So, there’s this thing in pregnancy books, blogs and apps where every week, the fetus is compared to a fruit or food. At first, it’s a cute little sesame seed, then a plump blueberry. Eventually, you graduate to small pumpkin and cantaloupe.
Throughout the weeks of apple, pear, avocado, I’ve been waiting for something more exotic. Something like a jack fruit, my favorite fruit to eat while in Vietnam. I always bought it cut up from fruit vendors on roadside. But, one day in Dalat, I happened upon a woman selling the whole thing. They’re giant. Like oblong neon green textured watermelons. I busted it open right there on the street with my leatherman and dug in.
And spat it out quickly. It was rotten and stinking and truly disgusting. Tasted like fermented vomit. Wow.
I went to the main market in town and bought another one.
Unfortunately, the second one was also rotten.
And that’s when I learned about the existence of durian. A different fruit entirely from Jack fruit. Spiky on the outside, gasoline/vomitty on the inside. Some people love it. Like Jake’s uncle who is a jungle man in Northeastern Australia.
This week, Melvin is as big as a durian. Completely and utterly repulsive. But, this is a mother’s love, right? I’ll love you, baby, even when you’re as big as a durian and just as stinky.No comments
We’re not finding out if Melvin is a boy or a girl. But, from what strangers and colleagues have told us, he or she is definitely a boy.
My office manager told me yesterday that my “wide ass is a boy carrying ass.” She added that my belly button screams boy and so does the lowness of my belly. The security guards at the front desk all say boy. Our childbirth instructor, ever the princess of PC said, “you’re definitely having a boy or a girl.” People on airplanes, airports, hotels, conferences, gas stations, the park. All say boy. And many of them follow it up with “I’m a mother, I should know.” Or tell me it’s the shape of my belly, the wiggle of my waddle. Also, because his nickname is Melvin, we have just started calling him him.
So, we were surprised yesterday when the woman who runs the best falafel place in the valley (and who heaps extra food onto my plate and saves the last pita of the batch “for the baby”) declared with certainty: You’re definitely having a girl. She explained that she looked just like I do when she was pregnant with her daughters. “And I have two girls. I should know.”
She also told me about how, as a Jewish woman, she believes baby showers are bad luck. So is putting anything in the baby’s room until he or she is born. After her first born had a baby, she, the new grandmother, went over to her daughter’s house and decorated the baby’s room, washed all the baby clothes and made a nest for the new family. I kind of love this idea. If you trust your mother/mother-in-law with such a task. Poor Melvin. He (or, she, in this case) will have to share a room with all our fiction books, a bike, most of our outdoor gear, Jake’s clothes, a futon and our keyboard. And, we’ve already had two surprise showers, so his piles of clothes, toys, books and swaddles are threatening to overwhelm the wetsuits and sleeping bags.
Only about nine more weeks until we find out if all the ladies are right or if the falafel woman wins the prize. Then, a lifetime of discovering who this being truly is.No comments
This is all to say, I am so fortunate. Even if Melvin is born this week, he or she is highly likely to survive without long-term complications. In fact, my twin cousins were born at 33 weeks and they are now strapping young tenth-graders. Whew. Thank you, body. Thank you, baby. Thank you, randomness of the universe. And thank you, modern technology, for giving a mama like my friend a chance to be a mama.