Should you ever find yourself too huge/lacking ab strength to roll oneself off the couch, and you are in dire need of ice water, apparently it is completely natural to simply cry until your caretaker comes rushing to your side to ask what you need.
And should you get yourself so worked up crying that you throw yourself mercilessly into a coughing fit and are unable to answer your caretaker when they ask what you need, it’s a given that they will also get frustrated because they cannot figure out how to simply SHUT YOU UP AND MAKE YOU PLEASE STOP CRYING.
And this is how bronchitis during my last few weeks of pregnancy sent me reeling back into infancy.
I used to think pregnancy was a good way to prepare you for being a parent. After all, you can’t sleep, you sacrifice tons for someone else and you never, ever feel sexy because there is always food on your clothes and your hair hasn’t been washed in a week. It’s a natural transition from pregnancy to parenthood.
Now, however, I don’t think I’m preparing for a baby; I feel as though I am just becoming a baby.
I can remember the exact moment I had this breakthrough. I was curled into the fetal position on the couch, coughing uncontrollably and – admittedly – wetting myself for the umpteenth time.
(Look, I have a 10-pound baby bouncing on my bladder. A teeny sneeze causes incontinence; bronchitis = biblical flood.)
Back to the breakthrough.
I was incredibly hungry and thirsty but couldn’t fathom the thought of moving. Oh, and the dog was barking at someone walking by our home, which startled me, which is how I began coughing and crying and peeing in the first place.
Did I mention I have a toddler I am somehow responsible for while in this state?
I was helpless. Completely helpless. Scared, hungry and feeling incredibly disgusting, I did the first thing that came to mind: I called my mom.
“Would it help if I flew down and stayed for a few days until you got better?”
I couldn’t even respond. I just cried.
So let’s recap: I’m wearing what most would consider adult diapers, crying around the clock and the only thing that can make it better is my mom.
Yup – I am a baby. A big, fat baby with another baby in its belly.
And I only have a few weeks to mature into a capable adult who can care for the actual baby who also will be in diapers, crying around the clock and need its momma to make anything better.
It’s quite terrifying, actually, because after a while, you get used to being doted on. Now I get why the “Terrible Twos” happen; we spend the first few years of a kid’s life rushing to their aid every time they make a peep, then they become a toddler and we decide, “Nope, you need to sleep on your own/feed yourself/ask for things nicely/use a toilet.”
That’s a pretty rude awakening.
My mom left on Sunday, and I threw myself a little tantrum upon realizing that I’d have to now cook, clean and shower. I suppose that’s what responsible adults do.
But I may have to stay in the adult diapers until Baby No. 2 comes. What? It’s not like babies make it to the toilet EVERY TIME, either.