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Issue 29: A Small Otter, a Croque en Bouche

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Yesterday a Lyft driver told me that I was "much more beautiful" than my profile photo and I wondered
 

Woman About the Internet

March 9 · Issue #29 · View online
I am a writer, mother, and decent human being living in Seattle, Washington. My monthly newsletter pairs perfectly with the everyday and the End of Days. I think you're swell.

Yesterday a Lyft driver told me that I was “much more beautiful” than my profile photo and I wondered if perhaps he had a thing for pregnant women. As we approached my destination he calmly added: “I can tell that you are a kind-hearted person who loves sex and fears death.” I gave him three stars.

The more pregnant I get the more very sweet, well-intentioned people ask me what aspect of impending motherhood I’m most excited about. I really need a stock answer to this question, as I typically blurt out something along the lines of, “oh I’m just taking it one day at a time and preparing as much as possible while understanding that I have no control over anything except for my own actions and reactions.” This does not excite people. Instead of blathering on about bonding and bassinets I sound newly sober and fresh out of rehab. But in my small, anxious mind they may as well be asking “how does it feel to get everything you want?”
Well, it feels like I might fuck it all up at any moment.
My child.
At thirty-one weeks, the baby is the size of a small otter or a croque en bouche. A far cry from the lavender bud or peppercorn she was when I first found out that I was a fertile vessel. The more tangible this child is the more desperate I become to glean any insight into who she might be. This leaks out at odd times, for example when I woke Jacob at three in the morning in a panic to game plan what we should do if the baby does not like us. Or when I decided that it made perfect sense to book an appointment at the jauntily named “Bows-R-Bowties” 4D ultrasound studio after years of smugly judging the high-definition ultrasound photos of Facebook acquaintances that made their babies look like melted candles or that wagon of fat Oprah once wheeled out on stage after losing 60 pounds.
A few weeks back, before reaching our final destination of IKEA (home of the allegedly indispensable $20 high chair) Jacob and I dropped by Bows-R-Bowties, located in an unassuming strip mall between a nail salon and the Coast Guard recruitment office. I was not 100% convinced that it wasn’t a pro-life scheme of some kind before all was said and done, but considering that my definition of living on the edge has shifted dramatically in recent months we decided to throw caution to the wind.
Friends, Bows-R-Bowties did not disappoint.
A perky gentleman named Stephen administered the ultrasound, commenting that our daughter most likely has curly hair and double jointed toes. We played along as much as you can when visiting a scrub wearing stranger for non-diagnostic imaging that promises a fourth-dimensional experience of your fetus (the fourth dimension, in case you were wondering, is movement, though I was hoping for a more metaphysical approach).
Then we saw the baby yawn. Her orange, melted candle image floated comfortably on screen, sporting chubby cheeks and a tiny frown. It took Stephen to convince me that I’m expecting an actual human child and not a large koi fish or small dog. 
Not my child, just a whimsical flash drive. And yes, its head pops off to plug in.
Afterward, we were escorted to the front desk, where Stephen’s soft-spoken assistant gave us a 20 minute DVD of the experience as well as hundreds of images loaded onto a baby-shaped flash drive, which I am now using to store all of my important business files. We passed on the offer of a teddy bear that, when hugged, plays a recording of the baby’s heartbeat.
I’ll spare you the images, as although I am very, very pregnant I still realize what they must look like to those not harboring human life. But I’ll note that in one of my favorites she’s leaning on her tiny fist, almost as if winding up for a punch.
No matter what surprises await me in the next few months, this child has an even bigger one coming. I’ve armed myself with a room full of IKEA furniture and the hope that she’ll remember where she was once floating and waiting. Even if she doesn’t like us, there’s that. 
I love you and you are deserving of great things.
xo Drew
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Some of my other writing lives here. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram, you can do so right here. I also hang out on Twitter.
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