I slept most of the time, during the weeks approaching my birth. And when I was awake I usually felt groggy and cranky.
I didn’t like confinement. I kicked and pushed against the womb that imprisoned me. Sometimes I could open my eyes and detect a faint glow of light coming through the skin of my mother’s belly. This gave me hope that there was a free world out there that I might one day be able to reach.
My spiritual body could no longer leave my physical body. But once in awhile I’d have lucid moments where memories of the Other Side came back to me, and I could think and plot and plan with clarity. It was as if my spirit was trying to escape, but the only escape it could manage was to separate itself from the primitive functioning of my fetal brain.
When I could think clearly like this, I always wanted to return to the Other Side. And why not? It was such a wonderful place compared to the hardscrabble drudgery of life in the physical realm.
One night, while listening to the muffled sounds of my father snoring, and my mother softly breathing in deep sleep, I hatched a plan. I decided that after I was born I would simply commit suicide. That would be my ticket back to the Other Side.
I knew I’d have to spend a few years on Earth as a human, because babies aren’t strong enough to commit suicide. I’d have to wait until I could move around well, and be able to toddle to the edge of a cliff, or tie a noose, or handle a firearm with dexterity, or something of that order. But I vowed that as soon as I was able, I’d end my human life and get back to where I thought I belonged.
This plan gave me such a jolt of delight, I kicked my mother with glee. It woke her up. And not only that, but it jostled me around in her womb much more than I’d ever been able to jostle myself before.
Somehow, that kick loosened things up in my prison.
My mother got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. I knew this from the sound of her peeing, and the feel of her deflating bladder.
When she stood up from the toilet, I felt my feet slide down from below her ribcage. It was a weird thing, this sliding, like the bottom had momentarily dropped out of the womb. I instinctively tried to push myself back up, but to no avail.
I had already turned a few weeks earlier, so that I was hanging upside-down like a bat. These days my head was smashed down against the bottom of the womb. I was basically standing on my head.
Could it be? I wondered, feeling excited. Could my freedom be coming very soon? Was this bottom going to open up and let me drop out of this prison?
But then I started feeling that old grogginess return. My spirit let go of its latest escape aspirations and settled back into my fetal brain. And I dropped off to sleep.
I’d like to give you a first-hand account of everything that happened after this. But unfortunately I slept through much of it. And when I was awake, I was in my fetal brain, and not able to comprehend what was going on, in the clear, knowing manner of a spirit mind.
But after I was born and things calmed down, I was able to relax in a reverie that sometimes overtakes newborns. And during these occasions my spirit would sometimes detach from my infant brain, and once again function with clarity. And that’s when I’d overhear adults talking to each other, and I’d actually be able to comprehend what they were communicating.
What follows reflects what I overheard them saying about my last days in the womb:
The day after I dropped in the womb was the day I was born. It happened during the small hours of the morning. My mother had already had four children before me, so she well sensed what was going on. She knew, after I dropped, that childbirth was imminent.
She conveyed her suspicions to my father after he woke up. But she was experiencing no painful contractions, no breaking of water, nor any other signs that my emergence into the world was approaching. So my father shrugged it off and advised her to call the doctor if anything changed. Then he shuttled himself off to work.
Come on back in a few days, or so, for the next installment of The Birth of Tippy Gnu, entitled, Birth, Part 2: The Miracle.