I realize that in the past, I have taken some of you for granted. I have not been one to praise you for jobs well done. No pats on the back. No stars in a column. In short, I have been a bad parent. So, here is my way of saying thank you – perhaps it’s a little too late….
Brain: I must admit that I didn’t appreciate all that you did for me. You used to be so on-the-ball – remembering where I left the car keys (and the car!) and what the person across from me had said 5 minutes ago. Now, you have become distracted by such mundane tasks and all you can do is think about one thing: babies. You wake me up at 3am thinking about babies. You bore my friends/family with constant talk of babies. You will let me do or think of nothing else and it’s beginning to be a problem. Yesterday, I put the toothpaste in my purse instead of the bathroom drawer. Monday I got in the shower with my underwear still on. Saturday I (inadvertently) rented a movie I’d seen just the week before. Aside from being forgetful, you are quite mood labile. One second I’m so euphoric and in love with everyone I want to dance around Kevin Bacon style telling the world of my happiness. The next, I’m sobbing uncontrollably because I misplaced $20. Do you see how this is becoming a problem? Please, Brain, don’t fail me completely. I still need you.
Lungs: I remember when you didn’t have to work so hard. When little feet didn’t jump up and down on you like a trampoline. I remember when I could walk across a room without feeling like I was about to collapse or could lie in bed and not worry that I would die in my sleep from lack of oxygen. I know that you continue to work hard despite having less and less room to do so. Thank you.
Heart: Once upon a time you only pumped blood for one person. Sometimes you would stretch your heart-muscle legs a little, like when I’d go for a jog or when I got surprised for my 30th birthday. But, on a normal day, you were content to just thump along. Now, you must work overtime all the time. You race even when I no longer can. I feel you working hard in my neck and in my chest and in my head – it makes me feel like I’m on a constant Red Bull high. Keep up the good work.
Breasts: I can’t decide if you are at your happiest now, or if you are sad. On the one hand, your job used to be so easy: be pretty, fill a t-shirt, and lure the husband’s attention away from ESPN. Now, you are swollen (filling the t-shirt nicely, thank you very much!) but also tender and sore. You know that you have a more important task ahead of you than you have ever had before and you are probably a little nervous: Will I be able to handle TWO babies? What if I can’t make enough milk? What if my now-gargantuan nipples get too sore to pump? What if I embarrass my master by leaking on her favorite cashmere sweater? Yes, you will certainly have more responsibility soon and the task ahead of you is daunting. But, I have faith in you and think that it is a great honor. So buck up, be happy. Great things await you!
GI tract: I must say that I greatly under-appreciated you! There was a time when you did your job so well and I didn’t pay you a bit of attention. I never heard a peep out of you and should have thanked you for your quiet resilience. Now, I’m afraid you are not so silent and charming. You make me belch like a sailor when I’ve always thought of myself as such a lady. You keep me constipated and bloated despite me drinking gallons of water and popping fiber pills by the handful. You make me hungry when I’d prefer to sleep. I know that the large baby-filled-sac in my belly is encroaching on your workspace, but please be patient and try to find a way to work around it. Stop being such a trouble-maker.
Girly Nether Regions: Like your friends the breasts, you used to be quite content with your lot in life. You just got to sort of lounge around, relaxing, waiting for occasional bursts of excitement to come your way. Now, you are both neglected (you’ve forgotten what it meant to be excited!) and abused (ANOTHER transvaginal ultrasound? ANOTHER cervical check? Really?). I’d like to tell you that things will get easier from here, but the truth is that things are about to get a whole lot harder. You’ve seen the videos on YouTube. You know what’s coming. All I can say is, I’m scared too. For the both of us.
Skin: I feel like you’ve kind of been a wallflower in the past – sitting on the sidelines while the other organs got all of the glory. But now, now is your time to shine! What other organs out there can say that they are able to expand and stretch to be 5 or 6 times their usual size? What other organs get to be pampered with daily rubbings of cocoa butter and anti-itch creams? None. I think you’re the lucky one. That being said, I’d appreciate it if you’d continue your Gumby-esque stretching for a few more months – please don’t give in to those evil demons The Stretch Marks. Please.
Body Hair (lower body, in particular): In the past, I have kept you in check. Whether shaved or waxed or lasered, I was the master of you. Honestly, I never really thought you were necessary. Well, revenge is sweet, isn’t it? Now, you get to grow unchecked as it is near impossible for me to navigate to the land below my belly – and to do so with a razor in my hand seems downright irresponsible. So, enjoy your freedom while you have it. Roam free while you can. Soon enough I’ll take the shears to you and will show you once again who is master of her domain.
Legs: You used to be so strong. You’d carry me as I ran and jumped and hiked. You frolicked with me and we were so happy. Now, you are weak and underused. Your poor little muscles have atrophied and you are angry. You’re so angry that you have decided to fight back with excruciating nighttime cramps, irritating restless legs, and never-pretty-in-skirts cankles. I can’t say that I blame you, really. But perhaps you’ll be more forgiving if you know that I too wish that I could take you out for a good romp around the neighborhood again. Please be patient. We will play again soon.
Uterus: I saved the best for last. You had been sitting idle for many, many years and now you are the MVP of this body of mine. You must feel so fortunate to get to be the temporary home of two little human beings. You’ve nurtured them from when they were just bean-size, protecting them from the cruel outside world. You, alone, have been able to watch them on a daily basis, playing with each other, jabbing each other with their feet, holding each other in wrestler poses. You have been the sole witness to their sisterly bonding, their first breaths and their wordless banter. In a way, I am jealous of what you have seen and what you have done, but more than anything I am grateful. I look forward to taking over your job in the near future, but for now, hold those babies within you for a few more weeks. Let them grow and become strong so they are ready to face the world with fully functioning little organs and miscellaneous body parts.Only your mother would tell her own brain that it is 'mood labile'.