Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What to expect?

Years ago, when I was much younger and pregnant with my first child, I bought this book.
I consulted it often. I read it cover to cover. I knew every stage that my baby was going through. I would regale Mr. Wonderful with information about our big he was that week, whether his eyes or ears had formed yet, whether he was moving or sucking his thumb. We didn't have computers or the world wide web then, so other than my doctor, this was my only source of information.

In spite of the fact that the book was supposedly about what to expect when you are expecting, I really wasn't prepared at all for the many changes my body went through during pregnancy...the baby hiccups, the inability to go more than 5 minutes without having to pee, the random baby body parts that would poke me in the bladder or suddenly appear bulging from my skin, or the bright blue veins that suddenly appeared  all over my body. And I was definitely not prepared for labor. Or the delivery. I had NO idea what labor pains felt like. I was certainly not prepared for feeling as though I had an alien inside my body which was going to have to get out...and I really didn't like to think about HOW that alien was coming out!

I was so woefully unprepared for the reality of childbirth, that I actually went into the hospital thinking I was going to have a "natural delivery." Ha! There's nothing natural about pushing the equivalent of an 8 pound bowling ball out. I quickly came to my senses and demanded asked for an epidural. The nurses and doctor cautioned me that it might make my labor longer. I looked at them and stated maniacally firmly, "I don't give a crap as long as I CAN'T FEEL IT!!" They quickly complied with my demands wishes and I credit that lovely, wonderful epidural for the fact that I was willing to do it all again two years later.

Neither the book, nor my doctor, prepared me to expect to be so sore afterwards that I would have to sit on an inflatable doughnut for a week after delivery. In spite of the obvious shortcomings of the book, I bought another one of these books after my son was born.
Again, I consulted the book nearly every day so I could make sure my baby was meeting every milestone and developing properly. 

Again, I was disappointed by the many things I was NOT prepared for. For example, I was completely unprepared for being hit in the face with an amazingly accurate stream of baby boy pee pee the first time I changed my little darling. I quickly learned to cover the armed missile before taking the diaper off. I was also completely unaware that baby girls sometimes have a bit of blood after birth, as the hormones from mommy's body flush out of their little bodies. After completely freaking out and thinking my precious baby was dying, I was assured that this was perfectly normal.

A little late, perhaps? Ya' think?

Would it really be so hard to prepare new mothers for these little surprises? Would it really be so wrong to let us know WHAT TO EXPECT? 

And now, it appears that I am going through another little change which I am woefully unprepared for.

As I get older, and closer and closer to this stage...

I am discovering all sorts of fun and amusing things about myself which, once again, no one has prepared me (or my family) for.

For example, the mood swings. It used to be that I had one or two days a month where I was a teeny tiny bit irritable. As I get older, it seems to be happening more and more often. Mr.Wonderful says that I am like a rabid dog that he wants to just lock in a room and toss a couple of bloody hunks of meat to. Frankly, sometimes, that's how I feel! 

And then there are the migraines. Once upon a time there was one day a month that I had a migraine. Then it became 2 or 3 days a month. And now it is about 4 or 5 days. 

4 or 5 days in which I curl up into a fetal ball...

and plead for quiet...

And plop an ice bag on my head and beg the hormonal gods stabbing me behind my eyes for mercy.

Then there are the random breakouts and the wrinkles and the sagging...umm...body parts and the weight...

I wonder, what's next?

What other fun and quirky little surprises does my body have in store for me which NO ONE HAS PREPARED ME FOR?

I'll tell you a little secret. 

I'm a bit scared.

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