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The Peanut Proclamation

jobelly2Mood: Chipper
Drinking: Diet Dr. Pepper

I’m going to be an aunt soon.

My sister is gorgeously, beautifully pregnant with an ever-growing bump that we’ve been calling “Peanut”.

He’s a first for the Witmer clan. First grandchild for my parents, first baby for my sister, and the first time I’ve ever been so close to a pregnancy.

Friends have popped out wee progenies here and there over the years, and I’ve been there at baby showers and first birthdays. But I’ve never been so involved before.

Last weekend I attended a birthing class with my sister, and was quickly overwhelmed by just how much I do not know about this whole process.

You’d think, being in possession of a womb myself, that I would be a little better informed. But I’m also a member of the Unused Uterus Club at work (where myself and my fellow Unused Uterians are surrounded by women who’ve already gone where we few, thus far, fear to tread.)

I think my mother was afraid I’d be either terrified or grossed out by the class (and the incredibly crisp, unedited videos) and make my Unused Uterus Club Membership permanent.

But just the opposite happened. My dad attributes my stoic stomach to growing up on a farm and watching hundreds of newborn creatures — puppies, kittens, lambs, goats, etc. — make their somewhat slimy but no less miraculous way into the world. I’m sure that’s part of it.

But the avalanche of new information was ultimately what won me over… learning about the four stages of labor and the way the body readies itself for what is to come. I had no idea, and now I’m utterly fascinated.

I’ve always thought of pregnancy as nine months of waiting for the torture of childbirth. Yes, a miraculous new life is growing inside of you, but at some point it’s going to need to come out, and the coming out part is going to hurt.

But the pain is just part of the process, I think. And I know I’m saying this from a safe and painless vantage point — unused uterus and all. But after the birthing class and talking to my sister and thinking about the millions of women who’ve already been there, well. I think the actual act of parenting is much more daunting than the few hours of birthing.

I’ll get the inside story in a few months from my sister herself, as she crosses over to a place I’ve never been.

All our lives, I’ve gone first. First to drive, to date, to drink. First to get a bicycle, and then a horse. First to break curfew, first to leave home. And now, finally, she gets to take the lead.

I know she’ll be amazing.

And I? I’ll be an aunt!

-Lo, who has big plans for Peanut’s punk rock t-shirt collection.

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