Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pregnancy Observations Part 1

According to the pregnancy app that I have on my ipod, this is day number 221. To this point I haven’t really made the pregnancy public on facebook or by blogging, so here it is, we're going to have a little boy!

I kind of find it annoying when others make everything public every step of the way. It is certainly their choice, and I can always not read it, but I feel like it’s an intimate thing that should be shared, for the most part, with your spouse and family.

Anyway, over the past 221 days I have made a few observations/ realizations that I’d like to share. Any parent out there will likely relate, and any future father should take note…

1. Pregnancy is a shared experience, kind of… There isn’t a more helpless feeling than being a “father-to-be.” Morning sickness, diet adjustments, hormonal changes out the wazoo, kicks to the ribs, I could go on and on and on but I’d just be listing more things that I have no control over. There are many awesome experiences, but I’ve spent far more time feeling awful for Dan.

2. The name game is no fun… We’ve finally selected a name, but we aren’t telling. Ha, no we want to tell our family in person and then my little fella’s name will be revealed to those that inquire. I’m not sure how people keep it a secret. A lady that I work with just had a child and wouldn’t share the name in fear of people not liking it. I’ve got a ton to say about that situation because I think it is silly to do that (I'm sure there is good reason, and to each their own, but whatever, I still think it is goofy), but my urgency to decide a name came from getting tired of people asking what the name would be. Whether I tell people now, or when he’s born, it’s going to be the same name, and I’m not worried about others liking it. My advice: Don’t worry about outsider’s opinions. If you are worried about other people liking or not liking the name, you are worried about the wrong thing. And if someone close to you is going to make negative comments about it to you, distance yourself because they are the worst. More advice: If you need it, have your help narrow down, not choose. We enlisted our parent’s help. We had it down to 4 names that we liked, all for different reasons. Rather than having our parents choose between a final two (and risk having to choose sides on the advice we got) we had our parents assist in narrowing the choices. It just so happens we got lucky and both sides gave us more information than we requested, choosing a favorite name and not just the requested top 2. Both sides chose the same favorite... game, set, match.

3. People act as though having a child is the end of the world… Prepare for people to paint the picture that being a parent is the worst thing that will ever happen. I have been shocked at the amount of people that say “congrats, (insert negatively toned comment here).” For example, many people at school think it is earth shattering news to continually remind me to “sleep now, you’ll need it!” Really? Crap, I didn’t think of that before we got pregnant, this was a terrible decision. I’m almost insulted that they would think that I hadn’t thought this thing through enough to realize that I’ll be losing some sleep to care for a baby. It must be a horrible thing to live your life with the negative thoughts always on stand by.

4. You learn a lot about people in 221 days… Continuing the thought of other people, you learn about other people through their responses to your pregnancy. There are far too many of the people that I described in the above paragraph, but there are plenty of people that you learn to appreciate and value their friendship even more. I receive weekly texts from a couple friends asking about Dan. I, of course, am often quick to respond with something like, “How’s Dan? What about me?” but those are the friends that can appreciate my pathetic, egotistical way of saying she’s doing great. My favorite conversation thus far has come with a friend who is already a father, and we got to laughing about the people that I described in #3, he then said “Scott, cherish those sleepless nights, look forward to them, there is no greater thing in the world than spending precious moments with your child.” A year ago, I too would have scoffed at the thought of losing that sleep, but ever since I heard that little heartbeat in September, I’ve been looking forward to it. Surround yourself with people that care, they enhance the experience in so many ways.

5. Payback is impossible… I never thought I’d be able to love my mother more than I always have. After watching first hand what a pregnant mother does for her child, I’ve realized that payback is impossible. I’m also guessing that I can love my mother more than I do right now, but I’ll only realize that love after the birth/ feedings/ diapers…. Holy cow, I love you mom!! I don’t mean to make it sound as if this is an awful experience, I think even Dan would agree that people make it out to be more than it is, but good grief, everyone should give their mom a big ol' hug today and say “thanks for the sacrifice.”

You won’t need to explain, she’ll know.

Until next time,