Friday, January 7, 2011

Lessons Learned in Pregnancy

At literally 9 1/2 months pregnant, I'm starting to reflect over this science project experience of making another human being. It's been a dream pregnancy. Sure, there have been a few surprises and hitches in my giddy-up, but on the whole, I honestly can't complain.

Mike, on the other hand, might be able to complain about the mood swings, as he's borne the brunt of them. But I can't think of anybody else who might be remotely responsible for the superhuman surges of hormones flowing through my system.

But I may be the frog in the frying pan. What's a frog in a frying pan, you might ask? Well, try to throw a live frog in a hot skillet. It'll hop right out. But if you put a live frog in a cold skillet and slowly heat the pan up around the frog, he'll sit there and fry (throw in a little mirepoix while you're at it). I think the same holds true with pregnancy: if I went to sleep at 4 weeks and woke up the next day at 38 weeks, I'd freak out. But God has very slowly heated this skillet up around me, and I'm happily cooking away.

So I thought now would be a good time to sit down and think out some stuff about which I had no idea before I saw two lines on that strip of plastic.

There is nothing delicate or fragile about pregnancy. Pregnancy is not an emergency or a sickness, and it's rarely subtle. It is frankly an in-your-face, take-it-or-leave-it, this-is-how-it's-going-to-be experience. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I am stronger, more vibrant, more radiant, more human, and more connected to the world around me than I ever have been in my entire life. The other day I asked Mike if he thought I was less of a woman because it's uncomfortable for me to lift a 40 pound bag of dog food right now. He replied, "I think you're MORE of a woman because you're carrying my baby 24/7." Wow. Good answer.

Though annoying, it's much more polite to grope a stranger's belly than to share a horror story about something through which she has no choice but to go in the next few months. Same goes for comparison stories - they're not helpful in the least. While I'm at it, comments about a pregnant woman's size, either large or small, are unnecessary. All she ever needs to hear is that she's absolutely gorgeous. Period.

As soon as I think I can't love Mike Peacock any more, he says or does something to prove me wrong.

Due dates are a load of crap.

Pregnancy brain really does exist. And yes, I am fully aware that mommy brain is ten times worse.

The female body is an inexpressively incredible creation. Show me the man whose reproductive organ can expand to ten times its size and five hundred times its volume and stay that way for several months, only to go back to the way it was. Gosh, at least I HOPE mine will go back to the way it was.

I've read somewhere that pregnant women produce similar hormones to the ones produced when one smokes pot, and I have to admit it seems plausible. Perspective and priorities have changed, and there are some issues in life about which I now find it difficult to give a hoot.

At the same time, I am surprised by the visceral assertion that I have developed since April. I've realized in stark horror that life is too damn short to pussyfoot through it, and though I'll do my best to be polite and often put on my bridesmaid face, when something is important, I'll definitely let you know.

Whipped cream on Honey Nut Cheerios really is the breakfast of champions.

The kindness and generosity shown by sweet and supportive friends, no matter how small the gesture, is often enough to completely undo a pregnant woman, thereby requiring her to re-apply her mascara.

The couponing system and Babies-R-Us requires a PhD to understand.

Unborn babies often develop their own routine. Peachick's witching hour is 9 PM. She also likes to party around 2 in the morning. Takes after her mom.

Slowly but surely, I'm learning patience. Very slowly. Very surely.

One morning I woke up and realized I deeply love somebody I've never met. I seriously doubted this would ever happen, and it still doesn't make sense. But I can't wait to meet her.


Jolene said...

It's always such a joy and an education to read what you write. Happy New Year to you, Mike and your daughter who will be hear soon. We are looking forward to hearing the news of her birth. God bless you. Jolene

Jolene said...

It's always such a joy and an education to read what you write. Happy New Year to you, Mike and your daughter who will be hear soon. We are looking forward to hearing the news of her birth. God bless you. Jolene

Gerry said...

Fran, I am so many years removed from where you are, but reading your blog moved me to tears and brought back memories. I believe we women are sisters, regardless of age. Thanks for sharing your thoughts over these last months. Lovely! Gerry


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