It's been nearly two years since I was standing in the bathroom with my heart beating out of my chest, pregnancy test in one hand and chicken leg in the other (you know, to calm my nerves), waiting for my fate to be revealed. As the second blue line slowly started to materialize so did my toothbrush moustache and awkward comb over. By the time it was clear that we were expecting a baby the transformation was complete. I had become the Pregnancy Nazi.
Of course I knew the obvious things I should avoid during pregnancy, like sushi, cat poop and Keanu Reeves movies. But I wasn't your ordinary Pregnancy Nazi. No, I was the Naziest of the Nazis. I wanted to build my paranoia to a level so great that it would prohibit me from ever sleeping soundly again.
So without delay I sped to the the local book store and bought every pregnancy book I could get my hands on, which I happily perused from the comfort of the gigantic plastic bubble that I would be living in for the next nine months. I justified the cost of the bubble because after I was finished with it, it would make a perfect little home for the baby for the first 18 years of its life.
The pregnancy books gave me all the paranoia I could handle and more. Good thing I listened to the books, written by celebrities, preschool teachers and Jehovah's Witnesses and not my doctor. You know, the man who spent 10 years of his life studying the actual medical aspects of pregnancy? What does he know?
Doctor: Foods like fish offer a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for healthy baby growth. Just don't go overboard.
Books: SWEET JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH WOMAN - WHATEVER YOU DO... DO NOT EAT FISH! WE REPEAT... DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES EAT FISH! EATING FISH WILL DEFINITELY RESULT IN A BABY BORN WITHOUT INTERNAL ORGANS AND TWO SETS OF LIPS. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT FISH OR YOU COULD BE AT RISK!
Me: Holy shit - I ate fish last night! Is it too late to revert to the one valuable thing I learned in college and force myself to barf it back up?
Doctor: Carbonated clear sodas may offer some relief from morning sickness. Stick with diet sodas to avoid unwanted calories. Just don't go overboard.
Books: FUCKING FUCK FUCK FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY!!!! WHATEVER YOU DON'T DRINK DIET SODA! THE ASPARTAME WILL RESULT IN A BABY BORN WITH TUSKS AND A SNOUT. IN FACT, IF YOU HAVE COME IN CONTACT WITH ANY DIET SODA WITHIN THE PAST YEAR YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST GO AHEAD AND SET YOURSELF ON FIRE NOW!
All of my restriction and bubble livin' was met with strong objection from my husband, AKA The Pregnancy Un-Nazi. He was constantly shoving glasses of wine in my face, reminding me that in the '60s women drank bourbon and smoked cigarettes throughout their pregnancies and had perfectly healthy babies.
The fact that my husband was on a nonstop mission to get his pregnant wife drunk says a lot about my mood at that particular time. Did I mention the plastic bubble I was living in happened to be in the middle of downtown Crazy Psycho Bitchville?
What a difference a baby makes.
As I sit here typing this, with my laptop resting comfortably on my belly next to my glass of wine and whole salmon (yes, they all fit on my belly, now mind your own business) I think back to how different this pregnancy is.
With Ellie, every single decision I made throughout the day was after careful consideration of what effect it would have on the baby. I wouldn't even let myself sneeze.
This morning I fought terrorists bull back after my breakfast of lead paint.
Most of the time I forget I'm even pregnant. When we go out to eat my eyes wander to the scotch list and I can practically taste the woody smoked goodness in my mouth before I wonder what the hell keeps kicking me in the ribs.
I don't even know my due date. I just know the baby is coming sometime after the pool closes.
That's not to say that I'm not as out of my mind, incredibly, unbelievably excited about this baby as I was with Ellie. Maybe more, because my excitement is not overshadowed by the bone chilling terror of taking care of a newborn.
However, if this baby comes out with tusks then diet soda is definitely off the menu for baby number three.