Saturday, September 24, 2005

in which I grumble a lot before winding it up with a happy ending

I've been going to an antenatal yoga class for fourteen weeks now, ever since I was twelve weeks pregnant. While the yoga is enjoyable, the experience itself has been largely disappointing as I thought getting together with a bunch of pregnant women each week would lend itself to feeling I was a part of a sorority. I thought that if we didn't all become friends, we'd at least share something positive with each other.


While it's not an openly hostile environment, there's definintely something hinky existing between them, the rest of the class who are all second and third time mums, and me, the wide eyed first timer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's a difference between offering advice based on experience, and spitting out the words 'You have NO idea what you're in for.'. Well no, I don't, but thankyou for sharing your malicious joy at the prospect of me falling on my arse once I'm exposed to what I AM in for.

At first I thought the advice was meant to be helpful, that the words were delivered with a virtual pat on the head and that the unspoken message was to go with the flow and take each day as it comes, but after hearing essentially the same thing each week from the same people, my rose coloured glasses fell off and I realised their subtext is probably more of the 'Oh, please. Keep planning just as you are, because I know it's going to all come crashing down around you, and I can't wait' variety, complete with rubbing together of hands, and punctuated by an evil cackle or three.

I don't understand why they seem to resent first time mums for our ignorance. Do they resent us because we've not yet changed a million poopie diapers, or that we haven't yet worn our baby's vomit down our shirtfront? Is it because we're not yet worn out and desperate from too many sleepless nights? If so, why? It's ahead of us, we all know that, but why insist it be with us now? Why not allow us this time of innocent delusions, and why be so maliciously gleeful at our potential downfalls? Why do they resent first-time motherhood and why do birds sing so gay? I often overhear conversations between them, and they DO think life is wonderful life with their already born children, so why do they do they only tell us the horror stories? They all hit out with the bad news, then turn among themselves and wax lyrical about the good stuff, leaving us reeling (and personally? wondering if I'm going to turn into the same herald of sweetness and light once I pop this kid. Hell, I'd probably be included in all the joy then)

Seriously, if I utter one negative word to any hopeful and eager, newly pregnant woman, kick me. Hard.

(Oh, and the other day? Not while at yoga, mind, but elsewhere, I overheard a conversation between some motherfuckers, and the bile they directed at pregnant women who aren't the size of a side of beef was kind of shocking! Fuck me. I've been cruising through life believing everyone thinks as I do, that we're all equal, regardless of our size and even if we're all different, but apparently, popular opinion is that we less-than-portly gestational units are also lesser humans who must have a lot of leisure time in which to remain so unacceptably within normal weight ranges. Yes I'm pregnant and quite possibly hormonal, but I don't think I was being oversensitive because I literally heard these socialogical geniuses say that we're also shallow, and have no idea of what the so called real world is like. I'm assuming we can substitute the word 'real' for 'life with bigger thighs'. Newsflash sweetheart, I work like a damn dog, firstly because I need the goddamn money, but also because the idea of obesity literally scares the bejeezus out of me. I worked damned hard to gain weight, and my world is NOT easy, and I wouldn't even wish it on you, you judgmental and intolerant freak. If I could, I'd be more relaxed and probably gain a few more kilos, but I've gained an acceptable amount of weight, and it's been hard to do, but I've done it and am still doing it for my baby. My doctor is pleased with my progress, so who are you to stand there and judge me, and others like me, because of the size of our arses? You have no idea of their story either, but rather than accepting them as they are, you've got to create some fantasy and discuss, within my earshot, how life is much easier for them than it was for you, and of course, what shallow people they must be. You know, if I could, I'd give it all up in a heartbeat. I'd take that leisure time you're so sure I have, but I can't afford to, because I don't have anyone to help me pay the bills when I'm too tired to work. You have no idea what anyone else's life is like, bitches, so shut your pieholes. Here's a tip: when you're talking behind someone's back, they're not supposed to hear you. If you talk where they can hear you, you're just showing the world how fucked up you are.

Now where was I? )

Imagine my joy when another first time mum joined our lynch mob yoga class a few weeks ago! Michelle is ten years younger than me, and ten weeks more pregnant, and we just clicked. It's funny how that happens, isn't it? When it's so easy to talk with someone you've just met, so realistically, you know nothing about each other so have nothing in common to click with. But I digress...these days, we set our mats up together, and take cover at the back of the room where the dried up old grinches more experienced mothers can't find us and scratch our eyes out. Despite our age difference, we have a lot in common. Usually, we don't get much time to talk as we both need to rush off after class, but yesterday, we both had the afternoon free, so we waddled on to the cafe for a spot of afternoon tea and a chat....and we ended up leaving at 7.30pm, some five and a half hours (and several pee breaks) after we arrived.

But I'm ahead myself. At one point in the afternoon, talk inevitably turned to baby names. Michelle and her partner, Luke, are having a girl, and while they'd like to name her Charlotte Olivia Hisname, she can't, because the Hisname component means the Charlotte's intials would then COC, and for obvious reasons, no. *ahem* That's not the point of this story though, the point is that when I heard the name Hisname, I sat up and said 'that's not a very common name, is it?' and she concurred.

Hang on. Luke Hisname? Could his grandmother's name possibly be Esther? And on her affirmative, I promptly fell off my chair.

My Auntie Esther is his nanna, my nanna is his Auntie Jean, and Luke's father is my mother's cousin. We're related, for cryin' out loud!

When we finally worked out this relationship, I'm sure that, in utero, both babies (what with babies being so sentient and all) slapped their little hands on their respective little foreheads and exclaimed 'well it's about damn time. We worked it out AGES ago!', as just before we began talking about names, we were discussing how one could quite possibly pass a close relative in the street and have no idea they were related - and there we were, meeting up each week with no idea that the children we're carrying are cousins! Criminy, I even met Luke last week, and missed the family resemblence until I met him again last night (me: Hi Luke. We're cousins! him: Uh Michelle, who's the lunatic you've brought into our home? ). He looks like his father who, in my opinion, looks like his cousin, who is my uncle and who, in turn, my brother most closely resembles. (huh?!)

I can't stop smiling because this coincidence is so good!

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