I know I shouldn’t see it this way, but I keep looking forward to maternity leave like a 3-month vacation. It’ll be summer and the perfect time to get a tan and get back into shape while taking long walks on trails with the baby in her big wheeled stroller. I’m picturing us meeting my husband out for lunch on some outdoor patio where my little mini-me will just sit there quietly in her baby carrier and sleep while mommy and daddy enjoy a good meal. I think about having the freedom to travel back home to see my family over those few months, and even going to college homecoming with my friends while grandma and grandpa enjoy a little bonding time with the bambino! Basically, I’m envisioning only the dreamiest of scenarios for when the baby comes and I’m starting to fear that reality will be like a hard, swift kick in the a-s-s.
When it comes to pregnancy, you have 9 months of nonstop things to talk about, starting with your growing belly, cravings, weight gain, back pain, baby names – whatever! You get oodles of attention and everyone just fawns all over your belly or wants to know how you’re feeling all the time. It’s great! And then you find out what you’re having and it all becomes more real to you, so you name your baby and the baby becomes a person frequently discussed in your household – as if she’s already there – and she kicks and rolls around in your belly and everything just seems wonder-like and dreamy. You look forward to your baby shower and think about that last hurrah “babymoon” you can take, and then at the end of it all you get this little bundle of joy that according to everyone I’ve ever talked to, will make your heart burst from overflowing love that you’ve never known before. I’m walking on cloud 9 just thinking about the last 7 months and what’s to come in the near future!
It ‘aint gonna be roses all the time
But the thing is, I KNOW it’s not all fairy tales and butterflies. It’s going to be hard work! There’s a crying baby that can’t explain to you what their problem is, so you shove a pacifier or a boob in their face, or you change them unnecessarily, or you try to burp them or put them down to sleep, or WHATEVER – and the cries don’t stop! I can only imagine the frustration! And what about changing that nasty green poopy diaper that stinks so bad you nearly faint, or seeing your baby have some odd reaction to who knows what and you have no idea what to do! All this stuff sounds so overwhelming and let’s face it, downright unpleasant! So why when we girls are pregnant are we so caught up in the fairy tale of it all?
One thing that is always reassuring to me is when people enthusiastically tell me, “It’s a lot of work, but it’s sooooo worth it.” Or, “You’ll never experience a love so deep in your life, it’s awesome.” I especially love hearing that from dads! You kind of expect to hear that sappy stuff from moms, but when dudes say it; I’m on board! I’m sure the balance of the dreamy-happy days sometimes outweigh or under weigh the days of pure exhaustion and stress, and it’s ok. I’m not striving for perfection or anything; I just want a healthy, happy baby. And I may just be in for a rude wakeup call when that maternity leave doesn’t turn out to be very vacationy, but come on, it’s going to be blue skies and sunny every day the entire 3 months (I live in California!), so if anything, I’m at least looking forward to being confined to my house vs. confined to my office cubical with no windows!
Baby bump watch continues – week 29!
I’m definitely getting bigger and I keep thinking to myself; I still have 11 weeks left – how much bigger can I get? It’s giving me anxiety! It’s already getting difficult moving around now so I can only imagine how badly I’m going to be ready to have this baby when the time comes! And the weight gain that comes with the third trimester isn’t just me having one too many brownies or Wendy’s Frosty’s (I know what you’re thinking!), according to Babycenter.com, the baby is growing rapidly now. She weighs 2 ½ lbs., like the size of a butternut squash, and she’s a little over 15 inches long from head to toe. To put it into perspective, Mariah Carey just had her twins and her little girl was 18 inches long! That could mean my baby is nearing her full length soon! Wow! The baby’s head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain and she needs LOTS of calcium right now to help strengthen her hardening skull! Ok, so sitting around drinking milk sounds blah unless there’re cookies involved or the milk is chocolate. Wait…all of a sudden, this task isn’t sounding so bad. It actually sounds yummy! Watch, thanks to my over-indulging efforts my baby is going to have the thickest skull ever! GRRRRRRRREAT. . .
If you’re a parent, please share your two cents on the rewards and challenges of parenting! I’d love to hear your thoughts!