THEY CALL ME GUNNAR LEE

Copyright 2007
Gunnar Lee
All Rights Reserved

 

            I do not intend to allow life to pass me by. If I am to be a very aware person, I might as well begin early to record my impressions of what I encounter in the expectation that an eventual compendium of my thoughts and opinions will be considered a significant contribution to American life and literature.

            At this writing I reside in utero, expecting to be born around 8th April 2008. Up until this past week, my grandpa, Old Muldoon, referred to me as Fetus Lee.

            I can tell you from recent personal knowledge that an ovary is a very cramped place, no room to stretch out or move around. Iím very happy to be moving on. A scary ride down a fallopian tube and I encountered a speedy swimmer, a spermatozoa. That union was followed by my developing into an embryo by establishing a vascular connection to the uterine mucosa. So you can ask me Y. I know Y. Because of Y, I am a male fetus who has been named Gunnar Lee. Dad likes that name. Mama likes that name, and Grandpa Muldoon is thrilled that I have a very stand up masculine name and not some namby pamby sissie name like Maurice or Roy Ė YUK! As Gunnar Lee, I expect to become a very large, exceptionally strong and impressive person, with a physical appearance suitable to my outgoing personality. One day people will look to me show them the way to deal with lifeís difficult issues. But that is in the future.

            Although life in utero is far less cramped that in an ovary, I can tell you that amniotic fluid is definitely an acquired taste.

            Here I can practice swimming and suck my thumb and do summersaults and play jump rope with my umbilical cord if I like.

            Thereís not much of a social life in utero unless you are a twin or a triplet. But everything is a tradeoff. If you had to share a uterus with siblings, it would be more cramped.

            I do get to live somewhat vicariously, because sound travels well through fluids, and I can hear conversations that go on outside whenever Mom is talking with someone. I can even hear both sides of phone conversations she has with people. I hear all her conversations with Grandpa Muldoon, and all the conversations she has with Dad, with Beaumont Hospital people and with Grandpa Muldoon about Doctor Brodsky. Those are really quite entertaining. I am, of course, right there with Mom when she is in the operating room making people well, delivering their babies, and in her office when she is giving people advice about their health and how to manage their pregnancies. If I wanted to be a doctor, I bet I could pass the medical school entrance exams very soon after I am born.

            I thought that I would at least enjoy privacy in utero. Forgetaboutit! If your Mom is an OB/GYN, she has her own ultra sound machine and will be watching you jerk and jump around every fifteen minutes. I wish I could destroy that infernal machine so that I wouldnít have to worry about someone watching when I feel like picking my nose or scratching some private area. And she never seems to tire of watching me. Leave me be, Mom, OK? By the time I am actually born she will certainly have at least two volumes of ďbabyĒ pictures Ė and donít you just know she will parade them out at family gatherings without caring the least about the fact that I find them embarrassing. I am certain that she will display them at my wedding and show them to my girlfriends when I start dating. I intend to get someone to try to talk her into keeping those private. Fetuses whose mothers are not doctors are certainly lucky. Thank God that Dad isnít like that. He respects my privacy and I am extremely grateful for that.

            Gastronomy in here is nothing to brag about. Frankly, I canít imagine that I would even be able to sense the flavor of anything in this amniotic environment anyway. Imagine trying to enjoy dinner in a room full of cigar smoke. You just canít do it. So itís probably just fine that my nutrition comes through the bloodstream filtered as it is by the placenta to screen out some harmful things. Fortunately for me, since the placenta doesnít do that great a job of screening out what I shouldnít be consuming, Mom is very careful. She consumes no alcohol while Iím here, and she doesnít smoke. I suppose the biggest danger in this situation might be the effects of ice cream or candy. Thanksgiving is later this week, and I hope she doesnít overeat and pass all that excess nutrition down to me.

            Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I sense that either from food consumption or the natural progressions of being pregnant, the space here is enlarging and becoming more commodious. I know itís true and not just wishful thinking on my part, because I heard Mom on the phone with Grandpa Muldoon yesterday saying that she suddenly got ďpooched outĒ more. YEA! I have to pose for another picture, because Grandpa wants another picture showing where I am in the cycle as of now. He seems preoccupied with evidence of burgeoning masculinity, whatever that means. Sometimes I canít really tell if they are using words I donít understand yet or itís just the effects of the sound having to travel through all that tissue and fluid. I am really looking forward to actually tasting the turkey and dressing and gravy next Thanksgiving.

            A strange thing has happened. During Thanksgiving there was a lot of eating going on. It seems as though the amniotic fluid in which I live has started to taste differently. I donít know if it is because of my entering into a plateau of growth and development in which I can sense differences in the amniotic fluid because of what Mom eats. I suppose Iíll have to figure that out later on. But I can now distinguish flavor differences. Some of them I like a lot. I wonder if development has now reached a stage at which I am being more aggressively prepared for what I will be experiencing after I am born. I also wonder what the names of these tastes are and whether I will remember them later on and be able to associate them with specific foods after I am born. I also wonder if I will like then what seems yummy to me now. Hmmmmm!

