Normal

I’m gaining a new appreciation of the word “normal.”
In my work – human rights education, equity issues – normal is not a great word. It means there is a standard that humans should live up to, and if they are different from this standard – if they are not “normal” according to whoever sets the standard – they are judged.

On the other hand, when my midwife calls to say that the ultrasound results are completely normal – that the growth is normal, the water levels are normal, and even the position of the placenta, if not super common, is normal – that is a really great thing to hear. Little baby, right now we want you to be normal! Lots of time for extraordinary after you exit the womb.

Another word I have some feelings about is “fetus.” I’ve felt pretty strongly from the beginning that this baby is a baby – our baby – and just as much our baby in those very early stages of development as she or he will be right before birth, after birth and probably for a lifetime. I would rather not use a word that suggests our baby is a different kind of creature, however useful the word might be in medical discourse.

In any case: you go and grow, sweet baby!

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