Seven weeks along am I; and it really seems so far, far away when I will actually have a large and taut abdomen and not fit into any of my clothes. I guess in a way it still feels bizarre to know that there is something not just growing at an alarming rate, but also causing all these weird changes in my body. I mean… I really cannot believe that I have far more blood and blood vessels than a month ago. I cannot believe that my usually demure, small-plum-sized uterus is well on its way to looking like a large orange– and beyond, to basketball size. *cringe*
Last Wednesday I had my first check-up at “The Tank”– a massive hospital designed in the tradition of Daedalus. Although the most invasive procedure I was subjected to was the drawing of several vials of blood –by possibly the nicest and most flamboyant phlebotomist ever– I got lost three times just trying to figure out where I was going. And, I’m embarrassed to admit, I didn’t even have to change floors. I blame it partly on the Hawaiian tradition of giving directions, which is alive and well in The Tank, in spite of the fact that there are no windows in the endless hallways.
Let me explain:
In Hawaiian tradition, while there are words for the cardinal points (Akau, Hikina, Hepekoma and Hema are North, East, West and South respectively), they are not used for given directions. Instead the locals –and by association or necessity, all who live here– use mauka, going inland, and maka’i, toward the ocean, for ALL directions. And specifically in O’ahu, there are also the added markers “‘Ewa side” and “Diamond Head side” to divide the southwestern and southeastern portions of the island. Everything else, incidentally, is “country” (I am going to guess it is so due to the high incidence of finding chickens everywhere you go).
Okay… so it’s an island. How much of a tough time can you have just using “inland” (or “mountainside”) and “shore side”?
The system actually does work well enough, except for when you can’t see either, of course. Which is where the hospital comes in. Unless you study the floor plan well (and have it with you at all times) the amount of circular hallways will make you get turned around faster than you can say “Humuhumunukunukuapua’a”. And the lack of windows ensures that you never will see whether you’re pathetically shuffling maka’i or humiliatingly backtracking mauka. Meanwhile, little signs and arrows try to be helpful and fail. And then you pleadingly look at anyone who could ever help, only that they are wheeling people around or carrying some sort of nasty human sample. Yikes.
Anyway. Morning sickness is gone almost for good– it never really was there. It was just this minor queasiness in the pit of the stomach, and the overwhelming need to eat now–which is still there, but waning in urgency a little more. However, that bloated feeling seems here to stay. Yum. Also, I seem to be bleeding through little cuts a little more eagerly– a side effect of my new and improved levels of blood, I imagine. As for the more, um…. classic symptoms, all I can say is that I will soon need to go lingerie shopping; alas, it shall not be racy, but comfortable and accomodating.
At the core, I guess it is a very amazing thing to think that in about four months, my intestines will gleefully be pushed inside and my uterus will be pressing closeish to my ribs, and getting larger and larger every day. I mean…. if I were my body, I would not be taking that kind of invasion so calmly, really. I’d be pissed off, and rightly so! But the good thing is that my body is patient with it, and with the part of it that writes this entry. I think it’s just shaking its head now.
Mmm…. peeing. Woo.