Letters To My Younger Self

Being Born: What Not To Do

Dear Newborn Me,

It’s the mid eighties. It’s a few days after New Years Eve. Let’s hope your mother isn’t suffering from a hangover because today, the fourth of January, is your birthday. Today, unnamed you will violently push your way through your warm resting place and into the cold, cruel world of latex and OBGYN’s.  You’re certain that you want to come out today. It’s too wet, sticky and warm in there! Enough is enough already. “Mista, mista get me outta here!”

Some advice?  Make your exit a bit more difficult. Exit meaning labor. Difficult meaning painful. I don’t say this to be cruel, I say this to avoid non-sensical fights that await your future.  Here’s an idea! Maybe you need to get forced out of your home?  What I’m doing here is asking you to reconsider the “quick exit” strategy.  Make it a bit more uncomfortable for your homeowner so that she needs to take some heavy medication in order to birth you. This might sound unkind for the reader. Read on ladies…

Here’s why: your homeowner (later on referred to as “mom”) will constantly remind you that she didn’t have an epidural during your birth.  She’s an amazing woman, don’t get me wrong. You love her and always will.  This is no slight on her.  But when mothers and daughters fight they say the “darndest” of things. Darndest meaning cruel, unkind, hurtful.   Maybe not all of us do it. But you will do it, so let’s try to avoid it.

Your tactic at fighting in the future? Name calling, screaming & giving the stink eye.  Your mother’s tactic? Guilt trips.   She’ll use this in all sorts of circumstances. Years from now, you’ll go through a period of time called “puberty” and it’ll be a very confusing, smelly, hairy time in your life.  You’ll grow breasts at an alarming rate, which will rightfully anger you.  You’ll misdirect your anger towards your mother for no good reason.  You’ll make a habit of running dramatically up your family’s staircase screaming,“I hate your guts!” and do you know what your mother will scream back at you as one of her only defences?

“I gave birth to you without any drugs!”

This will be her tactic for you to apologize.   It’ll only confuse you during the fight.  Actually, you’ll probably only ever know the depth of what that means until you go through a drug free labor yourself. But until then it will remain as a mystery, guilt-trip tactic and G-d bless her for it! It won’t ever make a lick of sense but hey? That’s her technique and she’s stickin’ to it.

How  in anyone’s right mind could you/me control when you were coming out of her body slash YOUR HOME for the first time? You’re going to ask yourself this same question over and over and over again. When you get in one of those heated arguments that only mothers and daughters have and she cries out to you:

“No epidural during your birth!!! You’ve always been a pain!”

You’ll think what kind of reverse psychology bologna is this? This is some real messed up heavy s**t, right here.  So save yourself the hassle and stay in there a little longer. Get fatter! Eat more stomach acid or whatever you’re eating in there. Elongate your stay until Mom, Pop and the Doc are begging you to come out.  Don’t make it so easy on everyone.

You’re a fighter, Ingrid.  Oh, by the way, they are going to name you “Ingrid”.  I know, I know, it doesn’t exactly role off the tongue.  And no, you’re not German. Or Scandinavian. You don’t even know where those places are, you’re not even born yet.

Your parents loved this famous actress with the same name. She’s very graceful and elegant. You’re not Ingrid Bergman! You’re Ingrid Haas. So start out life the way you are going to live it: guns blazin’!  Fight your way into the world today.  Kick those miniature feet! Punch those baby fists! To avoid all guilt trips of the future: fight your way out of the womb. Just because big momma is pushing you out doesn’t mean you have to do what she asks.  You’re not going to for the next twenty years anyway!


Your Future Self

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Image Via: Kimanura