Briefly June & July

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 in Featured, Parenting | 11 comments

I had been intending to do a monthly review on, well, a MONTHLY basis. But it turned out that most of what I learned in June, I couldn’t share with you all until now. So then, what I learned in June & July:

1. Old friends really are the best friends. In the middle of June, we hosted a reunion at our house for 3 of my school friends and their partners. I stressed about being hostess for 3 couples in our small house but it ended up being such an amazing weekend.

2. Prepare for the worst; hope for the best. That’s kind of how I operate. I need to worry about the what ifs and prepare for them. I understand that about myself. Fair enough but that mentality also means you waste a lot of time worrying and stressing about things that will probably never happen. In the case of our reunion, I was again pleasantly surprised by the outcome and I kind of worried for nothing. Apparently I need a little more of the hoping for the best part and a little less of the preparing for the worst.

3. What to Expect when You’re Unexpectedly Expecting. We were still on the fence over whether or not to have any more kids. Aaron was happy with just two. I have always wanted three kids. However, Noa has only recently started sleeping through the night and I’m kind of exhausted from the challenge of 5 years of back to back pregnancy and breastfeeding and night nursing. I don’t feel I have the energy to start all of that over again just yet. I can also see that if Noa gets too much older, I won’t want to go back to baby stuff. I could see the window of opportunity for a third baby closing and I’ve been working hard on being ok with that.

So then we got the rather unexpected news that I’m pregnant. I cried. It wasn’t what we were planning for right now but the decision’s been made for us and in the end, it will all feel right, I’m sure. It’s definitely getting easier as the weeks go onā€”getting used to it, I mean. Otherwise, it’s so far been getting progressively worse with the nausea, the food aversions, the exhaustion, but I’m told that even that will get better some time soon.

In the mean time, I’ve learned that in this situation:

  • There’s almost nothing your friends and family can say that seems to be the appropriate response when you break the news. When they are happy and excited and say, “Congratulations!” wholeheartedly and enthusiastically, I thought to myself, “don’t they get it? How do they not see that the next three years are going to be so exhausting and hard?” When they (especially parents of one or two already) say, “Whoa. Really?” and open their eyes in terror while they try to smile encouragingly, I felt hurt that they weren’t happy for us or self-conscious that they thought we were crazy or stupid. In the end, Aaron and I were able to joke about it and came up with the best possible response a friend could make: a big smile and shout “Surprise!”
  • It’s quite possible to have very mixed feelings about the little one. In fact, if I were to think hard about it, I had mixed feelings every time I got pregnant and that was ok. Embarking on new parenthood is kind of terrifying. Every. Single. Time. There are new complicated challenges to be faced each time. There’s always a steep learning curve. Somehow with our planned pregnancies, it was easier for me to accept that. This time, I feel guilty for feeling those things. As if I am rejecting the poor little bean.
  • While I’m not that enthusiastic about multiple ultrasounds, an early dating ultrasound definitely taught me the power of visuals to help in bonding. So far we’ve been feeling kind of punched in the face with this news and I’ve been sick and tired and generally feeling like I have a parasite (which I do). But our ultrasound last week showed that the parasite is indeed human(esque) and so freaking adorable, waving it’s little stubby arm buds and wiggling around. For some reason, that little alien head, those giant almond eyes, that fluttering black heart went a long way toward making me feel better about he/she joining us so unexpectedly. One look at the screen and Aaron and I were holding hands and smiling.


How about you? Have you ever been surprised by a pregnancy? What helped you adjust?

11 Comments

  1. Our daughter was extremely planned (I have to take a medication that is contraindicated during early pregnancy, so we had to carefully plan for pregnancy) I had misgivings about the pregnancy for the first half, at least. I thought there was something wrong with me, that I wasn’t grateful for the gift of a child. Now we’re thinking about having a second child and I’m feeling even more unsettled. I think once we’ve had one or two or more children, we have a clearer understanding of just what a massive commitment, massive job of work, but also still what an immense blessing a child is. With a first child we are blissfully unaware, no matter how well informed we may be, so it’s maybe harder with every subsequent child not to see the great challenge that lays before us, and the great responsibility we have in nurturing the child.

    For what it’s worth, congratulations in the midst of confusion to you and your family, and I wish you peace in your new blessing. If it helps at all, you look like wonderful parents and mindful people: your baby will be very lucky to have you as family.

    • Thank you very much Darlene. I appreciate your comments.

      I agree, that first baby definitely helps you remove the rose-tinted glasses and each subsequent pregnancy is viewed with a more realistic understanding of what’s involved. For now, I’m trying to focus on the joy of pregnancy and the anticipation of meeting a new little baby instead of dwelling on how hard it will be. I like the ostrich-head-in-the-sand technique right now.

  2. Congratulations mama! I had a bit of a pregnancy “scare” recently myself, so I know the mixed feelings all too well.

    • Thanks Holli! Yeah, scary is definitely the way it’s been feeling to us too. šŸ˜‰

  3. My 2nd child was a surprise. While we always wanted 2 (well, I did my husband was on the fence) it was a bit sooner than planned AND I had been using protection/precaution. So, when that test read positive I was a little overwhelmed and freaked and we did talk about maybe not going through with it.

    But in the end we realized that this was right for our family. I wouldn’t change my “surprise” in any way…well, except for the CRAZY tantrums lately. Geez, those I could do without.

    Congratulations!
    .-= CarrieĀ“s last blog ..Monday Minute with DDoR 08-02-10 =-.
    Twitter: Miss_Scarlett99

    • It’s been helpful for me to hear of other people who have had surprises. Knowing that it happens to lots of people and you don’t have much choice but to roll with it makes it a little easier.

  4. I have not ever been surprised by a pregnancy, but wanted to say congratulations on yours. I love that moment in the ultrasound where you can see that little being. Your description brought back so many memories.
    .-= LisaĀ“s last blog ..July- Month in Review =-.
    Twitter: Litza2005

  5. Both of my pregnancies were a surprise. We were going to get pregnant after we got married but I got pregnant 5 months early. We ended up canceling the wedding and having it seven months after she was born. I wasn’t sure I even wanted a second child since my first was really challenging and I was having a hard time with her. Then I found out I was pregnant. I cried too. It took me almost two months to accept I was going to have another child. Of course everything worked out fine and I came around easily after that, but it was hard in the beginning.
    .-= MelodieĀ“s last blog ..Do You Fear Change =-.
    Twitter: bfmom

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only who cried at finding out she was pregnant. I’m fairly confident that in, um, five years (?) it’ll all be great and lovely. But I’m pretty worried about managing the next few years when the kids are little.

  6. I have never had a surprise pregnancy. Although, I sort of wish it would happen for me. Maybe it sounds awful, but I really want another child. My husband really doesn’t. My IUD is doing its job. But I sometimes think that if it failed, it would make things easier. It would take the responsibility out of my hands. I would get my way, without breaking anyone’s trust.

    But maybe I would feel differently if that actually happened. Maybe I would have mixed feelings and see the practicality of my situation. It happened with both of my other pregnancies – I felt much less sure once the test showed two lines. Suddenly my very clear world was much more murky.

    Lacking the perfect response (since saying ‘surprise!’ now would be a cheat), I will say congratulations. I am very happy for you. šŸ™‚
    .-= AmberĀ“s last blog ..Soccer Mom =-.
    Twitter: AmberStrocel

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