Dear Fetus by Jessica Dur

Dear Fetus:
 
Let me begin by saying, Welcome!
 
I trust that you are finding everything you need. And I hope you're getting good and cozy, because I would be devastated if you found the accommodations unsuitable and decided to break your nine month lease. I'm in this for the long haul, and I'm assuming you are, too.
 
Having said all that, I'd still like to get a few things off my chest. I've whined and complained to your Daddy, grandmother, aunts, and even the sympathetic woman at McDonald's who knows, deep down, that I'm not one of those people who thinks of a vanilla milkshake as lunch. So I figured why not just tell you, the very source of all the trouble, exactly how you're already impacting Mommy's life.
 
First of all, you've rendered some of my favorite activities—eating sushi, doing downward dog, obsessively coveting a flat stomach, roller-skating—utterly taboo, even dangerous. But even worse, I am nauseous all day long, no matter what I eat or don't eat, so that life now perpetually resembles the morning after those freshman-in-college-nights of drinking Kool-Aid/Mountain Dew/Vodka smashes in my dorm room until 3 am. I know you can't possibly appreciate how wrong it is to mix alcohol with copious amounts of sugar, but take my word: It's just not worth it.
 
You're also stealing all the energy I once had for meticulously dusting the corners of my living room and collaging birthday cards. Instead of experimenting with my new candy thermometer, I lie on the couch reading books like “The History of Birth” that should make us both breathe a sigh of relief (are you even able to sigh?) that we aren't living anytime before 1980.
 
Thanks to your nutrition needs, my own digestion has slowed to a dull crawl reminiscent of rush hour traffic in L.A, leaving you to blame for my alarmingly robust gas—which wouldn't be so bad, honey, if I didn't already share a bed with Daddy, who really knows how to smell up the sheets. (Since you'll be sharing our room soon enough, I guess you'll get payback on this one).
 
You've also turned my once dainty waist into its own expanding universe and relegated me to wearing black stretch pants and T-shirts. None of my jeans (including that desperate post-holiday pair) fits anymore, because somehow you're causing my thighs and butt to swell, too. Which makes stretch pants a risky endeavor indeed.
 
Thanks to you, I'm afraid of hemorrhoids, unpasteurized goat cheese, coffee, sleeping on my back, doing Zumba, and eating any kind of sliced lunch meat (actually the latter is probably a blessing). Fear has become my constant companion, whispering savage things (not suitable for your undeveloped ears yet) about all that could go wrong. Get used to it, your Grandma says. Welcome to parenthood.
 
But, my dear sweet offspring, there is another (albeit shorter) side of the story that I can't in good conscience leave out. Thanks to you, you little apricot-sized procreant being, my breasts are growing at a more rapid clip than my stomach and ass combined. So what if my nipples are getting darker and lumpier, more dark chocolate almond, less strawberry gum-drop? So what if they feel like bruised punching bags with blue veins appearing like seasonal rivers? The fact is, I'm already outgrowing the brand new C cup that Daddy bought me at Target just a couple of weeks ago—a development that's fun, incidentally, for the whole family.
 
And we haven't even reached the second trimester! Everyone says that by then, my energy will have doubled, my stomach will be settled, and my skin will be glowing. So when we get there, please feel free to dispose of this letter in whatever way you see fit. In fact—and this shouldn't be too hard for you, given the size of your brain—let's go ahead and forget it ever even happened. I'm actually feeling better already.
 
In closing, dear fetus, I'd like to reiterate again how very happy I am that you've taken up residence inside my womb. Please continue to make yourself at home, enjoy the ice cream and pizza while it lasts, and if you can remember anything, let it be this: Head first, face down!
 
With kisses and crossed fingers, Mommy
 
This fall marks the first time in 27 years that Jessica Dur did not return to the classroom as either student or teacher. She lives, writes, and watches her belly grow in Santa Rosa, California, to the tune of her husband's piano playing and their neighborhood crows. Her writing has appeared in Fractured West, Frostwriting, The Sun, The North Bay Bohemian, and Shareable, and she was recently awarded Story of the Month by Long Story Short. She blogs at www.gyrlwryter.blogspot.com.

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