The Second Trimester, Part 3: Slumber
The Second Trimester,
At 20 weeks in, I began to feel a strange grogginess. It only happened once in awhile, but it would cloud my mind and I’d go into kind of a trance state. At first these trance states lasted just a few minutes. But as the days and weeks progressed, they extended themselves longer and longer. It felt weird, but also kind of pleasant, to go into these states of mind.
One day my mother was 24 weeks pregnant and on the phone with her mother. My grandma. She was proudly proclaiming how worried she was that she might lose her baby, but had no worry for herself. And I was thinking, Yeah, yeah, what a farce, or something along those lines.
She was standing next to a window, and I was looking out the pane from in front of her belly button. I was admiring the beauty of the blue skies, and wishing I could soar through them once again. Soar out, out, and away. Off into space. Off to far distant galaxies. And straight into the long, dark tunnel of a black hole, which would crush me into nothingness and portal me back to the Other Side.
And then I felt the dreaded tugging sensation again. I hadn’t felt it in a long time, but when it came on I instantly recognized it. I knew I was going into the womb deeper, and that this might be my last glimpse of the world outside my mom’s navel.
And sure enough, I was suddenly sucked inside my mother’s body, and all turned to black. I was now in a black hole, but this was a different kind of black hole. It was no portal to the Other Side. It had an exit tunnel, but that tunnel was designed to take me to live, human birth.
I was now completely entrapped within the body of the growing fetus. I was now a brain-body-mind, equipped with wetware for thinking, nerves for feeling, and muscle and tissue for physical functioning. I was now completely human. At least some of the time.
A pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, from the end of the last menstrual period to birth. So at 24 weeks I had only 16 weeks of imprisonment remaining. But my God, how confining! There I was, stuck in this small, dark space, isolated from the outside world.
I could hear the rhythmic beating of my mother’s heart, and the borborygmus of her bowels. And I could even hear noises from outside her belly, although muffled.
I could feel the warmth of her body. And I could feel her movements, whenever she walked, stood, or sat down. But I couldn’t see anything. I was completely blind in the dark cocoon of her womb.
And I was mostly immobile. But I noticed that with some effort I could slightly move a finger, leg, or toe, and twitch or kick a little. That was the only freedom I had, and believe me I worked hard at exercising it. To just wriggle around a little felt empowering. Freedom is everything to any living being, and we will avail ourselves of every opportunity, now matter how tiny, to live free.
The grogginess became far stronger, just as soon as I was tugged completely into the womb. It often took me away to the Other Side, where once again I was Spunjee, frolicking with my friends Scump, Cleeta, and Forchetti. And then it would lift and I’d realize I’d only been in some sort of fantasy fog. A dream, actually. For the grogginess was a transitional state of mind that carried me into a new experience for me, known as sleep and dreams.
At first I only slept a few hours a day. And then I’d wake up and my head would pop back out of my mother’s belly, and I was a spirit again, with a navel’s eye view of the world.
But other times I’d wake up and be stuck inside the belly. It felt different during these occasions. I felt heavy, rather than light. And it was only during these occasions that I could, with great effort, make physical movement, such as wiggle a finger or kick a leg.
These were my physical waking times, when I was a physical being rather than a spiritual being. So I was alternating between the two kinds of beings, sometimes being spiritual and other times being physical.
I slept more and more. I dreamt of the Other Side. I dreamt of This Side. And often I dreamt of nothing at all. All this sleeping and dreaming helped make my incarceration more tolerable. I was spiritually awake more often than not, and I was physically awake for only about an hour or two per day. During these physically awake times I would try out my twitching, wriggling, and kicking.
While physically awake I would grow increasingly claustrophobic. But before I could reach a panic stage, the groggy fog would mercifully overtake me, and off I’d go to slumber land.
Come on back in a few days, or so, for the next installment of The Birth of Tippy Gnu, entitled, The Third Trimester.