            I think I now know what itís like to fly on a plane on a trip. Itís December, and I am somewhere far from home in Michigan. I hear strange voices through the fluid, and the food that Mama is eating has changed Ė much to the better. I think I must be in Texas, and I am certain that that is Papa Muldoonís hand on Mamaís tummy waiting to feel me move or kick. I sense a wonderfully delicious place, based on what Mama had for lunch and dinner when we arrived. I am certain that I now know what a cat sounds like, and I also think I can pick out a really warm and lovely voice belonging to someone named Belinda. This is really nice. Iím really looking forward to coming back here again. Thereís some celebration going on, and that must be the purpose of the trip. I havenít figured out yet who Ron Paul is.

            Well, weíre obviously back in Michigan, and I can tell when weíre on a plane. The pressures change. There are no more soft Texas accents among the people talking around us. From the discussions, it is almost Christmas, whatever that may be. People, including Mom, are eating more sweets. We spent a lot of time together with everyone who will be my family soon, at least those located here in Michigan. I suspect that Christmas must be about singing songs and eating everything in sight. Do they expect a famine? Is that why all this food is moving through the system?

            Itís something called New Years Day, and itís really awful. Mom ate something in some restaurant and spent the night and most of the day on the potty. There was a real storm in here, as my house kept squeezing and releasing, squeezing and releasing. It made me seasick. I think I was almost born three months early from the convulsing associated with what Mom called food poisoning. It has finally calmed down, but there were many terrible hours. Iíd like to give somebody a piece of my mind for feeding Mom bad food. I suspect that if Grandpa Muldoon were here, we wouldnít have had bad food to begin with. Life is claming down. Thank God, whoever She is. Eleven more weeks to go and Grandpa Muldoon will be here to get ready to celebrate my being born. I can hardly wait. Iím actually going to get to meet my Mom and Dad and grandparents and everyone face to face and breathe real air and taste food without the intercession of the flavors of amniotic fluid. YEA!!

            Well, today is 24th January, and it is Momís birthday. From what I hear listening to this end of telephone conversations, she is lunching out today and having a big steak dinner at Mortonís tonight. I will be enjoying that a lot. However, what with all this eating, I am moving on to about three pounds or so, and itís starting to get a bit cramped in here again. This fetus life is getting old. I have six more weeks of this. Címon April 8th!

            I have just about two weeks of this left, maybe a day or two more. Thank God! Judging from the phone calls Mom has with Papa Muldoon, she is ready for this to happen also. This is Easter Sunday, and he will be here a week from Tuesday for the big event. That means I get to hear some more Texas stuff. I wonder what he looks like. Heck, I wonder what everyone looks like. Iíll be here just in time for baseball season, according to what I hear Dad talking about. I wonder what baseball is Ė Hmmmm. I gather Dad is really into sports, whatever sports may mean. I canít wait to taste Papa Muldoonís meatballs in Sunday gravy. I hear they are really spectacular. I wonder what that is.

            I hear that Texas voice again. Grandpa Muldoon must be here. I like that.

            It sure is moving around in here. Could this be it? A lot of people have come to our house for dinner tonight. Grandpa Muldoon arrived two days ago. We are in some form of transport, maybe a car Ė whatever that is. Daddy says weíre going to the hospital and that itís time for my arrival. YEA!! Iím so excited. WOW!! Just think. Iím gonna be born now!

            Goodness, itís cold in here. Thanks for that towel. They call this cleaning me up. Now Iím being wrapped up in a soft cloth they call a baby blanket and Iím being taken to Mom. I donít taste amniotic fluid anymore. YEA!! That stuff is awful. Itís very light, and people are coming over to look/stare at me and they are making happy noises. Here at last! Here at last! Thank God almighty, Iím here at last! I guess I have all the parts Iím supposed to have, and they all seem to work. The people are going away and we are being taken to another room. Itís just me and Mom, and sheís tired.

            Momís awake and Iím hungry. Mom holds me close. I like that. I am feeding from her breast. This is really wonderful. YUM!! I could get used to this. Daddyís here and we are all very close to each other in what must be a very happy time. This must be what happiness is about. I like it a lot. We spend a lot of time together, just the three of us. Other people come in wearing official looking clothing. They apparently are there to check on Mom and help out if needed. Thatís great.

            Dr. Aboud, who delivered me, just came in to circumcise me. Oh my goodness! I had no idea circumcision took this long. He keeps pausing to sharpen his scalpel. Whatís taking so long? Bummer! Why do people do this?

            OK. Iím home. Boy this is really nice. I have a dog named Francis. Francis is very happy to see me. That guy with food stains on his shirt must be Papa Muldoon. I recognize his voice. He keeps repeating something. Why does he do that? He looks into my face and says that over and over again. I think he is doing that to try to get me to say that same thing. Iím gonna play with him and pretend that I donít understand what he wants me to do. He sure is funny. Every time he sees me he puts his face close to mine and says ďGit in the truckĒ. Is that some Texas greeting, or do old people just go around saying ďGit in the truckĒ all day?

            Whereís Belinda? Why isnít she here? I as so looking forward to meeting the person who has that delightful sweet voice.

             Oops! I just messed up my diaper. Yuk!

            Why does everyone have to come watch me getting my diaper changed? Phew!

            I have a feeling that itís gonna be a while before they let me eat meatballs and red gravy.

           Papa Muldoon went back to Texas today. It seems odd that all day goes by and no one looks into my face and says ďGit in the truckĒ.

 


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