Category: Family

The Second Trimester, Part 3: Slumber

This is the next installment of my autobiography, The Birth of Tippy Gnu.
To read the previous installment, click this link.
To start at the beginning, click this link.

The Second Trimester,
Part 3:


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.

The Second Trimester, Part 2: The Lie

This is the next installment of my autobiography, The Birth of Tippy Gnu.
To read the previous installment, click this link.
To start at the beginning, click this link.

The Second Trimester,
Part 2:
The Lie

Early on in the second trimester I saw my family jewels form. And that’s when I knew I was going to be a boy. If I survived. But this made no difference to me. I had no preference for gender, because I knew how crazy life is for all humans.

Each sex has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s no more better to be a boy than a girl. No matter what gender you sport between your legs, it’s what you carry between your ears that really matters. I hoped that I would be born with a brain smart enough to cut through the craziness of life, and avoid at least some of the misery that so many humans put themselves through.

As the fetus that would house me developed, my supernatural powers deteriorated. I could hover about 5 feet above my mother’s belly until late in the fourth month. Then I felt myself drawn in by that damnable tail, closer and closer to her womb. I struggled against the pull, but to no avail.

One day the fetus kicked a little. And with that tiny little movement my spirit was sucked halfway into the fetal body. Now the best I could do for freedom of movement was to poke my head outside the womb and observe what was going on directly in front of my mother.

I could still read minds, and I still retained my fond memories of the Other Side. But I couldn’t roam more than a foot away from my mother’s belly button. From that vantage, I observed my family. I observed the house I might soon live in, if the doctors had their way. And I observed X-ray machines, and medical probes, and people in white uniforms who put on a good show of caring and kindness toward the owner of my womb. And I felt my mother absorb all that attention like a rising starlet with newfound fame. I heard her heart pound with joy.

Mom got the cancer diagnosis at 15 weeks. At 18 weeks, she saw an oncologist. She sat on the examining table while I poked my head out and watched this specialist. The oncologist seemed immersed in thought, while studying some papers at a desk. After about a minute he looked up, adjusted his glasses, and solemnly announced, “Mrs. Morabundus, this diagnosis is extremely serious. There’s a good chance that you won’t survive if you don’t have an abortion and complete hysterectomy, immediately. And I’m hoping even now that it’s not too late.”

“Mrs. Morabundus?” my mom asked aloud, and I to myself.

The doctor quickly looked back at his papers and studied them for a few seconds, while presssing his finger on the top line of a page. “Yes,” he asserted, “Blanche Moribundus. It says right here. You are Blanche Moribundus, aren’t you?”

My mother furrowed her eyebrows. “Nooo. I’m Savanna Gnu. Savanna Green Gnu.”

The doctor now furrowed his own eyebrows. He returned to the paperwork. He shuffled it about. He examined various pages. He muttered words like, “Hmm,” “Wow,” and “Oh dear.” Then he mumbled, “Excuse me for a minute,” and he picked up all the paperwork and walked out of the office.

For about 10 minutes we heard muffled yelling and scoldings from another room. It sounded exciting, and I so wished I could fly over and watch the action, but my head could travel no further than my mom’s damned bellybutton.

Finally the doctor returned. He bowed his head in shame. His hands trembled. He collected his thoughts. Then he looked up directly into my mom’s eyes. “Mrs. Gnu,” his voice shook, “I’m afraid there’s been a terrible mistake. But-but not-not for you. This is good news for you! Our lab mixed up the medical records and it turns out you do not have cancer after all. Your tumor is benign. It should be removed when you give birth, but at present it poses no danger to you or your fetus.”

My mom was stunned. Her eyes widened, and she sat silent for about 15 seconds. This was another one of the longest periods of silence I’d ever witnessed her go through, except when sleeping.

Mom didn’t like this news, and she resisted. After that quarter minute, she opened her mouth and began arguing with the medico. But he held firmly to the facts presented in her corrected medical records. Finally she got up and left, feeling disheartened and frustrated. What would she tell everyone who had been giving her so much love and sympathy? How could she deal with no longer being the focus of everyone’s attention? It seemed her three weeks of fame was over.

I too, felt disheartened and frustrated. Now it seemed there was no way I could avoid birth. The Other Side seemed further away from me now, than at any other point thus far in this ordeal.

Then my mom did something incredible. She hid this “good” news from her family. She continued on as if the cancer diagnosis was still valid, and let everyone believe she was still waging a heroic battle to save her baby against all odds.

