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Ode on a Big Red Ball

I wrote this poem during my pregnancy with Beatrix. I had purchased a large red ball to help my posture and hence, her positioning inside. One of my big fears during that pregnancy was a posterior presentation—a sunny-side-up baby. I ended up with a c-section, so all my bouncing was for nothing. Or so I thought.

I am thinking of getting a new ball because I am having a c-section this time. I didn’t think positioning mattered, until I read somewhere that it is very tricky to deliver breech and transverse babies through a horizontal bikini incision. A big ball is in my future. I can feel it. In the meantime…

THOU still unpopped bride of bounciness,
Thou foster-child of Cramp and slow Time,
Target salesman, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What red-rubbered legend haunts about thy shape
Of roundness or texture, or of both,
In Halls or the carpets of Living Room?
What aches or pains are these? What sciatic loth?
What mad spring? What struggle to relieve?
What air and plug? What wild ecstasy?

Heard contractions are sharp, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft rump, bounce on;
Not to the well ligaments, but, more endear’d,
Relief to the backside areas of no tone:
Fair ball, beneath my frame , thou canst not leave
Thy spring, nor ever can that air be banished;
Bold Ball, never canst thou rudely collapse,
Though straining under me—yet, do not grieve;
You cannot fail, though thou hast not thy rest,
For ever wilt thou prop, and still be round!

Ah, happy, happy ball! that cannot shed
Your job, nor ever bid the Bouncer adieu;
And, happy derierre, unwearièd,
For ever tilting baby anterior;
More happy love! more happy, happy labor!
For ever warm and might to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever pregnant;
All breathing human labor soon gone,
That leaves an epidural high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning perineum, and a biting tongue.

Who are these coming to the Labor and Delivery?
To what red ball, O pricy obstetrician,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the monitor,
And all her silken flanks with wires and tubes drest?
What little baby by crotch or c-section,
Or cabbage patch with peaceful stork,
Is delivered of its sac, this pious morn?
And, little babe, thy frame for evermore
Will accessible be; and not a ball, to bounce
Why then thou mother can drain the air.

O Ball shape! fair cradle! With support
Of heavily pregnant mother overwrought,
With swollen ankle and the stretch mark snake;
Thou, silent form! dost ease our weary pelvis
As doth eternity: Foot Pump’d Divine!
When old age doth mean advanced maternal age,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to mommy, to whom thou say’st,
‘Bouncy is good, good bouncy,—that is all
Ye blow on earth, and all ye need to blow.’

~Hat tip to Keats. Anyone standing on or near his grave just felt a strange rumble.

4 comments to Ode on a Big Red Ball

  • Hee hee hahahaa hoohohoooooo–oh my! Okay, looky there!~ There is still an abdominal muscle in my body–and it’s getting cramped up from laughing!

    This is genius, of course!

    We had an unfortunate physio-ball murder at our house–I have a big white shiny ball. It was found deflated and slashed, my good sewing scissors placed gruesomely on top–it remains a cold case….


    Octamom’s last blog post..Planning Ahead…

  • You are so funny and creative! LOL! I love it!

    I also want a bouncy ball to help with my posture…and I’m not even pregnant.

    Nicki’s last blog post..Reflecting on Summer’s End

  • amy

    I hadn’t heard that about breech babies and c-sections, that’s the reason I had a c-section with J, although there was a lot of tugging — maybe that’s why I remember being so much sorer than anyone else I’ve known who’s had a scheduled c-section. That, or I’m a wimp.

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