First I couldn't put in a tagboard, now this. Clearly, technology hates me. As does my favorite copywriting client, who, for the third time this week, asked me to do rush ad copy in the space of a working day. When I could have been doing important things, like playing Temple of Elemental Evil, or giving myself a pedicure, or blogging.
Perhaps because I neglected it for so long, my blog is now taking revenge?
Post-Partum Digression: part 9 of an 11-part essay
The Eighth Month
One last ultrasound later, I was panicking, having abruptly come to the belated realization that this child had just one actual exit path from my body, and it was not a large one. I squinted over and over again at the ultrasound printout, trying in vain to understand the blatantly non-Euclidean geometry of it all: big, roundish uterus; long, narrow vaginal passage. No wonder I had failed Math 1 in college, because it sure looked impossible to me.
What’s more, I was worried because I had yet to enroll in Mommy School. This was where I figured all mothers had to study before giving birth, thus explaining the universality of Mommy Sayings. You know, those immortal yet not exactly logical gems all mothers seem to spout in common, such as: “Kung ahas lang ‘yan, kinagat ka na”, “If your friend told you to jump in a lake, would you do it?”, and my personal favorite, “Kung ang asong hindi umuuwi hinahanap, ikaw pa kaya!?” I worried that my lack of a proper education in such motherly wisdom would be bad for our daughter.
Oh, yes, the ultrasound showed that our child was going to be a girl. “This is your baby’s labia,” the technician told my husband.
Embarrassed to be discussing his daughter’s genitalia, Dean quickly muttered, “Yes, yes, thank you.”
Undeterred, the tech continued relentlessly, “The labia, sir, is the opening of—“
“Iknowwhatalabiais!” Dean yelped hurriedly. (Strictly speaking, of course, he should have said, “I know what labia are”, but my otherwise grammatical husband was stressed, so let’s cut him some slack.)
Anyway, what with all my concern about my baby’s future and my own bodily limitations, it was a comfort to at least be able to envision my little kiddo, adorably arrayed in pigtails and pastels—looking, in fact, very much like a wedding cake. Good thing she’d be too young to mind!
Of course, even amid my estrogen-fueled maternal imaginings, it did not escape my notice that, since the baby turned out not to be a boy, the implication of everyone’s earlier impolite comments was that I was now just plain pangit, with a swollen nose, bad skin, and not even a convenient excuse for it anymore. As if it wasn’t bad enough that my own labia would soon be stretched beyond belief, and would probably end up as weird and frilly-looking as those of some girls I’d seen in porn magazines!
Would finally getting to see my very own bundle of joy make up for having a nose like Karl Malden and genitalia like a Dendrobium orchid? I searched my limited fund of Mommy Sayings for enlightenment, but “Eat your food, there are children starving in China” hardly made for a satisfactory answer.