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High Maintenence Alien Baby
by Liza in

I am now fully expecting and very afraid of my impending high maintenance alien baby.  Out of boredom from reading about my pregnancy week to week - as so little seems to happen at this point that each new week just talks about something that happened in the first trimester.  i.e. "Week 23!  How exciting!  You know, back in week 7, the lungs were forming!  You want to know about week 23?  Oh...uh...did we mention week 9! Whoa, at lot happened then!" - I have taken to doing some reading in Your Baby's First Year: Week by Week

I haven't read more than the first 48-hours.  And it really makes sense that there is also a show with the same name that has dramatic music and discusses topics that make us think that we could be swindled by our electric company, have our identity stolen by a very-well technologically connected guy in Portugal and be warned by a ghost that a mystery man will murder us ALL IN ONE DAY because THIS IS HOW FRIGHTENING THE FIRST 48 HOURS ARE FOR THE BABY.  Or, at least for me.

Do you KNOW, have you READ, do you have ANY IDEA how much like an alien your kid can look like upon entry into this oxygen-breathing world? Especially when delivered vaginally?  It's insane. 

First off, the kid's head will render him/her a perfect candidate for the Saturday Night Live recurring sketch "The Coneheads" if they were to ever bring that back.  Second, it COULD look like your child wanted to play a practical joke on you by pulling a stocking over his/her head to flatten out the ears and nose - except, as far as I know, there are no stockings in the uterus.  Or Scotch tape.  She could also have any one of a number of birthmarks ranging from looking like a little freckle to like full on papaya has been stapled to her head.  Gone are the days of what fruit your baby looks like, now it's what fruit is on her head.

At the risk of scaring the shit of those of you who have yet to read about all this (oh, and there's more, let me tell you) and out of courtesy to all those moms who have already given birth to PERFECT babies where none of this has happened, I shall conclude my list.  But know this! it's not over after those first two days, oh no.  There's cradle cap and possible six months of crusty eyes due to blocked tear ducts and jaundice.  Oy.  And I am praying to God and sending out positive affirmations to the Universe that my child NOT be a preemie.  As much as I want to meet her, I can wait.

Now, am I frightened by all of this?  Well, I guess "frightened" wouldn't be the BEST word, but as I was reading last night I had to put down the book and look enviously at my husband who was NOT reading about all of these things but instead enjoying a nice Vanity Fair article about John Hughes and announce, "Whoa.  There's A LOT."  And then he pointed out that there are millions of parents and they all get through it and we're a pretty good team and we'll get through it, too.  Good point. 

And I know that these books are like the end of pharmaceutical commercials where they have to name every funky thing could ever possibly in a million billion years happen, but it's still a little overwhelming.  Last night, I definitely felt overwhelmed.  And, honestly, slightly trapped.  I know these are all "normal," I'm not worried.  There's a change a' coming.  And it's going to be huge.  And I'm sure there will be thousands of times I will feel that I can't handle it and that I have no clue what I'm doing.  And that's okay.  We'll be okay.  I don't even think I'll be the crazy mamma lady who calls the doc all the time, either.  I'm pretty steady.  I think, like all of us, I just want a healthy baby.  And, knowing that there are SO MANY things that ARE healthy and normal but that LOOK so weird is what's overwhelming.  I feel like I've got to memorize them all so I can recognize the "normal" things.  But I guess I can just look in my book.  Or call friends with kids.  Or call the doctor.  Or call my folks.

In the end, I think we'll all be ok.  And we'll be creating some great memories in the process.


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