34 and Pregnant

Alright, I’m coming clean with y’all. On December 1st, a brand new human being, entirely dependent upon Daniel and me, will emerge from my body. Assuming all goes as planned. Though some of you are already aware of this information, I’ve been dodgy about making a GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT, for reasons of which I am not entirely sure.

All my adult life, I have wavered in my desire to have children. One minute I’d be imagining building a treehouse with a dorky little curly-haired kid and the next minute I’d think “kids!? Oh heck no, I’ve got more important things to do!.” Everybody has kids. Being a parent automatically makes you typical. And if there’s one thing that really puts a knot in my underpants, it’s being typical. Being a parent suddenly means your days of selfishness are O.V.E.R. Travel, career, sleep, sex – lots of things you are able to enjoy and pursue with abandon as a non-parent, become difficult or even impossible once your status changes.

I guess something happens when you find that person. You know the one. The one with whom, impossibly, you connect on unimaginable levels. And the prospect of sharing a parenting adventure with that person and imparting little pieces of your selves into a new life is thrilling. And then you think, “there’s nothing more important to me than this”.

That’s when you look at yourself in the mirror and think, “whoa! Who ARE you? And what have you done with Cathryn?”

Then suddenly you’re pregnant and that’s when things get really freaky.

I have never ever fantasized about, or even imagined myself being pregnant. It’s like, my self-identity does not include being pregnant. Being pregnant is not a part of who I am. And yet, here I am, for another 6 months incubating a little parasite. The body you thought you knew so intimately, becomes very unfamiliar and frankly it’s unsettling, bordering on scary. Hormones make you exceedingly cranky and weepy. Nausea sneaks up on you for no apparent reason and punches you in the gut several times a day. Foods you’ve loved all your life now make you vomit. Your brain clearly remembers being able to stay up late into the night having fun, but now you’re lucky if you make it to 8:30. So far, pregnancy has been mostly disorienting and frustrating. I am impatiently waiting for the day my “glow” arrives.

Then 2 weeks ago we went to the doctor and she pressed this Doppler thingy to my abdomen and all I could hear was the strong steady heartbeat of the person developing beneath my skin and I was deliriously happy and beyond excited.

Bizarre and wonderful.

So even though I seem to be going through something of an identity crisis, and occasional deluges of self-doubt, and my body is not behaving as it has always behaved, FEAR NOT, Daniel and I are both tickled about this new adventure upon which we are embarking. Parenthood.

I think I’ll take a deep breath and go re-watch that movie now. I love the kid with the bucket on his head! – “he likes to butt things with his head”.


Mars Girl said...

I guess something happens when you find that person. You know the one. The one with whom, impossibly, you connect on unimaginable levels.

Yup. Despite my apparent loathing of children at this stage in my life, everyone who knows me knows that I would have had kids with Mike. We even talked about it and picked names (Sabine Patrice for a girl, Korbin Michael for a boy). Told him I wouldnt think about having kids until I was 30. Which is a good thing because I cant imagine having had to go through widowhood with a child. There were days back then I could barely take care of myself, let alone another life.

Anyway... So I'm just saying... Even the most ardently atypical people among us have contemplated children with the right man. Sometimes, even while singing praises of my childless existence, I admit to myself that--very secretyly--that I really dont know what I'd do if I found someone I loved as much as Mike... Sometimes I think I may end up eating crow eventually... But, then, again, maybe not. I already met my soul mate; I may not be as lucky again.

Anyway, CONGRATS! I'm sure you and Daniel will be anything but typical parents. ;) And your child is destined to be atypical as well. ;)

Mars Girl said...

PS - From the more atypical women I know who have experienced pregnancy, I've been informed the "pregnancy glow" is a myth. ;)

Have you had to fend off people reaching out and touching your stomach to feel the baby? Or people treating you different? One of my friends said it used to piss her off the liberties complete strangers would take with her when she was pregnant. That freaked me out. I'm not a touchy-feely sort of person...

cathryn said...

Thanks MG! :)

I'm beginning to suspect the freakin' "glow" is also a myth!

