I am a nurse at the VA hospital. There are many things that differentiate a veteran patient from a non-veteran patient. Veterans are typically a lot more laid-back and less demanding than non-veterans, and they're a lot more grateful for what you do for them. One other thing is that many veterans have lost their sense of inhibition. As my belly has grown, there have been some women who've come up and felt my belly. Strangely, though, I have also had several of my patients reach out while I'm standing at the bedside and lay a gentle hand or two on my protruding belly. Mind you, these are old men. I don't really mind it because I'm so proud of my body for being able to grow this incredible miracle, but I just wonder what these veterans are thinking. I think a lot of them want to reconnect with that time of life when they were having their own babies. They almost always end up telling me about how their wives were "as big as a house" and how "she had them all natural" and "she carried that baby for 10 and 1/2 months" and stories about how each of their kids was delivered. I have loved these conversations because I get a different perspective, a man's perspective, on childbirth.
I've noticed a lot of women complain or are negative about their childbirth experiences, and they often roll their eyes when I tell them I'm having a natural waterbirth. But these men talk about it with a twinkle in their eyes and with the joy of fatherhood. They are proud of their wives who went drugless. I like their approach a lot more than these women who complain. I guess what I'm saying is, these old veterans somehow have made me look forward to motherhood, expecting joy from my expanding family.
I know this is a weird first blog entry, but it's been on my mind.