Before I begin, I want to give out a PSA to all you soon to be first time parents out there. You’ve just had the stick turn blue (or pink or say pregnant for the colorblind and/or exceptionally stupid) and you’ve got plans for just how the pregnancy is going to go. You will have a blissful nine months of looking like that serene lady in the rocking chair on the cover of What To Expect When You’re Expecting. Then when it comes time for baby to make his debut (by now you will know the sex and have its name printed out on the nursery wall and shower invites and everything else you can think of) you will not go to a sterile hospital with modern medical equipment. No, no, you will lie in a field of wildflowers and pleasantly give birth with Yoga breaths as a deer nestles your nose.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but whatever your plans are, drop them immediately. More than likely, they aren’t going to happen. As soon as you are “with child” you are “without plans”. Nothing will go the way you think because now there is someone else on board. The baby will do whatever the hell it wants no matter what you want because babies are devious little creatures.
Mine certainly were. Thing One made me sick as a dog. Where did that expression come from? Are dogs prone to serious illness? Anyway, I was sick for a solid four months. This did not help with my depression, surprisingly. I lost ten pounds. People were jealous that I was not showing yet. I was jealous that they weren’t puking their guts up. Still, I taught English classes to bored freshmen – or rather handed them notes and laid my head on the desk. Also I continued to attend my own graduate courses, although with even less enthusiasm than before, which was rather impressive.
Once I got past the so-called “morning sickness”, I was much better. I got an excuse to buy new clothes, even if they were maternity clothes. My fellow teaching assistant informed me that I could not have a baby because I was too cynical and I hated children. Pfft. I was fine. Well, until I started getting dizzy spells and eating ice like mad. Turned out I was anemic – the first true carnivore ever to be diagnosed with this. I got to take iron horse pills and that cleared up. My husband and I went to Lamaze classes where I was to learn how to breathe a certain way that would keep me from having pain while shoving a big old baby out of a rather small opening. All of us women looked at the picture of the cervix dialating to ten centimeters and decided we wanted off the ride.
People will tell you pregnancy is a magical experience. Do not believe these people. Pregnancy is freaking weird. You’re basically harboring a parasite. Once it gets a little bigger you will start to feel its movements and it’s all cute at first oooh a little tap. Then the kid really gets into it, and you can see your skin contort back and forth and suddenly you are in Aliens. Your boobs and stomach expand to places you never thought they would go. You will probably put lotion on thinking you will prevent stretch marks. You are stupid. You may also go into changing rooms with three way mirrors. You will feel and look like Elsie the cow.
I had a birth plan. Drugs. I’m not a big fan of pain, and somehow, I just kind of figured childbirth would involve some of that. And while I realize this is controversial, I can’t see the baby minding them much either. Childbirth has to freak them the hell out. They need some mellow. I continued taking the classes where they taught us how to recognize labor pains. Then one night, almost a month before I was due, I went to the restroom at about 2 AM. And I was peeing, but not. WTF. I informed my husband that I was leaking. We’d just fixed the toilet, so he was like, “Meh, it’s okay.” I made him get up. We both tried to figure out what to do as liquid continued to spill out of me. Duh. “Do we like, call a doctor or something?”, we dumbed.
We did and he told us to go to the hospital. I sat on a towel in the car. Poor towel. When we got there, they had me lay on a cart and wheeled me to my room that way, which was kind of scary, like I was in an episode of E.R. only no George Clooney. After a while, my doctor decided to wake up and head over. He said we were having a baby. I was not ready for this. I had one more Lamaze class to learn how to breathe and all that shit. We’d just put a car seat in the car the night before. We were totally unprepared, cause you know, crap, we still had a month, right? We called my parents who also thought this timing sucked. But Thing One thought the timing was a-okay. Like I said – babies do whatever the hell they want.
See the stunning conclusion (like, do you think I’ll have a baby or an emu or what?) tomorrow . . .