Monday, July 19, 2010

Have I Ever Done ANYTHING For 32 Weeks?

Pregnancy isn’t just turning me into a mother and Stacey into a father – I believe it’s turning us into the adults we always feared we’d be. Only, as I sit here listening to him and Josie (Labrador Retriever) snore along with the Red Sox commentary, I have to say – we’re embracing it.

When this whole thing began, it would have been a lie to represent ourselves as grown-ups. Sure, we paid our bills and taxes and put our time in at our respectively exhaustive jobs, but we did it without real purpose. Actually, let me rephrase – we had purposes, only they were called Veuve Cliquot & Hudson Jeans & Alta ski trips for Daddy. Now our sole purpose is Kangaroo. We eat, drink, think, sleep, live for ‘Roo – right down to the nickel, literally. Before we were prego, Stacey and I were saving for a Mac desktop & a house on the cheap (maybe an icy diamond, too) – currently, those items are on the back burner so we can afford a nice maternity leave for Mama (so excited).

We never used to account for the time we spent outside of work. If he got home at 2 pm and I didn’t get home until 2 am, those hours were thought to be well spent… well deserved. I am sure, in the distant future, history will repeat itself, but for now, we are both typically in bed together by 9. It’s like we’re a normal couple – like our (gasp) parents! More time has been spent in the garden this summer than at a restaurant or bar or BBQ; or we hang out with family members we never used to seem to make the time for. It’s wonderful.

Generally speaking, many of life’s challenges fell by the wayside pre-Kangaroo. We were about as carefree as our personality types allowed. Money tight? Let’s spend the night in Boston at a Sox game. Exhausted after work? Let’s stay out until 1 am with friends at Rosa’s. Feeling sick? Don’t you dare take your vitamins, just wait until it gets bad enough to go to your doctor. Our priorities, while not entirely detrimental, were certainly not straight, and now….well, now they just are.

I am on my third bottle of big mama prenatal vitamins, as well as my third bottle of Black Thorn Body Oil (I still got one teeny stretch mark), and sure enough – my doctor was right – I don’t depend on Tylenol so much anymore, as I am growing accustom to my back pain. Stacey and I love staying home, saving money, and embracing our general health & well being. We realize how important these changes have become, with Kangaroo only 8 weeks away.

Pregnancy has certainly been a challenge for both Stacey and I - a beautiful experience nonetheless, but a challenge. We have accomplished 32 weeks of growth not just together, but as a threesome, and one thing is for sure: we are grown ups now.

Difficulty Increases Desire

At 30 weeks prego, I am carrying a kangaroo about the size of a small elephant. It’s fantastic! I love feeling this little one move around all day, I can’t describe the feeling of watching a little foot or hand glide across the inside of my shiny, round tummy. We are having so much fun together, getting to know the ins and outs of mommy-and-baby life. I think Kangaroo will have her Daddy’s tree trunk legs and strength at soccer, as her kicks are sometimes inflammatory. I’ll be sitting here, minding my own business, and POW! – it takes my breath away. Co-workers have witnessed the mortal combat as we set tables for dinner service, on one occasion, I hollered “HEY IN THERE!” - much to everyone’s humor.

And it is funny. It’s giggle-worthy 90% of the time, without a doubt.

Of course, there have been moments of sheer terror, utter sadness, and physical agony. Like last night.

After a long night of bartending – a task I attempt only one night a week these days – I made my way into bed with a large bowl of freezer burned ice cream. I hoped the soft, cold dish would wear away the headache and ease my over-tempered body into the submission of sleep I’d been longing for throughout the night. Instead, as I set the empty bowl on my nightstand, I felt a sudden but definite urgency that sent me hurrying toward the bathroom – pretty much the only room in the house that provides any veil of privacy.

I cried like a baby. I sat on the toilet and cried like a kid who lost her best bud. I still can’t say exactly what came over me, only relate my reaction to the back & belly pain, the constant muscle achiness in my legs, and overwhelming sense of anxiety over the still 2 and a half months I have to wait to meet my baby.

Returning to the bedroom, I realize how loud I must have been, “What’s wrong, baby?” Stacey’s voice has a sincerity to it that makes me understand what a lucky woman I am.

I said this next line out of sheer self-pity, “I don’t want to be pregnant anymore.”


It’s much more difficult than I ever imagined. Through all these joyous moments that turn you into a parent, you struggle, and for me, I sometimes do it in vain. I am ashamed sometimes of how badly I want it to be over – to adopt all subsequent babies – but I am honest with myself and understand that this has been a hard, long pregnancy.

For all the kangaroo-mommys out there who have done this twice (three, four, or more times), I tip my glass of bubbly grape juice to you. In a hundred years, I could never have imagined the challenge that lay before as my little pink pregnancy test turn to a plus sign. Or the happiness.

I am tempted to call my Mom right now – she gives the best advice – but as a mother-to-be, I can almost hear her words… “Jackie, I am so sorry you are going through this. Every woman does. You are a strong woman! You will be fine. And at the end of all of this, you will forget the hard part and eventually want to do it all over again.”
I am delighted to say I believe my own words in this case, but September 18th can’t come soon enough!