March 15, 2005

Formulaic Strictures

Math/science majors should not get pregnant. -This has nothing to do with gender issues; this is about peace of mind, even sanity.

Ever since getting pregnant I've wondered if I could just come up with the right combination of foods to eat, foods to avoid, optimal sleep time, number of trips to the bathroom and a host of other variables - if I just get it right, I could avoid nausea, insomnia and other bad things associated with early pregnancy.

Last night I confess I actually started thinking in mathematical terms. --If I take an integral over time from zero to nine months and make sure there are multiplying factors for family history and difficulty of pregnancy, factor in the variables... --

I'm sure some researcher somewhere would get a kick out of the resulting trial equation I created today:
[av(i)^2][w/x)^2x + avi(b/xy) + av(cz) ≈health
0 i

I won't bore those of you who aren't math geeks, but there are actually terms there for how compounds like raffinose affect me, the way milk seems to help, and the impact of drugs on my ability to sleep through the night.

As I said, math/science majors shouldn't get pregnant. It does weird things to the brain.

My husband has been a saint in all this - making his own meals (which he usually does anyway, since he cooks more often than I do), putting up with accumulating dirty laundry and clutter, and insisting on helping out wherever he can. He says he's made a discovery about the 'protect/provide' switch that flipped on in his head the day we got married: it isn't a switch, but a dial. Apparently impending offspring crank the dial 'to eleven,' to quote Nigel of Spinal Tap. He's completely remodeled the upstairs bathroom, drawn hot baths for me, provided shoulder rubs, and willingly reads through pregnancy books with me. I married a prince among men, beyond a doubt.

I've grumbled a bit (to myself, spouse and friends) about the changes necessary during pregnancy; some have been harder than others. Though I like food, I'm not terribly keen on eating regularly - I'd rather read. It's hard for me to make myself eat throughout a day. Pregnancy requires me to be on a more structured timetable that's not really under my control. Though I like structure, I like it when I create it. Too often I consider freedom to be what's outside enforced structure...

Today I was reading some of Madeleine L'Engle's book, A Circle of Quiet, and I came on these words:
'It is our bones, our structure [the skeleton] which frees us to dance, to make love. Without our structure we would be an imprisoned, amorphous blob of flesh, incapable of response. The amoeba has a minimum of structure, but I doubt if it has much fun.'

So... I must confess I don't want to claim as offspring a creature formed outside of the structures of gestational period, uterus, and human developmental cycles. If I accept the structures, there are strictures [restrictions] that result.

Upshot? I'll finish with this line and munch some ever-present unsalted soda crackers to carry my stomach through the early evening hours. Buenas noches, lectores.

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