Saturday, April 18, 2015

On Being Pregnant

Now that I've been "in the family way" for a while, I figure an update/reflection is in order. Here's a list of things which have surprised me so far.

"How are you feeling?"
This has become the first question anyone asks me. At first, it really threw me. I thought, do all of my friends really want a list of side-effects? If so, I haven't much to report. My symptoms are pretty much just mild-ish versions of what is typical: nausea at first, back/hip pain as I near the end, and the persistent urge to pee. I've started referring to myself as the 'Hulk-of-pee'. He's always angry; I can always benefit from a trip to the loo.

photo of pregnant lady painted green and posing as the hulk
"Pregnant Hulk Smash...
 toilet-paper supply"

Lately, I've started looking at this question differently. I make an effort to talk about my emotional state (generally excited/nervous). And then I get to turn it around and ask my friend how they are. It's weird how often people seem surprised to be asked. Maybe we should all append 'feeling' to the end of our "how are you"s more often.

"Top 10 Worst..."
In person, everyone is very excited about this kid. They congratulate us, and ask caring questions. On the internet, however, pregnancy seems to be good for one thing: griping.
I turned to mommy-blogs early because I want to learn everything I can about this parenting thing before I dive in head first. I have been surprised to find a general lack of positivity. The straight-forward sources are alright, though everything comes with a warning ("call your doctor if..."). And the more personal blogs are full of reasons to never, ever have a kid. Lists of "Fun grown-up stuff you'll never do again", "Irritating things strangers will say", and "Trials all parents must survive" are all over the place. I know it's good to be told you're not alone when times are tough, but I hope these articles are mostly exaggerations. Who knows, maybe in short time I'll be posting here with an "I love my kid, but..." diatribe too.

Screen capture of mommy blog article with a banner ad for a Lizzie Borden TV program
Another surprise: banner ads take on new meanings
"Be fun or else!"

"How does your husband feel about this?"
I do have one gripe of my own, and it's regarding this question. For the record, he's just as excited as I am, if not more. We talked about having kids on our third date. But lots of people have warily asked this question. Strangely, no one has asked me if I'm excited... Anyway, it's 2015 folks. Let's stop thinking this way. We are smart adults in a loving, committed relationship and with full access to birth control. My husband is on-board.

Photo of my husband giving a toddler a ride on his back
Shane and his niece 5.5 years ago
The guy likes kids.

Community Support
One of the best surprises has come from folks like you! I'm a hard-core introvert. So, while I love my friends and family, connecting with them doesn't always come easily to me. Even so, in the last few months we've been inundated with kind advice, and shared enthusiasm. Especially, my parents and I have become closer since I became pregnant. If there is anyone more excited to meet this baby than Shane and I are, it is my mother.
An amazing friend has agreed to be our doula; to guide us through the birth process. We have four (maybe five) family members planning to travel long distances to care for us while we adjust to life with our new little one. And I can honestly say I am excited about the baby shower being thrown for us soon. (I am not a typical shower-loving kind of gal.)

Thanks for being awesome, guys.

There are only about two months left before my life suddenly and dramatically changes forever. Bring it on!

1 comment: