Oh, but the other writing thing I have been doing, lazily, when I feel like it, not in any sort of deliberate or goal-oriented way—as I’ve been not-writing all of the other things I should be writing—is journaling my pregnancy. It started out as something of a dream journal, as during my first trimester I had incredibly vivid and often quite hilarious dreams, night after night. Now I am seven months and seem to be at that point in the pregnancy where you dream of birthing other creatures (with my daughter it was kittens and cats):
I’m at the very end of my pregnancy and I’m at the doctor’s office getting an ultrasound. Doc squeezes some kind of substance onto my belly like they do, except it’s a gritty green or pink paste to the side of my navel instead of a clear blue gel. She explains that this is a nutritive paste that babies like to eat via osmosis, and when she glides the transducer over my belly, the grainy, monochrome baby blob on screen does in fact crawl its way to the point just beneath the paste, where it begins munching on the uterine lining like a caterpillar.
Later it is revealed to me that I am pregnant not with a human baby but with with a snake—a beautiful, full-grown albino Ball Python, like the one Xochitl pet at the Snake Farm in New Braunfels so many years ago. The doc explains that the conversion of the embryo from human to reptile does sometimes happen, sometimes spontaneously, sometimes if they don’t give you enough hormones at the beginning of the pregnancy. Since I’m so close to my due date and since it’s just a snake anyway, they decide to extract it while I’m there at the appointment, fishing it out from my navel (which isn’t sealed anyway) with a spoon. May as well! My feeling of disappointment on realizing I won’t be going into labor or taking a baby home to nurse is acute. Immediately I begin trying to figure out how I can get pregnant again, right away, or else adopt or foster a baby. I just want a baby to hold and nurse! Doc (who is now male, or maybe a different doc) is a little abashed, knowing it’s probably his fault the baby turned into a snake, since he neglected to give me enough hormones. He tries to joke around that at least I look great in my black dress—meaning my post-partum body hasn’t changed shape or size much since, you know, I’d had a snake inside me and not a human baby. But I’m not to be consoled, although I do become anxious when I think that, in my distress, I may have let Snakie escape. Realizing I still want her even though she’s not a baby, I ask Xochitl to make sure she is safely contained in a special red snake bucket, which she is. She really is a beautiful snake, gold and coral and cream, but her red unblinking eyes and expressionless face are so emotionless, so reptilian—I wake up almost crying, relieved when the human baby inside me (I can only assume) wakes up too and begins churning his limbs vigorously, in the hopes I get up and eat something weird—maybe a toasted blueberry bagel topped with peanut butter and leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving.