Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Joys of Motherhood--Almost

I've been married just about a year and a half. I know I've said it before, but it's truly the best thing in the world. I recommend marriage to anyone who's found someone as fabulous for them as my husband is for me.

In our early newlywed days, people were always asking us how we liked being married, and when they heard how wonderful things were, they were quick to rain on our proverbial parade.

"That won't last."
"I remember those days."
"The first year is like that."

Well, I'm here to say that if the first year is the hardest, then the rest is smoothe sailing. The second year is so far, better than the first. We're still deleriously happy. Much happier now than even a few months ago--we're having a baby.

To put it bluntly, our lives are completely different now than they were when we got married. Nick is in an entirely different career now (airplanes and not books) and I'm not doing much work at all. Our Chicago apartment is much bigger and less expensive than our San Diego apartment. So far, the only thing that's the same is the weather. I don't know who said it was awful in Chicago. I can't tell the difference yet. We've spent the better part of my 21 pregnant weeks apart and now that I'm finally home, I'm adjusting to an entirely different lifestyle.

When I left my fabulous job at Burnham Institute for Medical Research just three weeks ago, I managed to secure a part-time position with Burnham that I could easily do from home. I had every intention of getting a full-time job when our move to Chicago became definite, but at that point, we didn't know we'd be a family of three in just a few months. Since I have a conscience and a nagging sense of duty, I could not continue a job search for more than a few months. It just didn't feel right keeping something so huge from people that I was asking to trust me to do a certain job to the best of my ability. Since Nick and I discovered that financially, we'd be fine on one income, I decided that once I moved to Chicago, I'd take on the household duties full time and after the baby was old enough (or I was starved for adult contact enough) I'd go back to work wherever I could find something that suited me.

Great plan, don't you think? Well, we certainly did--and still do. It just seems that most other people think they know better than us and aren't as optomostic as we are. I tell them I'm going back to work after the baby is born. Here's what I get:

"No you won't."

"Yes I will. I don't think I could not work."

"You won't want to go back."

"I think I will. I like to be busy."

"You won't go back."

"Yes I will."

"No you won't."

At this point, I'm tired of arguing with someone who clearly seems to think that they know me better than I know me. Throw that on top of all the pregnancy advice I get, and I'm ready to swear off human contact for the rest of my pregnancy--except for my husband, of course.

Isn't it amazing how people who've never had kids are suddenly experts on pregnancy? What's worse is that they all contradict each other.

"Morning sickness is over by noon," says one. "The nausea is much worse at night," says another. And neither of them are parents, or worse, they're both men. I can appreciate that many men experience some of the same symptoms as their wives during a pregnancy, or at the very least, they've had to live with it. But, I'm sorry guys--you have no idea how my pregnancy will go. Every pregnancy is different and therefore, telling me what will help or what I should do is irrelevant and unnecessary. Let me worry about which side to sleep on or how much caffeine I can have. I'm keeping track--don't worry. Don't look at my butt and tell me that I'm having a girl or determine by my breast size that I'm having a boy. In fact, don't look at my butt or my boobs at all--talk to my face.

Speaking of those growing body parts, I wish that maternity clothing manufacturers would realize that not all of us mommies-to-be want to show the world our breasts. I've never been small up there and have been looking for ways to deminish my milk providers. Pregnancy clothes, however, seem to assume that all of us were small breasted before pregnancy and now want to show off our new-found boobs. Thank you, but no. Mine are big enough and I don't want to draw attention to them. Full figured women get pregnant too and yes, our breasts get even bigger. All of my developed life I've had to coax male eyes to my face and away from my chest. I know they're not really (always) aware that they're talking to my chest, but if I were flat, there would be nothing to look at. Now that I'm pregnant, it's like my girls are out there to be noticed. Well, they're a bit shy and don't like being seen when they're not fully dressed.

As far as the rest of my pregnancy goes, it's smooth sailing for me. The nausea is long gone. I'm not tired all the time. I have no weird food cravings or aversions and I'm not crabby all the time. (Just bored, now that I'm not working.) In 21 weeks, I've gained less than five pounds, still manage to get in a decent workout and am not eating more than my husband--more often, perhaps, but he can still pack away more of a pizza than I can. Really, the only obvious evidence I have of being pregnant at all is the basketball I've swallowed. Other than that, I can hardly tell.

No comments: