From what I’ve been reading, (4-sentence articles on The Bump app, plus the first 2 pages of every baby book I’ve been assigned), at this point baby can recognize regular, repeated sounds she’s hearing, and these sounds might be soothing to her outside the womb. That’s why many newborns are calmed by lullabies that were frequently sung to them in utero, or the sound of the vacuum.
Our baby will be soothed by mild cursing, text alerts, sarcasm, the universal accent of all food delivery men, and the sound of the toilet flushing.
(Part of the Ebola Mom series)
Pregnancy hormones unleashed my usually-contained snark, but seriously wtf is happening right now.
Apparently our baby can now fully recognize my voice and maybe even the voices of the regular characters in my life. Here are the thoughts I imagine she is having as she processes information from the outside world:
- My mom has a lisp. Christ.
- My dad keeps saying he hopes I look like my mom. I guess he thinks it’s bad to be something called “prematurely bald” and have something called “stumpy Corgi-legs.” I really hope I look like Mom too, because if I do, Dad said he’s already planned a gift for me on my 16th birthday. It’s called a “rhinoplasty,” and it’s very expensive. I can’t wait to open it! I have the nicest dad.
- My mom’s favorite chair is the oval-shaped white one with the hole in the middle that makes a whooshing sound when she stands up. She sits on it all day. Sometimes I wonder if she has time for a job.
- My mom has a best friend named Sauvignon Blanc. For some reason, this friend went away. I know this because my mom talks about how much she misses her, pretty much all day every day and sometimes even in her sleep. But the exciting thing is that her best friend will be back, quote, “the second this thing (that’s me!) comes of her vagina.” She says they’ll reunite right there at the hospital bed. It’s nice that Sauvignon is coming back just in time to welcome me to the world. She sounds like a good, dependable friend. I get why my mom relies on her so much.
- There’s only one other kid in my mom’s family, and they named him “The Boog.” I am fucking terrified to be named by these idiots.
- I don’t know what a couch is yet but it sounds like something you binge-eat and complain on.
- My mom isn’t thrilled about what I’m doing to her body. I know this because whenever my dad politely asks to take a picture of her, she makes a noise that’s kind of a mix between the frantic wailing sound I plan to make once I climb my way out of here, and the sound of a tortured, vomiting animal. She reassures me that she still loves me, she just wishes she had $100,000 so that she could pay for me to destroy someone else’s body and sanity, but then still get to take me home after. It’s something called a “surrogate” and she does a lot of research about it because she’d, quote, “rather manually drill holes through her eye sockets than have to go through this again.”
- My mom is pretty fucking dramatic.
- My dad’s job is to bring stuff to my mom when she points at it. Sometimes this pointing is accompanied by a whimper or a grunt, but rarely by actual words.
- My dad’s other job is to tell my mom about investments, 401Ks, budgeting and savings plans while my mom sits quietly. She’s so quiet while he does this, in fact, that sometimes I think she’s asleep.
- Mom loves to be asleep.
- There is someone in this family named “Uncle Jeremy.” I don’t really know who he is or what he does or where he goes, but I already understand that at some point down the line, I will be responsible for providing him with food, booze and a place to stay.
- Uncle Zack takes four years to say one sentence.
- Aunt Steph is the one whose voice never changes. She might be the happiest person in the world, or the saddest. I cannot tell.
- Big Steve has all the money. My mom is the best at getting that money. She will teach me, and I will be even better at it than she is.
- This family has a tiny pet bird with a very soft voice. Its name is Charla. Cha Cha for short.
- My mom has this thing called a blog, where she writes down all her thoughts and feelings and everyone in the world can read them. She seems to love to write and to share her writing but I don’t know, man….seems like this might mortify the shit out of me someday. I think that because I’m family, though, she’ll be careful about what she says, and she won’t purposely embarrass me. But the Cha Cha bird says these are “famous last words.”
My endocrinologist, who I now see for my newly acquired thyroid problem (thank you, pregnancy) is VERY old and the NICEST man, but also quite possibly the weirdest, and he never lets the appointment end without giving me parenting advice that I did not ask for.
Doctor: “The books are going to tell you all kinds of things, and everyone is going to have their opinion, but let me tell you right now, the best thing you can do is have your baby sleep in the bed with you.”
Me: “Oh, yeah I mean I have no judgement about that. I’m not sure it’s the route we’re going to take, but–”
Doctor: “I’m telling you, do it. It’s just the most wonderful thing to have your kid in your bed with you. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s dangerous, or it’s not healthy. That’s nonsense. Don’t listen to the critics– you can have them sleeping in your bed with you ’til they’re 13!”
Me: (laughing) “13!? Alright well THAT’S a little extreme.”
Doctor: “That’s what my wife and I did with our son.”
Doctor: “Yeah and I’ll tell you what, he grew up to be a very nice Jewish man. Very successful, very smart, very well-known. Went into politics. ”
Oh. Is this him?
I wish I could blame this on pregnancy hormones, but no. This shit drives me nuts.
Me: “18 weeks today! Our baby is the size of a bell pepper, and now has a fully formed uterus and fallopian tubes.”
Eric: “Yeah, if she’s still a girl.”
Me: “What does that even mean?”
Eric: “Well, you know. Everything’s a choice these days.”
(Part of the Ebola Mom series )
On Monday I sent an email to all my clients letting them know I am pregnant, and giving them a heads up about my planned maternity leave in the fall. Every single one of them responded with congratulations and well-wishes, except for Ebola Mom, who did not respond at all.
And just now I received this:
She’ll be tough, but he’ll always have the tum tum.
I need this guy out of office before I have children.
Because if my future kid is going to prematurely learn the words “pussy” and “shithole,” it’s going to be from me, goddamnit.
Don’t you dare take that away from me.