he/she is safely born.
The good thing about my plan for the day is that I won't be trying to write early while thinking Kari/baby/Kari/baby/Kari/baby! The bad thing is that there's no guarantee she'll have had this baby by the time I'm back from my errands and working.
I may pick up a wee item or two while I'm out, though....
I have cousins with kids all over the place. I have friends with kids. Kari's kind of both. I like kids, but it's not like this has never happened before. It's just that...this is close family. Kar's parents are people I can't go to Omaha without seeing, period. This is one of the very few people in the world I have seen and liked consistently since before I can remember. I don't tend to define my life in total orderings, but this is a pretty "inner circle" person in my heart. And she's early, so I'm worried, but mostly...I mean, Kari! Baby! And just for good measure, Jake! So yes: worried, but mostly hyper.
You know how bad I am at waiting for stories to come back? That's nothing compared to this.
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Or the next one.
Or even send me email.