Archive for May, 2012

Expect One Thing

There is a lot of buzz right now about the movie “What to Expect When You are Expecting.” On date night we will be bypassing the blockbuster in favour of the Avengers. I subjected my poor husband to more than enough ‘what to expect’ when I hung a month to month pregnancy calendar on the wall behind the toilet tank. (Don’t judge, deliver the material to a captive audience I say) besides I can sum up in a single word what to expect…

Swelling.

From the moment of conception it begins. First your breasts start to swell, much to your husband’s delight until he discovers they are off limits due to tenderness. Your belly swells, although it won’t happen fast enough really for anyone to tell if you are pregnant, bloated or just over indulging in pastries.

By the time your belly does swell to evident pregnancy, your breast tenderness will subside (full bosom fun for all husbands and gawkers alike). This is a good time to remove your wedding band and other rings; it won’t be long before your fingers turn into cute little sausages. Or, leave them on and stare at your husband with tear filled eyes as he readies the wire cutters month seven. Don’t back out now… you still have ankle and foot swelling to enjoy. If you happen to be pregnant in the summer you are really in for a treat! Once, I took my shoes off in the grocery store and stayed that way until I landed the very first ugly-as-heck flip flops I could squeeze my piggies into. Yes, if you are pregnant you can pretty much expect that for nine months you will experience swelling in every part of your body, except your arse… that’s just fat.

Beyond your swelling pregnant body, around 38 ½ weeks you will very likely observe your husband swell with terror as he suddenly realizes you are having a baby.

Then the day arrives…delivery! What to Expect? (Insert delivery room swelling details) nope sorry I won’t – find out or relive that moment for yourself.

Pregnancy and delivery behind you, post-partum swelling of hands, feet and ankles is going to make you look like the Michelin Man and wondering if your skin can safely hold that much fluid. You will miss pre-delivery swelling. Especially in the upper realm of ‘breast-land’ oh those glorious days of tenderness were heaven compared to full on engorgement swelling. If I were starting over I would get myself ‘pre-pregnancy’ microscopic tattoos over each nipple. They would say ‘don’t touch’ …that way when they inevitably swelled up like printed birthday balloons I would have something to laugh about and my husband would know I mean business.

I want to tell you that you can expect the swelling to disappear postpartum, but in reality you are just getting started. In those first months your head will be swollen as you accomplish tremendous feats of motherhood like feeding the baby and texting while folding teeny tiny face cloths. Your eyes are going to swell with tears of exhaustion. Your toe will swell post 3am stubbing.

Something else you might expect is that your child is going to swell too! Everywhere and anywhere in my experience…Swollen gums, glands, lips, nose, eyes, fingers, toes, bellybutton; you will get used to it.

You will have to. Swelling won’t go away.

Over the course of motherhood you will swell with pride, you will swell up with anger, you will puff up in defense and your stomach acid will swell into your throat. There will be days that will swell with laughter and days that will make you believe that your brain might expand to explode with frustration. It won’t.

I’m sure that if you are already reading the books, going to the classes and watching reality TV. I probably haven’t told you anything you weren’t already expecting. Maybe at best if you are standing in line at the theatre I just scored you bonus points with hubby by opting for the Avengers ticket.

There is one thing you should know. Something that no movie, book, website or talk show will prepare you to expect; how much your heart can swell, expand, contain, grow and love. That, I promise, will catch you by surprise every single day from now until forever.

You can also find Michelle at her blog The Space Between Raindrops, sharing wisdom, gratitude and humour.

Fair is a Four Letter Word

The list of ‘bad’ words in our house just grew by one. Words already on the list; Stupid, shut-up, idiot, liar and the requisite four letter curse words that you can hear on T.V. but not use in church. The new word I’ve made room for on the top of the list this week is FAIR.

I’ve already made the announcement verbally but I think I will follow up with a memo…

Dear Family (and by family, I mean kids):

The word FAIR has hereby been added to the ‘not-in-our-house’ language list. The decision has been made in light of recent extreme over use of the term. For clarification; Life is not Fair.

It would be in your best interest to embrace this concept as soon as possible; life will be easier for you. Understand that we will always like your sister better than you, your brother will always get new stuff; toys, clothes, candy treats. It is your job to do everything around here while the rest of us enjoy computer time and go out with our friends. Do not look for us to pick you up and drop you off anywhere, we spent our discretionary mileage on your sister last night driving her to and from the movies (By the way, did I tell you we stopped for ice cream on the way home?). There will always be more homework for you; we actually requested it at the beginning of the school year. Curfew is an elastic thing for your sister but we can’t have three kids coming and going as they please so you will need to be home when the street lights come on. Yes, your brother gets to do all kinds of stuff at ten that you were never allowed to do, thank you for breaking us in. Somebody is going to eat all the cookies before you get even one. That is just how it is. I told you… life is not fair.

There will always be somebody getting more attention, more stuff, more freedom, more time in the bathroom, more space on the couch, more privilege. It is not your imagination. I might as well tell you now while we are on the subject; not fair is not a concept exclusive to our home. By now you are probably realizing that things are not fair at school and in your friendships. You will soon discover that not fair exists in the work place and in society in general. Those same people getting more, having more, losing less and getting lucky will follow you all the days of your lives.

I would love to change this for you but in all honesty I am just too tired, I haven’t slept in seventeen years. The best I can do is kindly request that we cease the use of the word FAIR, it has become synonymous with a stabbing pain in my cerebral cortex.

Your co-operation in this matter is greatly appreciated.

I would also like to suggest that the word equal may be used in place of Fair. Because, while it is very very true that life is not fair it is not fair to all of us in equal proportion. That makes us equal. Every person you encounter is equal to you in Fair. People changing the world and people with the weight of the world on their shoulders are equal in fair. Where they differ is in attitude.

Get over it and Get on with it.

Love,
Mom

You can also find Michelle at her blog The Space Between Raindrops, sharing wisdom, gratitude and humour.


 

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