Message from the Massage: Good Luck with That!

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Dear Lindsey,

While pregnant with my third child, I had “Barbie doll leg syndrome” – the term I used to describe the feeling that my leg had disengaged from my body and was only being held together by a rubber band stretched through the socket.  It was painful – almost to the point that labor sounded like a picnic. Daily life of a mother of two active boys, ages 3 and 6, became especially difficult as I dragged my leg, a foot behind (pun intended), trying not to show my limp.

Whether motivated to get me to stop whining or just being thoughtful, my loving husband suggested I get a massage. The thought of an hour of supine silence sounded too good to be true.

It was. My massage therapist must have had too much coffee, or just a genuine interest in me, because she was far from silent. “When are you due?” “Is it twins or triplets?”

That question usually began for me shortly after the 2nd stripe showed on the pregnancy test – when people couldn’t believe my large size for just one baby. I felt like someone had changed my name to “Dang, girl!” because that was clearly how everyone greeted me. “Dang, girl! I thought you weren’t due for months!” “Dang, girl! What are you eating?” “Dang, girl! How many are in there?! Are you sure they didn’t make a mistake?”

A flight attendant once stopped me from getting onto a plane when I was barely halfway through my pregnancy. She was obviously nervous by my size, as if I were about to give birth. She asked, “Can you fly?”

Insulted, and without slowing my walk into the jet-way, I replied, “in a plane!”

“Wow, you look pregnant from behind now,” a male co-worker shared.

“The only thing she’s splitting these days is her pants!” someone humorously (yes, I thought it funny! – better to laugh than cry) answered a waitress when she asked if I would be splitting my fajitas for dinner.

My kneecaps had disappeared in a pudge of fluid, not to appear again until after birth. When I bent to tie my shoe, I would think, “What else can I do while I’m down here?”

My massage therapist continued the questions, and my dream of a silent hour vanished.

“Are you having twins?” (no. And yes I AM SURE.)

“When are you due?” (4 weeks)

“Are you nervous about labor?”

This was really a trick question, because I was nervous about one part of labor. See, you might remember that I had no labor with my 2nd boy. He arrived after 4 contractions, before the ambulance arrived, actually before I had even gone down to the first floor of our house. My mother and Chris delivered Nate, although I like to say he delivered himself (9.5 lbs!) and they caught him.

Earlier during this pregnancy, my doctor had asked a similar question, “Are you nervous about delivering at home again?”

I said, “No.  I’m nervous about delivering in the grocery store!”

But, in a continuous attempt to get this massage all the way to silence, I answered shortly, “No, I’m not nervous. I am actually excited to find out if it is a boy or a girl.”

“You don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl?! Are you kidding?! Aren’t you going to find out?!”

“Well I hope so; I’ll have to dress it,” my normal comeback to that normal question.

This caused controversy for the rest of the hour, as she questioned why I didn’t find out and how I could possibly wait, knowing I already had two boys – wasn’t I dying to know if it was a girl?

The hour was over; my dream of silent relaxation was crushed. I got off of the massage table, putting pressure back onto my leg joint, and my leg was still disconnected.  After I paid the receptionist, my therapist popped her head into the lobby for a final goodbye. As I limped away, she yelled from behind: “Good luck with that sex!”

I quickly felt the need to interpret the statement for every stranger now watching me hobble unevenly in the waiting room, “She means gender! Gender…of the baby!  I am having ONE baby in FOUR WEEKS and I don’t know the GENDER, so she is telling me ‘good luck with that GENDER!’”

My daughter was born one week later…in the hospital.

Love ya!

Terri Brady

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7 thoughts on “Message from the Massage: Good Luck with That!

  1. I didn’t find out the GENDER of any of my three, either. Even when I had two boys and was expecting my third. I guess I figure if God meant for me to know ahead of time, he would have left a sign. I frankly think it adds to the excitement and awe of the moment.

  2. Loving the pregnancy blogs — as I am very pregnant and less than 3 weeks away from my due date! I definitely can relate to many of the “considerate” comments your received throughout your third pregnancy 🙂 Thank you for sharing, Terri, and your wonderful sense of humor! I always look forward to reading your blogs and love sharing them with others!

  3. Oh, Terri,
    How well I remember those days (so long past for me now) of pregnancy! You put such a hilarious perspective on it. I’m so glad to have caught up to this post at last. My week needed a smile. Thanks for giving me one, and even a chuckle or two.

  4. Just read this post today – thanks for sharing it again! I’m currently expecting our first child in about two months, and I love hearing the funny things that other moms hear. I get the opposite reaction than you did – I’m finally “obviously” pregnant, but not very large for how far along I am. This is what I hear all the time: “Wow, you look so great for being 7 months pregnant!” I know, I know, I should take it as a compliment (I know people mean it that way!), but what I hear is, “Wow, I’m really surprised! You’re not as fat as I expected you to be!” Haha!

  5. we didn’t know with our first: actually we never heard a heart beat until a week before I delivered. (30+ years ago on a Navy base=not a lot of tech support). with our second (in the states with MUCH better equipment!!) we said sure, if you can. and the look on my mom’s face when we told her she would have a grand-daughter was priceless. I guess if you can find out and you want to know, it’s good. if you would rather wait until arrival, that’s good also. as long as all are healthy and happy does it really matter?
    as always, terri, kudos to you for the great blogging and learning!

  6. Oh my. As a Liscenced Massage Therapist, I am so sorry you had a “talkative” therapist. A good professional should know to be silent unless spoken to, except to check if comfortable or if pressure is ok. Please don’t think all massage therapists are talkative like that, but when I was in Las Vegas, dying to get a massage myself, I had one that wouldn’t shut up too. Very disappointing. If you come to St. Louis, I would be happy to give you a nice, relaxing, quiet massage that lasts a full hour, not 50 minutes.

  7. Pingback: The Making of a Name | Letters to Lindsey

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