Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Once Upon a Time in YouShouldBeGratefulLand

Once Upon A Time in “YouShouldBeGratefulLand”

A Cautionary Tale


I. M. Notawombpod

Once Upon A Time, in a land not so far away, there lived a young girl who wanted to have a baby. Everything in her life was in order and just as it should be. She graduated from college, got married and set up a nice home that was just perfect for children. The young girl was happy, her prince was happy and then the young girl became pregnant. Eager to have a technological confirmation to her very non-technological pregnancy (because that was the thing to do, was it not?) she and her prince made their way to the closest good doctor's office. After being relentlessly poked and prodded, plundered and pricked, the doctor was sufficiently pleased that the girl was not defective and he granted the young girl her heart's desire, "yes, my dear, you are indeed pregnant."

As the weeks passed it became dreadfully apparent to the young girl and her prince that all was not well in YouShouldBeGratefulLand. No type of nourishment seemed to sit well on her stomach and the once vibrant, healthy young girl had become something of a haggard waif. She had lost, by the end, nearly a quarter of the girl she had been just months earlier. Often it was all she cold do to crawl out of bed and wearily rest her head on the cool commode from sunrise to sunset. The girl and the prince pleaded with the good doctor to tell them what might be the matter and to offer a cure but their pleas fell silent before him. The only advice offered was, "you should be grateful to have the privilege of carrying a baby at all, my dear little girl. Here are some crackers that should do the trick. Chin up now and run along home."

The young girl's troubles continued to grow worse until one morning after laboring terribly to get out of bed, she wasn't even able to lift her head to the coolness of the commode. Meanwhile the prince, whose business had him traveling afar, came home. He found the girl in a pool of horror. He sent a message to the good doctor for help and she quickly washed her hands of the entire situation. So the prince, with nowhere to turn, desperately carried the young girl to the town clinic. It was there that the girl and the prince met an elderly infantry doctor who promptly diagnosed the girl's ills and prescribed a treatment that had begun to take effect even before they left the clinic. While this regimen did not completely cure the girl's illness it did make food more tolerable and allowed the young girl to provide nourishment to sustain her precious growing baby.

Since the young girl and the prince were now charged with finding a new doctor, the young girl resorted to the dark physician her mother had used so often, so many years earlier. Though she was not yet as educated about this business of birth as she would be in the coming months and years, there were some things, it seemed to her protective instinct, that were quite unnecessary and even a bit dangerous. With so many germs and diseases in hospital, the young girl thought it reckless to puncture her skin in any way, lest these nasties invade her body and make her or her baby ill. She shared these feelings with the dark physician who (kindly) assured her that should she go against his wishes she would absolutely kill her baby.

Again finding it necessary to seek out proper care, the young girl and her prince settled upon a doctor with kind eyes (though as it happened they found it was her hands, not her eyes, they should have been inspecting). Knife wielder took the young girl into her care and the girl felt that all was finally well in YouShouldBeGratefulLand.

And yet, all was not well. It wasn't long after entering her (s)care that the knife wielder informed the young girl that her baby was not well. She was, knife wielder said, very small--much smaller than she should be. She said she would do everything the could, but that the girl's own womb was a very 'hostile environment' for the sweet baby. This was hard news for the young girl. How could her body be a bad place for her baby, the baby she had fought so valiantly for these last months? "Fear not," the good knife wielder assured her, "for I will surely save a wretch like you.You should be grateful you've come to me" And so it was, after several months of making a weekly journey to the knife wielder, that the young girl had her last visit to the knife wielder.

It was a dark and stormy night. The young girl made the arduous journey through the forest to the knife wielder. She had her good servant with her that evening, so the knife wielder could meet everyone she intended to be with her when her sweet baby was born. After an hour of being strapped to a medieval machine, the knife wielder determined that the young girl and the good servant should go to the town clinic. Once the girl, the good servant, the prince and the knife wielder were all assembled, the knife wielder spoke to the prince and told him that the girl needed to have her baby extracted from her womb that very evening.

The girl was again poked and prodded, plundered and pricked. She was given papers to sign that stated she knew that she or her sweet baby could be injured or die during the extraction. She was wheeled past the prince and the good servant looking on. Sitting on the cold steel table, the girl began to feel scared. Each time the barbaric man stabbed her back with the needle, she felt a terrible pain down the back of one of her legs. She asked him several times if this was a normal pain to be feeling and he assured her that, "everything's fine", when what he should have said to her was, "sometimes when we stick a needle in a person's back a nerve is pricked. that's the pain you're feeling."

Soon, the whole procedure was over with and the girl was tasked with providing complete round the clock care for her sweet baby as well as her aching scar. Everyone who visited the girl and the sweet baby gushed over how grateful she should be that she and her baby had been saved by the knife wielder. The only things the girl was sure of at the moment were that she loved her baby, she hated her scar, and she had never felt so young as she now did.

A hard year passed and the young girl found herself again expecting a child. Armed with a shield of courage, a saber of knowledge and her good servant the girl journeyed through the thick, black forest of care providers until she found her midwife. Throughout this second precious adventure, the midwife talked with the girl, listened to her and helped her find her way. As it happened, by the end of the adventure, the girl found that she was not so much a young girl now as a confident queen. This pleased the queen, and the prince also, who now fancied himself a king (and so he was). When the time came for the prince to be born, the queen birthed him (without a knife wielder or a barbaric man) in quiet awe.

And together the king, queen, princess and prince lived happily ever after in YouShouldBeGratefulLand.


Walosi said...


Nicole D said...

Wonderful! You ARE quite the writer. BTW, wanted to invite you to pick up your 'award' at my blog.

Sitting in Silence said...

Beautiful story....Thank you for sharing it with us.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, bittersweet allegory.
I know the YouShouldBeGratefulLand all too well.
And THAT, my warrior friend, is a hostile environment.