When I was pregnant, I lost count of how many people told me how to prepare for childbirth. Some insisted that the only way was to have as little intervention as possible (“I tell you, anything other than an island yurt with a whale as your doula just feels unnatural.”). Others urged me to take advantage of all the advances of modern medicine (“Listen to me. LISTEN TO ME. You get all the drugs. Find out if your insurance covers crystal meth and if it doesn’t, text me with the code word ‘Heisenbirth’ and I’ll hook you up.”). On one memorable occasion, a cashier went into great detail about her daughter-in-law’s perineum splitting like a banana peel while I nodded and wondered what I had done to deserve this when all I wanted was to buy my Raisin Bran and vanish into thin air. But if there was one thing they all agreed on, it was that there was no way on earth to prepare for the early days of parenthood.
Honestly, I’ve found the reverse. Nothing on earth could have readied me for the sensation of wanting, needing, to shit out all my internal organs and eternal soul in one otherwordly groaning push, but if I had to prepare a scared pregnant woman on how to handle new motherhood, I know just what I’d say.
Have you ever been the person taking care of a really drunk friend? It’s kind of like that. Let me walk you through it.
“That’s such a cute outfit. Let me take a picture. Hang on, it’s blurry. Let me try again. Still blurry, hon. Stop moving around so much. Open your eyes. No, both eyes. You know what? This is fine. This is as good as it’s going to get.”
“Sweetheart, I don’t know why you’re crying. Everything’s okay. Listen, your favourite song is on! Come on, let’s dance! See, now don’t we feel better? Doesn’t Uptown Funk make everything better?”
“Okay, honey, we’re just going to take this bottle– you haven’t had enough? You seem like you’ve had enough. Alright, fine, but you’re going to– yep, there’s the puke. On my shirt. Thank you for that.”
“Where did your other shoe go? You were wearing two shoes five seconds ago and now it’s nowhere in sight. No. No, don’t cry. It’s okay. We’ll find it.”
“I have no idea what you’re laughing at but clearly you’re amused and not crying so we’re just gonna go with it.”
“You can’t sleep there. Yes, I know my shoulder is comfortable, but wouldn’t a bed be so much more comf– aaaaaand she’s out. And drooling.”
Now, imagine doing this while you feel as hungover as you have ever been in your life during the worst period you can imagine. Like Jose Cuervo skullfucked you and left you in the hotel from The Shining with the blood elevator.. Only you’re not hungover, you just haven’t slept in a week and you’ve been sewn together in places you didn’t realize you had while you’re sitting on a pad thicker than a futon mattress.
It’s like that. But it does get better.
Your drunk friend is a lot of fun.