I don't think the average person can tell just yet that I'm pregnant. I'm still wearing my regular pants (well most of them).

I too have heard of the personal space transgressions while pregnant and unless my personal space is breached by close friends or family members, it will not be tolerated! :)

BTW, Sabine was a name suggestion from my sister (mostly I think so she could call the kid "Bean"). It's a pretty name.

Mars Girl said...

I would totally hurt anyone who invaded my personal spae. I was shocked when my friend told me that people just do that!! Arg! In all the pregnant people I've been around in my life (lots of aunts, some friends), it's never occurred to me to want to reach out and touch their belly! I've not even wanted to do it when invited to do so! The only person I ever felt comfortable doing that with was my mom when she was pregnant with my brother! People are weird.

Sabine is actually pronounced Sah-been-ah. Well, in German, anyway. Which is the theme we were going with... You know... my name's Heidi... My husband's last name was very German-sounding. So we were trying to pick German names. Although, Korbin comes from our insatiable love for the movie _The Fifth Element_. I'm pretty sure our kid would have hated us later when he figured that one out. Oh well! ;)

You can use Sabine and pronounce it any way you want. ;) If I ever do decide to have kids, I'm sure my future husband will like something different. I still havent met a man who loves my favorite girls' name yet--Aurora. My husband hated that name and refused to let me ever use it. Except on a pet. No one's allowed to use Aurora--that name's reserved for me, whether or not I have children!

mom said...

Bean? that's hilarious. As far as the glow, well I knew a few women who actually did glow and said they never felt so good as when they were pregnant. All I ever heard was "gawd, you're white as a ghost." or "you look like death warmed over." Nice, huh? And if anyone ever tried to touch my stomach, they probably would have gotten puked on.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cathryn. Congratulations! You hit the nail on the head for me with this sentence, though:

The body you thought you knew so intimately, becomes very unfamiliar and frankly it’s unsettling, bordering on scary.

My 4th anniversary is this week, and my husband and I are at the point where if we want kids, we can't put it off for much longer, and I have no objections to being a mother, but the thought of being pregnant FREAKS ME OUT. Which is why we've seriously talked about trying to adopt, but having watched a good friend go through that process over the past two years, I don't think that would be any easier. You give me hope that I'd be able to get over my squickiness of becoming pregnant and reach the deliriously happy state, too. Best wishes for a smooth pregnancy; you are going to be awesome parents.

- Diane.

Terah Lynn said...

I havent even been on my own blog in almost a month but just now catching up and see that there is lots to catch up on! Congrats!!!

cathryn said...

Good grief Mom! "death warmed over" - clearly pregnancy treated you well. Good thing you got such lovely children out of the deal!! ;)

cathryn said...

Diane - I'm with ya! Pregnant women have always given me the wiggins! And I won't lie, being pregnant is a very weird thing. At 8 weeks I had an ultrasound and saw this fuzzy picture of a little tadpole/insect looking thing and HOLY CRAP, that was freaky! But hearing the heartbeat at 15 weeks was really awesome and not frightening at all.

And for now, I'm trying not to think about the whole birthing process, as that will likely send me over the edge! :)

Daniel and I have actually talked about adoption too and it's definitely something we are open to. Of course I don't have any close friends who have adopted so I'm not familiar with the stress of the process. And as awesome as it would be to raise an adopted child, it will also be awesome to raise a kid that maybe has Daniel's dimples, or my mom's weird sense of humor. :)

cathryn said...

Thanks Terah :) We definitely have some catching up to do! I keep thinking I'll get to see you at Book Club and then it keeps getting postponed!

HeyBetty!! said...

Sabine is a traditional French name pronounced with out an "-ah" on the end. And yes I want to call the kid Bean. I am full against any name with an "-ah" at the end...with the exception of My Isabelly, because I hadn't been in Jersey long enough to start hating add on "-ah"s. No offense Mars.

I have heard that the "glow" comes end of your 2nd and start of your 3rd trimester because you are not supposed to be ill so much and the "nesting phase" begins. I don't know about all that, but apparently you will be building nests around the house for your earthling larva ;)

Donna said...

