[I can't give up baths.]
This one came as a huge surprise to me: Pregnant women are not supposed to take hot baths. Your body temperature rises, which can be harmful for fetuses. Especially in the early months of development. A prolonged spike in your core body temperature could cause birth defects. Avoid the bath tub, avoid overheating, avoid birth defects. But we all know fetal development isn't this simple. And common sense, as I'm learning, can serve a woman well in pregnancy. There are a lot of "rules" A lot of old wives tales. A lot of fear-rooted dos and donts. I love my baths. Love soaking my bones in a hot tub. Love sinking my shoulders under the water and feeling the tension of younameit loosen and release. I love to read in the bath. All of my books are warped from water. I never would have guessed that this habit, my most therapeutic habit, might harm my unborn baby. So I read some more on the topic and learned that while HOT baths aren't safe, WARM baths are just fine. Which was a relief.
I admit: I love my water scorching. Pre-pregnancy I cooked myself in the tub. I'd slide into the water, wash my face and five minutes later be wiping beads of sweat from my eyes. When I emerged from the tub I'd be pink. I'd feel my heart beating in the back of my head. I gave up those kind of baths. For now. I keep the water much cooler And my incubation period much shorter. I picture my baby floating in warm fluid. Myself floating in warm fluid. Like Russian nesting dolls slippery and happy one tucked into the other. I've already told Joe that I can't wait to bathe this baby. I can't wait to get bathtub toys. Those foam letters and animals that stick to tub walls. The duckies and cups and submarines. The puppet washcloths. The squishy bath books. One of my earliest, most visceral memories is of being in a bathtub. Warm bath water is being scooped into a plastic cup. And like a silk waterfall it's poured slowly over my bald head. It feels so good I wait patiently for the next pour. If this baby is anything like me, it'll be a mermaid. We'll have the best bath time ever. The bathroom floor will be drenched. If I can get a pug to love showers, I can get a baby to love baths. --- PS. Photo by Houston photographer photine.