Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What to Expect . . .

In the very early years of our marriage, I was two weeks late and POSITIVE that I was pregnant. I was so excited, I rushed right out and bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting" even before I took the pregnancy test. For some reason that book said "you're pregnant!" to me. It was the old copy that had a picture of a pregnant woman wearing a very "motherly" dress, sitting demurely in a rocking chair. I so looked forward to the nine lovely months where I could relax, read dozens of books, have someone wait on my every need and sit patiently in a rocking chair. I'm not sure why I had such ridiculous ideas of pregnancy--my mom did have seven kids. That pregnancy test, like the other dozen or so tests I took in the next five years, was negative, so the book got shelved.

When I finally did get pregnant, I excitedly pulled the book from the shelf and began to read. It spent the next nine months on my night stand. Pregnancy was nothing as I had originally suspected. For one thing, I was working 50-60 hours a week in a high-stress job that I loved. There was little time to actually sit around reading. I'd fall into bed each night completely exhausted.

I also started to hate the "What to Expect..." book. Each chapter, divided by month, started with a list of generally horrible things to expect. A typical list would sounds a lot like this*:

Heart burn
Swelling of the Feet and Legs
Leg Cramps
Weight Gain
Back Pain
Sciatic Nerve Sensations
Increased/Decreased Appetite
Food Cravings
Memory Loss
Increased Saliva Production
Mood Swings
Hair Growth (in the wrong areas)
Pelvic Pain
Stretch Marks

*Not a real list from the book or anyone else with authority--just my list.

Yikes! Who wants to expect that? I no longer read pregnancy books. If something weird or unexpected happens, I might pull the book out as a resource to see if it is actually normal and expected. But other than that, I take the pregnancy day by day. And on the last day I can expect to hold a beautiful new baby that will steal my heart away. That's what I'm expecting...

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