Pregnancy is a weird thing. Have you ever really thought about it? You are growing another person inside of you; you’re kind of like a host to a living thing that has a lot of trouble communicating what its wants, needs, and desires are. Communication is rough and all you know most of the time is that something is off – never really sure of what.
For a lot of people the journey starts with a little test and some pee that changes your whole life. I know the only reason I thought to take it was the nausea that I was plagued with, the first of the multitude of ways my guest was trying to let me know he was present and accounted for. Soon the nausea took on new meanings. If I was nauseous he might be hungry, hot, or thirsty – I just had to guess which of these the little prince wanted me to remedy. As time progressed the nausea turned into flutters and the flutters into cute little kicks. Today I feel like a beached whale, at 31 weeks pregnant the cute little kicks feel more like being body slammed from the inside – my body hates me. My back can’t figure out why it’s being punished and my poor toes look like Vienna sausages. I’m convinced he’s redecorating his temporary home on an almost daily basis, he must really need more room cause I’m confident that he’s trying to move the walls that confine him. My need to pee increases by the day, and sneezing is not pretty.
This is my second time down this road and it feels like the time is flying this time. In about nine weeks I should have my new baby boy and an even more destroyed body to complain about, but there is something about the way they look at you that makes it worth it, the way your heart beats when they hand this tiny, slimy, wrinkly thing to you and the pride you feel with each of the milestones your baby hits. There’s something about the way they seem to know that their dad is there and kick right where he’s got his hand, like they know it’s him.
Sure there are a ton of things that suck about being a parent (loss of freedom, a little person who has the same sassy attitude you do making it really difficult not to punch them in the face, the messes, the destruction) but there are so many things that make it worth it. There is a special kind of love that just comes to you; the minute you lay eyes on what to you is immediately the most beautiful thing in the world you feel it – or at least I did. That’s not to say you don’t contemplate putting it in a basket and leaving it at the front of the fire station at least once a week for a while, but you get past it. As you watch them learn how to communicate, how to roll, crawl, walk, talk, annoy the living shit out of you this sense of accomplishment starts to take over and you become invested in this person who is becoming their own person by the minute. They have their own attitude, thoughts, feelings, desires, and sass. They start having their own ways of doing things and it bothers you, soon they are these miniature independent beings that wreak havoc in your life and have a hard time listening when you most need them to, but you love them, even at their worst you love them more than you knew you could love anything—and that my friends is parenthood in a nutshell. It is loving something more than you knew you could love anything, unconditionally and wanting the best for them. It is being what they need you to be not what they want you to be and guiding the little hellions you have acquired (whether by birth, marriage, adoption, gift—however you got them) through life even when its hard and time is thin. It is about being there for them even when they have their own families, their own children, their own problems and making sure that they are the best them they can be.