mango baby.

So that's old news. I was six weeks along when I figured it out, I am twenty weeks now, halfway done. I live my life in weeks now.

The weeks go slow. It never really occurred to me how long forty weeks is. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable amount of time to cook up a baby. Babies are complicated, that's gotta take a while. I did a cross-stitch once, and it took me hours and hours, and a baby is way more intricate. But now that I am living it, it seems so slow. Every week, I receive an email that tells me what's going on with my baby. The first thing I learn is its size relative to some kind of produce. When I first started tracking it, I had a lime baby. I went through pea pod, lemon, apple (what kind of apple???), avocado, turnip, bell pepper. Right now, I have a mango baby.

The emails tell me about development, and I always wonder how they know these things. How can they tell there are fingerprints? Is this knowledge brought to me by a baby that died at the same age as my baby? Did they comfort some woman by telling her that it's very sad for her, but now they know when a baby's skeleton turns from cartilage to bone?

Learning about fetal development is vaguely sad, but mostly weird. My baby's kidneys work, and so there is wizz in the womb. That sounds nasty, but it's okay, the baby inhales the pee fluid and this helps the lungs develop. Gross, Baby...and also impressively efficient. One week, the email said that my baby's eyes were moving to the front of its head. Wait, what? What kind of flounder child was I growing in there? That's pretty weird, Baby.

I think it feels so frustratingly slow because there is just no feedback. You can tell me that my mango baby is developing senses right now, but I'm not 100% convinced there is a baby there at all, at least not a live one. I have appointments once a month, and as each one approaches, I become increasingly convinced that the baby has died, maybe sometime back around the turnip stage. This happened to someone I knew once. Her baby had died, but her body didn't know and kept right along with the hormones for a while.

The first time we went to the doctor, we heard the heartbeat. I didn't expect it to be so fast, but there it was - womp womp womp womp womp womp. I was relieved. Afterwards, Josh confessed to me that until that day, he thought I wasn't pregnant at all, but suffering from some terrible gastrointestinal issues that would likely kill me, sepsis perhaps. He'd apparently been worrying about that, but didn't want to bother me what that ridiculous thought. I told him it was okay, I had been going around thinking I was carrying an expired fetus.

Supposedly, I should be feeling movement any day now. My mom gushes that once I start feeling movement, then I'll really start bonding with my mango-sized parasite. Presumably at that point, I will stop referring to it as a parasite and maybe start calling it a bundle of joy or whatever. I lie in bed and focus on my stomach to feel flutters or taps or bubbles or whatever it's supposed to feel like. I've discovered that I can feel my heartbeat in my tummy and that there seems to be an increase in gas lately. No baby. It's probably dead. The emails say that the baby is developing senses now, so maybe if I yelled at it, it could hear me. BABY! CALL YOUR MOTHER, SHE WORRIES.

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