I have vague, fuzzy recollections of a tiny newborn Natalie sleeping through her first few weeks of life like a narcoleptic while I slept… well, slightly less than before. So now I’m convinced: My memory is on crack.
This baby does not sleep, at all, ever. She amuses herself 23-1/2 hours a day by sticking her feet up my esophagus and inventing new versions of the Irish jig. The other 1/2-hour, she practices tap-dancing on my spleen. I, meanwhile, am entering a special new stage of life that I like to call “comatose.” Remind me, how do they expect absurdly pregnant women to go through labor when said women can’t summon enough energy to end this sentence with a witty and entertaining metaphor?
As much as pregnancy is miraculous and beautiful and so on and so forth, I’m a little concerned about where my missing body parts have gone. Stomach? Hip bones? Inner ears, or whatever the heck it is that keeps you from falling over when you attempt certain acrobatic moves (standing, for instance)? Oh, and brain should probably be on the list considering my recent habit of accidentally throwing away valuable objects and crying because my own shorts offended me and forgetting everything I’ve learned since
high school first grade.
Plus, I would prefer no longer hosting a dance troupe in my spleen/throat.
So, when is Offspring #2 making her grand arrival, you ask? Good question. I hear that contractions are the key. Simple. Except that if you feel contractions before 36 weeks, you should immediately panic because it means you are having the baby right now, but if you have contractions after 36 weeks, don’t call the doctor because they are not real contractions and have nothing to do with your baby’s birth, except when they are real, and the way you know the difference is that the practice ones don’t hurt, except when they do hurt, and if you start having contractions after 40 weeks, they are definitely not real because your baby has obviously decided to inhabit your body forever or until you give in and take horrible drugs to produce contractions on par with a bulldozer.
At least it’s easy to tell when you’re having contractions. They either feel like a body massage or indigestion or slight cramping or a medieval torture session or having your stomach put through a juicer or being run over repeatedly by a Mack truck. Or possibly something else, because NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS.
I’m just glad this isn’t my first pregnancy, so other women no longer feel obligated to tell me why medieval torture sessions would be preferable to their own childbirth experiences. (“And after my 427th hour of excruciating back labor, the doctor had to pry the baby from me using a pick-ax and rusty nail clippers…”) (Or, from the helpful friend who heard I was going to have a C-section: “My best friend had a C-section, and the anesthetic didn’t work, so she felt everything, and then they gave her mind-altering drugs to make her forget the whole thing, and then she didn’t remember she had even been pregnant.”) Note to any of my readers who think they are helping/bonding with/putting calm and reassuring thoughts in the minds of pregnant women by sharing similar horror stories: You’re not.
So here’s to my little tap-dancing, coma-inducing miracle: I love you, medieval torture and all. Also, may you be born soon and with anesthetic galore. Cheers!