I was seven years old sitting on my father's lap holding a map that he'd drawn on a napkin. He'd laid out the site of one of the concentration camps that he'd spent much of his childhood in, because he was trying to tell me a funny story about sneaking past the Japanese guards with my Uncle Paul so that they could steal a bottle of soy sauce. Because soy sauce tasted better than rocks, he explained. And rocks tasted better than dirt. Unless it's one of those days when you've barely been allowed to eat anything all week, and then they pretty much all tasted the same. Especially when they had to be divided between eight younger brothers and sisters.
Oh, and also. Your pregnant mother.
He widened his eyes as he mentioned that last part, and I remember thinking that I might, for the first time, actually witness my father cry. (As it turned out, his body wasn't physically capable of dancing with that corner of his heart.)
Did his mother find out that they'd stolen the sauce, was the only question that my seven year old brain could come up with.
"She'd died just before that," he said. "Trying to give birth in the camp."
I'm having an especially hard time this week.
Sea Monkey is no longer playing passive aggressive, and has moved on to openly kicking the shiz out of me twenty four seven.
I feel perpetually sick.
It's not helping that suddenly everyone who ever shared with me their forty thousand six hundred and seventy two pregnancy horror stories now claim that their nine months were the easiest trimesters in the whole wide world world and also they only gained ten pounds and delivered in, oh, about thirty six seconds, probably because they took three birth classes and had sixteen doulas and four birth plans that involved swimming pools and chants and standing on all fours while whistling She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain When She Comes.
You see, if I just did this or read that book I'd be much better. Which they know, because they're mothers, like, five times over, and it's no. big. thang. Really, it's pretty easy. Or, it should be easy. Wait, you're not having an easy time? DID YOU TRY THE WHISTLING?
So. This should be easier. I know this should be easier. I'm educated. Well established. In shape. I have every amenity and advantage at my fingertips. I have no right to feel overwhelmed. That's just being ungrateful. This is a tremendous gift. The only thing truly important is the baby's health. I have no place complaining or being scared. I realize that compared to women around the world, hell, women on the other side of town, that this, really, this should be a mother effing cakewalk.
Also, you're not supposed to curse in front of a fetus, they say.
Not even effing.