On Having a Normal Pregnancy

Technically, I shouldn't even be writing this. I'm only 10 weeks pregnant and all of the Alarmist Manuals on Pregnancy tell you not to disclose (to anyone other than your baby daddy) the fact that your new pooch o' Roo is actually your Great Expectation. And not a pooch full of your recent binge on Nutty Bars. Although, if you wanted to do a sampling of my new pooch, in addition to finding a placenta and a fetus, you would probably also discover assorted Little Debbie treats, an inexplicable lot of popcorn, and Wolfgang Puck himself.

The Alarmist Manuals say that's all normal. Eating the GDP of Australia, that is. 'Tis normal. The Alarmist Manuals are good for saying that. They tell you every behavior is normal. Nothing is original. Growing a third eye ball? Suddenly speaking in tongues? Normal. Normal. I'm subscribed to as many listservs on pregnancy as exist in the English language. They all say the same thing. You're barfing up all your organs? That's not unusual. Just deal. You're not special. You're just pregnant.

And yet. When I speak with other pregheads, or others who have been through the experience, they quickly resound, "But every woman's different! And every pregnancy is different!"

If that is the case, then why does every symptom I experience seem completely, diagnostically abnormal? Now, admittedly, my symptoms have been very minimal. Had I not peed on a stick over a month ago, I probably would have gone about my usual exercise routine, maintained my usual bedtime, sent the remiss Aunt Flo a postcard - "Wish you were here! If only for my piece of mind." Since I don't drink or eat shellfish anyway, my lifestyle has not changed much as it is. And yet, I am profoundly different in every way. I have kept a huge secrets from the people I am closest to in my life. I have felt exhausted by 9:15p.m. I have eaten Wolfgang Puck! What is normal about that? Nothing! It's highly unusual behavior for me! Craving Korean dishes with all of my might and wondering if this is because I am now carrying a human bean that is 50% Korean inside of me? THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

That is just pregnancy. And everything about pregnancy has evidently already been written. And therefore, my state is normative. Even though something so wonderful and mysterious and oftentimes confusing could never be normal in my eyes. Just as the Wee Baby Lee that I so look forward to meeting in 30 weeks time may be described by some as "healthy" and "normal." But he or she will be everything extraordinary in my eyes.