Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Under Pressure

When I was pregnant with Corey my mom told me that people would be falling all over themselves to open doors and take packages out of my arms. It just wasn't true. The only person who ever did help me, came to my rescue when I was trying to go to the laundry room with a newborn placed on top of a pile of his dirty clothes. But she didn't stay to help, she just got me to the room and that was it. So I didn't expect much when I was pregnant with Mad. However, I have a job that can involve some pretty heavy lifting at times, and that had to be cut back. My doc recommended, but didn't insist on, a 10 pound limit. I mentioned that to Nance and my days of lifting anything were over.

My office consists of a group of women, all but three of whom are mothers and/or grandmothers,(oh, and one happy-to-be-the-lone-male guy). Women declared themselves surrogate grandmas. One person said it really was the *place of business* baby, not just mine. All of this was said in good humor and with love. I was extremely well cared for during my pregnancy.

In the beginning I was exceptionally concerned that I could lose the baby or that the baby might at that very moment not be doing well. So I was at the Ob/Gyn more frequently than the average mama bear in the beginning. It's sort of strange, because I'd taken exactly the opposite stance with Corey... I figured that if "this one took" after so many miscarriages, then it was meant to be and if not, I was done trying for a while. I didn't even rush off to the doctor as soon as I suspected I might be pregnant. Once I heard his heartbeat at the doctor's office, I don't recall ever worrying again that he would be anything other than perfect. And he wasn't.

But I put so much pressure on myself regarding having a healthy baby with Tom and avoiding anything that would cause heartbreak and disappointment for him and his parents, especially his mom. Not to mention that my own father had been plotting and scheming to convince somebody... anybody... to give him another grandchild. Nobody else put this pressure on me; it was an overactive congeniality gene or something. I just wanted to please them and let them be pleased for themselves. And since Mad wasn't planned, I especially wanted her to be as beautiful as Corey had been. Of course, she was, as evidenced by this, her best photo EVER:

But back then, I didn't know that this was the glorious girl who was waiting to meet us. So I fretted a bit. Okay, Nance would say a lot. But she got to "meet" Madelyn via ultrasound because I just had to confirm one last time that everything was okay before we told the fam, so I don't think she'd complain too much about it.
Pregnancy and I get on very well. I had raging morning sickness for the first and last three months of my pregnancy with Corey, but I still loved every minute of it (well, I didn't especially love puking my guts out in the mall shopping center between expensive cars every time I couldn't make it to McDonald's from the bus stop... and heck, making it there wasn't so great because it always seemed to be filled with moms and kids listening to my insides hit the bowl... but aside from that, it was pretty great).
With Mad I was nauseated most of the time for just over half the pregnancy. One time the nausea was so bad that I went into the bathroom absolutely sure that this was it. I couldn't bring myself to look at the toilet because I knew the sight of it would bring me down faster than anything. So I stood in front of the toilet, facing the wall and talking to myself about how I needed to tighten the towel bar and how I was not going to turn around. Thoughts of the watery bowl behind me kept trying to creep in, but I shot them down with, "what a lovely shade of lavender the wall is despite how shockingingly bright it'd seemed at first, lalala."
It worked. I didn't throw up once during my pregnancy.

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