It's been a pretty entertaining few days around here. On Tuesday, our first Hypnobirthing class. More about that in a minute. On Wednesday, my glucose test (from which I have no results yet, so I'm still eating under the assumption that I have no GD). And yesterday afternoon, for reasons we cannot fathom, my brilliant, thoughtful, generally sensible four year old son stuck a bead up his nose at school, resulting in a three hour visit to the ER where they were unable to extract the thing, and a subsequent visit to the ENT today (where they were much more successful, having done this "hundreds of times" said the doctor), effectively killing a day at work. S. said that someone in our Hypnobirthing class mentioned how they're looking forward to the pregnancy being over so that they can relax ... and while I'll be glad to be out of these particular woods, too, both of us had to laugh. Honey, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
In our Hypnobirthing class, we were broken into small groups to make lists of the positive things about our pregnancies. At first, I felt like I didn't have much to contribute. I started thinking back over the pregnancy, over the tenuous first trimester into the second trimester, constantly expecting this to end. I thought about how much has gone unsaid between me and S. about this pregnancy and this baby, partly because of the specter of the other pregnancies that have come before it. I thought about my job, and the current arrangement to replace me while I'm on leave, and implications for what will happen when I finally return. None of these things seemed terribly positive.
But once the others started talking, I found I had some things to say. "No AF," said one. "Being welcomed into the circle of mothers," said another. "New friends," I added, thinking about the IF blogosphere and other followers here. That has less to do with pregnancy, but the support I've gotten from readers has definitely been one of the "bright sides" of these past few months.
Hypnobirthing is largely about removing the fear of birth and looking on the "bright side" so that one can relax in childbirth, allowing the body to do what it knows how to do. I'm hoping that these next few weeks of class help me not only to have a more positive (even if not pain-free) birth experience, but also to be a better parent and person. Perhaps even to be more calm when my child does something stupid that lands all of us in the ER waiting room.
There's a completely irreverent scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where they're on the cross, right before the credits begin to roll, singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." The scene is ironic, because of course the main character in the movie is destined for his demise, but Britons have adopted the song, and it was even sung by the crew of a destroyer during the Falklands War, as they were waiting to be rescued from their sinking ship. There's definitely power in looking at the "bright side" ... not in being a Pollyanna, mind you (people like that drive me nuts), but in finding the thing that keeps us going during our darkest hours, even if the end of the tunnel is nowhere in sight.
I'm not going to say that baked goods are my "bright side of life," or that my kitchen has pulled me out of despair at any point in my life. Cookies are only magical in Alice in Wonderland and in Alexander and the Magic Mouse. But when I think about my reasons for baking--which, most times, have to do with giving people something to smile about, it does sort of relate. The "bright side," for me, has always been about human connection. And as I continue to amass the holiday cookie hoard in our freezer, I'm looking forward to sharing these, either on a well-wrapped plate, or over a cup of tea pr hot mulled cider, with a generous side of conversation and companionship, hopefully a little bit closer to a full term, completely relaxed and joyful positive childbirth experience.
Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 1/4 c. dried cranberries
2/3 c. coarsely chopped white chocolate
orange zest (about one orange, zested)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda; stir into butter mixture one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.