VIA “huffingtonpost.com” by Jenny Studenroth Gerson
When I was pregnant, everyone was all about “warning” me about what was coming next. I walked around much of those 10 (let’s face it, pregnancy is 10, not nine, months) absolutely terrified. The warnings flew at me from every angle — in the checkout line at Target, on the street, slipping my shoes on and walking out of the yoga studio. Warnings, warnings everywhere about what was to come — from the excruciating, mind-numbing pain of childbirth to the shell of my former self I was about to become once I had her. There were times I felt like a prisoner on death row, trying to force myself to enjoy some tiny luxury despite my size and discomfort, because if you asked around, apparently, my petty joys would be ending pretty soon!
AND you all know my personal favorite, “Sleep now while you still can!” (And its sister statements, “Enjoy the quiet now!,” “Get your nails done — you won’t be doing that again any time soon,” and the good old, “You’ll never have time to shower.”) But with all these scary warnings that made me feel like the end of the world was coming, they forgot to warn me about what was really ahead.
They should’ve warned me that I would love my husband so much more once he was the father of my bundle of perfection, that I wouldn’t remember what the old love had felt like. That we’d have challenges, and arguments, mostly bickers, sure — but that we would also create goofy ways to spend time together like driving around the city with her snoozing in the backseat. That we’d come up with ridiculous names for her and laugh our asses off. That he’d finally learn to make sure there was wine in the house at all times for me and that that would be the most romantic thing ever. That I’d overhear him while he changed her diaper saying, “I’m Dada. Da-da. You’ll say Dada first.” And that my heart, molten lava, would melt right out of my chest and all over the floor again.
They should’ve warned me that despite the exhaustion, waking up to tenderly care for her needs would be the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. That when it was just the two of us awake at 4 in the morning, I would cherish the soft quietness of the whole world, cat at my feet and baby nursing in my lap and cry because these days are fleeting. They should’ve warned me that watching her start to grow out of her newborn clothes would break my heart. That some days, I would just stare at her for hours and not care about the deadlines I was missing. That her little cries and screams wouldn’t piss me off, but would make me rise to action, that when I calmed and soothed her, I would feel like a rockstar. That I would sleep. Maybe not every night and maybe not many hours in a row. But that my biggest upset about sleep would be that every time she napped on my chest, I would worry that it would be the last time. That savoring her newbornness would become a full-time job and the best one I’d ever had.