To those of you who didn't know, or only check this blog once in a blue moon, I happen to be Pregnant. Unlike the last pregnancy, which lasted until Week 7, this one appears to be taking. I am at Week 27 with thirteen to go, next Wednesday I will officially be in my third trimester. And I watch my expanding belly get larger to accommodate the fact that I'm carrying precious cargo, every now and then I feel normal, forget for an instant that I'm pregnant, then she kicks, or I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, or a variety of random events and I am reminded that her arrival is fast approaching. Will my body ever be the same after this? Is this really happening? What am I going to do with myself when she gets here?
This experience has been incredibly surreal to me. The idea of motherhood has appealed to me for some time, but I also avoided the thought of it because of what it entailed. Basically, I'm stuck with a little person that is dependent on me for a good eighteen years (toward the end of that eighteen years, not so dependent and likely obnoxious). The thought of this somewhat horrified me. But I think that is a common reaction for a lot of women to go through when they are having their first child, especially when they wait until they are thirty before they finally decide to venture into this strange new world.
One thing I have noticed, before becoming pregnant or even being married, is how judgmental I could be in regards to other mothers and how they raised their children, or how their children acted in public, or this, that and the other thing. It seems like those who don't have children always has advice for those who do. I did, and being in a disciplinarian field, I always felt like I knew something about the whole process. Since I have become pregnant, I have done my darnedest to not offer advice or be critical of others and their children, because I have learned over the years that children are their own person, with their own little quirks and traits, and you can be the best mother in the world and still have a little trouble maker on your hand. As soon as I get critical of one parent and their rearing techniques, I just know I'm going to find myself with a kidling that is worse then theirs.
So over the years I have been taking little mental notes, parenting skills I observe that appear to work, and those that don't. I think a lot of this will be trial and error with me and the munchkin as we get to know each other and figure out what works and what doesn't, but that being said, I have discovered, ironically enough, being pregnant has made me much more patient with kids. I do notice babies and like to coo at them, but I'm not at a position where I want to hold them yet. I like babies, but I like to pass them on to somebody else after a few minutes, I'm not the type to want to hold them for hours on end. That's something I know I'm going to have to get used too.
Meanwhile, I have noticed a lot of opinions I have held previously are changing. For one, I have a very active little squirt hanging out in my uterus. I feel her constantly, and she definitely let's me know she's there. I felt her at just before 14 weeks, that is crazy unheard of for a first pregnancy where most women don't feel their babies until 18 weeks or later. I wasn't sure what it was, I thought it was gas or something after I did research on feeling the quickening, but she confirmed later that it was indeed her making her presence known. She was dancing the jitter bug at seventeen weeks. She's been doing acrobatics for the last ten weeks, and it feels bizarre at times, especially when she rubs up against my ribs or kicks my belly button. Please don't tell me that this movement inside of me is a mass of cells. A mass of cells doesn't just move independently of you of their own accord. She reacts to me, she seems to tell me to move, this little girl has a fierce determination about her and she's only two pounds, I feel like I'm already getting to know her and I've only seen her in an ultrasound. Well, I have always been pro-life, knowing I could never have an abortion, but the pain of going through a miscarriage with a pregnancy I didn't think I was ready for was tough enough for me, and being pregnant, I can't imagine anybody reaching this stage in their pregnancy and electing to have an abortion. How could you even consider it? Especially this rambunctious little spitfire? I know she's going to give me hell more then once in our upcoming life together, but you can't tell me she only becomes alive once she takes her first breath independent of me.
Of course, I also understand that every circumstance is different, I went out of my way to make sure I was in a position to be able to care for a child if I did get pregnant. To me, third trimester abortions should be completely outlawed. A woman has gone through that long carrying life within her, you can't tell me she hasn't been affected by it, and to kill that life at that stage, especially when it can live viably outside of the womb, adoption is always an option, there are plenty of people out there who want to give a child an opportunity to live. Second trimester abortions should strictly be due to the health of the mother. If you are going to have an abortion, it should be done in the first trimester, perhaps at the beginning of the second trimester at the very latest. Again, I'm pro-life, I don't believe an abortion is ever a suitable alternative, but I also understand the world we live in and concessions some people have to face. Because you are going to inflict a lot of emotional damage on yourself if you wait to have an abortion (unless you are just plain sadistic and have a thrill or power trip with ending the life of a twenty week old fetus), if you have to get one, get it as early as possible. Again, I never really thought I could have an abortion myself, but it was definitely confirmed by the mere action of becoming pregnant. This little life was meant to live.
I don't like to focus on a lot of negativity at present, I try to stay positive (that can be difficult to do, because I'm still me and still highly opinionated) and just focus on me, the beansprout, and my husband as we come to discover the joys and headaches of being a family. Through thick and thin, we're stuck with each other. I guess we better make this whole arrangement work.
If I had a choice, of course I would want an easy baby, but I know that she will be her own little person. All I can do is give her the moral guidance to try to make the right choices as she goes through this crazy little thing we call life. But I'm excited to go through this latest adventure of parenthood, with all the trials and tribulations that come with it. Please, just don't give me to many grey hairs when you hit the trying age of thirteen.