Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Belly...You're Belly

I was initially reluctant to blog about my pregnancy because I do believe that it is a private matter, but I have to share the funny stories associated with it!

Firstly, there's the issue of breaking the ice with Aviva. Any 18 month old would be devastated the day she realizes that she will no longer be the center of the universe for her two young, energetic parents (haha... we'll see how young and energetic we are after #2)! So in order to gradually break the ice with Aviva, Josh naturally wanted to talk to her about Imma's tummy. A few times a day, Josh would ask Aviva, "Aviva, say hello to the baby in Imma's tummy!" I know people think this is cute, but I honestly got a little worried. First, I thought she was going to get completely freaked out that there was a living thing inside me worthy of saying hello to (and not just the dinner protruding from my stomach), but secondly - I thought Aviva was going to start thinking that EVERY adult had a baby in their stomach! I had an image of her approaching teenagers, adults, grandparents, rabbis pointing to their tummies and saying, "Baby!!!!"

Well... that's SORT OF what happened.

Aviva believes there is a baby in her belly. In fact, she is so obsessed with her belly, when you ask where her tummy is, she'll roll up her sweater, shirt, and undershirt and point directly into her belly button. The belly button thing has become such an obsession, her babysitter had to mention something about it to me. She asked me if Aviva's stomach was bothering her because she is constantly lifting up her shirt and scratching/rubbing her belly button so much so that she is actually getting a rash in there!

All in all it is very cute. When Aviva says the word "baby" her pitch rises like 8 octaves and she starts to do a cradling/swaying motion. She also performs another antic her father taught her. She looks at my belly, puts her head against it and says HELLOOOOOOOOOO... as in "Hello In There!!!" As if my belly is some sort of haunted house.

I'm embarrassed to admit, but I took Aviva to the OB with me recently. The fact that we don't live near family and don't really know a lot of people is constantly causing a problem in the babysitting department. I figured, hey - I could probably take Aviva with me to the OB, just once even - it won't be so bad.


Well she was relatively wonderful the entire time in the waiting room watching the fish in the aquarium and eating her snack. However, when the nurse called me back and it was time to take my blood pressure - Freak Out #1 occurred. The second the nurse wrapped the arm band around me, Aviva burst into tears. I felt honored honestly, she thought the lady was hurting me for crying out loud!! Murphy's law had it that the machine didn't work the first time, so I ended up getting 2 blood pressure checks to Aviva's great delight. There I was sitting on the chair with a toddler in my lap getting my blood pressure taken. What a life.

I think Aviva's favorite part of the trip was the urine sample. She loved coming into the large bathroom with me and found the entire thing fascinating. Hey! Maybe this is step one to potty training! Mothers - bring in those children for the urine samples!!

But lastly and worst of all was when I met with the Dr. in the exam room. Aviva was reading her books so nicely when the doctor asked me to lean back in the chair so he could listen to the baby's heart beat. Aviva FREAKED OUT when he used the device on my stomach. So there I was once again - on an exam chair... with a child on my lap... trying to allow the Dr. to hear my baby's heart beat....

You get the picture.

All I can say was that the doctor was really understanding. Actually - I can say something else: I am never bringing Aviva to the OB with me again. I love her dearly, but the thrill of the urine sample sure does not justify the stress I went through to get us out of there in one piece.

Last and final item: The temperature in the house.

Oh man, I wish I lived in an Igloo. I say it's always better to be cold because you can always layer up as opposed to being hot when there's only so much you can take off. I'm not used to being the hot one. My husband grew up with a relatively cool temperature house and whenever we visit my in laws the basement is always sub-zero weather (my kind of environment these days). I'm also from Detroit, so I love the winter weather as well.

So you can imagine when it's 30 degrees in the early Iowa morning and lasts that way until it reaches about 50 mid-day, it's bound to get cold in the house! In fact, it was so cold overnight that I would get Aviva in the morning and feel that her hands and fingers were complete ice! I felt really bad... but I was so reluctant to turn the heat on. Call me selfish, but when the mama isn't comfortable - no one is comfortable!!

Ok, ok, don't worry I wouldn't do that to my daughter (or my husband, ,who began sleeping with the covers up to his nose which kind of reminded me of Steve Martin in Father of the Bride II when he wears a complete Eskimo outfit in L.A. because his house was set to like 50 degrees for his pregnant wife and daughter). So I succumbed to the horrible pressure and turned on the heat. My muscles begin to tense when I even hear the word. Here I am, barely sleeping at night, sweating during the day all so that my love ones don't freeze to death in the Iowa winter. Just another small gesture of selflessness (albeit a little common sense).

Ok - my secret is that sometimes I crack open a window even when the heat is on just to get some fresh air during the day. I dare not publicize this because I know all the men in my life - my husband, my father, my father in law, etc. would probably have nightmares and stomach ulcers if they found out I was doing such a horrible thing wasting such energy and money.

That's why I don't really do it... only when I'm desperate.

Hopefully all of these issues will be resolved by the end of December, G-d willing. I am very thankful for all the blessings in my life and just like to add a little humor to the current situation!!


BeckySimkovich said...

I must admit I was wondering how you were doing out there in Iowa, and now I got the inside scoop! Reading your blog is so enjoyable! & I must tell you that this only further confirms my thought that if I were ever deserted on a dessert island, I would definitley want a Malkie Stawis with me- your opptimism, clarity, and love of life is really inspirational! Josh, Aviva, the barefoot kids and all of Iowa are lucky to have you!
I look forward to reading more!
All the best,

Anonymous said...

YOu are so funny. I can't imagine you being a "hot" person, even while pregnant. And I have this vision of you sneaking over to a window, opening it, and gulping down air like it was some type of illegal drug.Hilarious!
I'll come babysit. New Yorkers probably think Chicago and Des Moines are like an hour away from eachother anyway!

Rachelz said...

hey, for some reason the site deleted my name from my comment. That was was me, sorry malks.

am i really a kollel wife? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Netanya said...

I can relate. I was sick for the last couple of months of my pregnancy so Eliana came to the dr with me often. She loved the waiting room but hated when he checked me. One time I took her with me when I went to do a urine sample. From then on EVERY time I went to the bathroom she said "cup!"

She also used to say there was a baby in her tummy and in some other people's tummies (like her grandparents') but not everyone's. I just yesterday showed her pictures from the end of my pregnancy and asked her what was in Mommy's tummy and she said "Ami," so she really gets it! I used to always tell her "there's a baby in Mommy's tummy and one day it will come out and you can give it a bottle and help change its diapers and share your toys with it, etc." I also pointed out other mommies with babies in their tummies (in real life and in magazines), and when we saw a new baby I would tell her "that baby was in mommy's tummy and now it came out." I think it really helped.

BTW, Gil gave a speech in Iowa City last week. I would have told you but I know it's not exactly close to Des Moines.

Etana said...

Lovin the blog!! You're such a great writer and i love reading about your life in iowa! keep it up, Etana

Deenie said...

Malks! That's hysterical! I just love Aviva. I'm sorry she had to go through that traumatic experience. I can just picture it in my head. You're doing a great job juggling 1 1/2 kids! Keep up the writing. I love reading about your fun life in Iowa.