Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pleasant Surprises

Ok, so I felt bad being all gloom and doom with the negatives. I worked hard to come up with my list of positives only to realize that they're mostly more positives of post-pregnancy. But I'm going to go with it anyway...

1) Moving Babies - Sounds so cliche and until you really feel it, it totally IS cliche! But when your baby moves, I mean REALLY moves, for the first time it's all warm and fuzzy magic. For me it's the first time I feel genuinely connected to the growing babe. And when you get to share that with your baby daddy? Awesome. When it becomes visibly apparent to strangers (think like in the movie Alien)? Even better!

2) Eating - Sure it sucks to get all fat, but there is something cool about being able to turn to your husband at 11pm, loudly exclaim "CHEESEBURGER!" and have him actually respond. Without making you feel like a junkie. Of course, this is only in your first pregnancy. By your second he will have wised up and will remind you how pissy you will be to be left with that cheeseburger strapped to your thighs once the baby has vacated the premises. But I still remember the joy of it all the first time around. And yes, I admit, there were times I asked for things just to see if he'd actually go get it. Bless his heart, he always did.

3) Massages - This really could have just been labeled "guilt". Men will never be able to live down the fact that we're the ones who have to go through this while they get to go on with their lives and continue to sleep on their stomachs. My favorite use of this guilt (other than the aforementioned food collection) is massages. The hubs always manages to go above and beyond with this one and make me - for a few moments at least - glad to be pregnant.

4) Opting Out - Pregnancy gets you out of anything. I can't fly, I'm pregnant and don't feel well. Can't clean the bathroom, I'm pregnant and the fumes are bad. Can't make the party, I'm pregnant. Can't drive, I'm pregnant. Can't cook, I'm pregnant. Can't clean chinchilla cages, I'm pregnant. Can't watch my children, I'm pregnant. It can also be used as an excuse similar to "I was in college" when explaining questionable behavior.

5) Pregnant Parking Spaces - The hubs thinks that my enthusiasm over this particular aspect of pregnant life is a little irrational. I LOVE THE PREGNANT PARKING SPACE!!! I actually decide to go to one grocery store over another because one has a pregnant lady parking spot and the other doesn't. When it's free, I jump up and down like a crazy cheerleader watching her favorite team score. I pull in gleefully and jump out with exaggerated rubbing of my barely-there belly. When I was pregnant with Fin, the hubs and I went on a baby-buying binge and then to a favorite hot-spot for dinner. There was NO WHERE to park and then, lit like we were in a cheesy movie with angels singing in the background, was a super close pregnant lady spot. We were so excited to park there we even made unnecessary gestures at the crib strapped to our roof to passers-by. Indeed, losing this privilege is the saddest thing about not being pregnant. Just watch out if you think you can take one of those spots and you are NOT an expectant mother. Whilst pregnant with Dash, someone cut me off to take the pregnant lady spot, only to step out of the car as a LARGE MAN. I yelled at him and then shamelessly ratted him out to the grocery store manager who I'm sure took immediate action (yeah, right).

6) Baby Love - This is a duh, but really you just don't get it until you live it. And for me it wasn't so much immediate. I can actually remember looking at my boys on day 1 and worrying that I just didn't know them so how could I love them. But somewhere around day 3 you find yourself looking into their increasingly alert eyes and it hits you like a jackhammer. You're just overflowing with love for this needy little bundle. For me it comes pouring out my eyeballs and makes the hubs giggle that I was worried about knowing them.

7) Baby Daddy Love - I never considered it, but of course it makes total sense. I didn't think I could love the hubs more than I did on our wedding day (or on the day he proposed, etc), but something happens when you, oh, bring a LIFE into the world together. I was blown away by the sight of the hubs holding our children for the first time. And that love grew with every diaper he changed and every swaddle he crafted. And trust me when I tell you that he is the Swaddle Ninja. Our kids were always the snuggliest little burrito babies and very rarely escaped (and as mamas know, once they do it's only a matter of time before they wake themselves up by dislodging their pacifier or smacking themselves in the face). It was a wonderful feeling to be so in love with him again.

8) Sibling Love - Sure there will be plenty of times when the big one bites the little one for no reason, or pushes him over when he's learning to walk, or commits countless other undesirable crimes against his new sibling, but overall, it's pretty sweet. I'll never forget the first time Fin met Dash. Brooks brought him to the hospital the morning after Dash was born. He was sweet, quiet, loving and gentile. Which is saying alot for a child of 22 mos. He sat on the bed with me and stroked Dash's head and planted more kisses on him than I could count. The love fest continues and even as I have to break up a zillion fights a day, there's no doubt that these two dudes are best buds. Dash hates it when Fin's naps stretch out longer than his own and get's insanely excited when it's time to pick Fin up from school. Fin loves teaching his brother new things and is always full of encouragement. Watching them enjoy growing together is one of the sweetest sights in the world.

9) Sleep - I know, it's awful to try and sleep while you're pregnant. And people will always tell you, "oh, get as much sleep as you can now because once that baby comes..." This no longer scares me. Why? Because once the baby comes, sleep becomes a totally different animal. The second that baby closes it's eyes, I'm OUT! And it's not just like I'm sleeping. It's like I'm dead. And even if the baby only sleeps for an hour, it's enough. Or at least it's enough to get you through the hour it takes to feed and change the baby and get him back to sleep before you can die once again. That's a sleep I'll take over the miserable pregnant lady sleep ANY day.

10) The Baby - Total cop out, I know. I have pregnant brain but also the OCD desire to see this list end in a nice round number. So I'm using it. The baby. I mean, right, you know that's how this thing ends, but then you HAVE one. You're a MOM (or a DAD). And you'll look at that other list, laugh at it's accuracy, and how you would do it all over again. And hopefully you will :)


Sister Janet M. Purcell, IHM said...

Just read your blog and loved it. I have a snow day today --- YES!!!!!
Tell your gang big hi for me.
Love and prayers,
Aunt janet

Hallie said...

Thank goodness you posted this! I've been reading "What to Expect" and "The Girlfriends Guide" and it has me slightly terrified of being a fat, crying mess with hemorrhoids and a loose, flappy va-jay-jay.
It makes me feel a little less frightened and has lessened the "What have I done to myself?" feeling.