I have to laugh, because in her true fashion (she hasn't given the ok for me to announce this fact on here, so for now she will remain annoymous, being referred to only as "buddy". Then when I get the ok, you will be able to find me atop Hope Mountain shouting from the top of my lungs "_____is pregnant! Whoot!!") she announced her coming baby as if she were saying, "Oh by the way, I bought that awesome leather jacket last weekend."
And I'm sure, her knowing me as only she does, she knew I'd be excited for her. But I'm not sure she was prepared for me to choke on my bread when she told me. It wasn't heimlich maneuver worthy, but it was embarassing enough.
We pretended to be Mommies when we were young, we talked of being parents as we grew up and she has watched me grow and change into the world of mommydome over the past years. And while our journeys have been indivdual and perfect for our respective lives I have anxiously awaited the day that she joined me in yet another phase of our lives.
As tears filled my eyes and I heard tales of how rotten she is feeling (I know it Buddy, I know it!) and how she wound up sick with something else right in the middle of her first trimester, my mind filled with the millions of things I wanted to say to her. The hundreds of emotions that coursed through me and the words that due to the fact that I was struck dumb (NO Comment!), in the middle of a restauarant, and trying to keep my children from throwing food on the floor or choking on their napkins, did not come out. Her number is changing this weekend, so I have to wait to talk to her more till next week but my soul longs to share things with her, and so, for now, I can only hope she'll log onto her computer and read this, because Buddy, this is for you...
I can't believe you are pregnant! It feels almost more surreal to me than my own pregnancies did. I can't believe after all these years, all your pining, all our dreaming you are going to be a Mommy! And a darn good one too! I have no doubt that you will be to this sweet baby, perfect. You will be her (or his, but I'm used to her for now) best friend, her worst enemy and shelter from the storm.
You're in the stage that for most women is the hardest, you feel like you're going to barf most days. The smell of your husband's morning breath is probably enough to make you think of separate beds (just wait until you're almost ready to pop, I promise there will be moments that all you can think of is SPACE!). Every commercial you see brings tears to your eyes and you will gravitate to the baby department of every store. Some moments you laugh yourself silly and then the next you are ready to scream at the guy in front of you at Tim Horton's "CHOSE Your donut already, I'm pregnant here, I haven't eaten in like 15 minutes and I'm hungry! If I don't eat now I'm not going to want to and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT!" You're probably feeling bloated, not really looking pregnant but not really feeling like your old self, don't worry, you'll pop soon enough, and when you do, you'll have the sweetest baby bump!
In a few months you're going to need maternity clothes, call me! I want to go shopping with you, come visit for the weekend, we'll make a girls weekend out of it, and make you feel as special as you are.
The time is going to go slow. Sorry. I know you don't want to hear that, but it does, 10 months is a long time but when you look back it'll seem fast. You'll talk names, you'll make a list, you'll love some, you'll hate some and in the end you'll pick the perfect one. Just take my advice, before you share that special name with anyone think it over, once it's out there, before the baby is here, it can get spoiled by someone's unwanted opinion or story, "Oh! You want to name your daughter Ellie, we'll I knew this girl she had a cow named Ellie when we were in school....." Thanks.
You will have times when you are absolutely amazed with what is happening to you, your body and your family. You'll see your first ultrasound and a whole new emotion starts to warm your insides. It'll spread from the center out and will only increase with time. You will have times when it frustrates you, not that you don't love it but sometimes, it's down right frustrating that you can't see your feet, or that when you bend over to attempt tying your shoe for the fourth time you have to concentrate really hard on not letting 'er rip, (ahem).
Bethany 2 days old, in Papa's handsThe doctors will give you information and books, you'll read online, you'll get advice from your family, your friends and strangers. Oh don't get me started on strangers, they will want to touch you, rub your belly, ask how you are feeling, tell you their stories. Listen when you have to, call me if you need a bodyguard and whenever possible cut people off before they get to their "birth story". Everyone has one, they are all magical, but sometimes, people lack tact and it just comes out wrong. The information will abound leaving you feeling confident and confused, much like you'll feel sometimes as a parent.
