Monday, August 16, 2010

4 out of 5 dentists didn't see that coming

The other day, my work colleague reminded me that I should just ask if I needed any help. By which he means that there are people who will help me with worship on Sundays if standing up for six hours straight is just too much (and, let's face it; it is).

Part of me thinks this is very kind and compassionate. I have a very supportive workplace for pregnancy and kids, and that's no small thing.

But because I'm in a mostly male profession, I've always steered clear of anything which would mark me as 'different.' I don't like 'girly' robes, stoles, or other liturgical gear. I never wear dangly earrings on Sundays. Don't get me wrong: I love shoes and my mostly-discount-store (how do I love thee, TJ Ma.xx? Let me count the ways) wardrobe is pretty fierce for a pastor, but I just want to be a pastor. I don't want to be "the girl pastor."

But when the girl pastor gets pregnant, it's pretty clear that she's a girl. And she may need to ask for a little help, in spite of her overabundant pride.

This was made clear to me at the dentist's office on Monday. I was just there for a routine teeth cleaning; no big deal. About 10 weeks ago, at my regular OB appointment, I asked about something I had read in one of my many "everything you need to know about pregnancy plus some stuff that will scare the shit out of you" books: namely, that after about 20 weeks, you were not supposed to lay flat on your back anymore. Apparently there is some kind of large artery running down your whole body, and when the baby lays on it, you get short of breath and lightheaded.

This was pretty depressing to me, because, at the time, lying flat on my back was about the only way I could sleep, but after visions of dying in the night while gasping for air only to have my poor husband wake to his dead wife (and he would only wake up because he realized I had not gotten up the requisite 15 times that night to pee), I decided to check with the doctor. Sadly, she confirmed this advice. Lying on my side was recommended.

Frankly, I never really believed it. I obediently slept on my side, to the detriment of my hips, but I never really bought into the whole "you'll get lightheaded if you sleep on your back" theory.

Until I went to the dentist.

I had to sit up five times during the teeth cleaning, because I keep feeling like I was going to pass out. It. Was. Humiliating. The hygienist was unfailingly nice about it, but seriously: who knew? I laid there, getting clammy and lightheaded and watching the blackness close around my eyes while the mint toothpaste churned in my mouth, until I finally had to admit it: I need help. I need to sit up. I am a girl, and I am pregnant, and apparently, I cannot fake "I'm fine! It's all fine! It's no big deal!" any longer.

Sigh. Yet another blow to the pride. Right in the incisors.


  1. I can't help but smile at your story, it's just adorable!

  2. I didn't really get this either (although I've always preferred my side when sleeping) until I hit the hospital two weeks ago! When they monitor me I usually have to lay on my back to find the kiddo which causes me to be soooo uncomfortable and short of breath. I feel the pain chica! How in the world are you doing six hours on your feet?