Sunday, November 25, 2007 posted by Jen at 11/25/2007 06:05:00 PM
This year, my husband, the girl and I hosted eighteen people for Thanksgiving.
If there are any other nine months' pregnant women reading this, let me just say that, surprisingly, it worked out okay.
I knew I’d be tired, and I was. I also knew I’d have lots of help, with the shopping and the cooking and the cleaning and the chasing-after-the-four-year-old, and I did.
I wasn’t counting on being quite so crabby and exhausted, but crabby and exhausted are sort of my natural state, so I don’t think any of our guests were too surprised.
The food was delicious – my husband’s turkey and duck and stuffing, my mother-in-law’s sweet potatoes, the desserts our guests bought and the side dishes I ordered from Whole Foods and my fabulous sister-in-law reheated while I lay down for five minutes which turned into an hour and a half-long nap (in my defense, I’d been up since four in the morning, not because I was stuffing a turkey or setting a table, but because I couldn’t sleep…and is there anything worse than not being able to sleep knowing that soon enough you’re going to be able to sleep because you’ll have a baby keeping you up all night?)
Of course I ordered about twice as much food as we needed, which means I'll be eating reheated green bean casserole from now until D-Day, but better too much than too little.
Thanksgiving highlights included…
Anonymous Relative One, being driven through our neighborhood, asking whether neighborhoods in Philadelphia were divided by race or ethnicity, and me saying, “This is a nice neighborhood, and all kinds of people live here,” and AR1 raising an eyebrow and saying, “You call this NICE?!?!” (I said, “I guess not,” and my husband and I spent the rest of the weekend singing “In the Ghetto” to each other and quietly musing whether AR1’s assessment of our depraved and impoverished conditions might at some point result in a large bequest.)
Anonymous Relative Two complaining at great and voluble length about the unnecessary expense of calling information on one’s cell phone…then asking my sister to hand her my telephone. And calling information.
AR2 explaining, at great and voluble length, that the only reason she did that was because she doesn’t know how to call information on her own cell phone. (“And those buttons are very small!”)
AR2 being unable to tell me how she knows that calling information on a cell phone is expensive if she’s never done it.
My sister, crabby after tending to her four-year-old nieces and fourteen-month-old nephew after a vigorous night on the town, snapping, “You people need to stop breeding!”
My husband accidentally lighting his stuffing recipe on fire.
My mother proudly describing how she prepared a post-Thanksgiving meal of scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie for my daughter and her mother.
Me (examining pumpkin pie for potential post-movie snacking potential): “Mom, this pie is moldy.”
Mom: “Oh, no, it’s not.”
Me: “There are green circles of mold on this pie.”
Mom: “That’s just from the whipped cream. I scraped that part off!”
Me (holding pie as evidence): “There are GIANT GREEN CIRCLES OF MOLD ON TOP OF THIS PIE AND YOU SERVED IT TO YOUR MOTHER.”
Mom (fumbling for glasses, examining pie): “Oh. Oh, dear.”
Mom: “You’re not going to put this on your blog, are you?”
Thing that I’m most thankful for: the baby is no longer breech!
The flip from head-up to head-down was one of the most disconcerting sensations of my life. One minute I was just driving around in the minivan. The next minute my abdomen went rigid. I figured it was either a Braxton-Hicks contraction, or a contraction-contraction, and that either way, it would stop after a minute or two…except it didn’t. The pain got worse, and I started feeling nauseous, and then it would ease up slightly, then start again. This went on for more than an hour, and I finally called my doctor even though I wasn’t sure what was going on other than that I was feeling extremely uncomfortable, but by the time I heard back the pain had gone away.
A few days later I went in for my checkup and another ultrasound. “Nothing’s happening,” I said dolefully…but, sure enough, something had, and the baby is now properly head down.
“Nobody knows why babies decide to turn,” my doctor informed me.
“Oh, I know,” I said. “It was the massages.”
See, in addition to the swimming and rocking on all fours, and shining a flashlight on my belly and pinching my little toes and sending positive empowering messages down south, I’ve been getting eighty-minute prenatal massages every week, which we can afford, on account of saving money by living in the ghetto.
I have no idea whether they’re recommended or not, but they are HEAVENLY, and I am convinced that that’s what did the trick…much to my husband’s dismay. “What do you think got the baby moving?” he asked, and I said, “expensive massages!” and he made the universal face of Why Do I Even Ask You These Things?
Thing I am second most thankful for: We went out to see “Enchanted” and to have a burger last night, and I got carded.
I repeat: a man standing underneath a sign saying “IF YOU LOOK YOUNGER THAN THIRTY BE PREPARED TO SHOW ID” asked to see my license.
I figure, when you walk into a bar when you’re thirty-seven years old and thirty-eight weeks pregnant, you set yourself up for both ends of the Craig Robinson “Knocked Up” doorman lecture (“You old, and she pregnant. Can’t have a lot of old, pregnant bitches running around.”) I was not expecting to be carded, and I know it’s vain and stupid but it kind of made my night.
So now I’m trying to remember Newborn 101, and figure out whether I’ve got everything I need, and thinking that probably I don’t, but I’ve got wipes and diapers and a carseat and a stroller that I haven’t quite figured out yet, and a sling and a Bjorn and some of those one-piece pajamas with the fold-over sleeves, and we’re about 90 percent decided on our names, and I remember the 3 S’s (swaddle, shush and sway). I figure we’ll make up the rest of it up as we go along.
Welcome to A Moment of Jen, author Jennifer Weiner's constantly-updated take on books, baby, and news of the world. Email me at jen (a) jenniferweiner.com.