While I may not have many friends in real life with babies, I have many online friends to whom I can turn for support, commiseration, and questions. Creature Gorgeous is just one of these friends, and we have developed quite a bond entering motherhood for the first time with our pregnancies just 8 weeks apart.
Not only is she drop-dead gorgeous (even at 8 months pregnant!) with one of those “basketball bump” bellies that all pregnant women long for, she is kind, oozes intelligence and charm, stylish, and a great blogger to boot. Here, she writes about her thoughts on her pregnancy and impending motherhood. Enjoy!
Note: This post was written three weeks ago so the dates are a bit off. Creature Gorgeous is now 33 weeks pregnant with her little one. Be sure to stop by her blog to congratulate her!
Hi there! You may know me as Miss Perfume on Weddingbee or the author of Creature Gorgeous blog! Here I am volunteering to guest blog for Jenny while she is away! We all cannot wait to meet her little one!
Speaking of which, I too am expecting in less than 10 weeks. Ten weeks! I can’t believe it. Literally. As a wise friend told me once, It takes all kinds. I decided to write this post after receiving a comment from a reader who suggested that the way I was writing about (and perhaps thinking about?) the baby made it seem like I was inconvenienced. I’m here to say, that, yes! baby will be burdensome…in a good way.
Our lives will change tremendously. Hopefully as things unfold, it will be more apparent that we’re just a couple trying to figure it all out as we go along, feeling at once happy, perplexed, and yes, at times, inconvenienced. It’s a reality that we won’t be able to do some of the things we used to do or at least they’ll be more difficult to accomplish. But it doesn’t make us love the baby any less. We’re reconciling our DINK lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed while doing the best we can for our baby-to-be. That is the balance we seek and here is a small peek into our journey of figuring it out.
So as some of you may know, our baby was not at all planned. Having just married in May 2009, my husband and I were *just* settling into married life, enjoying getting to know each other as a married couple, wearing our new identities of Mr. and Mrs. very proudly. We were not even sure that children would be a part of our future. And then ten months into our newly-wedded bliss I found out that I was pregnant! What? How is it possible that two older people like us (I am almost 38 and my husband is 42) could have done this without intending to? For months, we were somewhere between denial—well, denial isn’t the right word; it’s more like disbelief—excitement, and ignorance. It had not really set in that we were going to be parents.
In fact, we had been quite lazy and slow about doing anything related to preparing, save for being really diligent about prenatal care. It’s been a somewhat passive experience for us, and the reality of the baby had not hit us…until now…nearly 8 MONTHS into the pregnancy. All this time, we’ve been determined not to accumulate unnecessary baby stuff and clutter our home with baby paraphernalia (we’ll see how that works out).
I have not purchased but a few pieces of maternity clothing—$66-worth to be exact (having been given or lent much of it). I’ve done some cursory reading and have apps and weekly email updates online and on my phone, though I have been given several books (which I haven’t really read until now). I have not really purchased anything for the baby (we have been given a lot of hand-me-downs). We won’t have a nursery (because we’re selling our home). We only visited a baby store once and just looked at strollers.
Perhaps this apprehension to *not* change our lives too much is a function of having been single and child-free for so long, because we’re old and stuck in our ways. Amanda at Doubly-Happy sent me this great article on older couples who try to maintain their lifestyle while introducing a child into it. It resonated with me big time.
But finally, last night as I was preparing for bed, in the quiet and still of the night I had a (to me) profound thought: I will have a new relationship in less than 10 weeks. A new person in our lives who will live in our house and with whom we’ll spend a lot of time. Nights will no longer be leisurely and unstructured. That PERSON will be my responsibility…all mine. I felt a twinge of excitement and incredulousness. A cold sweat came over me, the kind that comes when you realize some truth. Sure, I’ve been marveling at (and baffled by) obvious bodily changes, the large belly, the doctor’s visits. But those things are pregnancy-related.
