Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy: One month into writing POP ULCER, I have been diagnosed with my first stomach ulcer. Thanks to TUMS and Prevacid, my stomach feels a little less like a voodoo doll. I Â have no appetite. If I can milk this liquid diet, maybe I can finally fit into the clearanced Lady Gaga post-Halloween costume my friend bought me from Wal-Mart. I was too thick to wear it to her baby shower.
My friend is scheduled for a cesarean December 17thâ€” her first baby, and at 22 years old, that’s not bad. I’ve warmed up to the best friend with a baby situation, as long as I hold it while in a seated position. I have nightmares about dropping newborns onto linoleum floors. Their skulls break open like eggs that leak giant yolks. Soft spots are not endearing. I feel as though my finger is going to puncture a soft spot like a rotten apple. I am not the person to call after a positive pregnancy test. Whenever someone tells me she’s pregnant, I assume it’s bad news. I forget some women look forward to birthing. Â My friend will not breastfeed. She plans to pump, but the thought of her baby girl suckling her nipples makes her nauseous. I understand. I must say though, I was a formula kid, and there is still a disconnect between my mother and me.
My mom blossomed in the ’80s in a Whitesnake tank top and a white leather jacket with fringe. And I’m fairly sure I was conceived in the bed of a moving truck to the crooning of MÃ¶tley CrÃ¼e. Her BFF revealed this when I was 13. Mom still listens to hair bands, drives cross country to Oklahoma for the annual Rocklahoma Fest. She met a man there who smoked medicinal marijuana and let her piss in his Winnebago. I grew up in Nag Champa incense and the sound of bitches pounding pianos: Tori Amos, Fiona Apple. I loved the music of women who would have been burned as witches. We try to understand one anotherâ€” my mother and I. Perhaps we’d be closer if I had been breastfed.
This lady nurses quite an intimate connection with her 8-year-old daughter whom she still nurses. Her daughter says that she’d rather “have lots of breast milk than a million melons.” She’s even lovingly named them Boobial and Milkeor. Â I’ve obviously missed out. As this mother says: “There is no safe haven like being at mother’s breast.”Â