Monday, April 5, 2010

I Want to be a Marsupial

I love being pregnant (I'm not, right now). I love my thick hair and smooth skin. I love the joy that comes with the first fluttering movements; how you want to jump out of your skin with excitement, but hold perfectly still so you can feel it again. I love the quiet, intimate connection between my unborn baby and myself that comes with each tiny kick or shrug thereafter. I love the end, when, after what seems like a lifetime of waiting, I finally get to hold that wet, warm, tiny being. No wonder I have so many kids! Of course there are things I don't love about pregnancy, but my mother taught me to always look on the bright side, so I'll spare you the complaining.

One of the things I don't like is all the wondering. Is she a she? Is she healthy? Is she growing like she should? What does she look like? Is this insane heartburn really due to her full head of hair? After reaching high above my head, is she now breech? Are her fingernails long? 'Cause sometimes it feels like she is trying to claw her way out. Is that a foot or a hand or a tailbone that is permanently changing the shape of my ribs? Is she trying to stand up?

Think how nice it would be to just be able to open your pouch and take a peek. From the earliest days (after the insanely painful birth of your half inch newborn), you can simply check in now and then. You can begin discipline right away: "No, honey. You can't squeeze Mama's bladder in a vice grip. Let go, please." or "I asked you to try to hold still when I lay down to go to sleep. You need to obey, right away, without delay. Okay?"

You can check progress--when the gonads decide to be ovaries or testicles, when the club-like hand becomes separate fingers, when that crazy fur starts to grow (although, not being in amniotic fluid might de-necessitate that feature). You can allay fears or embrace a different life because you'll know right away if the spine is protected, if the chromosome count is off, or if the cleft isn't closing.

As you choose names, you can test them out on the baby you can see. "No matter how much I love the name Betty, that name does not fit you! What about Eowyn?" (In some future life I will name a baby after that incredible character, no matter how hard it may be to pronounce from reading. And that's all I have to say about that.)

And, in the quiet of the evening, after all of her siblings are sound asleep, you can do more than rub your belly to connect with your baby. You can open the pouch and have an eye-to-eye visit.

If she can open her eyelids, that is.


  1. HA! Thank you, Mom. Did you notice what time this was written? 3 o'clock in the morning. Goofy insomnia is to blame! (: