My friend’s daughter just gave birth to a 10 lb. 7 oz baby.She raced off to see her first grandson, Liam. There was no mistaking him through the window of the nursery. His chubby body filled the isolette. One stander by remarked, “Are you related to the toddler?”
Her experiences flashed me back to the woman I’d roomed with in the hospital years ago. The woman wasn’t the world’s brightest, she basically rowed with one oar. I asked her what she had named her little girl and she remarked, “They already gave her one.”
“What?” I replied.
“It’s on this paper. Her name is Fe-mal-e Jones.”
She’d asked the nurse a question and I heard the answer. “Yes, Pregnancy.” When she left the bed to use the toilet, I whispered to the nurse, “What did she ask?”
The nurse responded, “Is there something I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?” The nurse rolled her eyes and grinned like a Cheshire Cat.
In my birthing class, a woman had asked, “When will my baby move?” The woman next to her who was working on her seventh child grabbed her belly and groaned, “Hopefully, when he finishes college.”
Listening to a huffing woman worry about pregnancy and age, I held back my answer when she’d asked, “Is it okay to have a baby after 35?” I wanted to say to her, “Why not stop at two?”
Vitamins for pregnant women were once capsules with one pink end, the other blue. The doctor told me, “If you want a boy, swallow the blue end first, pink for a girl.”
“Doctor.” I laughed. “Really. What’s the best way to tell?” He looked over his glasses and mumbled, “Childbirth.”
“What about labor pains?” I asked with concern. “Oh, don’t worry about them. It’s more like pressure, just like an air current.” I remembered his words and at my check up said, ” Why didn’t you tell me a tornado is just an air current.”
I grew past the child-bearing years and faced estrogen issues that materialized in strange ways: chocolate chips in cheese omelets, aspirin bottles that empty in a day, days when everyone has an attitude problem, washers that shrink clothes and little key-stealing elves hiding under the beds.
But, I’ve learned there is one phrase that quickly straightens things out. I just reach in my purse and say, “I’d like to show you my new menopausal hand gun.”