I'm currently 11 million months pregnant. I feel like a member of the pachyderm family. One would think that I would be excited about having a baby sometime in the next month and finally becoming a mother. If I was an honest person—and no one has ever accused me of anything different—I'd tell you that I'm more excited about not being pregnant anymore.
When I woke up the morning of May 1, I immediately thought, "I may be someone's mom this month." Then I instantly felt sorry for the baby. What do I know about being someone's mother? I mean, other than the obvious tasks of always having bail money on hand and cleaning up vomit. But, those tasks also go hand-in-hand with being a good wife and friend. The person on the other end of the relationship just comes in a smaller package.
Lately, I've felt like I'll just be pregnant forever. I assume that if you ask any nine-months-along pregnant woman about being a mom, she'll probably say the same thing: "I'm never going to have this baby. I'm just going to house it until it's 18." The one bonus to that is that I'll get to attend college frat parties again. And, let me tell you, I've finally got the boobs suitable for it.
I know the fear of a "permanent pregnancy" has to be common among pregnant women because there is a convenient quote in my "What to Expect When Your Expecting" book that says, "No documented pregnancy has actually gone on forever." Really? Because I was watching Discovery Health the other day—boning up on my childbirth skills since about 80 percent of that channel is women giving birth to something—and there was a woman on there that "gave birth" to a 9-pound calcified baby after carrying it in her abdomen for 68 years. That is about as pregnant as I feel at this point. I plan on writing the editors of the hallowed "What to Expect" and inform them of this development. That book is awash in fictionalized accounts of wonderful pregnancy symptoms. I hate it.
It doesn't tell you half of the really scary things that are going to happen to your body in preparation for becoming a "mom." I think we would have less teen pregnancies if women would just go ahead and talk about some of the fun stuff that truly happens—like the small little detail that my vagina hurts all of the time. This is only outweighed by the fact that I haven't actually seen it in more than three months. Who knows what's going on down there? I don't.
What I do know is that I can't lift my legs to put on pants without screaming in pain because my pubic bones are actually separating. I've just recently come to a certain amount of peace about peeing in my own pants. A peace I thought I'd never have—at least not before age 80. I also haven't slept through the night since I found out I was pregnant. People will jokingly tell you this is your body's way of "preparing you for the baby." I want to jokingly throat punch these people.
But, after being pregnant for the whole nine months, I feel like somewhat of an expert on it. I honestly never thought I'd be able to make it this far without several large gin and tonics and my Xanax prescription—and the first 10 weeks of non-stop vomiting almost did me in. But I made it. In fact, I did it easily. And I think that is the true part of being pregnant that prepares you for being someone's mother. It's not about you anymore.
When I told The Man about writing a column about becoming a mom and having no idea what to say, he actually said, "But you already do that stuff." He then reminded me of the crazed look I get in my eye if someone gets near The Belly—the way I wrap my arms around it in crowds. I catch myself absent-mindedly patting my belly when she has the hiccups in an attempt to soothe them. I've reached a point where it does not matter what happens to me or my body as long as this little girl comes out of it happy and healthy.
I was blessed with the kind of mother who would give me her last dime and then scour empty parking lots for another 15 cents if I needed a quarter. She's always been there for me—bail money included. I've spent my life watching her go without so that she could give me what I wanted. In some respects, that is the only training I've ever needed for this next step in the journey. No matter how ill-prepared I feel, I've seen it done before.
Essentially, I've taken the first step to becoming a mother. As for all the rest of it—the care and feeding of an infant—well, I have no idea how I will do.
All I do know is that I am immensely pregnant with the possibilities.
So glad to hear from you, Lori! It still feels like you just wrote the article about finding out you were pregnant, but of course time would fly for me since I'm not the one carrying the kid. :)
Did you have a baby shower? Do you need anything for the little lady?
Oh Lori, Jill Fleming (Daria's mom) so glad I found you again, and yes motherhood is definitely a mixed bag of tricks. You have to pretend to know what you are doing without a manuscript, a compass or a parachute go figure. I get a lot of comments that I do well as a parent but I definitely know that this is the most challenging job I have ever had or will ever have in my life.