Jul. 30th, 2011

lemon_says: (lemonbaby)
When we were little, Beth's family was very cutting edge. They had cable television and a microwave. Sometime around 1980, Beth and I figured that if we rested our heads against the microwave while it was nuking our instant mashed potato snack, we'd get radiation-induced superpowers.

It didn't work.

And yet I have been informed by BabyCenter that it is not wise to stand directly in front of my microwave. This edict isn't really that hard to follow since I don't use it often anyway--although sometimes I like to give P fits by approaching it with a Tupperware container or plastic plate, as if I'm planning to have leached-BPA soup for lunch--but I can't imagine that if a year spent leaning my head against a 1978 microwave didn't give me a brain tumor, two minutes of heating frozen peas isn't going to turn Z3PO into the Invisible Baby.

I still have people ask me if I'm sure it's okay to color my hair. I assume so; I've colored my hair throughout two other pregnancies and neither child seems to have suffered adverse effects or turned redheaded. If I didn't color my hair it would be stark white, and if you think being pregnant and using a cane isn't attention-getting enough, add long, curly white hair to that and see how many funny looks I get. (Yes, I'm only 35. Yes, I went gray at 13. Yes, it's the curse of a heavy dose of Scots/Welsh ancestry. Yes, I KNOW you are amazed. No, I don't feel particularly sympathetic that you--OMG--found a gray hair last week. My natural hair color hasn't seen the light of day in 20 years.)

I'd like to paint the bathroom, but I'm sure if I mention that I would like to do that, I'll have no shortage of people reminding me to wear a mask/use low-VOC paint/wait until after the baby is here. Now, I'm not saying I want to take up a career in the painterly arts; I just want to slap a coat on my bathroom. (Here's also where I admit that I did peel/burn/scrape 70 years worth of lead paint off this house before I knew I was pregnant with Anya, and yes, I still wonder if that's why the child can't find something in her direct line of vision.)

[livejournal.com profile] blakdove's mom keeps reminding her not to lift her arms over her head or her baby will get tangled in the umbilical cord and strangulate. Despite knowing this is untrue, it gives me the willies. You also are not supposed to sleep on your back because the weight of your uterus presses on a major vein and slows your blood supply, thus slowing the blood supply to Our Friend Fetus. This seems like poor engineering, but I have built a small fortress of pillows around me that keep my off my back and keep Devil Hip properly positioned. Sometimes I think I can see P over there, across the pillow fort. I wave hello.

If I order blue cheese dressing, I get sidelong looks from mothers who gave up all soft cheeses while incubating their young. If I mention we had sushi, someone always says, "I hope you didn't get the raw kind." Well, no, I didn't, but thanks for shaming reminding me.

In case you're wondering, there's a whole list of things that should have occurred to me and didn't, and BabyCenter helpfully has a guide to such concerns. (Things that are ok: hair color, waterbeds, Spanx. Things that are not: rock concerts, blackened food, and tooth bleaching.)

I do try to stay on top of these things. I was surprised to learn somewhere mid-second-trimester that I should have stopped using a night cream lotion months prior, and every once in a while someone says, "You aren't still doing X, are you," and I say, "Oh, no, heavens no," and I'm thinking, whoops. Who thinks of this stuff? Waterbeds? Concerts? I thought I was paranoid, but apparently I'm on the low end of the paranoia scale when it comes to safety.

Meanwhile, I still live in fear of refrigerators because of one passage in an A.S. Byatt novel. Because why worry about a practical fear when your refrigerator is out to get you?


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