There's a Gymnast in my Womb

By Maureen Rubin

 

It took me eight months to conceive my first child, so when my husband and I decided to have a second, we started early, thinking it would take us eight months again. Wrong. It took us about eight seconds.

Maureen’s daughter, Erica, in action as a gymnast earthside.

Maureen’s daughter, Erica, in action as a gymnast earthside.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

After having an amnio and finding out we were having another girl, we named our fetus Erica. We knew she would be different from her sister because she never stopped moving. Our first daughter could sit for hours examining a piece of carpet thread. While she was inside me, she gave an occasional kick, but mostly seemed to meditate.

Erica began practicing for the Olympics when she was the size of a football. All day and all night she rocked and rolled, elbowed and kneed. My insides felt like a punching bag. I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted

Erica’s hyperactivity continued until my ninth month. I couldn’t wait to deliver. I am 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 160 pounds. My similarity to Dumbo was getting alarming.

Then, suddenly, the labor pains started. Or did they? They weren’t the same steady contractions I had last time. They would come and go. After eight hours, I called my doctor. He told me to come to the hospital so he could determine if it was false labor.

Once there, my ob-gyn examined me. After a physical and an ultrasound, he turned to me and, with a confused expression, said, “I can’t tell if you’re in labor.”

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maureen

Maureen Rubin - Maureen Rubin is an Emeritus Professor of Journalism at California State University, Northridge. In her 30 years on campus, she served in a variety of administrative positions, published widely and received numerous teaching and public service awards.  Prior to joining the university, Rubin was Director of Public Information for President Carter’s Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs in the White House, and held similar positions for a U.S. Congresswoman and several no-profits. She has a JD from Catholic University School of Law In Washington, D.C., an MA in Public Relations from University of Southern California and a BS in Journalism from Boston University.  Maureen can be reached at maureenrubin3@gmail.com or on Facebook as Maureen Rubin.