Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shut up about pregnancy, already.

Pregnancy seems, at least to me, to be a singularly wordless activity. You can describe it, sure; you can opine; you can absorb, and give, bad advice about labor and edema and soft cheeses and wine; you can try to make something literary of it.

But it comes down to this: you shut your mouth and push out a kid.

It's the oldest- and possibly the most boring- story in the book, which does not seem to prevent mother after mother from reading it backwards and forwards, not to mention talking about it to anyone who will listen.  I get it: Never have I given so much thought to my innards or what goes in them or what might, conceivably at the end of the day, come out.

(Conceivably is the wrong word, as it's pretty much inconceivable, at this stage, that a baby WON'T appear.  I'm 39 weeks knocked up, and conception is long, long in the past.)

But I haven't written about pregnancy.  Nor have I written about much of anything else beyond the writing I've been doing for my two paid gigs. 

(Sidelight: In this age of new media, the two outlets for which I've managed to be hired to write regularly are newspaper and radio.  This appeals to my sense of the morbid.)

I think the banality of the experience that's muzzled me.  Pregnancy, childbirth, raising kids- these are near universal experiences that -in a cruel twist of fate- every women woman experiences afresh.  And consequently, the experiences are, to everyone but their experiencers, dull.  Pregnancy eats your words.  Gain a baby, lose your voice.

It's not as bad as it sounds.  But it is -quiet.