bumpwatch terror alert: week 29

one of my friends told me that she doesn’t understand these pregnancy photos & can’t gauge how big i am getting because of “the flash” in them. i was super-confused because i take these photos in a mirror & obviously don’t use any flash because i know it would obscure the image. i still have no idea what the hell she was talking about. i even took a photo right in front of her & showed it to her on my camera without any photobucket alterations & she was like, “yeah, i can’t really tell what you look like.” rationally, i feel that an inability to understand a photo is something weird on her part, but i’d be lying if i didn’t admit that it made me feel self-conscious about these photos. i don’t think i am necessarily getting appreciably bigger from week to week, but you can see the bump, which is all that really matters. i don’t know. the whole thing totally weirded me out.

so, after much hullaballoo, i got my hands on a blood pressure machine & blood pressure medication yesterday. i got the machine from the hospital pharmacy. my regular pharmacy told me that was the way to go because the hospital pharmacy can bill my medicare for a “medical device” & i can be reimbursed for the expense. of course, when i inquired about it, the pharmacist was all, “yeah, they are really cracking down on that & it’s probably not even worth filling out the paperwork.” when i explained that a doctor had actually ordered the machine for me, & i stepped back from the counter so he could see that i’m legit pregnant, he changed his tune. it was kind of annoying because he walked me through all the paperwork like i’d never filled out a form before. it was mostly just filling in my name, address, & medicare claim number over & over again. the last page was a survey about my experience at the hospital pharmacy, & he said, “what we like to see here is all fives,” & then sat there & watched while i circled all the fives. even on stuff that was totally inapplicable, like “ease of use for product,” “product safety,” & “explanation of how product works” (he did not explain how it worked). i considered answering more honestly, but i was late for my doula’s breastfeeding class & just wanted to get out of there without any strife. it was uncool though.

when i rolled into the breastfeeding class, i realized that i knew one of the other pregnant ladies there. & i was not pleased about it. i mean, we’re all adults, we can go ahead & have babies any time we want, no one needs my permission. but this is like the third person that i don’t really like at all that is pregnant at the same time as me. i wish one of my close bros was having a baby at the same time as me–just one? please? to balance out all these assholes & nitwits? not that it really matters; it’s not like our kids will necessarily play together or anything. but i was especially upset to see this woman the day after being diagnosed with such a serious pregnancy complication because we have had some major arguments in the past over things like medicare. which basically boiled down to arguments over whether disabled people deserve to live. i mean, if you are seriously arguing that you don’t deserve access to health care if you have health conditions that prevent you from working for an employer that offers health care or making money so you can buy a policy on the open market, you’re basically arguing for disabled people to just go die in a corner. i really don’t think i’m being hyperbolic here.

i had been thinking that morning about how grateful i am that my health care will cover the lion’s share of my suddenly super-intense & expensive prenatal care (i have to have a biophysical profile done every week for the rest of my pregnancy, & each one would cost me at least $500 out of pocket without insurance), & then here’s this awful woman sitting there, all knocked up. obviously i am feeling a little extra-protective of the baby right now, & i could barely stand to be sitting in the same room as someone that i know holds such vile opinions about the health care i need to keep my baby healthy. she has not historically been the best at understanding that our differences of opinion are actually fucking serious & not just a whimsical lark that i’m willing to overlook, so i was really nervous that she might try to chat with me after class. thankfully, i think one of the numerous times that i informed her that her political viewpoints make her a horrible monster of a person actually sunk in, because she just got the hell out of there once we were dismissed. here’s hoping she takes the same approach if we ever run into each other on the playground. here’s hoping even more that becoming responsible for a tiny life imbues her with some degree of compassion for other people.

i started trying to figure out my blood pressure machine when i got home, & it kept giving me crazy high readings, like 154/126. i mean, my blood pressure is on the high side, but that’s taking it a bit far. i had a friend come over to serve as a control & his reading was also abnormally high. but i think i figured it out. the cuff needs to be positioned just so for an accurate reading. i’m still getting high-ish numbers, but they’re not completely beyond the pale. i am still absorbing all of this new info & recalibrating my feelings about the pregnancy, but between my perfect bloodwork, lack of edema, & decent home blood pressure, i’m hoping i can avoid a super-premature delivery. my goal right now is to make it to 37 weeks. i just want the baby to have nice mature lungs & be able to breathe on its own. i told my doula that a week ago, i was just focused on getting ready for a newborn & not really thinking about the pregnancy that much. now the newborn aspect is totally on the back burner while i put all my energy into sustaining this pregnancy to term. so much of the stuff i cared about a lot before seems really unimportant right now. i’m glad that jared & i are mostly all set for the baby. all i really need to do is prep our diapers, install the car seat, & put together a labor bag. i’m so relieved i don’t have a bunch of last-minute shopping to do. people may have laughed at me for taking care of so much of that early in the pregnancy, before the baby showers, but thank god i did.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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