Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Your Life, 424 Months, Week 2

When I was pregnant with Zoey I was grateful to know when she was the size of a blueberry. Happy to hear that she had formed a tail at one point, that her arm buds existed, that if I somehow went into labor in my 28th week she had a better than average chance of survival. BabyCenter is the Bible for pregnant women, the New Testament with little room for interpretation. Much like baby wipes, I just don’t know how women ever had babies before it existed.
I signed up on before I was even pregnant. Each week I was emailed tips on fertility and reproductive health. Mrs. Dowell, my 7th grade sex ed. teacher, would have been so proud. And these weekly email tips continued throughout my pregnancy, informing me each week how my baby was developing, how I might be feeling. Oh? It’s normal to have veiny boobs, fat ankles and a stuffy, puffy probiscus? It’s normal to throw up in my mouth several times a day? To want to kill my husband? My co-workers? My cat? Lovely. Just so long as it’s normal.
BabyCenter kept those emails coming after Zoey was born. In fact, I am pretty sure that as I was in labor BabyCenter was right there with me, electronically telling me that my cervix was 95% effaced, that my vagina might be feeling slightly uncomfortable. After Zoey was born I received another email gem something along the lines of Your Baby, Week 1: You might notice that your baby does not sleep for more than 2 hours at a time, particularly at night. And I did. And I swear I was grateful to BabyCenter for pointing that out to me.
But here we are, 84 weeks later. Your Toddler, 20 Months, Week 4: You might notice that it is difficult to eat out in restaurants. And while I should thank BabyCenter for again pointing out the obvious, what I really want to say is no shit, Sherlock? Bring crayons? A snack baggie of carrots? That’s your esteemed electronic solution? My child is shrieking in a steakhouse, standing up on her chair and grabbing at lit candles and you suggest a crayon?
I wonder how much longer I will receive these weekly emails from If 14 years from now I will receive an email titled Your 15 Year Old, Month 8, Week 4: Your child hates you right now. The sound of your voice makes her skin crawl. She smokes pot behind the gym and has sex with her boyfriend. How You Might Be Feeling: Helpless.
And if this is the case, if I am to resigned to receiving these informational emails about Zoey’s development for the next 65 years, why can’t I sign up for my own birthdate? So that I may receive weekly electronic updates on my own development? Your Life, 424 Months, Week 2: I am the size of a step-ladder. My breasts have sagged and even though I still get the occasional zit I am also waging a futile battle against not-so-fine lines. Inside I still think I am 17. How I Might Be Feeling: Absurd.
At least then I would KNOW that this is all normal.

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