I was the only one who knew it was a lie. But what could I do? I couldn’t communicate with anyone. I was stuck in her belly as a passive observer, my ethereal head protruding out, watching, listening, and reading minds to some extent. But I had no power to make others read my mind.

I noticed that the further along my fetus body developed, the weaker my metaphysical powers grew. But my memory of the Other Side remained strong. I longed to return, but knew it was impossible. I didn’t want to live in a world so cold and complicated that a person might want to lie in order to be loved. I longed for simpler times, where psychic communication prevented deception, and where beings could not play games and trick each other so easily.

Come on back in a few days, or so, for the next installment of The Birth of Tippy Gnu, entitled, The Second Trimester, Part 3: Slumber.

The Second Trimester, Part 1: The Aborted Abortion

This is the next installment of my autobiography, The Birth of Tippy Gnu.
To read the previous installment, click this link.
To start at the beginning, click this link.

The Second Trimester,
Part 1:
The Aborted Abortion

I had given up all hope for returning to the Other Side. And then a miracle happened.

Mom went in for a routine X-ray, to see how I was doing. The next day, she was called back to visit her obstetrician immediately.

He was a very old dude. A Seventh-Day Adventist. Religious people . . . they’re a real trip. They have all these notions about the Other Side that are laughable. They’ve got no idea. They once knew, but on This Side they’ve forgotten, and have made up all sorts of hilarious gobbledy-goop about it. My Other Side pals and I used to joke about it all the time.

But anyway, this doc was very old, so he was going to find out for himself about the Other Side, very soon. He had a grave look on his wizened face, that he employed to transfix my mother’s eyes and hold her hypnotic. He droned in a slow, steady, extremely serious monotone, “We found a very large tumor on your ovary. It might be cancer. If it is, your life is in danger.”

He scheduled my mom for a biopsy. After that bit of surgery, that I watched with interest from a short distance, she went in for another consultation.

“It’s cancer.” he solemnly proclaimed, with his aged, crackling voice.

My wide-eyed mother fell dead silent for one of the few times of her life. Finally, “Cancer? Are you sure?”

“Yes, we’re very sure,” the doctor continued. “And it’s very advanced. Your life is in danger. You must have surgery immediately to remove everything. It’s more than a full debulking. You need a complete hysterectomy as soon as possible.”

“A full deb . . . deb . . .”

“Everything has to go!” old man doctor interrupted, while waving a bony arm. “Including the fetus.”

Holy shit! A thrill shot through my cosmic aura, and I lit up like Manhattan at midnight. I was going to be aborted! I could go back to the Other Side after all!

My mother’s reaction was different. She closed her eyes. She took a deep breath. And I read her mind. She felt elated! A hint of a smile curled one side of her lips. She then opened her eyes and addressed her doctor.

“No,” she slowly and firmly iterated with conviction. “I will not abort my baby. I don’t believe in abortion. I’m keeping it, and I’ll have to trust in God’s will.”

Goddamnit! I had a religious fanatic on my hands, who wasn’t going to allow me to escape! I was really pissed off. I wanted to shout at this woman that there is no God. But really there is. Kind of. It’s just not the sort of God conceived by the mortal clowns on Earth. What people think of God is as laughable as what people think of the Other Side.

Then it occurred to me that religion had little to do with my mom’s decision. When I read her thoughts, and read her heart, I detected that she felt delighted at the grim news her doctor gave her. And when I read deeper, I figured out why she felt so elated. She perceived herself as unworthy of love. But with a cancer diagnosis, she could now command sympathy, and get attention from family, friends, and medical professionals. She was about to enter center stage of a great medical drama, and be the star of the show.

She would be the heroine, struggling bravely to save her unborn child. Trying to beat the odds. Garnering sympathy from all quarters. Held up to the attention of the world as someone lovable and respectable.

She didn’t give a damn about her fictional God, or me. This was all about her. My mother wanted love. And so because of her selfishness, I wouldn’t be aborted.

Well shit, this was going to get ugly. I still hadn’t given up hope for escaping from her womb, but now it appeared that she would have to die before the escape could be effected. And if they took me by C-section, my escape might be prevented, even if she did die.

But there was nothing I could do. I was completely at the mercy of modern medicine and the cancer slowly devouring my mother’s body. I could boo and hiss at her doctors, while cheering on the tumor, but my role was relegated to that of spectator.

Come on back in a few days, or so, for the next installment of The Birth of Tippy Gnu, entitled, The Second Trimester, Part 2: The Lie.

"Depths of Poison" Book 2

Scroll down to read the sequel.

Marie Lamba, author

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