but in the end? you get a baby.

by humanmama on April 24, 2013

I have a few friends who are pregnant. And they like me to talk about being pregnant, and having a baby, but since it is their first baby (so many first timers are pregnant right now!) they specifically asked me to be gentle, to do the one that ends like this: “But in the end? You get a baby.”

So for you, darlings, I will be gentle.

Pregnancy. I have known about three people who said “it wasn’t that bad,” and maybe two who said “I loved being pregnant.” To those two people, I’d like to say, you’re not remembering correctly. You did not love it. But you are so used to loving your children that you remember loving it. And, there’s about 10 months of pregnancy, plus maybe 1-24 months of trying to get pregnant beforehand where you’re not drinking, really, and where you’re kind of an emotional wreck (sorry. It’s time you knew). And then: you give birth.

Birth. Ahh, birth. My sister practiced an amazing technique of meditation and guided mental exercises in order to make her birthing experience as easy (wrong word…gentle?) and painless as possible. In the meditation, they didn’t refer to “labor” as labor but as your birthing time, in order to not imply that it was going to be anything like labor. (I believe during the actual birthing process, at some point people heard the phrase “FUCK birthing time!!” But, that could be just a rumor.)

And then you have a baby. Or, after just as painful of a process, and just as lengthy, you finally adopt. And you’re suddenly left with the feeling that GOOD GOD SOMEONE IS TRUSTING ME WITH THIS BABY and that might not be so relaxing, so zen. You might freak a little. You will have postpartum depression, even if it doesn’t come for years until one night when you’re dropping your baby off at his first middle school dance and you think oh no, there it is. Baby blues. It might not be so bad. (If it is, tell someone.) And then you go home, or maybe you were already home giving birth in a kiddie pool of warm water, who knows, and you think, okay! this is it! Here we go!

But that’s where the real work begins, the nights. The sleep (or lack thereof). The doctor visits, the worry. The checking to see if they are breathing? Yeah, that lasts for six years and counting so far. You will need to sign them up for kindergarten. You will need to pay for book fairs. You will need to send baked goods to places without even eating any.

But that’s where it will hit you. Just like the postpartum. Some nights you will just sit, reading, watching TV, (or, more likely, folding laundry or going over homework), and you will think, this is my baby. You will be proud. You will be happy. You’ll be a little sad. You will remember all those hard, hard times with love, with tenderness. You might not believe this now, but one day you might actually look at those damn stretch marks like a badge of honor. Your body brought forth a wonder: your child.

It’s not easy. It’s pretty much an uphill battle. But, if you get just a minute or two every day to meditate on the goodness and amazing ness of it all, how blessed and downright lucky you are to have even one more day on earth with your babies, your sweethearts, then it can feel like more of a hilly stroll. Maybe even a skipping along of contentedness. Nope: life doesn’t get filled with 5-minute photo and video montages with a great musical underscore, no. But it’s pretty amazing, pretty brilliant.

It’s hard. But it’s really, really worth it. You will learn more (patience, coping skills, love lessons) and survive with less (sleep, money, patience) than you had any idea you could. It’s not easy at all. But in the end?

In the end, you get a baby.

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Holly April 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Lucky. You summed it up right there. I’m gone so much that when I’m home I feel how lucky I am to have a day with my wife and girl – I feel it every time I take off, and every time I turn the knob and enter my house.

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