Today was my first day of Centering Pregnancy.  This is a group approach to prenatal care where I am grouped with a bunch of other women due at around the same time.  It was great, despite the unfortunate incident that had me crying most of the way home.

Sigh.

So let's get that out of the way first.  Names have been changed.

In my group are five other women.  I am of course the oldest.  Two of the women are on their third pregnancy, and three of us are on our first.  The group is moderated by a nurse-midwife and another facilitator who concerns herself with education.  Our first activity was doing a little getting-to-know you exercise where we grouped up with another person, shared information, and then introduced each other to the group.  I turned to the pregnant woman next to me, who is about 23, and her mother-in-law, whose name tag said "Granny Rae."  We gave each other expectant, gosh-this'll-be-fun smiles and the first thing out of Granny's mouth was: "You're not in the group, are you?"

Sigh.

I knew that I would get comments.  I can moisturize all I want but I know that people are surprised that I am pregnant at my age.  I know the wide-eyed look I get when I tell people I'm pregnant, that it's my first.  I know that they say "Gosh! That's exciting!" because they're thinking "Holy S***!"  I know that people will think I am the grandma when I pick up my kids from school.  I know that people say stupid s*** and I shouldn't let it bother me.  But I am hormonal and I have gone through so much to be "in the group," and a big slice of the agony for me was always that I wasn't.  So it hurt.  Anytime somebody tries to push me outside of the circle, it hurts.

Fortunately, I have more non-verbal expressions of hostility than the Eskimos have words for "snow," and I didn't hold back here.  The long stare, the single eyebrow, the deliberate blink, the awkward pause, the slightly pained / puzzled narrowing of the eyes, and finally: "uh, yes.  Yes, I am."  All very satisfying, socially appropriate, and far too subtle for the likes of Granny.

We somehow got ourselves through that moment and into the getting-to-know-you chat during which I found out far more about Granny than I did about her daughter, whose name escapes me.  God help her… she is a meek individual and with a mother-in-law like that, who is a nurse and had five kids, she doesn't stand a chance.

I had that "I'm going to cry" feeling for a while but thankfully it passed, and the group went well.  In addition to hearing the baby's heartbeat and finding out my weight and BP are coming along well, I got to see how other pregnant women were coming along.  I'm the only one with ongoing nausea, not surprising, but I got lots of sympathy there.  I got to peek at different kinds of bellies, and to see how different women were handling some of the challenges.

I was afraid that the nutrition part would be boring and basic but it wasn't too bad.  There is a hard-core vegan in my group and some others who aren't starting from scratch, so I wasn't too bored.  I figure I can always learn more and shouldn't roll my eyes if we're going through stuff I think I know anyway. 

All in all I'm glad I'm doing Centering Pregnancy and I do hope to bond with these women.  I wanted to be a baby and say that Granny "ruined" the first day for me, but it's my day and not for anyone stupid to ruin.  I think maybe today was my "stupid pregnant comment" cherry because this was the first really noticeable one. 

Good to get that out of the way, and I just have to get used to it.

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