Saturday, January 22, 2011

What can you say when your whole life changes?

Its a post that I dont exactly know how to write.

It is, in turns, the happiest, saddest, most confusing, funniest, most fearful, and guiltiest time of my life. And the only way I can describe it is to break some of it down.

Happiest - We created a LIFE. Although people with a lot less education and skill do it every day (and I see those people every day in court), there is still something pretty amazing about doing it yourself. I have to say I feel like  a bride on her wedding day .... like the first person to ever fall in love and have a beautiful wedding.

Sometimes I forget for a half a second and then I remember "there is a BABY in there ....". And if you had asked me 2 weeks ago what I thought about having a baby, I would have told you that I was just as happy to NEVER have that particular experience again. After a time when I thought it was right for us, and going through horrible doctors, and tests, and all the crazy roller coaster emotions of not being able to do something that seemed so simple, I honestly believed our life path was destined for other things. And I was honestly, really, 100% okay with that.

But seeing two lines, for the first time ... I guess your world shifts on its axis. All of a sudden everything I *thought* I wanted, needed and planned went by the wayside .... the only important thing was that this baby inside me was healthy. We could deal with everything else that came about as long the baby was okay.

As for our marriage .... after a few days of staring at each other in utter disbelief (mostly saying ... I thought we couldnt do that? and shaking our heads), it really has brought us closer. Allen and I had a (very grown-up) discussion about how he could best be involved in this pregnancy (things like, support your wife when her hormone cup runneth over), and he's really excited about the whole thing. And since Im disgustingly sick and tired constantly, it gives us more time at home to really talk and connect .... which, I suppose we should enjoy doing in the quiet while we have it.

Saddest, Guiltiest, Most Confusing - I think these all go hand in hand.

Im sad because Devon isnt here all the time, and also feel guilty. Devon is the first love of my life, and although I know he benefits from having two sets of families that love him so much, I wish he were here to share the excitement of having a brother or sister. I also dont want him to think that this is a "replacement" baby, since we have to share him with his dad ... because in my head I cant imagine how a parent can love two children as much as I love that one. I hear that it's a normal feeling, but the love grows in a way you cant understand - but it does. I just hope that whatever we do, we ensure that Devon knows he is still our wonderful first born, who we love just the same way.

Im sad, and guilty, because so many people are affected in some way by this pregnancy. I cant blame anyone, because I know the feeling. When one of my fun and always-down-for-anything girlfriends would get pregnant, I remember being happy for them ... but a little sad as well. Pregnancy changes everything, and suddenly everything that you are and everything you do gets shifted all around. And if you dont yet have children, there is the "should I be doing this too?", or "is my life really in the right place?" or "Is that ever going to happen for us?".  There are a lot of emotions that come with a friend's pregnancy, even if not everyone will admit to feeling them. I have grown to appreciate those who are happy for us, in spite of the emotions it brings up for them. And those who realize that, while I did the action to be in this situation, getting pregnant wasnt an intentional act to make anyone feel something uncomfortable. It was our time, and while it is an amazing thing that happens, its not all sunshine and roses. Thats just honest.

And there may be small minority (very small!) of people who have the "why did it happen for them, they dont deserve it because of A, B or C". To those people (and I forgive them for that feeling, because I know how emotional that journey can be) I say, it will happen for you. Maybe not when you think it should. Maybe your journey is destined to be a more difficult one, for a variety of reasons. But weve been in that place too - and when it does happen you will appreciate it more than you ever thought possible.

Its also the most confusing ... because, at 27, I had defined myself - or so I thought. I was outspoken, a little crazy, up for anything, and enjoyed life in the context that I had made for myself. Upon getting "bun in the ovened" I had to rethink everything I was so comfortable being. It's not that I dont know how to be a mom, and its not that I dont love it. But being a mother to a BABY is a heck of a lot different than being a mom to a PRETEEN. So here I am, going back to square one, and it makes you wonder who youll be this time around. I dont think Ill ever fit into the "playgroup" circle ...

(side note - it makes me laugh to see how different the army life and the civilian life are. When my army friends heard about my pregnancy, they said "Finally!". When my co-workers heard they said "Are you guys ready for that?". They see 27 as just starting out in life, where the army sees 27 as almost too old to start having babies ....)

... I have a foul mouth (which wont change with a baby) and Im not a stickler for manners. I dont like "chit chat" (AT ALL). I like having a group of women who I can have "real talk" with. From sex, to insecurities, to crazy college days, I dont want being a "mom" to take away from being human. Im still ME and Im still funny, slightly vulgar, and honest to a complete fault. I dont think my child will suffer if Im more Roseanne than June Cleaver (though when Devon gets a facebook Ill have to delete a lot of those college days pictures .....).

Im just hoping to keep my wonderful friends that Ive made, even if Im sometimes toting around a newborn, or if I cant knock back a mimosa over brunch. I still want to be considered Anne the person, not just Anne the Mommy. It doesnt mean that I dont want to give both of my children everything. It just means that I dont want to break my ass living up to some impossible standard of a "perfect mom". That doesnt exist and youll just wear yourself out trying to be something you arent.

Most Fearful - You want to know what the scariest time in LIFE is? When there is a human life in your care and charge, but you cant see it and cant know what it wants. I dont look pregnant (anymore than I already did anyway), and I dont feel pregnant, besides the exhaustion and the sickness and the boobs the size of Japan. So how do I know that everything is okay in there? Its a 24/7 fear. Im hoping it subsides a little once I can feel the baby move, but  you dont realize the full scope of the terrible things that can happen, from conception until .... well, until youre dead I guess. You never stop worrying about your children, and now Im worrying for two. Thats another thing people dont tell you about the wonderful world of pregnancy!

Funniest - Despite all of the above, which is the 100% honest, not "sunshine, roses, baby, perfect" truth of it all, pregnancy can be funny. Because there hasnt been another time, at least for me, when Ive been through so many different things, that were once taboo. Husband sitting in on the vag exam? Why yes! Running out of the bathroom, drawers around my ankles, chasing him with a pee stick? Perfect! Calling him in to assess what just happened in the bathroom, and is that normal do you think? Of course!  I suppose you can be embarrassed about it, or you can laugh about it, and I choose the latter.

This wasnt supposed to happen, but it did. And I have two choices - one is to face it with a facade on, acting like its the greatest thing since sliced bread and never bringing up my valid worries (what about my job? My body? And why does something the size of a nail head make me lose my brain?), or I can treat it like exactly what it is - alternately the best and the most confusing thing that has ever happened. And thats what Ill do - Im to the bone thrilled with this path in our life, but I will also not hold back about the fears, the sadness, the joys and the confusion. The thing that has helped me most is having my best friend in the world 6ish months ahead of me.

 I hope every woman has someone she can go to and be soul bearingly honest about everything. I say it all the time, but I never feel better than when I know I have just told someone all the reasons why Im a bad person, and that someone loves me anyway.

So here we go. Heres to the next eight months, and after that the next 50 years. Parenting is going to get a hell of a lot funnier from here on out.


  1. I. FEEL. YOU. Omgah I couldn't have put it better myself. And just so you know, I am TOTALLY that vulgar mom/mom-to-be. My friends and I still talk about sex, men, and all things grownup and there's some mommyhood stuff sprinkled in there. You don't have to stop being who you are just because you're growing a kidlet and/or have one on your hip. So if you need to drink mock-tails and eat fatty food and talk like the woman you are...HOLLER! I could use some of that.

  2. You know I love you, no matter what. =)

    But you've given me courage to post something that I wrote the other day on my blog...with all the pregnancy posts lately, I feel like I need to get out my confused feelings on the subject, heh.