My Snarky Pregnancy: The Rainbows, Daisies, Unicorns and Fear
Pregnancy is amazing. It is magical and heartwarming. It leaves you crying for joy while folding tiny clothing and with a full heart as your partner feels the baby move for the first time. There are so many incredible, weird, life changing experiences that come with pregnancy, all before you actually meet the little one. It is every bit as filled with rainbows and daisies and unicorns as you might expect, plus a little sprinkling of terror.
Thankfully, that terror does not make it any less magical. However, it is something very few people actually mention. You hear the joys and the complaints. You know that as the joy grows, so does the gas and discomfort, plus a number of other odd changes to the body which need not be mentioned. You hear of leg cramping, stretch marks and giant boobs just as often as you see the perfect pictures of a growing belly. But what you don’t hear about is the part that we all experience, the weird, inconsistency of our own psyche.
Speaking with other women who are pregnant or those who have experienced pregnancy in the past, reveals a great deal about becoming a mom. When you are as carelessly candid as I am, others follow suit. My candid conversations have revealed truth that we seldom discuss and I think it is high time we do!
The most important, impactful and perhaps meaningful truth is simply this: Sometimes you are terrified and even mournful and yet you would never ever, in a million years, change the experience for anything in the world.
Perhaps this is all to prepare us for parenthood; the time when despite the crying, lack of sleep, vomit and poop, the love you feel is so profound and moving you still, somehow love (almost) every minute. I have yet to experience this particular feeling but moms are more than happy to express it.
During pregnancy, it is similar, in a way. You love the baby growing inside you but are somewhat ambivalent about the way it impacts your life. You can imagine him (or her) being in your life, but have yet to truly understand it. Pregnancy is a time when you know everything is about to change. For those who find transition difficult, it can be a train wreck of emotions. Even being tolerant of transition, the thought of how a baby will impact your relationship, your wellbeing, your sleep schedule and bank accounts is constantly flitting through your mind. Add to it the changing body, the hormones and the weirdness of having a human (and in my case, a set of balls) growing inside you… your mind is suddenly all over the place.
No one really talks about the day to day ups and downs. My experience has been to embrace and acknowledge these feelings and express them to my husband. We talk about the ups and downs of the process and find it amazing that no one speaks more of it. On any given day you will experience a multitude of responses to your own pregnancy. And while I think that embracing them and communicating them is relatively easy and helpful, they are still important to know (and joke) about:
You are the least weepy person ever and yet when the baby’s room comes together you are overwhelmed with mega-corny, over the top excitement! Even the tiny shoes makes you tear up a bit.
Holy fuck. Are we really doing this? Do we really want this? Shit. It is too late, isn’t it?
Your baby moves around all the time. You chat with him and gently ask him to stop kicking you in the side. You smile over his wiggles and his response to you rubbing your growing belly.
Life is about the change. Big time. What the hell can we possibly do to prepare?
Your husband reads a story to your belly and rubs your feet. You talk about names and future family trips.
Ow. Stop kicking me in the fucking ribs. Oh, there’s the gas.
You watch your belly rise with the baby’s moving limbs and begin to realize, more and more that he’s really in there. A whole (tiny) human.
Disposable diapers, Non-disposable. Maternity bras. Nursing tops. Perineal Massages…. oh god.