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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

What pregnancy can never foretell

So, I have been not-pregnant for almost 6 weeks now. Friday is my big post-partum check-up at the doctor's and I think this is a good time to give my account of what I didn't expect from Motherhood.

Posted by Hello

1. I didn't expect Olivia to be so alert.

She can look around, hold up her head, and give you a big toothless grin already. I feel like the proudest of all mothers when she smiles like that at me while gazing intently into my eyes. I, also, didn't expect her to appear so quizzical. She is always furrowing her brow as though she is letting the information really stick, not just letting the moment pass by. She wants to know it now.

2. I didn't expect nursing to come so easy.

I'm pretty lucky, but I didn't have to struggle too much to get nursing to work. Olivia gains weight every week, and she spaces out her feedings through out the day so I know she's getting enough. That is something I was really worried about.

3. I wasn't expecting to clean up so much barf.

That was probably naivete on my behalf, but I didn't know Olivia would throw up so much. I have to change her clothes more often than a female high school freshman. Last night she barfed on me at 4:30am three times before I decided to make Rob take her so I could get some sleep.

4. I didn't know how hard it would be to get her to fall into a pattern.

I thought she would start to create her own familiar pattern that I could count on and I wouldn't have to push the issue too much. Maybe this happens for some babies, but not with Olivia. Even though she is very peaceful and easy going, she does not enjoy going to sleep when she'd rather be up, "looking." This goes hand and hand with the, "she's so alert" thing I was talking about before.

5. I didn't know that I would be so easily manipulated by own perceptions of what it is "supposed" to be like.

Olivia doesn't manipulate me, I manipulate me on her behalf. When we're awake forever at night, or she's really cranky and crying I beat myself up for not getting it right. I feel bad for not finding the one right way to get her to calm down. I don't ever think the logical thing: "She's a baby, and this just happens."

6. I didn't know how regular and spectacular it would be all at the same time.

She sneaks up on me. Everything is just plain and normal. Nothing special. Then all of a sudden I am plowed down by that beautiful heart ache that comes from pure love. I don't know how she does it to me, but the simplest things get me.

I love it when she holds on to me when I pick her up out of bed at night-- she can't see me, but I know she knows it's me. I love it when I put her pacifier in her mouth without her opening her eyes, and she calms down right away. I love it when she naps on her own and I can tiptoe up to check her out in her bassinet. These things are so normal and un-special, but I can't get past how magical they are at the same time.

Olivia is a new experience every day. Even though we do the exact same thing, every day.

I thought I would share since I've spent so much time with all of you as "pregnant Devona," and so little time as "mom."