Pregnancy, to me has been a medical condition, a thing that’s happening to my body, like a cold (but not in a negative way—my pregnancy has been so easy and wonderful). For me, it is separate from parenthood. Impending parenthood: I hadn’t thought about it. I have the charge of caring for a helpless human being, to ensure his/her proper development, well-being both emotional and physical, for making sure s/he is brought up to be a good person and citizen. I’m not sure I fully understand this or how to go about it. I’m neither nervous nor blasé, just waiting. Waiting for something to hit me (like the first sight of baby) to get me moving and motivated. I’ve only focused on taking care of my body and the making sure things are developing well for the baby. Oh yeah, The Baby. S/he is still very conceptual to me. But things are changing.
It takes all kinds, they say. But now, after some midnight epiphany, I feel like I’m actually going to be a mom. I have started reading the books, looking more longingly at baby outfits online, and am really getting into it. And with every day that I’m feeling more and more pregnant, with every inch that my belly grows, with every kick the baby makes, and with the ever-increasing discomfort, I start to become more attached to the vision and dream of baby. The only difference between me and the woman who has dreamt all her life of having children is that it just took me a little more time to process. And I now share in the same excitement and anticipation that other moms-to-be feel. Baby is more real now and I can’t wait to meet him (or her). Whether or not our home stays a museum still remains to be seen. 😉
To follow my on the last leg of my journey (or the new chapter in my life, whichever way you want to look at it), please stop by at Creature Gorgeous.
This is an absolutely beautiful post, P. Having a child is definitely more than a physical process – it is a lifelong commitment, hoping that, without a smidge of experience, that one would be able to be responsible for, and raise a person who benefits the world he lives in, and not become a liability or threat to those around him.
At times I am enticed by the idea of having something that is "ours", something indisputably of my husband and I, but once I stop to rationalize things, I am gripped by a sense of fear: What if I mess up being a parent? I would have messed up someone's LIFE, and quite possibly, impact the lives of those around him / those who come after him.
I think it could be a blessing in disguise that you had this unplanned little one. It could be one of the most amazing experiences of your life, which you may have missed out on it if you analyzed it to death like me 😉
(Geek in Heels, thanks so much for having P do this blog post! Congrats on your little girl!)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this! Although we've done a lot of prep work and shopping for our baby, I'm not as giddy, per se, as people normally want you to be. It's just all so surreal in a sense. Now, as it's getting closer, I'll just sit alone in his room and think about that huge change that is about to take place in all of our lives – I'm excited and scared to death all at the same time.
I don't love my baby any less than the woman who is reading every book, attending every class, preparing 24/7, etc. I'm just soaking it all in, in my own time, the way that feels best for ME – not for anyone else!
Great post. I think everyone approaches parenting and motherhood differently and there is no right way… just what works for you. The impetus or conditions that surround having a child vary so much for even the same person! For me, it took getting sick and having surgery to realize there was nothing really missing in my life, but how I suddenly yearned to be a mother. I had never thought about it much before, but it just hit me one day. And now with a baby on the way, I count down the days until I'm a mother and share a life with this special person.
really great post, perfume! very interesting about the difference between pregnancy itself and motherhood. also, as someone who will probably have her child around 36 or 37, your experience resonates with me. although i'm not nearly as stylish and cool as you are!
Great post and made me tear up a little P!
You know, I think for me that feeling of becoming/being a mommy is something that is continually developing. I certainly didn't feel a connection right away, but as she changes and grows I find my sense of motherhood is doing the same. Sometimes I STILL have moments of sudden realization that I really AM a mom and those moments startle me because in a lot of ways, I haven't changed from who I was beforehand. But the connection I feel when she looks at me with recognition and she reaches out those little arms to me, preferring me because I'm her mom — it's something new and powerful in my life that I would be incomplete without.
You couldn't have been more eloquent about your feelings. We're not quite ready for kids yet, but when we do, we'll be looking to you and G for advice and perspective.
Thank you ladies, for your words. I wasn't sure how this post would come off, but find it encouraging that each of you, who are very different from one another in your stage of parenthood, thinking of parenthood, ages, etc. find this to be helpful or familiar. Best wishes to all of you on your current and future parenting journeys!