« No one ever said on her deathbed, "I wish I'd spent more time with my tit in a plastic cone." | Main | Leading with his chin »

04/04/2005

Cry, robot

GoogleI am going to pour my heart out.

If you're infertile and still trying to have a baby, you'd do well to skip this one, because what I'm going to say is upsetting, especially, I imagine, to anyone who's sure that having a baby will make her happy. And if you're pregnant and happily looking forward to those sweet days of babyhood, better not read much more — I'm sure what I have to say won't apply to you. And if you're pregnant and scared to death about what might lie in store, this entry probably isn't for you, either, when you get right down to it. And if you object to self-indulgence, why, you just haul your Puritan ass right on outta here, 'kay?

I'll wait while you gather your belongings.

Okay, are they gone? Anyone left? At this point I'm pretty sure the only ones still reading this are the search engine spiders.

Fine. Here goes.

Dear Googlebot, I am desperately unhappy.

I'm holding Charlie in his sling right now, curving my arms uncomfortably around him so I can type without jostling him too much. He's finally fallen into an exhausted, fitful sleep, and I'm afraid that any sudden move will bring him back into squalling consciousness. He'll cry, I'll cry, he'll drop his pacifier on the floor, and I'll leak snot onto his blanket in a sun-catching stalactite of sadness.

Maybe he'll be momentarily quieted by the captivating prism effect it casts on the wall. No, that would be too much to hope for.

To put it in terms that will be easier for you to understand, Googlebot, darling, I will rephrase it: 100010101001001001110111010100110011100111011100010111010101001010011.

And furthermore, 0. And the 1 you rode in on.

I never thought having a baby would be easy. Let's get that out of the way right now. I was aware that I'd have to grow accustomed to functioning on very little sleep. We understood that our productivity would give way to the constant demands of caring for a child. I knew, or thought I did, how emotionally draining the newborn period would be. It would all be very hard; I acknowledged that. But I told myself smugly, "Even stupid people do this every day. Surely we can, too."

No, and don't call me Shirley or a complacent jackass who thought she had it all figured out. You're a fine one to talk, anyway, Googlebot, steering people here of all places when they search for terms like "pregnant cat spotting."

I don't truly know whether we have it harder than average, whether Charlie is higher maintenance, whether we're less competent or stable. It doesn't matter much, because you work with what you have. What we have is a situation that's making me feel doomed to unhappiness with no end in sight.

Oh, hey, while I have you here, Googlebot — may I call you Gooey? — do you think you could jigger things so that when people search for "little virgins" and click on a link to my site, their testicles are delivered a jolt of electricity so strong that it sears their pubes into a crumbling frizzle? And when they search for "little vergins [sic]," their partial frontal lobotomy is swiftly completed via a crackling blue bolt of lightning, all thanks to the magic of the Internet?

No? No, what? No, I may not call you Gooey?

There's the reflux, which is flaring up at the moment; Charlie cries when he tries to eat, then cries from hunger because he isn't able to. There's the fact that he simply doesn't nap, delivering no more than 30 minutes at a stretch most days, and that only grudgingly. There's the isolation, not being able to take him anywhere, and not feeling right about going out alone when it means leaving him with Paul when he's so relentlessly demanding. There's the lack of sleep, which is a minor consideration but still worth throwing on the pile, and of course the sobering responsibility of caring for a small beautiful being who cannot fend for himself. There's the unresolved grief, the shellshock, and the deep disappointment of the way Charlie came to be. And the anger, God, the anger! The anger that makes me pant like an animal, with only one thought: This wasn't how it was supposed to be.

Yeah, I could go on, but you already have about 724,000 results for "babies suck," so what would be the point?

When does it end? Everyone told Tertia things would get better at 12 weeks, and indeed they have. Although I know she had an excruciating three months, I'm sick with envy that she's enjoying motherhood while I'm still so wretched. If it's not too much trouble, could you please replace every instance of "gorgeous and divine" on her blog with "gaping, flaring asshole"?

It would make me feel so much better. Thanks. Mighty decent of you, G.Bo. (Do you like that better?)

So back to the subject at hand: when do I get to enjoy this? At eighteen weeks in, I'm hating almost all but the ten minutes every two days when Charlie is visibly happy.

If anyone but you, GooBo, were reading this, I'm pretty sure she'd be agape by now. "Wait," she'd say, furrowing her brow quizzically, "I thought having a baby was supposed to make her happy."

Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

Comments