Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pregnant Driving

"Actually pregnant women don't have to drive cars. They could ride motorcycles sidesaddle, strap their feet to two skateboards, or raise their umbrellas and think Mary Poppins, but the fact remains automobiles are an intricate part of a woman's life and to give them up for six months or so is like going back to nesting in a rocking chair for nine months." - Erma Bombeck

I volunteered to be the designated driver for my friends. Many of you know that this is not a role I would play under any condition resembling normal and since pregnancy is not normal, I really thought people should take advantage of my sobriety. At 2am, after a great night of laughter and wine for the rest, I got behind the wheel. I drove us home in second gear without turning on the lights. My passenger gently pointed these shortcomings out after a while.

I am not one to really struggle with driving and I have a good record (especially if we can begin discounting events before the age of 18 - is that done?). However, I have noticed a few problems with my skills lately.

Apparently, so did the New Hampshire state police, or so I gather since their officer pulled me over to discuss them as we drove to Boston for Thanksgiving. The very nice man said that he noticed I had slightly crossed the white line coming around a bend the in highway. He also noticed a tail light was out - which is very obviously not my fault or pregnancy related. As he collected my license and registration, Andrew, disagreeing with the official description said, "Why did you have to swerve all over the road as we passed a police car?"

I believe he immediately regretted this as I burst into great hiccuping sobs. The policeman said it was only one line and I only slightly crossed it. And I had very good reason. I had been driving for 4 hours and it was midnight and the baby was kicking like it was going out of style and my back was hurting and I just needed to shift my weight off of my aching tailbone and the cop just happened to be there as this happened. And now there we were on the side of the highway, Andrew sheepishly in the passenger seat and me sobbing and explaining to the patrol man that the baby was kicking and I had just tried to stretch.

The man asked whose family we were going to see. "His" I sobbed. Have you been on the road for a long time, he asked. "Yes." I sobbed. I can only assume the man felt sorry for me, in spite of my haughty ridiculously-French-looking driver's license picture. After we cleared our background check and Andrew flicked the rear light making it come back on, we were let off with a warning.

But really, what good was the warning? What could he say? Don't drive pregnant.

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