Genetically Mutated Potato
This is always a good thing. I have a restless insomnia that keeps me turning like a rolling pin all night along. I’m also convinced that my potato (because it is very obviously, as you shall soon see, no longer a bean) is hanging out on my left side, and only my left side, which means every time I roll over onto my left side, I start panicking that I’m squashing it. Now, I know that I’m only thirteen and a half weeks pregnant, and the potato is supposedly buried deep behind my belly fat, well cushioned with amniotic fluid – but I’m telling you, every time I lie on my left side, I can totally feel this hard, potato-like thing inside of me, that I’m totally sure I’m squashing. Anyhow, I don’t sleep enough, leaving me far more kvetchy than any good husband should have to deal with, and in the morning, I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep – which of course, just exacerbates my inability to fall asleep at night…
So, I’m awake. I roll over on to my back, pull off my eye mask and adjust to the sunlight. I look down at my swollen body, stretched out on the bed.
There is an alien in my stomach.
My belly is completely lopsided – the left side a big bulge, the right side – flat. I put my shaking hand on the bulge. It’s hard. There is something, about the size of a small potato, directly under the skin.
I freak out.
As I’m hyperventilating, my finger fluttering on the protrusion, the bump slowly rolls in to the middle of my stomach, sinking into the fat so my belly regains its normal, symmetrical curve and spongy soft feel.
This is where I really really freak out.
At thirteen weeks, you are not supposed to be able to see your baby bulge. At thirteen weeks, your baby is not supposed to rise out of the skin like that. At thirteen weeks, your not supposed to be able to see and feel your baby move across your stomach.
My husband does not understand the extremity of the weirdness of this.
“Why are you hitting me?” he grumbles.
“I’m freaking out! I’m freaking out!”
I open my laptop and start searching. Every single pregnant woman who has written about experiencing this thing was at least eighteen weeks along, if not twenty. I post on babycenter.com, asking – what the hell is going on? “It’s just gas,” one woman replies. Like hell! I’d have to have eaten a swimming pool of Israeli yeshiva chulent complete with squirming alley cat to even begin to produce that kind of flatulence!
I leave a message for my midwife, but I’m sure she’s up to her elbows in some other woman’s uterus, and she won’t get back to me for awhile.
And now, I miss my Mommy. It feels like a biological urge, the desire to run to my mother for help as I morph into a mother myself. She had eleven of us, and four of my sisters already have multitudes of their own. Surely there might be some encouraging reassurance amongst all these case studies of women who share my genetic material!
But I can’t call her. She is too freaked out by my life choices and has no qualms about hurting me in the name of god, religion or protecting her religious children. If I call to ask for her reassurance it will only build a small rope of connection that will hurt that much worse when she uses it to flay me shortly after. I’ve experienced enough regretted attempts to know that.
Think of yourself as an only-child orphan, I try to console myself. Because lord knows if this potato is adventurous enough to be flying across my stomach like this, it certainly doesn’t share any genetic material with its meek flocks of cousins. It’s a genetically-altered potato, a new seed in the a new line, altered forever by the mutations evolved in its mom and dad: freedom, exploration and doing whatever it takes to freak its parents the fuck out!Printable Version