A collection of thoughts and experiences from one who has been there and is still there.
When one contemplates entering this state of life, one’s general thoughts are full of tranquility. Think of fuzzy commercials about those bath suds that are supposed to magically calm your energetic offspring to sleep (hopefully while not in the bath).
Consider,my fellow mom, the pre-child days. Allow yourself to remember your pre-child daydreams of softly lit evenings spent nursing your precious infant before you sing him a lullaby while tucking him in for the night in your perfectly decorated nursery.
Close your eyes and once again remember what you thought motherhood was going to be like.
I think the first reality check occurs the instant you find yourself staring at those windows on that news-bearing plastic stick. How in the world can they advertise those things as being easy to use? I was only married four months when I found myself staring in the mirror, pondering if that strange look on my face was one of terror or absolute joy.
Of course it was joy!
I was joyful in my extreme ignorance. Even if I wasn’t ignorant, I still would have been joyful. After all, what greater privilege can there be than to forsake all things chocolate and caffeinated for nine months? Plus, I had not yet experienced the oh-so-lovely experience of a small person jumping on my bladder or kneeing my cervix.
My happy gushing tears, while initially alarming my husband, assured us that the hormones were sloshing through my body grandly and we had nothing to worry about……yet. So,there I was. I was not showing yet, since my trim young stomach was gallantly willing to hold things in,unaware of the losing battle at hand. I was already hitting the maternity clothes section at the mall with a vengeance and staring at myself sideways in the mirror. I practiced the pregnant mom waddle because I had once heard that it is so cute.
I informed all people within earshot that WE are pregnant. I said this because I was SO happy. I also said this because I was wearing balloon-like clothing and I certainly wouldn’t want people to think that I was weird or unfashionable.
Our first doctor’s visit was one of joy and excitement and the hubby took time off from work to attend. We entered the office and gazed in wonder at all the new baby snapshots on the walls, capturing that magic moment when baby is first born. I was awash with hormone-induced joy.
Wait….good grief….does that woman know that her hair is unwashed and straggly? She should have taken a shower before she went to the hospital and then had her picture taken. Well, at least she is smiling….why are her eyes so red and bloodshot?
These thoughts briefly pierced my brain before the joy hormone was again released. Why judge all these women for a bad hair day?
Our name was called and we jumped up with big smiles plastered on our faces. We were ushered into a small sterile room and briskly informed that one of us was to completely disrobe. Hubby smiled, confident that the chilly naked one would not be him, and gallantly held my purse. My joy hormone seemed to be running low as I slowly slipped on the tiny white gownand tied the frayed straps. There were small tears around the seams of the straps as if previous wearers had quickly ripped off this scrap of material in their effort to return to the security of a warm and covered rear. For some strange reason, the padded table was only half the size of a regular person. My legs dangled awkwardly and I grippedthe table to keep from sliding off. The midwife helpfully placed my bare feet in these cold metal things that are strangely called “stirrups”.
At this point, I was thinking that I wanted off the baby roller coaster. My midwife seemed pleased that all was well in the baby growing fields. To my relief, we were done with the “table gripping part” and now we were on to the “finding of the heartbeat” part. The midwife magically extended the table, to my relief. I gripped my husband’s hand and smiled bravely until the chilly gel hit my stomach. I gasped. The midwife apologized, but I sourly noticed a twinkle in her eye. Then it was time to widen the slimy coldspot on my tummy by smearing the gel all around. This was all so pleasant.
We heard a large slow whooshing sound which was suddenly is replaced with a higher,faster sound. My first thought was that there was an intergalactic battle occurring in my abdomen. So,this is what a baby’s heartbeat sounds like!
I daintily wiped away a tear before it ruined my mascara.
To be continued......