A stomach sleeper. That’s me. That’s also problematic when you’re pregnant. Not because it’s dangerous, but because it’s impossible.

Have you ever tried to sleep under a basketball?

When I was little I found comfort in the same form of rest, until the pings of the knife left me in the fetal position. The smell of day old lavender on my pillowcase, the dampness of the drool spot I repeatedly moistened, the way my mother tucked the sheets in so tight that kicking a leg out was more of a struggle than staying in. Military Style, she called it. Except my brother and I were not cadets, we were more like heirs to an undesired throne.

It started with my belly button. Pressure in the hole. A piercing sensation. Was I laying on metal? I imagined one of those plastic knives, the ones with the blades that pressed-in upon contact. I’d place my palm under my skin to create distance between the mattress and the undercarriage of my ribs, but it never helped. I could feel the pulsing of my heart escaping into my hand and the worry of the twisting forced me onto my back – a position that would never find me rest.

That’s what it felt like when it hit me. This baby was stabbing me in the gut and soon would leave. It was 2pm on a Tuesday. He was in meetings and I had just arrived home. It started with my belly button. Pressure in the hole. A piercing sensation.

I sat down. I spread out my legs. I wiggled my feet.

This can’t be happening.

Nothing’s happening. I told myself it was fine. Pain was normal. Surely it was normal.

Frequent urination, a good sign. An expected reaction. Except the toilet paper streaked red.

This can’t be happening.

I sat back down. I spread out my legs. I rubbed my belly. I asked her not to leave.

I prayed for a miracle.

No one answered.

work in progress  


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