The phlebotomist pushes her cart into my room, stacked with colorful tubes and gauze and needles. It’s still before sunrise, and I’ve been googling pregnancy and labor-related statistics.
48 % of all first births are now to unmarried women.
I feel my forehead scrunch up. For some reason these phlebotomists always leave a bruise and my veins shrink or jump. The phlebotomist moves the needle around as if she’s a lighthouse searching for a boat at night.
51% of women have had an unplanned pregnancy.
Two tubes of blood hesitant to leave my veins. The young phlebotomist loosens the tourniquet around my bicep. She fills the last tube and slaps a small piece of taped gauze on my arm.
The longest pregnancy on record was 375 days.
Breakfast this morning is oatmeal and fruit and a giant plate with a small bowl and a hard boiled egg in the middle. The hospital has a sense of humor.
I feel very low right now and I’m not sure why. I’d blame being in a hospital for almost two months but I think I may just be an emotional seesaw.
Charley sends a picture of his dick with “about to cum so hard thinking of you”. I’m sucking on a honey packet. Everything is good. I obviously just need to drink my coffee and take my cocktail of vitamins.
Rubbing or rolling a woman’s nipples when she’s full term can stimulate the release of a hormone called oxytocin, which can cause contractions.
I look through old Flickr photos trying to find something sexy for Charley and get sidetracked by all the cute clothes I used to own that seemed to just disappear. How did that happen? Damn’t I was thin and pretty.
Charley is thinking about a threesome and cumming to the thought of some other kinky shit. He sends more photos. I am thinking about how I’m afraid he won’t make the induction date.
“I love your handsome dick .” I’m sitting here with my minions blanket and feeling like a depressed wombat.
Sometimes babies cry in the womb.
Raeanne the dog walker also works at a Taos vet clinic and was concerned about my dogs and my cats. Even though Duke is now fixed he latched on to Freyja, who’s in heat. She said Charley was mortified and she had a brochure for a place to fix Freyja and the cats.
10% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
So many worries. At least my health is looking good. Better liver enzyme count. Lower protein in my urine. Placenta looking pretty good. Cervix looking good. I sit in bed ready to vomit, otherwise I feel good.
From the second trimester onwards, babies pee in the uterus. Then they drink it. Then they pee again. Then they drink it. You get the picture.
Today I mix up the baby playlist: some Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Glass Animals and Purity Ring. Dakota seems most keen on Rihanna.
“Come here rude boy, boy/ Can you get it up/ Come here rude boy, boy/ Is you big enough”
I take my first shower in two days. Forty-five minutes with extra shampoo and a massive face scrub. I’m upset with Charley again. I’m mad he has no money and I’m worried he won’t stay sober. I’m lonely and I don’t know what I’m feeling- a cocktail of hormones and less oxygen to the brain.
“America used to live by the motto ‘Father Knows Best.’ Now we’re lucky if ‘Father Knows He Has Children.’ We’ve become a nation of sperm donors and baby daddies,” said Stephen Colbert.
A car drives past me in the parking garage and I imagine someone shooting me in the back. I walk down the concrete stairs from the women’s pavilion and I imagine tripping and falling. I eat my fettuccine and I imagine the cook peed in the alfredo.
Pregnant women with heartburn are more likely to birth babies with full heads of hair.
One of my readers tells me that I will likely love this baby more than Charley. They tell me “Al-Anon is the best thing ever” and the “hospital is a shitty time for I told you so’s”. They assure me that I was very kind to my mother-in-law and “even wealthy, ‘together’ men can leave you–that’s why it’s a terrible idea to rely on any of them.” No doubt. And they add, “people have been having babies without having their shit together since the dawn of man. The majority of babies are made out of love and folly. ‘Together’ people have few babies and often don’t bother with them when they do.”
The ultrasound tech asks if I have a room for the baby and when I laugh and admit that all I have is a carseat and some baby outfits, she says DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, and says a drawer from a dresser is a good start for a crib.
My worries go up and down with my melancholic moods. Statistics. History lessons. Space shows and books about witches. These things pass the time. I think babies must be the strongest, most patient form of humans in the world. They’re still immersed in another reality, probably communicating with dead relatives and solidifying their Life Itineraries.
These miniature Buddhas contain all of the mystic hope and zen wisdom of our higher selves, without the baggage, fear, resentment and entitlement we develop over years of disappointment and suffering. They’d meditate if they could sit upright without falling over.
I’m not the first to compare babies to mini Buddhas, or to drunk midgets, or tiny terrorists. But I really do believe that these little fat balls of hope see more than we adults do, between our newspapers, our busy lives, our responsibilities and self-importance. They feel everything and accept vulnerability. Their ancestors are still saying to them- sorry you’re going to go through this shit show. Good luck.
*art by Gustav Klimt