Button has grown to be the size of an organic blueberry (which is smaller than a non-organic blueberry), and Jameelah has been experiencing all sorts of pregnancy symptoms: throwing up, nausea, lightheadedness, and of course, mood swings. She came home one day and burst into tears. I had never seen her like this. Surely something awful, terrible must have happened. I stopped breathing.
“What’s wrong,” I asked, hoping to God it wasn’t what every expectant parent fears during the first three months. The impact of that would be devastating for us, for anyone. This constant fear and worry was probably the beginning of what parenthood must feel like.
“I’m going to get fat!” she said between severe, sniffly sobs, “and you won’t find me..sniff… attractive anymore. You’ll think I’m fat…and…sniff…UGLY!!!”
“Aw, sweetcheeks,” I said, pulling her in for an embrace. I was so relieved that that was all it was. “I might think you’re fat,” I said, “because you’ll probably gain weight, but I’ll never think you’re ugly.”
Well, apparently this was not the right thing to say to a pregnant woman. They are not rational human beings. But I guess no one would be who has a parasite growing inside them, throwing their system out of whack. It is best then, to acquiesce to whatever they say, even when it’s completely ridiculous.
We were on the couch, me with a cup of minestrone soup I had made earlier. “Hey,” I said, “look at this little pearl onion. Isn’t it cute? It’s like a baby onion.” We have started noticing the little things: children’s shoes, small animals, baby carrots
“A baby onion?” she said, looking at the spoon I was holding, in which was perched the translucent onion. “Aw, that is cute.” She smiled. “A little baby onion.”
“Wait,” she said, realizing something, “are you going to eat it?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“But it’s a BABY.”
“It’s a baby ONION!”
“Fine, eat it then!”
I ate it.
“How does it taste?” she asked.
“Like tomato-flavored onion.”
“I can’t believe you ate a baby onion…” she said.
Jameelah is looking into a waterbirth, where the baby is delivered in a tub filled with water. Supposedly, it is much less traumatizing for the infant, since it exits its watery home and enters a similar liquid environment. It just emerges and automatically knows to swim around.
“Will you help me catch the baby?” she asks.
“Sure,” I said, imagining myself chasing the little tyke around the birthing tub. “I’m going to get you! I’m going to get you!” But much grosser.
“OK,” she said, “some husbands stay inside the tub, sitting behind their partner as she gives birth. I’m just saying…would you consider that?”
“Oh HELLLL no!!” I said without hesitation. Who knows how long it would take for the baby to arrive. And all that blood and goo. Her eyes narrowed.
“Uh,” I said, thinking quickly, “I mean, I should be outside, so that in case you need me to do something, I won’t rush off all wet and slip and hit my head on the floor or something.”
“That’s a great point,” she said.
April 2nd. That’s 8 months left of this. I hope she doesn’t strangle me before I get a chance to meet my kid.