I’m so pregnant. I gave birth at 37 weeks last time, and as people who have been there know, when your first comes early, you automatically think your second will too.
NOT THE CASE.
I’m a balloon ready to pop. This has definitely been the worst – physically – part of pregnancy yet. I’m a whale, I have no clothes that fit that don’t have holes in them, I refuse to buy more because this baby could come out tomorrow (please let it be tomorrow!), and I am physically ill. I am having false labor contractions constantly (for 3-4 hour chunks twice a day), I’m dilated 5 cm, and I’m not in active labor. I cannot run after my son (I waddle and scream his name when he doesn’t listen), and I’m becoming such a short tempered mom that letting him watch a show on the computer (we don’t have a tv avail) is preferable than screaming his head off over things he doesn’t understand because he’s two. The worst was the feeling that I had food poisoning – which I didn’t – because hey! Getting nauseous at the end is normal. Add that to the fact that my eyesight is shot – something about pressure, etc – and I can’t see anything without seeing two or three of them (like the worst drunk eyesight ever, but without booze), I can’t drive because I have to close one eye to see the lines on the road correctly…everything gives me vertigo.
Wow that was a rant. See, I told you I was in a crummy mood! I really did mean to start this post off about how I watched Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days – the Min Wage edition – after I did the post the other day about living on minimum wage - and ended up crying in the corner while my son watched Thomas the Tank Engine for the 9 millionth time (which is what happens when I’m in a horrible vertigo-induced mood).
Have you watched it? (30 days, not Thomas) If not, and if you don’t want spoilers, don’t read on.
A couple parts really resonated with me.
There was this part in the show when they go to the grocery store and get to the checkout counter, only to find that they are short cash. They have to rummage through what they have and put some things back, while the person at the checkout line waits patiently, silently judging, but not really because he’s on camera. But what happens when people aren’t on camera?
On the Fourth of July, I found myself at Albertson’s at 9pm, using the remaining WIC check that expired on the 5th. There I was, puttering around in a giant maternity dress, checking the ounces on containers to make sure I was within the correct ounce measurement, shopping with WIC amongst people with 36 packs of beer off to parties. When I got to the checkout line, I saw that they had closed all lanes except for the self-checkout – which I couldn’t utilize with WIC. So I asked the lady in charge of the self-checkout what I could do, and she turned her head to her manager on the other side of the room, points at me, and screams, “HEY ION! THIS LADY HAS A WIC CHECK SHE’S TRYING TO USE!” Slowly, everyone’s head swiveled to look at me – me the gigantically pregnant lady holding a WIC check and some eggs, on the fourth of july. I either wanted to melt into the floor or collapse laughing, because seriously! She *could* had screamed louder if she tried.
Morgan’s fiancé, Alex, breaks down when they find the secondhand place that gives out free furniture to people in need. She is crying because what they are doing is so good, so wonderful, and they are benefiting from it. Morgan is excited because there are ladies who made pies and pastry for the people in need. And here I am, crying in the corner of my house.
Because I know what she’s feeling. I know what it’s like to not have furniture, I know even what it’s like for them to have furniture but not have it. We have furniture, just not with us. We are living with one pot, one spatula, 3 bowls, 3 spoons, 3 forks, 1 paring knife, 1 air bed (for our son), some comforters, and a card table and 3 shitty chairs. We’ve been living with these items for the past 2 months. We’ve gotten used to it. It doesn’t phase us anymore, nor does sleeping on the ground phase us anymore. It’s just what we’re doing right now.
But I can tell you that when my SIL lent us her rocking chair so I can have something to sit in to nurse the baby whenever he comes out (now please! Please!), it was like heaven. This old rocking chair with a dusty cushion and worn handles was like angels sang from the heavens and rained pixie dust onto me. I’m so not kidding. I’m sitting in it now. The three of us fight over it. It’s magical.
So I understood what Alex was crying about. I also understood Morgan’s excitement when he saw the ladies with the pastries (!!!) that was free. Our credit union has free cookies and coffee. You can damn well be sure that i’m walking in every time my husband gets a paycheck, depositing it inside the branch, and getting some cookies and coffee on the way out.
It’s amazing the small things that we all take for granted. A bed to sleep in. A chair to sit in. A cookie to eat. The absence of shame when grocery shopping.
These are the things I want to give back when this is all over. I want to make cookies so that people who haven’t been able to afford to buy one, can eat one. I want to make sure that weary people have a place to sit down that isn’t the hard floor. I want to make sure that people have a bed to sleep in – or at least an air mattress or a comforter. I want to make sure that food is available to those that are struggling.
I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to help in the way I want to, but I know that I will somehow. When this is all said and done, when we have money to spare again, you can be damn well sure that I will want to help somehow.
In the meantime, I’ll be focusing on trying to induce labor. Come on baby! Time to move!