Thursday, September 23, 2004

101, …uh, several ways I'm probably not a typical expectant mother

1. Although the prenatal vitamins made me sick (this part is typical) and I disposed of them early on, I try to take my folic acid supplement. While I suspect I get my recommended daily dose from – I know it's weird but – the food I eat, I pop the wee pills every morning. For those who aren't familiar, folic acid is said to promote healthy brain development in the unborn child. My husband is kept abreast of my daily pill routine since whenever I take them, I hunch my shoulders, twist my fingers into gnarled twigs, and drag one leg behind me, calling out in an Igor voice, "I think I can feel the brain growing, master!!"

2. In my preggo yoga class the other day, the topic of conversation was fears we have. I discovered that one of the biggest fears of 2nd time moms is that they won't possibly have enough love to give to a second child since they already love the first so much. Huh? Now, I in no way want to poo-poo or diminish anyone's feelings here, but THAT'S your big fear???? Nothing about pain, tearing, hemorrhaging, parenting, changing your lifestyle completely, being isolated and overwhelmed, turning your relationship with your partner upside down, money, postpartum depression, shelving careers, childcare, or integrating this new creature with the fuzzy ones already living in your house (to name a mere few)??? See, it would seem that the fact that they are second-time moms already signals a conquering of some of the fears I trip over on a regular basis. I'm not sure my preggo yoga needs are being met in this mixed group. I'm going to push for separate classes.

3. I'm 100x more likely to wake up sobbing about stretch marks that haven't appeared yet than to ever utter a sentence that includes the phrase "welcoming this new baby into our home."

4. I'm four months along now. You'd think I'd be used to the idea of being, you know, pregnant. The other day, on the way to the shower, I caught sight of myself in a mirror. "Oh my god!" I exclaimed to the cats, "I look pregnant!" In just the last couple days, my belly seems to have popped a bit more, the sides rounding to the inside of my hips, which are also rounder now. I'm at that stage where to the average person I don't really look pregnant, just chubby around the middle. On a scale of 1-10, ten being "this makes be really, really happy," I'm hovering around one, one and a quarter.

In general, I often think I am unfit and/or refuse to swallow the reality of this whole situation. Here and there I gain solace, however. Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions about her son's first year was written in 1989. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area. The big San Francisco earthquake happened when her son was about a month old. She admits in the book that although she understood the gravity of the situation and was horrified by reports of the dead, the dying, the bridge split in half, she was really most concerned with the fact that her son had the sniffles. She wanted to call 911 and get someone over to the house right away – her baby was sick! This line of thinking made sense to me, and I began to feel better about myself. Oh, and her second biggest concern was how in the world they'd be able to distribute her new book to the bookstores in all that chaos. That's my girl.

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