In my uncle's garden
Monday, January 6, 2003

I'm now at week 24, which seems kind of milestone-y for some reason. It is the week the midwife said I'd start feeling kicks, but I started feeling them last week. They're unmistakable now, these weird little twinges. Sometimes they feel like muscle tics, sometimes they feel like weird gas, and sometimes they feel like tiny electric shocks, like when you stick your tongue on a battery. They never felt like butterflies, which is what most women say; they're much stronger than that, and not so much in the stomach area.

Blake felt Delphine kick yesterday morning. He was pretty thrilled, and also jealous of me. It must be hard being the daddy, having to wait until the baby is born before you can make a real connection with her.

I've had to retire my elegant black wool coat in favour of my funky green metallic parka, which has about an inch more tummy room. I don't know how long it will be good for, but Plan C is my suede jacket with a big sweater underneath. Hopefully that will do me until March or April when it starts to warm up.

I've been thinking about whether we should have a home birth or a hospital birth, and the more I think about it the more I want a home birth. First, we'd have to take a cab to the hospital, which would suck. I don't like riding in cars at the best of times, I can't imagine doing it whilst also dealing with bleeding and leaking and contractions. Then I'd have to deal with stupid hospital bureacracy and rules and forms and people who don't know what's going on, and I'd have to carry out this very personal, very intimate act in a place that is completely foreign to me. Then when it's all over, I will have to haul my sore, exhausted ass home in another cab (after figuring out how to work the baby seat).

I would so much rather give birth in my own home, in familiar surroundings, where I can control the temperature and music and the light, where I know the furniture and the shower and the rooms. I won't have to travel before the labour and I won't have to travel after the delivery, I can just cuddle up in my own bed with my husband and my new baby and start our new life together.

I will talk to the midwife this week about pain management (although I'm not too worried about pain) and mess management (I'm more worried about the mess) with a home birth.

I've also been thinking some more about the money thing I talked about last time, and I've realized my attitude is dangerous. If I continue to feel like the money Blake earns is "Blake's money" I will feel guilty and miserable every time I buy something that isn't specifically for Blake or for the household, and that won't help anything. I have to trust that I will spend our money wisely and that Blake won't resent me for it. Which he won't; I'm not at all worried about how he will feel. The issues are all mine.

The other issue I have is the status thing. You know, how you are identified by your job, and "housewife and mother" doesn't count? And money is power; the one who brings in the money yields (can yield) a disproportionate amount of power; if he wants to buy something, he can, it's his money. If he doesn't want to buy something, he can veto it, it's his money.

Of course, that's not the way it's going to be in reality, because Blake isn't like that, but for some reason that's they way it is in my head. I must have picked it up from the general culture, all those "jokes" where men complain about how much money their wives have spent.

What it boils down to is that Blake will be providing money, which is imperative for survival. I will be filling a more esoteric function, providing comfort and cleanliness and education. Just because I'm higher up on Mazlow's heirarchy doesn't mean I'm less valuable.