|The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood|
|Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff|
For the New Year, I joked that my resolution was to lose about 12 pounds this January. No, I’m not going on a diet. Twelve pounds would be just about the weight loss that a woman experiences when she gives birth to a baby. If you haven’t caught on yet, our baby is due by the end of this month!
When I first realized I was pregnant, I envisioned nine months of suffering stretching out before me. Sure, I had warm memories of our first baby rolling in my belly. But I also remembered the nausea, heart burn, frequent urination and back aches. Part of me dreaded a replay of all that.
And yet, here I sit at 8 1/2 months pregnant, with hardly a complaint. I have all the symptoms I expected, plus a few more, but they just don’t seem as annoying as I thought they would be. The whole process just seems “old hat” and not nearly as worrisome as the first time around.
But there is someone else for which this is all new. She is 2 years old and switches easily between annoyed and excited—my darling daughter Melise.
To Melise, this is all very mysterious, I’m sure. We’ve tried to explain the process to her several times with varying success. Toddlers tend to learn by experience, so long descriptive accounts of the birth process don’t impress her much!
As far as I can tell, these are the facts that Melise understands:
—Mommy’s belly keeps getting larger. This intrigues her often. It is somewhat comparable to her own pot belly. She has spent many an evening on the sofa comparing every family member’s belly, pointing to each in turn to ask “Baby sister?” This game does not always amuse her daddy!
—Baby Sister is in Mommy’s belly. . . or someone’s belly. . . maybe everyone’s belly? This is a fuzzy sort of idea that she needs clarified often. When we’re cuddled together, I try to describe the baby’s movement, but telling her that baby sister is kicking elicits one of two responses: either Melise tries to kick back or she says with great concern, “Hurt mommy?”
—The baby needs to go to the doctor a lot. On the positive side, all our prenatal trips seems to have erased Melise’s fear of doctors. Instead, she squeals at the sight of the hand-held doppler scope when the doctor listens to the heartbeat. She also took notice of how they measure my belly. When she came across a tape measure at home she ordered me to lay down so she could measure Baby Sister. She declared that the measurement was good!
—Mommy’s lap is getting smaller. This is the one that kills her. She loves to cuddle on my lap and frequently starts her naps there. Lately, she climbs into my lap to cuddle, but can’t ever find a comfortable position around the bulge. It is a little heartbreaking on those days when she gives up out of frustration. I want to reassure her that mommy’s lap will return . . . but when it does she’ll have to share it with someone else.
So the worst side effect of this pregnancy is not any ache in my body, but watching Melise’s journey from baby to big sister. I try to tell myself that it will all turn out okay. Will all you big sisters out there please send me your reassurances? But if you don’t have anything nice to say, you better not tell me!