Princess: A pregnant pause
The Aspen Princess
“Oh, just you wait. When I had my son, I couldn’t even sit at my desk because my stomach was in the way,” my friend Amy said. “When he was born, he was over 10 pounds.”
“Ten pounds?” I asked, horrified. Amy is tiny and can’t weigh much more than a buck herself. It was too much to ponder.
It’s the most bizarre thing, human nature. For some reason, people think it’s helpful to share with you all their horror stories.
It’s never, “You’re going to be just fine.” It’s more like, “I was in so much pain during my 72 hours of labor, I thought I was going to die,” or “I projectile vomited for six months both times I was pregnant.”
My favorite is, “You think this is bad? Get ready for the next 20 years.”
Even my little weekly updates from BabyCenter.com are disturbing. Last week’s read: “You may be feeling pretty good about now, but just wait. Soon you’ll have a whole new slew of complaints.”
This is to go with the illustration of the alien-like fetus with the big head and freaky-looking short limbs.
I have gone through most of my life with blinders on. I’m an “ignorance is bliss” person. I would rather not know stuff. This has worked pretty well for me for the most part. I don’t really want to know, for example, how long the hike is going to be or what the toughest part of the ride is, and I don’t necessarily need to know the cruising altitude or that the pilot will find smooth air there. I’d rather get lost in my own thoughts and just remind myself that time will continue to pass and that whatever discomfort I’m facing can’t possibly last forever.
That’s why I haven’t read any baby books, signed up for birthing classes or asked my doctor too many questions. I’ve stayed away from Google (except for that one time I had a headache for two days and woke up in the middle of the night convinced I was having a brain aneurysm only to learn that headaches are quite common during pregnancy; “Try drinking a cold Coke,” said the nurse, who was altogether nonplused when I phoned the doctor’s office the next day in a mild panic).
“But you have to take a birthing class,” my friend Christine insisted when we chatted on the phone the other day. This was after she shared with me how traumatic her C-section had been. “How are you going to know when you need to go to the hospital?”
“I’ll Google it,” I told her, thinking that once the baby comes (or is on its way or whatever), I would embrace the world’s favorite search engine rather than scorn it.
Sure, I’ve had my moments of panic, such as the time I woke up in the middle of the night and realized I have no idea how to care for a baby. I don’t know what I need, what to buy, what’s important and what of all this crap is just crap. There is so much stuff, it’s insane. I can’t imagine we had all that stuff when I was growing up. And look — I turned out just fine.
I’ve already been informed by several mothers and medical professionals that if I don’t breastfeed I will be burned at the stake, publicly, in front of everyone who knows that breast milk is the liquid of the gods. These are the same people who have let me know how awful and difficult breastfeeding is, “at least in the beginning,” but then after you survive the pain and the cramping and the cracked nipples and leaky boobs, it’s awesome and amazing and I’ll never want to stop doing it. I’m pretty sure I stopped listening at “cracked nipples” and “leaky boobs.”
This is one of the reasons I moved to a rural area, so I can do what I want and lie about it later.
I also have been told that I must buy a minivan. This is another phenomenon of modern parenting that I’m pretty sure has everything to do with all the crap that people buy for babies these days. Last time I checked, babies are pretty small, right? I mean, is it really necessary to have a vehicle the size of a condo in order to lug all this junk around? What do they do in Europe?
I figure buying a big car is sort of like buying a big purse. Everyone knows that if you buy a big purse you are going to fill it with all kinds of junk that you are then going to be forced to lug around all day until you’re so out of whack that you need a chiropractor every other day to fix you.
So I’ve decided to drop the van part and just buy a Mini.
Oh, cool your jets. It’s a four-door, it’s got as much cargo space as the Subaru Crosstrek and it’s all-wheel-drive. It even won some kind of safety award. Everyone I know who has one loves it and says you can fit more stuff in there than you can believe, and it’s a champ in the snow on account of the short wheelbase. See, I know I am going to be a parent soon and I have to make responsible decisions. Don’t they say that in order to be a good mom, you have to take good care of yourself first? Boom.
I mean, I realize that having a baby’s room that can only be accessed through a trap door in the ceiling probably isn’t going to work, but I’m on it! I’m so totally going to take care of that beforehand. Do you think a dumb waiter or some kind of pulley system would work? It would be just like riding a gondola! Lucky kid.
The Princess has developed a serious affinity for cinnamon buns. Email your love to email@example.com.