Tuesday, January 27, 2015

They must be down there somewhere.

You know the ending scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's? Where Audrey Hepburn realizes she actually loves that cat and she wants so desperately to find it again? So she jumps out of the cab and searches the alleyway frantically? "Cat! Cat! Where are you, cat!"

That's how I woke up feeling about my toes this morning. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feeling ready!

Oh little girl! How oh how are we supposed to wait an entire five more weeks to meet you in person?? You already have so much personality. You tease Daddy when he wants to play, but you also know exactly when to stop and reassure him. You know what tunes you like [Justin Timberlake, to be exact - you are SO our child]. You dance with Mommy. You've found your favorite positions to sleep in and you know for a fact that you don't. like. oatmeal. 

How is it possible that 8 months ago we didn't even know you existed and now here we are and we can't imagine life without you?


I like to pretend he's cuddling with me, but you see his hand on my stomach? He's just here for his littlest girl.

Mommy is so okay with that.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Unexpected emotions.

It's funny, when you look up "Things No One Tells You About Pregnancy" a long list pops up of all the things that EVERYONE tells you about pregnancy. You'll find that:

1. You'll leak. Everywhere. All the time. (It doesn't matter whether or not you do a million kegel's a day.)
2. You'll put on weight even before BABY actually makes an appearance.
3. You'll want to ring your partner and anyone else's neck who crosses your path for little to no reason at all. 

And other unpleasant "side effects" that come along with growing a human. So here we are, the first-timers, feeling all prepared because we think we're one step ahead. When other women give us that all-knowing-slightly-foreboding smile when we say we're excited and ready for our pregnancy to progress, we smile back because in our heads we think, "No no no, you don't understand. We Googled it. We know exactly what we're getting in to. We even know about the snail trails!"

News flash. We don't know. We can't know. Pregnancy is interesting. Everyone thinks they "get it" because there are movies depicting the hard parts of it and there's endless online resources telling you how to "Wow Your Midwife" and we all know someone who's been pregnant and so we "understand," obviously. I'll be honest with you, I was one of the worst. I was so sure I was going to rock this human-growing business. I was completely blind-sided. 

I want to go back to the very beginning and sit down with that me. The me staring that plus sign in the face feeling momentarily empowered and confident. I want to swallow her up in a big hug and tell her to hold on to that feeling. I want to tell her that over the next eight months, even the tiniest of her insecurities are going to be magnified. I want to remind her that she's always had a hard time accepting help, and that she's entering a phase of life where everyone just wants to help, and that it's not going to be any easier just because there's a baby involved now. It will still be hard, and it will cause break down after break down of feeling like people are thinking of her as incapable. I'll remind her that chances are likely they really truly just want to help because they love her, not because they think she "needs" it. Then I'll remind her unnecessarily of how valuable her independence has always been to her. I'll gently tell her that that same kind of independence is no longer an option. "In growing this little girl," I'll tell me, "you are surrendering that independence. You, are now two. She's going to be there all the time, for a long time. Not starting after she's born, starting now. That is so fun. But it's also terrifying and intimidating, and a little like finding a body part you never knew you had. You'll be a little scared of it, and it will take a long time to adjust to." I want to tell her how she's always been a little vain, and that that's going to make things difficult now. It'll be especially hard to know where to channel that insecurity, because when you try to talk about it, people will look down on you. People are going to roll their eyes at you and tell you "Please, you're TINY!" and no one will be able to understand why you're complaining. I'll tell her that it's okay to feel a sense of loss as her body makes the necessary shifts in order to bring life in to the world. I'll tell her to remember to focus on what is important, and what she can control and to not tear herself apart with guilt over the emotions she feels - it doesn't mean she loves her baby any less. I'll tell her to focus on that.

I have this image of me in the hospital, with little girl on my chest, and Levi draped around my shoulders leaning his head against mine just watching our baby girl breathe air for the very first time. Every moment I feel the panic creeping in and the frustration trying to take over, that is what pulls me out of the darkness. Isn't it interesting, that something so beautiful and awe-inspiring can cause so much anxiety? Maybe I shouldn't admit it out loud, but that's real. That's life. That's just me - the new mom. Trying desperately to figure this out as I go. Wish me luck?