Open Letter to My Unborn Daughter (or Son)

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Open Letter to My Unborn Daughter (or Son)

be your mother, and how much I believe in the four words my grandmother drilled into me everyday when I was a child.

"This too shall pass," she would say. And it usually did. This part, the part in which you inhabit my body, will not go on for more than another five months, I know.

But I have to tell you that those pictures of pregnant women I have seen on the covers of parenting magazines, and baby-making websites are remarkably misleading. I haven't had any moment that resembles the total calm with which they are infused. For months now I have been throwing up every other meal that I ingest. I have not slept for more than 2 hours at a time, because I have to get up 4 times a night to pee. Nothing spicy has passed my Jamaican lips in God knows how long. I can go from full to ravenous in less than three minutes—and if I do not eat right away, the retching that follows leaves me heaving and barely able to breathe on the bathroom floor. Bowel movements are a bit like the current world economy—effort-filled and largely fruitless.

I have also been having the most creative nightmares. I've panted awake to discover a sharpened metal stake skewering me from spine to navel, only to actually wake up weeping with gratitude that I was only dreaming. I've dreamt that I gave birth to a puppy, a parrot, a book of poems, and a boy with the face and politics of George W. Bush. Some nights, I am afraid to fall asleep, lest I dream of some new horror from which I am unable to wake up. All this I endure, with no one to stroke my back, my hair, to hold me and gently remind me that none of these nightmares are real.

Now every time I see a photo of some pregnant woman, hands resting gently on her swollen middle, sporting that beatific smile, I get the urge to wrestle her to the ground and demand why she is perpetuating the lie that pregnancy is this stress-free process where we have time to stand around looking like the picture of perfect bliss. And even though you did not ask to be dragged from wherever you were before you landed so squarely inside my uterus, I find myself empathizing with those long-suffering mothers who go on and

Comments [2]

Grace Moon's picture

Thanks again Chin for a

Thanks again Chin for a revealing account of the realities of mommyhood.


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Conlite's picture

Please!  No hydrangeas.

Please!  No hydrangeas.