Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Strange Sisterhoods

Lately I feel like I've been initiated into a mysterious society -- The Sisterhood of Childbirth. It's a sisterhood which, despite its mysterious nature, has a pretty open membership. All you have to do to join is get pregnant, or hang out really close to someone who is.

In the past I've always avoided this sisterhood, with its scary talk of pain and panic, stretching and soreness, tearing and terror, blood and birth and babies that cry and suck and poop. But now I've taken 2 whole prenatal classes, which qualifies me as, if not a full-fledged member, at least a credentialed auxiliary. I've learned new words, like "doula" and "maconium." I've learned the full meaning of words that have always been on the edge of my vocabulary, like "episiotomy" and "dilation."

It's a very scary society, this Sisterhood. And so I'm standing here now, at the brink of a new journey, full of information about analgesics and birthing balls and contractions and diapers and epidurals, but without any clear view of the road ahead. I know about Fischer-Price and Graco and highchairs and induction and jogging strollers, but not about what this little baby girl we be like or who she is or what kind of life she will lead. After all, the Sisterhood can only prepare you so much. Now that I've passed most of my training, I am about to be pushed out of the nest, along with and Amy and Mookie, to fly on our own as a family.

I think we'll be fine. Really, sure we will.