His & Hers: Parenthood is worth the pain

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Husband-and-wife journalists Bob Miller and Callie Clark Miller use this space to offer their views on everyday issues.

SHE SAID

The first time I passed out after a shot in the booty, I was 11. I'd had a recurring case of strep throat for two months, and when my mom took me back to the doctor she warned me that I might need a shot. As we waited in a patient room, I heard a child next door screaming through the thin clinic walls. "I don't want a shot, mommy, I don't want a shot. Please, I'll give you a dollar!"

I would have given a lot more than a dollar, frankly. Sure enough, I got a shot, right in the behind. And as I walked down the hallway toward the exit, I began to feel funny. Except by the time I realized this, it was too late to articulate the problem and boom. I hit the floor.

The second time was years later, two days before Bob and I got married. I had one of those terrible cases of something the doctors rarely bother to diagnose, but instead just prescribe stuff to make you better. When I explained that I needed to be better quickly in time for my honeymoon, out came the needle again. The nurse left the room right after administering the shot and sure enough, I began to feel a little funny. I made it to the door, opened it and managed to say, "I don't think ..." before collapsing. Luckily, the nurse was right out in the hall and sort of cushioned my fall onto the concrete floor.

I don't like shots, period. Especially in the tush. But luckily, they have been few and far between for me. Until now. About two months ago, I began having some pregnancy symptoms that could lead to preterm labor. The symptoms have gotten worse over the weeks. My doctor prescribed a modified bedrest. When that alone didn't do the trick, he suggested progesterone shots. Every week. In the booty.

I'm on my fourth week now. Progesterone is not a nice shot. It's thick -- with a consistency like peanut butter. For several days after each shot is administered I feel like I've been kicked in the butt hard with a cowboy boot. I start to feel less sore about the time I need to go get the next shot.

I think pregnancy is one long test run to see how far a mom will go to do what's best for her child. You try to eat healthier than ever before, kick bad habits. Each and every day you swallow gigantic vitamins that have a terrible aftertaste. You get poked, prodded and pricked for blood work. And after nine months or so of that, you go through an even worse agony bringing your baby into the world.

But that's really just the beginning of how far you'll go for your child, I'm learning. And a little shot in the rear doesn't seem like much of anything compared to, say, Dawson's big brown eyes. Or the way he says, "mommomom" and holds his hands out to me. I know my second son will be worth it, too, no doubt about it.

HE SAID

Callie's second pregnancy has been much different than the first. There is less reading. During the first set of trimesters, Callie had her nose in a pregnancy book every evening. Now, the books are more reference materials for specific symptoms and problems.

And we're busier during this go-round than the last. We thought we were busy last time, trying to finish a remodeling project before Dawson was born. But that seems to be nothing by comparison of chasing down a 1-year-old every day. The little guy is into everything, except perhaps his toys.

I've been really proud of my cute and talented wife. I don't know if it's because she knows what to expect or if she's gotten tougher, but it seems I hear fewer complaints with this pregnancy. She's handled her shots well. I barely notice her limp.

We have a lot to do before the next Miller boy enters the world. Callie and I have not agreed on a name yet. Callie's a bit irritated that I won't endorse Finn. We're considering Grady, Grant and River as first names. James and Clark seem to be our favorite middle names. It's become somewhat of an agonizing process, this name decision.

Overall, I don't feel I've been extroardinarily supportive. For instance, I've stopped going with Callie to the doctor when she gets her shots, meaning she's dealing with Dawson at the same time. But I have tried to be agreeable on most things, including taking Dawson for walks and giving him baths in the evening.

I think an agreeable husband is what Callie needs right now. She doesn't need yet another pain in the booty.

Callie Clark Miller is the special publications managing editor for the Southeast Missourian with pains in the butt. Bob Miller is the agreeable Southeast Missourian managing editor. Reach them at cmiller@semissourian.com and bmiller@semissourian.com.

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