Monday, August 11, 2008

All You Need To Know About Parenthood

This weekend I bought the book What To Expect When You're Expecting. While shopping for the book B and I had an awkward encounter with some teenage girls. The girls were just sitting in front of the pregnancy section talking about their "cycles" and what sorts of "sanitary products" they use. It was hilarious! The conversation went like this: "do you wear, like, pads or tampons?" Teenage girl #2 chimes in with "I always were tampons, except for when I am, like, sleeping I like to wear pads." Poor B, stuck in the women's health section, buying a book on pregnancy, and hearing teenage girls with braces talk at great length about their menses. I'm sure he felt emasculated by the situation. Back to buying the book. I felt like I was buying porn. It seemed like everyone in the bookstore knew my dirty little secret...I am not expecting. For a brief moment, I thought the woman at the check out counter was going to ask me for a positive pregnancy test to confirm that I could buy this book.

I feel like I am in pregnancy limbo. Pregnant, but not really pregnant. It's hard to explain how I feel, and I can only assume that it is going to get harder. I read some of the book but I couldn't really relate. There should be a book like this for adoptive and intended parents. I want to know what M is going through and how our baby is growing, but I also want to know that some of my feelings and fears, as crazy as they may seem at times, are normal. The biggest fear that I have is: will I be a good mom if I miss out on the something growing inside of me part? I feel like a woman who is pregnant has a head start to the motherhood mentality.

Yesterday we had a relaxing day at the beach. It was one of the first days since finding out that M was expecting that we both could sit around and reflect on our good fortune. While I was discreetly reading my pregnancy porn, I noticed the family in front of us. They had a beach tent, a blanket, a cooler, tons of beach toys, and beach chairs. I tried to picture how they lugged all of this merch onto the beach with rowdy toddlers. I tried to imagine us doing this in a few years and my panic button went into overdrive. One of the kids decided that the beach tent was his fort. When his dad came by the tent, the little boy decided to pull the pitches out of the sand, and roll himself up like a burrito. The father patiently unwrapped his burrito boy, and brought him to the water to play with the other children. I was moved by the dad's patience. Burrito boy decided that the water wasn't for him and flopped around in the sand breading himself like a chicken cutlet. Burrito boy's parents were rational and patient throughout the shenanigans. They never once raised their voices, and they weren't overwhelmed with the unpleasant task of packing up their camp and navigating their way to the car (this task made me want to hyperventilate, and I was just a spectator) with burrito boy and company.

Watching burrito boy and his family made me realize that I am not going to learn to be a good parent from a book; that can only come from experience. Even still, I am going to do my best to mentally prepare myself for parenthood. Does anyone need a babysitter?


Intending To Be Parents said...

LOL, I love the teenage girl story - geez, wasn't I 12 like yesterday? I guess not, but I vaguely remember that time of life - and you couldn't pay me a million rupees to go back to that awkward stage :)
We are of course are hoping to join you in your pregnancy limbo (sooner rather than later). And "when" (I need to stay positive here) that time arrives, I too will join you in the world of pregnancy and parenting books. I love how you call it your pregnancy porn :) That is a perfect description. :)
I have a friend who had promised to mail me her pregnancy books when I got pregnant - but since I'm not going to be pregnant now except vicariously, I am still going to take her up on that offer because I do want to follow along, though I am sure that will difficult in many ways.
I know seeing burrito boy and his parents was probably eye opening, but as my mom always says "it's just different when they are your own." So I'm hoping mother always knows best in this case. :)

Sarah said...

Hi guys! Another intended mother here. I got my pregnancy and parenting books from the library, a) because I'm cheap, and b) to not have to deal with anyone thinking I'm a fraud!

Congrats on your pregnancy!! (yes, it really is "your pregnancy," too, because it's your baby(ies)!) :) Enjoy!

Mike and Mike said...

Patience...patience...and more patience. This, according to my mother, is the key to being a good parent. That and a great sense of humor. And since your colorful descriptive use of terms like "burrito boy" and "pregnancy porn" clearly demonstrate you got the humor part down pat, it's back to patience.

So here's a practice tip...go down to your local DMV to renew your license in the middle of the day. Or, call up any number of "Customer Service" numbers to try and get something done. If that doesn't teach you patience, nothing will.

Warmest Regards,
Mike A.
Otherwise known as the Howler Monkey on Crack.

Alison said...

I think you are going to be an AMAZING mother - I have absolutely no doubt. And even though I know it's painful and frustrating to not be the one feeling the aches, pains and kicks, you are still absolutely 100% the mom here! You are expecting even if you're not the one who is physically pregnant. M is just a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful woman who is the most important babysitter you will ever have. Hang in there! xoxo