I hate being pregnant. When I was taking the baby through his normal routine this morning, I thought, hey, I actually feel pretty good this morning. Maybe I’ll be able to get done all the things I want to today. But just as the time struck for me to put the baby down for his morning nap, I suddenly felt the nudge of nausea against the bottom of my throat. I felt an urgent sensation that I absolutely must get my body horizontal on a flat surface called my bed. I picked the baby up quickly and placed him in his crib, earnestly hoping that he would please go down without much resistance. Thankfully, he was tired and rested his face against the mattress, while inserting his thumb into his mouth. “I love you, my love,” I said, trying to rush out without neglecting to look at him as I said my farewell.
When I got behind the covers of the bed, I thought, I just need to rest for a few minutes and then maybe I’ll feel fine enough to start on the rest of the things I want to do. I closed my eyes. I just need a little rest, just a little bit.
Then, the baby was calling for me! He was done with his two hour nap and it was time to get him. But I'm not done with my nap! It can't possibly have been two hours. I got the baby and laid back down on my bed while I nursed him.
I had dreamed that we moved into the bottom floor of a mansion and had inherited a homemade fry-maker famous all around for it's french fries. All you had to do was turn on a switch on the wall and it made dozens and dozens of fries from the potatoes sitting next to it. Someone was trying to talk to me in the dream, but in my haste, I had to leave them. I went to the kitchen where the fry-maker was and switched it on. Thick, three foot fries were coming out of it! And I could not help but feast on them, stuffing the freshly fried, hot things into my mouth one at a time.
I awoke desperate for homemade, freshly fried three-foot french fries.
I tend not to have desperate or weird cravings. Rather, I have aversions for anything that is not what I want, which is usually steak. However, today, I needed french fries. Not the McDonald's kind. Not Burger King. Thick, looks homemade, and fried.
When the baby finished nursing, I looked at him. I felt even worse than I did before I fell asleep. It was time to feed him his baby food now. "Do you want to feed yourself, A.J.? Do you want to feed yourself?" I said in my high, mommy voice.
No response. (He can't talk yet).
"No? Are you sure you don't want to? Come on. You can hold a spoon. Maybe you can feed yourself. Boy, you stink. Did you poop?"
After his diaper change, I brought him to the dining room and plopped him into his high chair. "Momma's gotta eat her lunch first, okay little one?" I was craving some angel hair with tomato sauce, no meat added. I wanted to feed him, but I felt it was a situation similar to putting your airmask on yourself before putting it on your child, as they tell you on airplanes in case of an emergency. He stared at me as I shoveled the angel hair - how angelic it was! - down my throat. He sucked on the thick pages of his cardboard book.
I called up Andrew. "Andrew, I never want to be pregnant again," was my greeting.
"Don't worry, babe. After the baby comes, you'll forget all about the pain." From joy over the fruit of her womb, a woman forgets her labors. It was true. The moment I first had A.J. in my arms, I thought, I could totally do nine months of pregnancy and go through labor again! What a small, small price to pay! I want a ton more of these! I was happy that I could not remember the misery of pregnancy in all of its vividness, because I didn't want it to stop me from having more and more like my little A.J.
"That's the problem! I'm going to forget," I said, "and then I'm going to find myself right back here again." I knew I also forgot the true pain of giving birth the moment I saw A.J. It was like sitting in a roller coaster as you look over the top, and it's a steep, steep hill to descend. And all you're thinking is, "That's it, I'd like to get off now. I don't want to go through with this anymore. I'll just get off right here." But it's too late. You can't get off! But then what happens once you get off the ride? You get right back on again and find yourself at the top of the roller coaster thinking the same thing you were last time. Just like pregnancy! After several times I probably will find myself in my first trimester time and again saying, "No more!!! I cannot even imagine ever having to go through this again."
"A.J. is fully sufficient. Two kids will be enough," I said.
Andrew laughed. After he got off the phone with me, he found out one of his meetings was canceled. An hour sooner than I was expecting, he called me from the supermarket and asked me which kind of french fries he should bring home and fry for me.
(To all you ladies out there, don't worry. Many women have easy pregnancies, and hardly notice that they're any different than before. You'll probably be one of them.)