Great Expectations, Part I: Pregnancy is Not for Wimps
- Thursday, April 18, 2002
Oh, what a sweet and poignant scene that must be for a mother, to see her little girl imitating pregnancy. The mother smiles as she watches. She is not smiling because she thinks this behavior is cute. She is not smiling because she remembers with fondness her own childhood. She is smiling because she knows that one day her daughter will find out the REAL journey to motherhood.
And then, she will have her REVENGE.
Perhaps we ladies should have spent more time in Genesis with our good friend, Eve. As you recall, she was taking her well-deserved lumps from God. He told her, I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with great pain you will give birth to children.
By the way, all Adam had to do was start FARMING.
Perhaps Gods warning to Eve wasnt quite strong enough to give her the picture. Maybe she needed more details.
GOD: Eve, I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with great pain you will give birth to children.
EVE: Yeah, OK.
GOD: No, seriously, Eve, this is NOT going to be fun.
EVE: Right. I get it.
GOD: Now, Eve, when I say childbearing, I am talking the WHOLE NINE MONTHS here . . . and really its more like TEN months, if you want to get technical.
EVE: Um, yeah, I understand.
GOD: Nausea, mood swings, weight gain, back-aches . . . and thats all before the actual birth.
EVE: Yeah, um, can I go play with my dolls now?
We just dont get it, do we? That is, until it HAPPENS to us.
It has HAPPENED to me three times now. Well, two and half Im still in the middle of number three.
I remember my elation when I found out I was expecting my first baby. I instinctively began rubbing my belly and examining my face in the mirror for any sign of pink in my cheeks indicating that special glow.
About three weeks later, of course, I found out that the special glow is really more of a GREEN than a pink. I became all but consumed by nausea. I recall a woman once remarking to me in the grocery store, Oh yes, I remember that queasy little feeling.
Queasy little feeling?? To me that was like calling Hitler a naughty little dictator. So I threw up on her.
One time in this current pregnancy, I was feeling fine, having a conversation with my husband, and I felt a bit of a sneeze coming on. I put my hand to my mouth to sneeze, and as I did, I threw up in my OWN HAND. How on earth it is physiologically possible to sneeze and vomit at the same moment is beyond my comprehension, but somehow I accomplished it.
Once the ALL-DAY sickness subsides (whoever named it morning sickness was definitely a MAN), then come the cravings. With my first pregnancy, it was burritos from 7-11. With my second, baked potatoes from Wendys. And this time, Lord only knows why, but all I wanted was chicken pot pies.
Yes, chicken pot pies.
One night about 11:30 p.m. I woke my husband, Barry, up. Hon, I need a chicken pot pie, I whispered, gently shaking his arm.
What?? Where is the football?? Barry said.
Honey, wake up. I need a chicken pot pie.
Huh? A chicken what?
A chicken pot pie. I need you to go fix me one.
Barry drew in a deep breath as though summoning the Holy Spirit to give him patience and understanding (hes so spiritual that way).
You want a chicken pot pie right now? he questioned, Its 11:30.
Yeah, please? Can you make me one?
But, Suzanne, it takes 30 minutes to cook a chicken pot pie.
Oh. Well, thats OK. I can wait.
At this point Barry flopped back down on his pillow. Barry!! I whined, Arent you going to go make me the chicken pot pie??
I thought you said you could wait!
No, I meant I could wait WHILE YOU COOK IT.
So my dear husband, bless his heart, got up and cooked me a chicken pot pie, which I ate -- along with a glass of chocolate milk, a banana, and a bag of peanuts -- at midnight.
Now we are past the cravings and moving into that generally cranky and uncomfortable phase. I was recently lamenting to Barry how restless I am getting.
My WHOLE BODY hurts, I moaned.
Well, its no wonder, he answered, have you SEEN your body lately?
Two pregnancies ago that remark might have made me cry. Now I just throw something at him and tell him to go fix me a strawberry milkshake.
The morals of my story are as follows:
1. Mothers, allow your daughters to idealize pregnancy for a little while. Sheltering them from the truth will greatly increase the likelihood of having grandchildren.
2. If you have that queasy little feeling, never trust a sneeze.
3. When it comes to late night cravings, take heart: Wendys is now open until 1 a.m. (the baked potatoes are killer).
Suzanne Pearson is the mother of three boys: Caleb, Jonah, and the subject of this article, Silas, who was born April 4, 2002!
Part 2 of Great Expectations will take a look at the ultimate step in this wonderful journey into motherhood CHILDBIRTH.
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