Then you have to give birth. No, you get to give birth! You know that for me, and my body pregnancy wasn't so good, that's not the case with many women, but I will tell you the best part of having a baby is the end! Yes it hurts, but you can tell yourself, whether you have drugs or not, "This will not last 9 months! In a matter of minutes, hours, I will be holding my precious son/daughter and this world will change forever." I vote drugs, but didn't get them the second time and you know what, I was ok! Let your body do it's job, the rest, drugs, positions and labour coaches (That's right Buddy's husband, you get to be a coach! Take off your wedding ring, I promise it makes your hand hurt less when she squeezes the snot out of it) are all the coping tools, God has created your body especially for this awesome job.
Bethy's ride home from the hospitalOnce she's here my friend (or he) nothing will ever be the same. You will want to cry, maybe you will right away, maybe you won't but I promise you, there will come a moment (and sometimes it takes a little while, don't be surprised if it does) that you all of a sudden are overwhelmed with love. I can't explain to you how that love feels, but trust me when I say, that the way you love your parents is nothing, NOTHING in comparrison to the way you love your child. And the feeling of that child loving you back, is more than anything you've ever felt you deserved.
You're going to have tough times. Not just at the beginning when everything is new and you and BH (buddy's husband) are trying to figure out life and a routine for you, but after that. You'll wonder if you've made the right choice, asked enough questions or done enough. Trust your gut. I cannot ever stress enough God has given you the heart for your child and He has given you the ability to "know" what to do. If something feels wrong, really wrong it is. It might take time to figure out but you will. If something feels right, then it is, know that you and BH are the only ones who know what is truly right for you and your new family.
Audrey's ride home from the hospitalWe're all going to have words of wisdom for you. Some of it useful and some of it worth filing under G for garbage. Take what you need and discard the rest and if some give too much advice (like yours truly) tell them (me) to shut up. They (I) won't be offended for long :-).
Sometimes, you're going to do something or say something as your sweet one grows up and think "Oh my gosh! I am so my mother! What happened?! How did that come out of my mouth!!! " You'll say things you never thought you'd say and do things you swore you wouldn't do. Because, quite simply, you turned out pretty good so your Mom must've done something right.
Bethy's first time holding Audrey
Other times, you're going to pick up the phone and call that Mom, (a woman who has done a wonderful job raising you Buddy. A woman whom I love very much and next to my own mother has always, always made me feel loved. And I know has made you feel the same, and 10 fold because um hello, she did the work to get you here, you're her precious gift.) and plead "Mom, help I don't know what to do! BB (Buddy's baby) .....crying uncontrollably and I don't know what she/he needs...is having the temper tantrum of her life and I can't deal with it (it'll happen, they all have tempers, but trust me when I say. Ride it out, who they really are amisdt the difficult emotions and reactions is waaay better than the attitude you're facing in that moment)....has a broken heart and I don't know how to mend it" Your Mom will listen, she'll pray for you and with you and then she'll share her stories. And then, she'll say, "Buddy. You can do this! I know you can! You are a great Mom!"
Oh, my dear friend! My heart is so full of joy for you and BH. All the things you've done in this life until now, your accomplishments and accolades, your triumphs and failures, your good days and your bad ones will pale in comparrison to what's to come. You will love like you didn't know you could, you will have moments of fear because now, that child is yours to take care of and protect, you will hand that baby back to God because He's the one who gave you that baby and He is the only one who can take care of him (I leave my children in the hands of my Father on a daily, hourly, minutely basis and it's the hardest thing I have to do. Because while I want to control it all, I have to trust with all my might.) You will feel a peace that is unsurpassable because God is in control.
I have had many jobs, I have done many things but nothing I have done, no one I have been is anything when I think about who and what I am as a mother. Somedays I feel like I'm super Mom (when I work all day, done 2 loads of laundry, make dinner AND do the dishes...I triumph) and somedays I feel like a super flop (when Kraft Dinner's what's on the menu, we're down to the last pair of big girl panties, and I just had a melt down along side both of my children. Who now have tandum tantrums, on rare occasion). Then I tuck the girls into bed and Bethy says "love you Mommy" as her little eyes flutter shut and her tiny hand brushes my cheek. Audrey smiles and sighs when I snuggle her in a little closer and I know, that I am that feeling for her. Just like you will be for your little one. You know the feeling, being wrapped in your Mother's arms, safe in her embrace - peace, contentment, safety and love, in one small gesture.
*Hug my buddy! Great, freakin' big HUG!*
So, everybody, please join me in wishing Buddy and BH CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Wahoo and yeehaw! I can't wait to shop with you, cry with you, laugh with you and hold BB. You will be a wonderful Mom, he'll be a great Dad and together you'll become the family God's made you to be!