It’s that time of year when networks are ordering pilots. This means tv writers are sitting around anxiously waiting to find out which scripts they’ll be viciously hate-reading.
People like to say, “I bet your mom is so excited to be a grandmother. What did she do when she found out you were having a baby?”
“Oh. She immediately put her house on the market.”
And they laugh. They laugh and laugh. “That would be so funny,” they chuckle.
I don’t say anything. I don’t have to. You can see it in my face, my tired eyes, my worried hair.
Their laughter fades away. They whisper, “Oh, you weren’t kidding.”
“WHERE IS BABY?”
This is the text I get, several times a day now, from all over the country. Sometimes it pops up on a Facebook window. Sometimes it’s just a subject line of an empty email.
“WHERE IS BABY?”
As if I’ve hidden the child somewhere, confused Christmas for Easter and hidden this ripened egg under a rock in a field. Like I’m lying to them all and I’m waiting until Baby’s First Tooth before I spill any details.
My own mother asked today with sadness, “Will you tell me when you’re going to the hospital? … or do I just find out after the baby’s here?”
I know they are all asking out of love and excitement. It just cracks me up that it has been reduced to–
“WHERE IS BABY?”
Baby is still incubating, heavy enough now that my stomach rests on my legs when I’m sitting, making me feel like an exhausted bus driver.
Did you know you can have contractions for days and days and days that mimic labor but don’t turn into labor? Not these cute Braxton-Hicks things you hear about sometime, little “practice contractions” that can pop up at any point during your pregnancy. These are minute-long, full-on cramping, every ten minutes contractions that just stick around for ten or twelve hours until you finally fall asleep? Then they wake you up every few hours when a particularly strong one happens, and then the next day you just have them all day again? All the while your friends are texting–
“WHERE IS BABY?”
And you know exactly where Baby is, because your body has been trying to push the baby out since Thanksgiving.
This is just one of the things on my very long list titled: Things People Don’t Tell You About Being Pregnant Until You’re Pregnant, Which Is Just Way Too Fucking Late, If You Ask Me.
How’s everybody enjoying their holiday season? Already had a few teary fights and regrets? Having a lot of life-altering meditations and heart-to-hearts? Thinking about your life and what has happened to it? Determined to be able to see your feet again by this time next year? I hear ya, friend. I lift my non-alcoholic beer to you in solidarity.
I’m entering the final stretch of a very long period of time that has been my Visibly Pregnant season. It is exhausting — not just because of how pregnant I am — but because it has brought out in full force the You Should Be’s.
My friend Tess writes jokes that probably already made you laugh. She spent years writing for The Soup, worked on roasts for Comedy Central, and now has a new book that perfectly captures the difficulties in maintaining perfect hostess calm while entertaining your drunk-ass friends.
I have been one of these drunk-ass friends on more than one occasion, and I’m almost positive none of my antics made it into this book. And that is a little shocking because I have had some moments in this lady’s backyard, including the morning I let myself into her pool at the same minute she opened her curtains while fully naked. Good morning! [I still promise I saw nothing!]
It’s been a little while since I’ve had time to do a Weekly Procrastination, so I’ll do two today.
I’m going to tell you about the time a lightbulb almost destroyed my relationship, but I can’t do it without a little backstory.
For better or worse, one thing that Jason and I have in common is that we both really like to be right. We can get kind of jerky about it, which means we’re the kind of people who are prone to issue an apology that sounds like, “I can see why you thought I might have meant that.” We don’t mean to be jerks; we just both grew up having to defend ourselves a lot, and I think it makes both of us headstrong in our opinions. It also makes arguments in this house become events better described as Word Offs. We will just beat each other down with constant discussion. Eventually someone will throw up his or her hands and say, “Fine! Whatever you said! That’s what we’ll go with!”
That is the sound of victory around here. Not someone saying, “I’m wrong. I’m sorry.” But someone saying, “You can take this one. I’m so tired.”
It’s still a win, people.
[AUDIO NOTE: I performed this piece this past weekend at Anna David's True Tales of Lust and Love (also starring Melissa Villasenor, Morgan Walsh, and Claire Titelman.) I highly recommend listening to this tale in all its mortifying glory -- it's better with the sound of an audience screech-laughing in horror. Here's the link to the recording of the show. (On iTunes here in the 11/12 show.) I'm the third story.]
[WARNING: This story is not for the squeamish.]
So I’m super pregnant. And with that comes all these horrible things. Like, I can’t feel my fingertips – haven’t been able to in weeks. It’s carpal tunnel, it apparently happens to pregnant women, and it’s shitty. My gums bleed when I brush my teeth, I’ve lost all the hair on my arms, I am down to one position in bed where I can sleep without my legs going numb, I’ve got this cold I’m not allowed to take anything for other than hot baths and pity parties, and there’s a parasite that lives inside of me that absorbs all of my nutrients. Or as my El Salvadorian housekeeper likes to say: “Your baby is stealing your beauty.”