Just you wait.
My new least favorite phrase, uttered by just about any well-meaning cashier at Trader Joe’s or dog-walking neighbor passing me on the street and noticing my burgeoning belly.
Just you wait… Your lives are about to be turned upside down!
Just you wait… When the baby gets here, you’ll never sleep again!
Just you wait… Enjoy the time alone while you still have it!
Just you wait… You think your body is not your own now, but wait till you start breastfeeding!
Insert smirking, co-conspiratorial smile after every comment made above.
Each time one of these remarks have been made, it’s always coupled with some sort of implication that I must not know how good I have it now. That I “don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into”. Oh my god! I just realized right now that I’m in for a long string of sleepless nights, difficult days and tantrums. Thank you SO MUCH, random stranger, for enlightening me!
Maybe I don’t know just how much our lives will really change. It’s probably impossible to predict unless you’ve gone through it yourself. I fully acknowledge that I enjoy my alone time and the ability to pick up and do whatever I want the majority of the time, without schedule or agenda.
I am also fully aware that I signed up for this. In fact, we spent hundreds of days and nights, an insane amount of money, and an even larger amount of heartache before getting to this point where people are telling us “just you wait”. It doesn’t mean that I’m not still equal parts excited and terrified to be a mother, but I also would like to think I’m not completely and utterly naive about the sacrifices made once you become a parent.
It is true that most of the people who share with us their, ahem, wisdom, don’t know our struggles. They don’t know my current struggles – the 24/7 pain in my hands and pelvis that basically prevent me from doing anything productive for more than five minutes at a time, the lack of sleep, the mental struggle over said debilitating physical issues, all caused by pregnancy. The pregnancy that I desired more than anything. All they see is a pregnant lady who “doesn’t know how good she has it”.
I’ve had my fair share of those who have shared with me the delights we have to look forward to – the baby smiles, the every day milestones, seeing the world from a brand new perspective, feeling like your heart lives outside your body with this little person that is a piece of each of you. Thank god for those people, who make the worry about the total upheaval of our lives minuscule in comparison to the joys we have in store for us. Especially because that’s what I’m clinging to, now, to get me through these last few weeks (!!!) of pregnancy.
My current state leaves much to be desired, in my opinion. I want to feel like I am totally ready for this baby to get here, but in reality, right now I feel like an utter failure in the “nesting phase” that I’m in. I want to be doing so much more than I am physically able. And it’s making me frustrated and depressed that I can’t. So I am stuck in this weird limbo of desperately wanting her out of me so I can feel semi-normal again, while simultaneously not feeling ready for her to come at all.
Dale has been an absolute saint through all of this, especially in these last several weeks as my physical state has been in a rapid decline. He’s gone back to working long hours at school and then coming home to doing a full load of dishes or putting together pieces of furniture for the baby’s room at night. He’s constantly putting out an arm for me to grab, letting me lean against him, and has pushed me around in a wheelchair for a full day at Disneyland. I literally have no idea what I would do if I was doing this on my own, and thankfully, I don’t have to.
At the end of the day, I think most of my desires for the conversations surrounding infertility, pregnancy and parenthood focus on one thing: connection. Let’s do our best to try to understand each other’s struggles and meet each other where we’re at. To try to make a real connection instead of relying on blanket assumptions. To lift each other up instead of preparing each other for the worst. Because don’t we all want to be able to see more of the joys in life instead of the pain? Our struggles bring our joys into sharper focus, but they shouldn’t cloud our vision either.