Wednesday, December 15, 2010
But my most recent lesson came at church. I wish I could say it was something touching, like some parenting advice. But the lesson I learned came directly from this child I haven't met yet. The lesson? Do not sit in the middle of the pew.
Before I explain how this lesson was taught to me, let me back up. Not long ago, I started feeling little flutters and kicks. Over time, they got stronger as the baby has gotten bigger. Until Sunday, they had been amusing little bits of punctuation to my day. When my stomach growls, the baby kicks and punches as if to tell me to eat already and knock off the racket. If I lay on my left side, soon I will feel insistent knocks and kicks as the baby tells me to roll over, the left side is not his or her favorite. The Jackson Five played loudly in the car prompts a flurry of kicks and jabs.
But Sunday, as I sat in the middle pew, enjoying the music and the sermon, suddenly I felt a different kind of kick. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, and felt it again. A third time, it was clear: the baby found my bladder, and was using it as a springboard.
The last 10 minutes stretched on interminably. I looked to my right, and realized I couldn't get out without making a scene. I looked to my left, and well, same thing. I looked at the program, and the clock on my cell phone, surreptitiously. All the while, little baby Erickson was doing half gainers off my bladder.
And then the least convenient thing happened: the service kept going. What was meant to be an hour suddenly turned into an hour and 10 minutes, then 15 minutes. I fidget and look at my cell phone again. An old lady shot me a disapproving look. I fidgeted again. I prayed (hey - it was church) for bladder control. I prayed for a time machine that would allow me to sit on the aisle, or put on a diaper.
Finally, 20 minutes late, the service mercifully ended. I bolted for the restroom, and for the first time took away a plaything from my child - my bladder.
So once again, I've learned something new about being pregnant, and in a not necessarily convenient way. What lessons do you remember learning with your first pregnancy?
Bethany Erickson is 22 weeks pregnant and the wife of Texas Health Resources web editor Tom Erickson.