Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Inner Grandma

Hand embroidered blanket for a friend's wedding-Peacocks are a symbol of prosperity.

So I promised a funny story in a recent post and never got around to it. Luckily, I was scrolling through and reminded myself.

I told a friend this story while talking about my birth experience. She suggested that I add it to my post about my birth experience (Learning Curve) to add some levity, but I think I'll just make it a separate post.

I heard on the radio sometime around the time my son was born (I believe I was still pregnant) a comedian on the Bob and Tom Show make a comment about women in general. He said something along the lines of how inside every girl is a grandma just waiting to bust out. "You start dating this girl and suddenly she's embroidering and wants to have a baby, and you say, wait a second, didn't you have your nipples pierced when we met?"

Comedians on the Bob and Tom Show can be hit or miss and the show often takes a bit of a misogynistic turn, but this one made me crack up.

When Shane and I met, I had nappy dreads, approximately four or five items of clothing, and a lot of body piercings. I was once a very different person. My doctor at a recent physical noted from my history that I've "not always been the good girl (I) portray now".

That said, Shane and I have evolved together over the last nearly 5 1/2 years. Both of us still harbor the ghosts of our past, younger selves, but we have adjusted to family life.

I got my hood pierced when I was 22 years old. It seemed like a fantastic idea at the time. It hurt like a mother though and I can honestly say I remember that pain better than the pain of childbirth, and I won't repeat it. So, when the time came to pull out the barbell I'd been wearing for a few years, I was pretty hesitant.

In fact, I told myself, I would not remove it until absolutely necessary. I had ditched most of my piercings up to this point. My nipple rings gone when I first became pregnant simply because things were just far too sensitive and painful. I clung to my nose and hood ring. And one should remember, I had had this barbell in for nearly five years at this point and it was such a part of me I rarely even remembered it was there.

I planned to remove it, at home, with Shane's help, when I went into labor. Then I actually went into labor. I never gave that tiny bit of metal a second thought. My doctor had insisted that all my jewelry come out in case I needed a c-section. (It seems absurd, the things they make you do "just in case", like, go hungry.)

It wasn't until I got my epidural and a nurse and student nurse came to set the catheter that anyone remembered it was there. Neither nurse wanted anything to do with it but said it had to come out.

Poor Shane, armed with little more than shaking hands and some tissue, he went to work trying to remove the ball tightened with a piercer's pliers a few years before. Obviously, there were no pliers available in the birthing suite.

He did get it out after some time, and we all had a good chuckle. For the more experienced nurse, it was her first time this had happened. Perhaps a good reference point for the student nurse. I still have the barbell, but after giving birth to my son, I felt a certain aversion to my "birthing area" and avoided it (aside from general hygiene, of course) for a few months.

I embroider regularly, and had started that hobby maybe two or three years after Shane and I had met. I'm now learning how to knit. And when I'm cooking breakfast for my small family, in the aprons my great grandma made, barefoot in my kitchen, I have to realize my inner grandma is really starting to make a stand.


  1. I love my inner grandma...I sort of wish I could hug her. Maybe I should just give my squishy g-ma boobies a pat instead?