Babies are probably the main reason we have children at all. The experience is similar to the old saying: everyone wants kittens but no one wants cats. If we could, some of us would have hundreds of them--babies, not cats. I found, too, that brand new babies are contagious. At least two of my children were born because I was exposed to a newborn when I was vulnerable. Babies are pure sensual pleasure. Like in the song by John Denver, they “fill up our senses.” They are a pleasure to look at, touch, smell (most of the time), and hear (again, most of the time).
As much as we love our babies, however, for most of us pregnancy is a necessary evil to be endured and then forgotten as quickly as possible. My favorite pregnancy joke: little boy to little girl in the bathroom, “Let’s play pregnant. I’ll shave and you throw up.”
I don’t understand it, but some people actually claim to enjoy the whole thing and even declare they blossom or something. More power to them. Most of the women I knew just got fat and teary. Then when our babies are overdue (as most of mine were), we become “not a nice person,” as my sister said.
When you have other little ones at the same time, it gets even harder. One poor woman was newly PG with her third child. She said all she could do was lie on the couch with a loaf of bread beside her. She let her kids watch all the TV they wanted and when they got fussy, she tossed them a piece of bread. Frankly, you feel drowsy and lethargic because your body is busy elsewhere. Listen to your body and get as much rest as possible because you won’t get much rest again for about eighteen years.
Recognizing these symptoms in yourself prepares you to be a parent of a small child. You may notice that food tastes and smells different to you, probably stronger than before. Later, you understand when your child has such strong likes and dislikes. Also, you’ll probably notice that when you’re hungry, you have to eat now and can’t wait for a regular meal. Or when you’re tired, you need a nap immediately, not later when it’s more convenient. When you do get overly tired, your emotions are almost too much for you to handle.
As you get bigger and more awkward you’ll slow down, and everyone will have to wait while you get in and out of cars. When you have to go to the bathroom, you have to go right now, and it doesn’t matter if you “went before you left home.” Don’t forget these feelings. You’ll have greater empathy when your little one has a meltdown because she’s tired or hungry, or when you wait hours for a two-year-old to get into and out of a car seat, then stops suddenly and says, “Potty!”
Next time: Doctors