Catrini, I think you did a concise job of summing up the fears and hesitations of childless women. The problem is we are acutely aware of what we are giving up (and which we love so are reluctant to readily do) but no experience with what perceived benefit we'll actually be getting once that little "bean" arrives. We have no real point of comparison from personal experience since we don't have that maternal bond with kids we've babysat or are even related to. At the end of the day we know we can (and will) hand them back over. Often gladly.

Spending last week with you and Daniel was a joy. It was great to see your excitement, nervousness and even moments of that mythical glow. I know that the two of you will be great parents and that finding that special someone in each other has made a strong family to welcome your little one once she or he arrives. So proud of you both and excited to see you again next month!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and Daniel! Sammy turns one in a week or so, and I've forgetten the bad parts of the pregnancy. The good parts of the kid have replaced everything. Sammy laughs, screams, plays, stares, walks, crawls, pounds on the piano, giggles when tickled, etc.

Pregnancy is a weird time, and no one can tell you what it's like.

Congrats and love,


Mars Girl said...

I'm sure Sabine is shared by both German and French and that it has its different pronounciations. Swear, though, it was a name listed in my German book in high school and in German "e" is pronounced "ah" when it is at the end of word. (ie, "Ich habe" is "Ick hah-bah.")

So MY kid would have been Sah-been-ah! :P But I'm sure living in the US, no one would have gotten that and she would have hated us too, just like our son would have hated being named after Bruce Willis' character in _The Fifth Element_. ;)

As a minor point, with either pronounciation of Sabine, you could nickname the kid Bean. Which, I admit, I've never thought of!

cathryn said...

boty - no matter what the kid's name is, feel free to call it Bean :)

"earthling larva"! ha!

cathryn said...

Donna, it was great having you here, even though there was that whole pesky business of an emergency appendectomy ;)

cathryn said...

Holy crap Janelle! It's been a whole freakin' year already!? I really need to meet that cute kiddo!

I've heard there are lots of miserable moments that come with parenthood, but the good moments far outweigh those. Nice to have confirmation! :)

Alison said...

I wondered when you were going to come clean. Congratulations! You will be such an awesome mom.

Because I'm sure you've thought about it... what's the color scheme for your nursery?

Jennifer said...

Congrats again to you and Daniel!! I'm so excited for you!! I'm one of those odd ones who loved every single minute of being pregnant, but, I never felt sick at all - in fact, I think that was the healthiest time of my life. Don't worry about the delivery - you DO forget (even those of us who birthed the equivalent of a 3-month old). I PROMISE you the rewards are worth the wait!!! I got lots of 'tummy rubs' from the old ladies I worked with but I bet when you give them 'the eye' they'll back right off!!! Can't wait to meet the little 'bean'!!

Mars Girl said...

"Bean" is admittedly better than "Booga Two-Shoes," which is what my dad called me throughout my childhood....

(See how you will get to torture your progeny?? It will be FUN!)

cathryn said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence Alison :)

As for the nursery...right now it needs a lot of work (as with most parts of our house!), but it has lovely hardwood floors with white painted trim and built-ins.

In my fantasy nursery, once the walls are repaired I'd really like to paint them a dark charcoal gray. White crib and furniture. Big white fluffy flokati-esque rug. Small and simple, but sparkly chandelier. And then big, vibrant art prints and paintings on the walls.

No pastels or anything too "boy" or too "girl". Bright, fun, colorful accessories. No "character" themes or craptastic Disney stuff.

Now we have 5.5 months to make it happen! LOL

cathryn said...

Jennifer - I remember you telling me you enjoyed every minute of your pregnancy, and I keep thinking, "HOW!? Is that girl insane or in denial!?" lol

And I hope to god I don't have to deliver a 10 pounder like you did! :)

cathryn said...

MG - Daniel is already devising elaborate human behavior experiments to perform on our kid!

What's the point, if you can't torture them little, right? ;)

Mars Girl said...

Yes. You have to have plenty of embarrassing stories and pictures to show their friends and significant others some day. (My family and friends both have dirt on me...)